Method 2: Understanding Freelance Work
- Have a vision. Know what you want and go for it! The biggest obstacle to freelancing is overcoming that mental blockage that says „You can’t do it and you shouldn’t.” To overcome that feeling, show yourself that it freelancing isn’t just something you want to do because you want to work from home, but a business plan. This isn’t just a fantastical idea, but a business reality.
One useful way to start seeing freelancing as a viable option is to being the process of legitimizing it. Come up with a name for your business and a logo or font-type. Once you start creating the vision, it becomes easier to realize that this a real business you’re launching. Start the process by establishing a business name and creating a vision for your company brand.
- Take time to enter into freelancing. Don’t jump right in and hedge all your bets on freelancing right away. Freelancing can be a great way to earn money, but it can also take a considerable amount of time to build up. Make sure that you are 100% committed to investing your time and effort into freelancing before you decide to quite your other job(s).
Keep in mind that a lot of the steps in Part 1 can be undertaken while you are still working at your day job. Focus on setting the ground plan for freelancing while still earning a stable income and you’ll feel more confident and comfortable taking the leap.
- Be ready for slow periods. In every business, there are slow periods. This will happen for your freelancing operation as well. You’ll probably get stressed and think the whole thing is a flop but know that all industries always go through ebbs and flows. Also know that eventually, business will pick back up.
Make sure to plan for slow periods, whether that meanings changing prices or having a savings plan.
The more you freelance, you’ll be able to identify trends and peak and slow periods. Ultimately, you’ll be able to anticipate when things slow for you and you’ll stop getting worried because this will be routine. and you can start to expect the drought and prepare. But it takes a while to get there.
- Be prepared to hold yourself accountable. Since as a freelancer, you are your own boss, you need to make sure that you’re doing what you need to do. While most people get excited at the prospect of not having a boss looking over their shoulders, it’s also important to remember that bosses keep you motivated and give you feedback on your progress. Without a boss, you’ll need to do this yourself most of the time.
Engage in daily and weekly reflection about the work you’ve done to make sur you’re hitting your targets. If you’re not, then you need to have a serious look at your work habits and system.
Other people – such as editors or mentors if you’re a freelance writer, for example – can also help provide accountability. At the end of the day, however you’re the boss so be the boss.
- Be ready to talk about yourself a lot. As a freelancer, especially a newly minted one, you’ll have to talk about yourself, what you do and what you’ve done A LOT. You are your own marketer. Opportunities can come from surprising and unexpected places, so it’s important that you have a ready pitch of a few sentences about yourself and your freelancing services or products that you can use whether you’re at a holiday party or business fair. If you’re a private person by nature, try writing down and practicing the pitch until it becomes natural. Over time, you’ll get better at talking about yourself and doing self promotion. A little bit of hustling is essential to success in the freelancing world.
Make sure to get business cards made so you can hand them out whenever you bump into someone and start chatting. These are an old – but still relevant – way to get your name out there.
- Cope effectively with being alone. The lack of social interaction and communication of the office environment can make freelancers feel lonely and isolated. While you’ll need to learn how to stay goal-directed and on task without the motivation of others, you should also take care to prevent loneliness from taking root. Try working in different spaces a day or two a week; take your computer to a local coffee shop and work there. Even just hearing the buzz of social interaction can make you feel less alone.
You could also meet up with other freelancers for lunch or coffee to discuss problems, concerns, and other topics. There are a number of local business networking groups that can help connect people who work for themselves and usually remotely.
There are also little things you can do to relieve feelings of isolation. Call someone, instead of sending an email, for example.