Originally posted on Renee Writes:
Today I'd like to welcome guest blogger, Richard Nolan. He's sharing the Ten Main Conditions To Get Success in a Freelance Career.
Becoming a freelancer is easy, right? You just leave the security of your full-time job and set yourself up in your home office and wait for the work to roll in.
There are a lot of advantages to being a freelancer, and it is an attractive proposition, sure enough, but it certainly isn't easy.
So first of all, we'll take a look at the advantages, then the pitfalls; and then, we will describe how to become a successful freelancer, which is the whole idea of it in the first place. This is a career that you have chosen, just like any other, and it is up to you if you make it a success or a failure.
First, you have freedom to do what you want when you want. You can work your own hours with nobody telling you when to start and finish.
There is no commuting backward and forward to work every day. You can work from the comfort of your own home with all the advantages that that includes. And here are the ten ways that should help you succeed as a freelancer, should you choose this appealing career path.
The Right Reason
So, you've made the decision that you are going freelance. This could be for a variety of reasons, all of which are probably valid in your mind.
You may be a stay-at-home parent, wanting to supplement the family income. You may just have had enough of the daily grind of going to work and feel that you can make it on your own. You may be unemployed at the moment. Or you may have come up with a really smart idea and want to see how it works out by going freelance.
Whatever the reason, make sure it is the right one.
Whatever the reason, make sure it is the right one.
You really should have some money behind you, if possible, before embarking on a freelance career. This doesn't include stay-at-home parents or the unemployed, of course. But if you are leaving the security of a full-time job, then you need some financial back-up until things take off or, in the worst-case scenario, don't work out.
To start with, things will not be easy at all. It will take time to build up a client base, and it could be that you will be struggling financially for a while.
You should also learn some basic accounting skills so as to manage the financial side of your new career.
You definitely need to plan your moves in advance. This is vital at the start, but it is also something that you will need to keep doing all the way.
Plan every day, every week and every month! Remember how your days were mapped out at work? Well, you are the boss now, your own boss, and you need to make sure that your time is used as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible.
Don't set yourself unrealistic goals or deadlines. You need to be firm with clients about this because if you promise something and then can't deliver, it will just harm your reputation. Self-discipline is a must. It takes a lot of discipline to force yourself to stay at home and work. There are quite probably a lot of distractions around that can easily make you put off something that you should be getting on with now!
Dealing With Clients
Remember that clients are your bread and butter. Without them, you are lost so learn how to deal with them in a respectful, professional and business-like manner. Deal with them honestly and efficiently and work to the best of your ability and they will keep coming back. Word will get around, and your reputation will grow.
It is very important that you market yourself well. Have a marketing strategy, using all the usual tools that will get you noticed. This includes advertising, social media, e-mail campaigns and, of course, word of mouth. Get yourself out and about and let people know what you are doing.
This can be tricky and will take some research as to what is the market value of your product or service. Whatever it is, it is important not to undersell yourself and just as equally important not to oversell yourself. If you are charging too little for your services, then not only are you cheating yourself but you may dissuade potential clients who think you are cheap and nasty. Charge too much and clients either won't come in the first place or they won't come back.
Saying no to potential clients can be difficult, especially when you are starting out. You must do it, though if you can't do a particular job, rather than promise something and then not be able to deliver.
You need to be comfortable in your workplace. This is of the utmost importance if you want to work to your full potential. Nothing will put you off more than working in an environment where you can't concentrate and feel relaxed at the same time. This independent lifestyle will suit a lot of people but not others, so it is important that you are doing it for the right reasons.
If you are working from home, it can be a very lonely affair. Many would-be freelancers find that they miss the workplace atmosphere and just the fact of having other people around.
Get a website. This is not only a valuable marketing tool, but it is a good place to get feedback and also let others see what and how you are doing. A blog is also a very useful tool that can be used to your advantage. Ask people to leave comments and posts about you and your services.
Take Time Out
Remember to relax once in a while! It can be very stressful being a freelancer at times, so try and get out of the house or the office at least once a day. Meet up with friends and just have a coffee or do something to unwind.
Finally, make sure you enjoy what you are doing. You have a great opportunity that a lot of people wish they could also do so don't let the enjoyment go out of it!
About the Author
Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. At the present moment, Richard works as a general editor for ProWritersCenter. Learn more about Richard on Facebook and Twitter.