Free at Last: Beginners Guide for Aspiring Freelancers

If you asked people what the main source of stress and frustration in their lives was, 8 out of 10 will probably tell you it’s their job. It has become a common trait of the highly competitive world we live in, for people to feel weighed down by their jobs, even if they like it. This is why some are quitting their jobs to start their own businesses, while many more leave their day jobs to become freelancers. This is definitely the dream of many. However, you should know that it is not all sunshine and rainbows.

This guide will help you take the first steps into the freelancing world.

Find a Niche

Will you keep doing the same thing you’re currently doing right now? Or are you considering a change? Before you could even consider freelancing, you need to have a serious talk with yourself to find out what exactly you’re going to be doing as a freelancer. The thing about freelancing is, you’re going to be starting from scratch in the market. This is both a good and a bad thing. It can be bad because, even if you have previous work experience, you will still be unknown in the freelancing market, and it will take you some time to make a name for yourself. On the other hand, freelancing is great because it allows you to start over with a new niche, since you’re starting from scratch anyway, and if you make a good impression on the first few clients, then the sky’s the limit.

It all depends on what you want to be doing in the coming years as a freelancer. So, ask yourself which of your skills you can use, and which you could develop, to find a new job. It can be anything you want, as long as you show promise in that direction.

You Are the Accountant

People only see the positive side of being a freelancer, but there are quite a few disadvantages, too. One drawback of freelancing is the fact that you are your own accountant. This means you handle all aspects concerning your finances, from setting prices to charging clients. To make things easier, one of the best approaches you can follow is using invoicing templates. With these templates, you can ensure your clients will be billed quickly and efficiently, which guarantees that you will be paid on time without any complications. Such invoicing templates will also help you file tax returns much easier, as you will be able to keep track of your transactions and profits.

Location Is Everything

Another very popular misconception a lot of people have about the life of a freelancer is about where they work. You think to yourself, if you ever become one, then you’d just work in bed every day. Needless to say, this is one of the biggest mistakes anyone can make. As much as we’d all like to stay in bed every day, you won’t get any job done there. Instead, you will keep falling asleep and your productivity will be quite poor. Yes, the same applies to the couch you use for watching TV. Your best choice is to create a home office to work from, which will help you become very productive and efficient. Or, you can go to a coworking space or a café to work. The choice is yours, which perhaps is the greatest thing about freelancing.

Take It Slow

As an aspiring freelancer, the most important thing to know is the fact that this process doesn’t happen overnight. So, you shouldn’t quit your day job right away. Take your time, and improve in whatever line of work you want to freelance in first. Start making a name for yourself, and when you have a steady flow of clients, then perhaps it is time to consider doing this for a living.

Branding

A freelancer’s most significant asset is their image and reputation. This is why you have to really invest in branding. Create a website and a social media presence for yourself, and make sure that your website and your social media pages are flawlessly designed and regularly maintained. More importantly, always make sure your quality and integrity are impeccable. The freelancing world is a small one, and news travels fast. So, you need to always be known for quality and integrity.

Does freelancing entail freedom? In a sense, yes. But if you don’t know how to properly manage and deal with that freedom, then it will quickly turn into misery. Despite its many perks, freelancing is a difficult path to navigate. You will still have work to do and responsibilities, always remember that as you take your first leaps into this new world.

Tom Parillo

Tom Parillo

I am interested in all things technology, especially automation, robotics and tech that helps change how society will live in the future.
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