Having a freelance business is not a hobby or child's play. Here, too, there are laws that must be followed in order to be a successful specialist. On the one hand, such activity opens up a lot of freedom, since you do not need to match your daily schedule with the regime of the enterprise or report to your boss. But, on the other hand, success in several directions at once depends on you. These are productivity, order, good quality of work, and effective communication with clients. This means that you need discipline and an understanding of the priorities that you can rely on when building your freelance career. Below are a few tips to help make it easier and more efficient.
If you have a freelance business, you have likely heard this phrase. But in order for it to be not an abstract slogan, but a specific principle of work, you need to understand how to do it. Divide your next professional tasks into the following groups:
- important and urgent tasks. This is something that needs to be done immediately, otherwise, there will be undesirable consequences (for example, a damaged reputation in interaction with a customer who was waiting, but did not wait for the work to be completed on time).
- Important tasks that can be temporarily postponed. This includes things that need to be done, but there is no urgency in them.
- secondary tasks. This is a category of cases that do not belong to the key priorities and can be completed at any time.
The Freelancer Planner helps you plan your priorities very well. This is a tool that will allow you to capture and keep in sight the important.
2. Limit your internet time
When a specialist works in a company, he is often embarrassed to spend too much time on third-party sites. And some companies even install programs on work computers that track such time, which is then displayed on the salary. If a specialist has just started working in a freelance mode, he may have the desire to search the Internet for information that does not relate to professional activities. Or - just scroll the news feed. This at first gives a feeling of freedom, but then it becomes clear how much time such a useless activity has taken. The time wasted is displayed on the money that could have been earned, but the specialist did not earn it.
In the freelance business you have to fight the habit of scrolling the feed, this can lead to the opposite effect. He forbids himself to watch news or other information that is not related to work throughout the working day. But then he breaks down and spends the whole evening in such an occupation. As a result, he does not manage to fully relax before a new working day. In order not to go to extremes, it is better to use this advice: give yourself a fixed time to view such information (for example, 20 minutes at lunch).
And don't be discouraged if things don't work right away. Most experienced freelancers have made mistakes like this in the early stages of their work when people were just learning how to manage their time right after switching from a paid job. It is quite normal to go through such a period. The main thing is to listen to healthy recommendations and not get stuck in them.
3. Keep in touch with the community
Someone considers other freelancers competitors in their line of work, but it is better to consider them colleagues. Cooperation always gives better results than competition. And it is also worth understanding that a person who artificially isolates himself from the professional community is outside of it. He does not know about current training opportunities, does not have time to follow the news that directly concerns him, and does not receive feedback from his colleagues. This does not allow full development.
Another benefit of keeping in touch with the professional community is that you can support each other by offering jobs and passing orders. This does not mean sharing what you need specifically. But there are situations when you have a full load, and someone is looking for identical services. And then you offer the client the contact of your colleague. And when you, on the contrary, may not have enough work, someone will offer your contact to the client. This is the power of networking.
4. Work on your personal brand
Anyone in the freelance business needs to thinking about developing their personal brand, he looks more solid and responsible to clients. Obviously, this person came to his field not just to try, but to achieve the desired results in it. Here are some ideas that will be helpful:
- Tidy up professional social media pages to showcase your competencies, skills, values at work, and customer reviews.
- Create a portfolio of your best work to show to clients who haven't worked with you before and want to appreciate your craft.
- Make a list of 5 distribution channels where new audiences will find out about your services (e.g. social media, freelance marketplaces, personal website, professional events, lead generation websites, referrals from clients). When attending professional events, ensure your branding is professional and recognizable through assets like custom banners or business cards. The last point is especially important in the early stages of your career when you need more people to know about you. You can even think of a reward system for customers who will recommend you. It could be a small discount or bonus on your next order. At the same time, this will motivate you to contact me again.
- Create a unique selling proposition that highlights your strengths.
Building a personal brand is just as important in managing your freelance career as continuous professional development. and having a striking personal logo adds that extra touch of distinction.
5. Develop a “Continuity Plan”
This is motivating in cases where a freelancer at the initial stages of his activity may have "windows" in the schedule. To spend this time effectively and not fall out of the profession, you need to have a plan for what you will do, for example:
- Look for new clients by offering services on a freelance exchange;
- Learn new information and direct efforts toward professional improvement;
- Explore the experience of successful colleagues whose results you would like to repeat.
- Automate your workflow, as there are many freelance tools that can greatly contribute to your success. In particular, awesome communication tools like Slack, project management software such as Asana, invoicing software like Hiveage, and a variety of easy-to-use accounting software, etc.
Success in the freelance business depends largely on discipline and responsibility. But the result pleases and does not make you wait too long with the right approach to business. Convincing figures confirm this thesis - 1,3$ trillion is the annual income of freelancers working in the United States of America. So work hard to do your job effectively. And then you will significantly increase the chances that the sphere will reward you, and you and your customers will appreciate your diligence.