Becoming a freelancer is practically like starting a full-time business. Not only do you have to have the proper preparations in place but know how to react with things change or shift gears. This can be a scary transition, but one that many take on, which is why we’re offering a few helpful tips on how to get started. Check them out below:
Although it might sound like overkill to do first thing, getting yourself a lawyer is a pretty smart move. Not only will they help you draft up contracts and agreements but additionally give you a sense of protection over your creations as well. This is pretty crucial because as noted by Forbes, 58 percentof freelancers have experienced not getting paid for their work, which if you want to avoid, then seeking out some legal protection is a smart move.
The first thing you should look for in a lawyer is their experience with the type of work that you do. For example, attorney Aaron Kellyis knowledgeable about general freelance needs, including anything from establishing your LLC to copyrighting original content. Furthermore, your lawyer should know what to do in the event that someone steals your work or isn’t paying, which can be quite the headache to deal with on your own. Even if it might mean you’ll have to save up a little bit to get someone on retainer, the protection of a lawyer is an investment well-worth your time.
Treat Yourself Like A Brand
Even if you don’t have a logo or website quite yet, you’re already a brand. From how people perceive your work to the type of personality you might have, everything that’s under your name is considered your brand. Don’t fret, as you’ve most likely already been working towards developing your freelance image, with the goal now of working towards legitimizing it as a business.
One of the most significant things you need to be able to showcase as your brand is why people should want to work with you. For example, in looking at the website of Thomas Zaccagnino, you can see that his brand is professional and trustworthy just from the profile. Your goal should be to build trust, which is what consumers are after; in fact, according to LucidPress, 64 percentof consumers cite shared values as the reason they do business with a brand, which your freelancing should be no different. Overall, develop something that represents what it’s like to work with you without ever saying a word, as that’s the primary goal for any successful image.
Have The Proper Procedures In Place
With the proper legal protection and brand in place, it’s time to start implementing the foundational elements that will keep your freelance business going. These are the items that although aren’t always the most fun to think about, will also be what keeps you efficient and doing best by yourself and others; because as noted by Entrepreneur, businesses lose 20 to 30 percentof revenue due to poor processes, which as a freelancer, is just numbers you can’t afford to miss.
Make a list of all your needs as a freelancer to ensure everything is running as smooth as possible. For example, having a system for invoicing, as well as knowing how you’ll pay those from whom you outsource. We recommend echecksbecause they’re a quick and easy method in which the money comes straight out of your bank account. It’s important to cross every “t” and dot every “i,” as having delays in your process will only lead to issues down the road, which is why taking care of what you can now will be something you’ll thank yourself for later.
Focus On Good Word Of Mouth
Finally, as a freelancer, one of the best forms of advertising you’re going to have is word of mouth. While it’s great to have a substantial portfolio or even articles written about you, word of mouth recommendations reign supreme, as it’s one of the most reliable sources we have. According to Invespcro, 82 percentof marketers use word of mouth to increase awareness, which your business should be no different. However, generating solid word of mouth can take much more effort than you might anticipate.
Your first goal for word of mouth is to generate reasons for people to speak positively on you. Especially starting out, following the rule underpromise and overdeliver is imperative, which might mean being early to deadlines or doing your best to be a great communicator. The more you’re able to make your customer happy, the better off you’ll be in receiving recommendations, so do your best in following the rules of great service. Although you might hit some snags or bad clients, as long as you do right by those who you want to bring on business, the better off you’ll be long-term.
What are you most excited about in taking the leap from full-time to freelance? Comment with your answers below!