Since the world we live in now is unique, it has created individual needs for today’s workplace: enter the full-time freelancer’s rise. So you want to be a freelancer all the time? Here are some great full-time freelancer tips to help you start your journey — and for more, visit us at Voyageur U! You’ll find great advice to help you with your portfolio career, as well as a community of like-minded professionals ready to help you.
Save for a Not-So-Rainy Day
There is little that can make you feel more defeated than having to return to that daily grind because building your own business is a slow process and usually not lucrative right away.
Maybe you’ve been used to a steady paycheck to sustain you and your family. You have the confidence, ambition, and motivation — but you need to make sure you can sustain yourself financially through the first year of building your presence as a freelancer.
You’ve taken the initiative of building savings that can weather you through the transition of a traditional 9-to-5 job to full-time freelancer…. Right? If not, that’s ok — but start now, before leaving your full-time job.
Another strategy is to build up freelance clients before quitting your full-time job. If you are already working part-time with a portfolio of customers, the transition to full-time won’t be as financially stressful.
You Are Not Alone – Utilize Your Support System
No matter your type of work, your freelance career can certainly benefit from cheerleaders on the sidelines. A spouse, parents, children, and great friends should be kept in the loop about this new world into which you are delving.
Another great support system? Your fellow freelancers at Voyageur U, where we hold regular networking events to give you an opportunity to connect with a community who can help you.
By sharing the highs and the lows of your journey, your support system can help you navigate this unfamiliar terrain. Your support system can also provide you with valuable feedback and some outside the box thinking to assist in formulating a good business model.
Who Do You Know?
A support system comprised of friends and family is very important — but so is building a reliable network to bring clients to your new business. Take time and ethically curate a detailed list of possible business contacts and collaborators to start to build your freelance business base.
Depending on the type of work you are freelancing in, contacting previous employers with whom you had a good working relationship could be the beginning of a new beautiful partnership.
Set Financial Expectations for the Next Year
While you are determining your price points, building your clientele, evaluating your savings, and doing market research, create a plan for the next six months and then one year in terms of financial growth expectations.
Keep tabs on milestones and benchmarks you are hitting and what is working to make that happen — and track the ones you are not hitting so you can reevaluate and make adjustments accordingly over the first year.
At the end of year one, do a deep analysis to determine the expectations for the next year, and continue to do this every year, working to establish short and long term goals.
Feeling overwhelmed by all this? If you don’t have experience with these things, joining Voyageur U can be a great way to get access to resources and lessons to help you work through your business plan for your first month — and beyond.
Research Your Worth
Chances are, whatever you may be freelancing in, others have done and have established themselves in your industry enough that you may use them as a guide. Research what price points others in your niche are charging for their goods or services. Make sure the research is commensurate to your experience in your field.
One of the most common mistakes is to undersell yourself. Your brand is unique, even if it is in a common market. Find out what defines your kind of work and play to what sets you apart. Finding clients will come easier if you establish your worth fairly and competitively on the outset.
Create Your Online Brand and Presence
Many sites cater to a variety of different types of freelancers available. Research the ones that can help you establish your online brand.
Delve into the world of analytics and algorithms to determine what type of social media will best suit your niche. Utilizing social media for your business is needed in today’s marketplace. Finding the platform that will work best for you could make or break your freelancing business.
Establish Clear Communications with Clients
Whether your business calls for phone, email, text, or social media communications — or a combination of all of the above — establishing great communication with your client is important.
Find out from your clientele how they prefer to have communication with you and try to accommodate reasonably. People find success in communication in different ways, so being flexible in multiple avenues will help establish much-appreciated bonds.
Setting clear expectations of deadlines, payments, and the clients’ precise needs will help grow your reputation in your field. Establishing these boundaries and guides from the beginning allows you to build immediate rapport with your clients, and ALL clients look for that personal touch.
Maximize Your Workflow
There exists in today’s marketplace excellent tools for freelancers that never existed before. The days of requiring filing cabinet systems full of calendars and folders for each client are in the past.
Online and mobile calendars and reminders allow you to keep important deadlines. Client relationship management systems abound on the web today, and many cater to specific career areas. Find one that works for you, and use it well and often.
Remember: Collaboration Drives Success
Many of today’s freelancers are encouraged to collaborate with others in their field or those whose areas complement their own. These collaborations can help streamline workflow, maximize exposure for both brands, and build a lucrative long-term team for all parties.
Collaboration also has an additional and welcome side effect in allowing you to expand your support and professional network. Nothing helps boost you up than working closely with those who can empathize with your bad days and good.
(Psst! The folks at Voyageur U are the perfect collaborators! Join our community of freelancers and get instantly plugged into a network of potential collaborators eager to meet you in regularly scheduled networking events.)
Enjoy Your Journey
You have taken a plunge into a venture that is at once terrifying and exhilarating. You are working diligently and intelligently to achieve a level of success you have yet to know. What’s more, you are doing this on your own time, in your own way.
You’ve taken this leap with a great deal of faith and luck. Your hard work, research, and planning are finally starting to pay off. As you begin to see the fruit of the seeds you have planted, it’s time to remember why you took this adventure — and enjoy it.
For more great tips, join us here at Voyageur U! From the fellow freelancers you’ll meet to the lessons you can access to grow your business, you’ll find a wealth of resources to help your business succeed.