Have you been thinking of becoming a freelancer recently? It’s a very popular way of working at the minute, as now the internet and remote working has opened up a lot of freelancer and self-employed opportunities for individuals around the world. As we are all a lot more connected than ever before, it’s now easy to work for firms on the other side of the globe on a freelance basis. This has created a lot of lucrative job opportunities for those who work as freelancers, so there is no wonder that lots of people are deciding to turn to the self-employed lifestyle.
So, do you think going freelance is the best option for you? If so, you might want to read on to find out what some of the most important pearls of wisdom are for new freelancers.
Always Get A Contract
Firstly, you need to make sure that you always get a contract for each work project that you join. This is very important as it will outline your rights as a freelancer, and will also make it perfectly clear as to what the client expects from your work. Plus, it will also detail other important points, such as compensation and deadlines. The main benefit of a contract, though, is that it is your evidence if you ever need to take a client to court. The contract shows what was to be expected from the freelancer and the client, and will, therefore, act as evidence if anyone were to breach the conditions laid out in the document. Make sure that there is as much detail in the contract as possible, so that every possible aspect of the project is covered and explained.
Track Your Income
You also need to make sure that you track your income from day one. Otherwise, how are you meant to know how much profit you are making each month? To do this, you need to keep a close eye on all the money that you are receiving, and everything that you spend on your business expenses. This is easy to do, and setting up a simple spreadsheet can help you track all of this financial information. It’s also worth investing in some invoice matching software so that you know which invoice each payment into your account is for. If you receive multiple payments on the same day, it could be tricky trying to match them to the right invoice!
Focus Your Business
Before you do start to market yourself as a new freelancer, you need to focus your business so that you are operating within a niche. Giving yourself a niche in which to work means that you won’t have to worry about too many competitors. So, before you do become a full-time freelancer, it is worth considering how to focus your business and work. For instance, if you want to be a freelance content writer, you could specialize in certain types of content, such as B2B, health, or legal. It all depends on where your specialism and expertise lie. You then need to work hard to become an expert in this niche so that your competition is no match for you!
It’s OK To Say No
Lots of new freelancers find that they are constantly busy trying to find new clients and enough work to stay afloat in their first few months. They think that it’s important to always say yes to get plenty of clients in their books and to keep everyone who they work for as happy as possible so that they will return whenever they have more work. This is true to some extent, but you still need to make sure that you aren’t stretching yourself too thinly between way too many clients. This could reduce the quality of your work, which could prevent you from being called back to help on future assignments. Not only that, though, but saying yes to too many projects could leave you with little spare time. As a result, you could become extremely stressed, and your mental health may suffer as a result. So, if you are struggling to fit a new project into your schedule, don’t be scared to say no to it.
Create A Portfolio
Don’t forget to make a portfolio of your work as well. This should be somewhere visible, such a on your professional website, and it should also be in a format that is easy to send to potential new clients. It’s important that you have all your past work together in this kind of portfolio so that clients can see the kinds of things that you can do. Make sure it is made up with some of your best examples of work, so that you can persuade people that you are the best freelancer for their job! Don’t worry if you are a very new freelancer and don’t actually have any examples of work yet. You could simply build up a portfolio by offering your services for free in the beginning. Once you’ve got an impressive portfolio together, you will then be able to start charging a fee.
Always Save For Tax
Once you start working for yourself, you will need to sort out all of your own taxes yourself. This isn’t like being in full-time employment, where your employer is responsible for taking your contribution out of your wages – you now have to figure this out and file your return yourself! To make sure that you always have enough cash in the bank to pay your annual tax bill, it is important to save around a third of each invoice. That should be enough to cover your taxes. If you ever get confused when trying to figure out your tax bill and what you can count as a business expense, it’s worth contacting an accountant. In fact, it might be easier for you to get them to take care of all your finances for you!
There’s plenty to remember when you become a freelancer, but these tips should help you make a success of it!