So, you are here because you want to quit your job and become a freelancer or let’s say you want to be your own boss. You have a clear idea what skill you want to offer and also have some references to get some work. And if you are like me, you probably have got some cozy sweatpants that would get you in the mood of the whole “freelancing” thing. But, are those things enough to become a successful freelancer? A lot of people who decide to quit their dull 9 to 5 job in order to pursue a freelance career tend to think that they just need to sit at their home and work will come to them. And that’s where they go wrong. As a freelancer, you won’t get any projects simply by creating ads and letting people know that you are offering some skills, you need to fight to get some project and fight hard. If you think you would be getting those perks of resting on your couch and working at your own convenience, that might not be the case (unless you are a billionaire and don’t need to work in order to survive or pay your bills). I hate to break it to you but working as a freelancer is not as cushy as it seems. You really need to work to make your ends meet, especially when you are new to it and don’t have any projects on hand. So, what do you need to do to have a smooth freelance career?
Here are some tips on how to become a successful freelancer:
Start before you leave your full-time job
You cannot expect to acquire projects on the very first day you start freelancing. You need to have a buffer time, which would allow you to gain some experience and to get a clearer idea if freelancing is the thing for you. If you are planning to leave your current job, you need to let everyone know that you are about to start your career in freelancing before at least 30 days and let them know that you would be willing to take on projects immediately. You might think how you would complete you freelance projects when you are already working a full-time job, but you need to spare some time to do it. You should start taking projects before a month or two, so that you can know your clients, gain some experience and know for sure that you are making the right career move.
You have to contact everyone you’ve ever known and tell them about your decision. This would not only give you more exposure, it would also make you a go-to person when someone needs to get something done that is related to your field. The more number of people know about what skills you are offering, the more are the chances of getting clients and references, thus increasing your chances of becoming a successful freelancer.
Determine your fee
The first and foremost rule is: You don’t have to set your fee based on your expenses. Just because you have debt to pay, doesn’t mean that you can charge more for your offerings. Before deciding your pay, ask other freelancers in your network about the pay they are receiving, and then compare it to what you are expecting. You can keep your fee lower in the beginning and can later increase it, once you get enough clients and references.