This article is written by Quin Hoskins. Having studied law and several science-related subjects at degree level, this has provided him with the perfect foundation to cover an eclectic range of topics in his freelance writing career. From the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs to countless travel sites, he is proud to be associated with companies and organizations that are definitely at the top of their game. The flexibility of his freelance writing business allows him to devote a significant proportion of his time to study and is finishing his last course – out of 6 – towards his LLB (Hons) this year. He is also an avid traveler and has proudly visited 40 other countries to date, with much more planned for the future.
So, you’re all excited and raring to get going in your new freelancing career. You quit your 9-to-5 job and want out of the ‘Rat Race’ once and for all. With this in mind, it would probably be a good idea for you to take a breath for a few minutes and consider some of the essential points on how to start your freelancing career.
1. Are Your Skills Truly Ready?
Before you do start on your own as a freelancer, it is always a good idea to make sure the skills you will be looking to make a living out of are as good as they can be. If you need to undertake some independent research or skills-honing, now is the time to do so.
2. Are You Financially Sound?
Far too many people enter the world of a freelancing in the worst possible financial position you could ever imagine. There is probably a tremendous pressure on them to achieve an unrealistic figure each and every month, and they have put all their eggs in one basket where this new career choice is concerned. Unrealistic expectations will never work in this new career. You must be prepared to work at a very slow earning rate to start with and this, over time, will increase each and every month.
3. Word of Mouth Recommendations
Try to make sure that everyone who counts knows that you are breaking away on your own. Get those word of mouth recommendations started for yourself, for free – this is one of the best advertising ideas you can pursue as a freelancer and could drum up some much-needed business in those early days.
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4. Business Plan
There is no getting away from the fact that you should always prepare a good business plan for your new freelancing venture. A simple business strategy will allow you to set out the details of the primary objectives of the business; the plan for the investment will leave you feeling so much more confident and professional about what you are looking to achieve. If you do struggle with this type of task, there are numerous sites online where you can find a lot of helpful tips on how to put a proper business plan together.
5. Freelancing Sites
Welcome to the ‘bread and butter’ of your freelancing business. It’s a good idea for you to set up a profile with as many online sites as you can find, to start with. Registering on various online sites will increase your likelihood of securing some work and keeping the wolf from the door. Over time, you will get a feel for which sites work out to be the best for your particular talents and will be able to devote more of your time to these platforms over others.
Before you start working for yourself, it is always prudent to collect a good pool of people who are happy to provide you with a positive reference for your work. References are especially useful when you are new to freelancing sites: this will act as a guarantee for any clients who may be a little cautious about hiring you due to a lack of feedback on your profile.
7. Complaints Policy
It’s always hard to comprehend the fact that things will go wrong on any projects you undertake as a freelancer; however, take it from me when I advise you that this absolutely will be the case, guaranteed! With this in mind, stay one step ahead of yourself here by preparing a professional complaints policy that you will always seek to follow in the future. You might also like to stick to this policy when you bid on new projects; as a way of offering extra reassurance to potential clients as to your level of professionalism and determination to do such a great job for them.
8. Pricing Structure
You need to make sure you have a clear pricing structure established for your freelancing business venture. Be prepared to work for far lower rates to start with – this is where you will be building up your reputation and ensuring some excellent feedback comments to justify what you are doing. Over time, as your experience grows, you can look to start increasing your rates accordingly.
Now, this is something that I wasn’t exactly blessed with in natural abundance; however, it is a virtue that you will have to learn if you do not wish to go slightly mad in your new career. Have the patience to know that things will not tend to happen overnight. Things are much more likely to happen slowly and over time.
If you should decide to follow the nine suggestions that have been laid out for you above, hopefully, you’ll find that this will place you in a far stronger position to get started in your new freelancing career. After all, if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail.
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