So you want to be a Freelancer!

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So you want to be a Freelancer!

 

Why freelance for a living?

Freelancing for a living!Freelancers take their earning potential into their own hands for as many reasons as there are freelance career options to consider. Perhaps your salary does not match your skill level or financial needs; perhaps a regular 9-5 schedule is difficult for you to maintain; perhaps you like your career but would like to earn some extra money from a hobby at which you are skilled; or if you are like me, perhaps you live hours from the nearest company that employs people in your field, so you have to go it on your own. Maybe you simply love the freedom a freelance career can provide! Whatever your reasons for deciding to freelance, you must put goals in place in order to responsibly keep track of your success.

 

What is your measure of success?

Your measure of success is anything you want it to be! Success cannot be exclusively measured by financial gain. You must also take into consideration what your major ambitions in life are; whether your goal is to pay the bills or earn millions, to earn money for completing a project you would have enjoyed doing in your own time anyway, or whether your goal is to eliminate the stress of a dead-end job and work out of your own home; realizing your goals is the keystone of personal success!

Regrettably, where there is an opportunity for success, there too is an equal opportunity for failure. Many small businesses fold within the first five years of opening their doors. Failure in business is an unhappy reality for some entrepreneurs and freelancers. Markets, trends and competition change and there will be hard times. Hardship for your company is not a personal reflection on you, but an opportunity to generate new ways for your business to grow. Be realistic, be creative, and be adaptable. Diversify your products or services to ensure several possible income streams for your business. It is completely up to you; your success is your own and no one else’s.

 

How will you beat out the competition?

No matter your field of expertise, if you freelance you are in the business of selling. You will ultimately find yourself in competition with similar businesses that provide similar services (if not locally, then conceivably regionally, nationally or globally) and how well you sell yourself will determine who will be awarded the project.

Determining the extent of your competition does not have to be overwhelming or discouraging. Studying your competition is one of the most powerful marketing strategies you can exploit at low or no cost to you, and that bit of market research will help you learn something about the direction your business will be moving in.

 

What is unique about your business and what can you offer consumers that others cannot?

What will you call your business? What do you specialize in? Will your products or services make your clients’ lives easier or make them more money? Let them know!

Perhaps what you offer is something your potential clientele will benefit greatly from and are not even aware they are lacking it. Bring it to their attention or you will miss the opportunity to promote yourself and sell your products or service!

 

Why should you not wait for business to come to you?

Approach potential clients and place your products directly where consumers can see them. Don’t be shy! Individuals and businesses want to know what they are missing and that you are there to fill that gap for them. You must stand apart from your competition. You must promote yourself. Do not wait for business to come to you!

 

How can your business make more and spend less?

To ensure that you keep yourself afloat when first starting out, do not spend money on things that will not help you or your business to generate more income. Your initial survival plan should include the self-discipline to keep things low-cost. Buy second-hand office supplies or ask friends and family if they have an old printer or fax machine you can use. Your goal in the beginning is to bring cash in, not throw it out!

Something that is in a freelancer’s favour straight from the outset is that you can convert your basement, garage, dining room or spare bedroom into your temporary or long-term office space. For most freelancers, 3000 sq. feet of office space with employees and a meeting room is just not feasible. Likewise, your dining room might not be the most appropriate place to conduct face-to-face business with clients, and would likely damage your credibility. In the beginning, consider taking advantage of working from home and make appointments to meet with clients at their office or sell your products in already established stores that offer related products!

 

How do I market my freelance business for a low cost?

A logo is essential to create a branding for your business. The benefit of designing a logo for your company is that you will be easily recognizable in the future to consumers and clients. It is worth the time or money you will invest in designing your logo because you will use it everywhere: business cards, letterhead, advertisements, t-shirts, billboards, signs, and websites, you name it! Logos are important for promotional purposes and read my lips: regular promotion will give rise to regular business!

You now know that you need to promote your freelance business, and in order to do that you must create a marketing budget and stick to it. I mentioned some options above, but really the sky is the limit for promoting your business… except for that pesky budget. There are cost effective ways to get the right kind of attention. Create a website with an easy to remember address. Target your ads to your desired audience rather than the masses. Write a press release that will get you mentioned in the local media. Sponsor an event. Gather testimonials to use in your promotional materials, just be certain you obtain permission to use the quote. If you choose to carry out a mailing or emailing marketing campaign, it is important to understand that it is never okay to spam. Ever.

 

So before you step out on your own as a professional freelancer, you now have some idea of what you will need to keep in mind as you get started. A career in freelancing can offer you a type of freedom for living that no other job has allowed room for!

 

  • Identify your goals and your present measure of success to determine if freelancing really is the right way for you to go. Instant success and millions is not really likely, but with considerable effort you can make a comfortable living and reap rewards that are priceless to you in ways that hold no value for others.
  • Plan ahead to achieve a successful marketing campaign that fits your budget.
  • Promoting your products and services gets easier once people are familiar with your company and branding, so get your name and/or logo out there! Remember the promotional work does not end when clients come knocking; you must continue developing good marketing research and advertising tools!
  • There are expenses that you will incur and at some point you may be faced with considering whether this solo venture is going to feed you and keep a roof over your head, but my advice is to not get discouraged. If you plan ahead you might have enough money set aside for the business to exist on a tight budget until things pick up. Be open-minded about branching out to offer new products or services to your clientele. Keep things fresh and be accessible, whether it is through new articles on your website, new products in stores or contacting a new list of potential clients.
  • Freelancing is a profession and all freelance income is taxable.
  • Most importantly when considering a career as a freelancer, know your worth. Plan ahead, believe in yourself, work for it, and keep a positive attitude. You are the only one who can make your freelancing dreams come true!

 

Contact iwebwork to get your freelancing services in front of your target markets.  Good luck and get going!

 



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