5 Things To Know Before Going Freelance
Thinking of going freelance? There are plenty of perks. You become your own boss, set your own hours and get to avoid travelling in rush hour. It can feel as though you have a lot more control over your own workload and time.
However, being a freelancer has its difficulties. Sometimes you can feel isolated and there isn’t a HR department to fight your corner. It’s not something to take on lightly, so you’ll need to consider lots of things before taking the plunge. Here are 5 things to know before going freelance.
When you work freelance, you have to become your own biggest fan. You need to think of yourself as a business. You aren’t simply you; you are The Writer or The Musician. Until you start to become well known in your profession, no one else is going to scream about your abilities. So, you need to scream about them yourself. Big yourself up. This might mean creating your own website where you display your services (check out these interesting internet marketing agency ideas). Promote yourself. No one else will.
When you’re freelance, payments can be difficult. You’ll need to keep track of your fee and invoice the company. You might not be paid regularly, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your finances and make sure you save money until the next payment. Unfortunately, some companies can take their time paying freelancers, so you might need to add payment terms to your invoice. You’ll also need to calculate your own tax, which can be challenging. Most freelancers pay an accountant to ensure they get everything they’re entitled to.
Much of being freelance is chasing, so you’ll need to get good at it. You’ll mostly be chasing work and payments. You might find that you’ll communicate with a potential client about doing some work and never hear back. Often, things take longer than the client thinks. So, work on your chasing skills. You’ll need to craft polite emails that make your intentions clear. Always be professional, and know when to back off.
Freelancers don’t necessarily have colleagues in the way that most professions do. This means that it can sometimes feel lonely and isolating. It’s important to have a good support network around you, so you’ll benefit from going to networking events and connecting with other freelancers in your field. You might want to start a coffee group where you share work and meet regularly to talk about how it’s going. Don’t forget the importance of a group of people who know the position you’re in.
When to Say No
It’s an unfortunate fact that some people take advantage of freelancers. They’ll pay too little or even try to make you work for free. While some projects might be beneficial for your career and you might not mind being underpaid, you need to know when to turn down projects and simply say so. Remember that you are a business and you need to be treated with respect.