A pocket guide to freelancing
If you have been an employee for a while you probably know that suffocating feeling of being stuck in a cubicle. Dreaming about having more freedom? Freelancing is one of the answers to that calling which can open you the doors to new opportunities and experiences that you would hardly get any other way. However, the road to the fancy lifestyle of working from hipster coffee shops or modern co-working spaces is a tricky one and requires a great deal of preparation.
Here are some practical freelancing tips to help you make it happen.
Build a strong profile
This does not mean being bold. It is rather about knowing what you can offer and express it in a clear persuasive way. Whether you have your own website or a profile on some of the freelancing portals you will need to write at least a few words about yourself so it is important that you get it right.
There are numerous personal branding strategies to choose from, however, a rule of a thumb is that instead of telling your clients you are the best out there you should explain in detail how can you help. Doing so try to be down-to-earth and pragmatic. If your profile is full of superlatives it can do more harm than good, as people may perceive you as too good to be true.
Set your goals
First and foremost, ask yourself why are you interested in freelancing. Some people take is as a pastime, others do it to improve their skills thanks to ‘learning by doing’ while others see it as a chance to advance their careers.
Once you are clear about your main motivation you can determine the milestones to achieve in order to get where you want to be. Common goals of newbie freelancers are usually related to knowledge, income or contacts network. Also, once you start your goals will often emerge in front of you based on the current situation.
Stay up to date
It is a jungle out there for everyone but the life of a freelancer is a completely different beast. No matter the industry you are in you should always stay tuned to your favorite social media channels, attend industry events and stay in touch with other professionals in the field. Not only will it help you to keep up with the latest trends but also you will be able to offer the best service to your clients.
Know your worth
Determining the value of your services is actually a pretty difficult task. On one hand, you want to be on par with your competition, on the other hand, you want to make your work worthwhile. A good method of learning your value is as simple as shopping around for these services yourself. This will help you determine the right price for your own offer. Also, checking various online forums or money-saving websites can give you a pretty good idea about the appropriate price range.
This is probably the hardest aspect of freelancing. Do profound research of advertising channels relevant to your audience. Promotion cannot be done at random; you need to target specific groups of people. Also, you should definitely have a number of alternatives instead of putting all your eggs into one basket.
While social media are an obvious choice nowadays you’d be surprised about what a difference can placing eye-catching ads into a local coffee shop, fitness club or shopping center make. Do not forget about the power of word of mouth, as this is often the most effective advert for your business. Network both offline and online and tell other people about your latest activities.