You are so about your job, your manager, working from home, the clients you serve, trying to be everything to everyone, solving everyone else’s problems but your own.
you’re burned out You have written your resignation letter. You are ready to quit and want to start your own business.
Here’s how to organize yourself to make the transition to freelancing as smooth as possible.
Be clear about your role
Being a freelance writer specializing in baseball coverage can help you become a true expert in your craft, and that’s valuable when targeting your ideal client. The more accurately you describe what you offer and how your skills and services help a client solve their problems, the more money you’ll make and the more likely you’ll enjoy your work as a freelancer. Once you’re clear about what you do and don’t do—that is, the baseball writer probably doesn’t edit fashion magazine interviews—find a way to talk about your offering in two or three sentences. This short synopsis is your “pitch” when trying to get hired and catch the attention of a potential client.
Define your target audience and how to reach them
Who would you like to work with? Why are they so great? Not sure where to start? Think back to a time when you worked on something meaningful and exciting and the result of the work exceeded all expectations. Who were the stakeholders and what made them great partners to work with? You want more of these types of customers on your list and fewer of the pesky customers who just act as roadblocks.
Now make a list of these amazing clients (and people) where they work and start connecting! If you’re working with an agent — maybe you’re a high-end corporate photographer and need an agent to get your foot in the door — they can do the networking on your behalf. When you come to a meeting, don’t forget to ask them if they know other people who could also use your services.
Blanket emails to people you don’t know won’t work. Instead, take the time to really connect to your network. And make sure you have a well-designed website to refer potential customers to.
Form a strategy for your pricing
Make friends with other freelancers and consultants. Ask what they charge and how they came up with their prices. Sneak around freelancer sites for comparable pricing. You win business when you calculate the value delivered well. Fun fact – the lowest bid doesn’t mean you get the deal. In fact, it can work against you and send the message to the prospect that you are inexperienced. Do some research and maybe even test your prices for a few months to get reactions.
Do the best work you’ve ever done (and highlight the best of the past)
The fastest way to win more business is to exceed customer expectations. If they enjoy working with you and love the results of your collaboration, your business will grow. You will also likely receive referrals to other potential customers. Ask for customer references and always keep your work portfolio up to date; You may find it valuable to post both on your site. If you have amazing work from previous projects before you went freelance, include that work in your portfolio as well.
Be ahead of the curve
The reason freelancers and consultants are hired is because they have something unique to offer (otherwise the work would be done in-house). My advice is to stay up to date – new trends, technologies that can make your work even better and so on. Make sure the proposals you design demonstrate the uniqueness of your skills so your contributions are invaluable.
Organize your finances
If you’re serious about freelancing or career advice, talk to your accountant about the right type of business (e.g., sole proprietorship or corporation). Your bank must also be set up. To keep your business and personal banking organized and separate, it’s fairly common to have a basic business account to deposit money and pay bills, including your personal income. I also recommend a tax account, where you save some of your income for future taxes, and an income account, where you save money just for yourself for future use. Keep your costs down to maximize your profit.
With the freelancer pool growing faster than at any time in history, it’s important to find a way to stand out from the crowd. Focus on what makes you an indispensable resource for the people you really want to work with.
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