“Old age treats freelance writers pretty gently.” – John Updike
In recent years, there has been a massive rise in people who are becoming freelancers, rather than taking an employed role within a business.
This is partly due to there being a loss of jobs to AI (artificial intelligence) but also a shift in the mindset of those wanting to create a more meaningful world, where AI has taken, it has given at the same time a range of opportunities for the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive.
Not only is this because there has been more awareness of achieving a work/life balance, but it also has become more accessible to source work when you work freelance.
The only problem with becoming a freelancer is where to start.
So, if you want to enjoy the benefit of working for yourself, then take a look at our guide on how to make those first steps to becoming a freelancer.
One of the first things that you should always think about before taking the plunge into working for yourself is whether or not it is right for you. Can you shut off your work brain when things at work are getting stressful?
Leaving your job and a regular wage to earn money for yourself is not easy, and there are going to be bad times along with the good times. It is vital that you really give it some careful thought, that you are realistic about what will happen and that you carefully consider every aspect of working for yourself before you make the leap
Work out some prices
Once you know that you have the discipline and control to work for yourself, then you need to think about how you are going to charge all those clients that you will hopefully secure.
You need to consider whether you are going to charge a project-based fee, a daily fee or perhaps an hourly rate or maybe if its an ongoing type of work could you work in a subscription model.
The way that your charges work will often depend on the type of work that you do and who you are serving.
Next, you need to think about the actual fees, to work out how much to charge, you are going to need to do some research.
Take a look at other freelancers out there who work in the same area. See what they charge, chances are, in those early days you are going to need to set your fees under this level or even work for free to gain experience and testimonials.
Not only will this reflect your level of experience, but it will also help you to appeal to and secure clients which will then build up the work that you have lined up long-term.
Consider tax implications
You also need to give some careful thought to the tax-based implications of working for yourself.
You need to register with HMRC or your countries equivalent and at this point, you need to consider whether or not you are going to be a Sole Trader or a Limited Company.
In the most part, freelancers will fit under the Sole trader category. However, you need to research what fits in with you and consider the future of your business too and how you see it going, start as you mean to go on!
Build your customers Avatar
Whos the customer you want to be working for and what is their avatar? How do they want the service to feel?
Do they want speed or is it about feeling they are part of something, do they want to be able to learn from you and teach others them seles or are they hoping to test you out and start to give you more work as trust is built? What is their desired outcome and where is the pain that you can help them avoid?
It’s important to really understand as much about your potential clients so that you can serve them with the extra value that will make you their first choice!
Get those clients
You need to be realistic about the amount of work that you can take on and get done by yourself and how much time you are going to be able to dedicate to each client in those early days.
Once you know this, you can start to look for clients. There are a variety of ways that you can do this, and you need to remember that it is going to take time and effort to really get your business off of the ground.
Working for yourself is great and has some fantastic benefits. However, what you need to do is remember that it is hard work and that first year or so can be incredibly tricky for you and those around you, realistically you will find you have to work very long hours when starting out as you will be juggling many things.
Invest in your self
If you want to stand out in a particular area become an expert in that area, take courses and read books by those who have already done what it is that you are hoping to do!
Look at those who are doing well and see what it is that they offer. Could you provide more?
Also, study those who aren’t doing very well what are they missing, what mistakes are they making, do they have a website, do they offer an introductory starter kit, find out as much info as possible?
“The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play.” – Arnold J. Toynbee