In case you haven’t noticed, the traditional workplace is changing. In fact, a computer and a working Internet connection are basically all you need for an office nowadays, which is great news for anyone seeking remote flexibility in their career. Thinking about making the leap to freelancing? Here are a few tips to develop that entrepreneurial mindset.
Ready to hustle?
First and foremost, we need to warn you: freelancing is not a quick and easy career fix. Anyone who has started their own business can tell you that there will be plenty of difficult moments—but being independently successful is the greatest reward.
Find your niche.
Make a living out of what you’re good at. Make a life out of what you love. Remember this as you’re considering what it is you want to do, and focus on your unique qualities and capabilities. If you’re already working in a field that’s conducive to freelancing, why not continue it? Keep stock of the professional relationships that are valuable to you, including past and present clients who enjoy your work. You’ll want to reach out to them later.
If you’re new to freelancing or would like to try something different, check sites like Elance, which posts jobs for everything from writing and design, to data science, customer service, translation and more. Most importantly, no job is too small—building your resume takes time, and experience can come from anywhere.
This is our favourite part—establishing your online presence. Should a prospective client decide to do a little digging to find out more about you and your work, why not point them to a place you’ve curated yourself? Gather your resume and a few examples of your best work and use them to build your web portfolio. Tools like Squarespace and Moonfruit are easy to use and will help you build a published website step-by-step.
A word of career (and general life) advice: look over your public social media accounts and double-check for anything that might be offensive or you wouldn’t want a complete stranger to see. One Tweet or Instagram post can cost you a job.
Determine a schedule.
Your time is valuable. You may not work a consistent 9-5 schedule, but it’s important to create a strong work/life balance. In the words of author and designer James Victore, “Make a decision that your time outside of work is valuable and feel empowered when you leave on time, knowing that you are taking your freedom and using it to invest in yourself.”
Know your worth. Do a little research to help you determine what your rates should be and whether you’ll charge by hour or by project. You don’t need to disclose this in your portfolio, but it does help to guide the conversation when it gets down to brass tacks.
Once you have a firm idea of your rate, start creating templates like price sheets, contracts, project outlines and invoices to use on a regular basis. Not only will it keep you looking professional, but it’ll help streamline the process and keep your PayPal account growing.