Many people spend their lifetimes trying to start a freelance career. But it doesn’t need to be that way.
The obstacles preventing you from starting your career might vary. You might make excuses and not want to leave the comfort of your 9 to 5 job.
Or you might fear the uncertainty of the life of a freelancer and feel it’s not the right time. The truth is, you’ll never be 100% ready.
So leave all your excuses behind, and focus on the steps below if you truly want to start making money and become self-employed.
1) Choose Your Niche and Get Started
Obviously, you know what you will be doing online. Or you at least know how you’ll begin. The opportunities that will come your way later are something you can’t even imagine now.
Maybe you’ll continue your current job as a bookkeeper, marketer, web designer, or writer. You will find your own clients and try to build your personal brand. But it is crucial to choose your niche.
Start small, and enter any field you want later on. To keep your focus and make sure you serve the exact customers that need you, niche down.
What does it mean to niche down in your industry? If you’re a freelance writer, specialize in home improvement, personal development, or legal topics.
Doing so will make it much easier to build your portfolio, become known as an expert in that niche, and grab the attention of those who need services only in that industry. This brings us to the next step in your journey to starting a freelance career.
2) Build Your Portfolio
Building your portfolio is something you should start doing no later than today while you’re still at your regular job and are not a freelancer. Why?
The competition is fierce online, just as in any other field. And no one wants to work with people who have no proof of their previous work.
If you are a writer, for instance, you need to set up a site and start to write blog posts. You’ll then use these as samples when connecting with potential employers.
Invest your free time and weekends for a week or a month and do this step well. Your portfolio will serve as the foundation of your self-employment, so don’t rush the process of creating it.
3) Start Managing Your Money Right
Don’t expect to be making big money anytime soon, but do know that your money is your responsibility now.
While you were in your regular job, an employer handled your salary, taxes, insurance, and pension. As a freelancer, these responsibilities will be in your hands.
You might get an accountant/bookkeeper right away, and that’s great. But you still need to educate yourself on exactly how taxes work in your country. You need to take care of your insurance and start thinking about your savings and a pension option.
That’s not all. The legal and financial aspects are critical, but they depend on your daily actions. These could include budgeting correctly, adding VAT to clients’ invoices, and keeping records of any type of work you do.
You’ll need to gather your business expenses and proof for each separately, while never mixing them with personal purchases.
The web is full of resources that can help you. Start by using this calculator when determining the taxes you should pay yearly for your freelance business.
4) Let Your Work Become Your Hobby
You won’t make it as a freelancer unless you deeply care about your work, making clients happy, getting your name out there, and growing your brand. Hopefully, you’re passionate about your business.
You should figure out what helps you get up and get to work every morning. This motivation is something you need to remind yourself of on a daily basis.
Then identify your goals and vision and stay true to them. Doing so will make the daily activities related to your business easier.
We’re talking about anything from updating your blog, joining sites for freelancers, and pitching employers.
These activities could look like going the extra mile till you start seeing money coming in. Or they could look like posting on social media a few times a day to build an audience and engage with it.
You might make videos, add eye-catching images to different types of content, get clients on the phone to discuss their expectations, and so much more.
Don’t Hesitate to Begin Your Freelance Career
Now you see how you should start your freelance business, and there’s no day that will be better than this one. So let go of mental barriers, let your creative energy out, and get productive.
What’s the first step you can take to start your freelance career quickly? Please, leave a comment.