If you’re a new freelancer, welcome to the wonderful world of independent business. I’ve been freelancing for more than twenty years, and I can’t imagine working for anyone else. But if you’re just starting out, you may be feeling a little lost.
So what does it take to make a success of your new venture? Here are my three top tips:
- Understand that you are in business, and you are responsible for everything. Even if you don’t have employees working in a rented or purchased office, you’re selling professional services either to consumers or to other businesses. Your customers, suppliers, and governmental agencies expect your interactions with them to be conducted in a business-like manner. Instead of just writing, designing, or providing administrative support, you also have to do marketing, bookkeeping, and other tasks or hire someone to do them for you. Those tasks are made easier with great resources like Invoice2Go to send invoices and keep track of payments and due dates.
- Make a plan. You can set your own work hours and determine your own workplace. You can run errands, do chores around the house, or enjoy a movie instead of working on your client’s project, but you have to ensure that the work–both client work and marketing/business work–is done on time. Establish a schedule that works for your business, your personal/family commitments, and your own preferences, and deviate from your schedule only when you make a well-informed decision to do so.
- Do such a good job that your clients not only give you more work but also tell others about you. Your work needs to be top-quality, but your customer service needs to be even better. If your clients know they can rely on you to understand and meet their needs, you will become their go-to professional in your field. Best of all, you’ll start hearing, “So-and-So suggested I call you. He said you always do a wonderful job for him.”
As a freelancer, you have incredible freedom, but if you want to be successful, you need to balance the freedom with self-discipline.