More people than ever are making the transition from working at a company to working for themselves in a freelance career. Some of these freelancers set up an LLC, but in actuality they are working for themselves rather than being part of a larger company.
Not all of the people who transition to freelancing are successful as there are plenty of places where an individual can fail. One freelancer could have problems finding work at the appropriate rate while another could have had their skills nullified by new software or technology. What follows are tips for transitioning from working in a corporate environment to working for yourself.
Do Not Quit Your Job Immediately
One mistake that many people make when transitioning to a freelance career is quitting their jobs too early. What many of these people do not realize is that it might take months to make a living wage freelancing.
Working a few hours per day on your freelance gig can help you develop clients who will be your base when you do decide to quit. There is also the possibility you’ll decide not to leave your current job as your skillset might not be in demand like you thought it would be previously.
Once you are making enough money to quit your current job, take a few months before doing so to build up a nest egg financially in case the freelance life doesn’t go as you planned.
Take What You Can Get at First
Freelance writers or web designers that leave a big agency might overvalue their skills. Great writers and web developers can make copious amounts of money, especially if they work closely with a content creation company. But as a freelancer you will not be able to charge agency rates for websites or content when you are first beginning.
Take assignments at rates below what you think your work is worth in the beginning. Most companies and websites have no problem paying more for higher quality work if you ask for a pay increase after you complete your first few projects successfully.
Look Into a Freelancer Platform
There are a few different freelance platforms that you can use to build a client base. Upwork is the most reputable because it connects clients and freelancers on millions of projects yearly. Be aware that freelance platforms are going to take a percentage of the money that you make.
Connecting with the client outside of the platform after a few successful jobs is something that most clients have no problem doing. Building these relationships is essential since Upwork takes up to 20 percent of your earnings when you first start out.
Filling out as much as possible on the site and encouraging clients to review you can help bolster your reputation. Taking proficiency tests, such as the grammar and language tests, can help you find work, but finding work is not guaranteed.
Cash in Those Favors
People want to believe that they started their own home based businesses without any help. While this is true in some cases, it is much easier to start a business yourself if you have some help from those who might owe you a favor.
Such people could be former clients or friends whom you know need the help of a freelancer. Do not be too proud to ask for a favor—the worst the person could say is no. Reach out to people on LinkedIn if you do not have their email information or if they have changed their email addresses.
Consider asking your current company to contract work out to you since they already know the quality of your work. If you are leaving on good terms, many companies will accommodate you because they understand your desire to work for yourself.
As you can see, simply quitting your job and expecting money to come pouring in during the infancy of your freelance career isn’t realistic. Use the above steps to get yourself going in the right direction. Freelancing allows a sense of freedom that very few professions can offer.
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