How to Make Money as a Freelancer
Many people wonder how freelancers make money and still afford a decent living. Well, this is something to ponder on by understanding the entire concept from the grassroots.
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing refers to working on various jobs, which could be a combination of short-term assignments, long-form contracts, and one-time contracts. These contracts can be signed by different companies offering entirely different products.
Freelancing offers the person freedom to work on their own time, though one must be disciplined enough to ensure that they meet deadlines so that at the end of the day, they will have something to put on the table in terms of monetary value.
Below are ways in which one can earn as a Freelancer and afford a decent living;
- Choosing to Become a Freelancer
In every job, one ought to learn the skills and perfect them to become an outstanding employee at all costs. When you become a freelancer and make money, below are the steps required to perfect your skills.
- Decide what Works Best for You
Freelancing is a broad workforce that requires identifying talent(skills). Knowing your niche is important though it does not harm to change the area of expertise to diversify your earnings. With time, freelancers come to know what they are good at, and they end up working with a passion because they love what they do.
Many freelancers fear starting because they are not experienced in a specific field, but this is one of the easiest things to learn and forge ahead. You only need to put your best foot forward.
- Choose a Brand
A brand is a way of advertising yourself to feature in employers’ lists and stand out among many. Creating a brand is not an option if you want to be profitable in freelancing. Speak out and tell others what you are selling. You can showcase your skills by linking your website and advertising on social media accounts, blogs, taglines and the like.
Always ensure that your brand speaks about yourself and what you can do for the client that is so special and is worth considering you more over others. For instance, if you are an online writer, specify the band, such as a travel writer, medical, finance or even dating sites. This is what is known as identifying your niche in freelancing.
- Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is a list of samples of what you have done and acts in a way to entice potential clients to buy your services. In cases where the specifications of your samples are more or less the same as their requirements, it is a proof that you have demonstrated the ability to do their job. When they see the samples, they are in a position to decide whether you are the best candidate for the job.
Some of the best ways to show your portfolio are;
- Creating samples of your own and uploading them on your website;
- Show off a diversified way of your products for the client to make choices.
- Ensure you are skilled enough before launching your freelance life to avoid disappointments.
- Become a Business Oriented Person
The fact that you are now a freelancer means that you have entered the business world. With this in mind, you need to develop business-savvy skills and know how businesses operate- for instance, how taxes are paid, marketing and advertising and when to close your books of accounts.
This can be easily done in several ways, such as;
Working a business plan – have measurable goals, benchmark, deliver and appraise yourself at the end of a defined financial period.
Talk to peer freelancers, learn about the pros and cons of freelancing, and leverage the best points.
- Create a Pricing System
Just like a shopkeeper, a freelancer should set a pricing system right from the word go. Understand how the accounting system works when taxes are paid to avoid missing deadlines. But on the same note, for you to pay any bills, you must have received payments. In such cases, ensure that favorable payment methods are available to enable you to perform the invoicing system. Below are some of the strategies that work effectively in a freelancer’s life;
- Set prices for the products and services that you offer
- Create invoices to demand payment
- A sound accounting system to help accountability, such as knowing the net income after taxes, is paramount.
- Pitching for the best Paying Clients
When you are ready with the tools of the trade, it’s time to pitch out and get the best-paying clients in the industry. To succeed in freelancing, you have to have numbers; as you pitch more, you stand to get more clients.
Here’s how to go about pitching;
- Apply the 10 rules, where you reach out to 10 potential clients during the work times
- Set apart some time for client networking even if you have another job that you are still working for. This will enable you to have a long-term goal for your freelancing business.
- Getting to Understand What Freelancing Entails
While you may have a pool of clients, as you grow in experience, you need to understand freelancing in detail and below are some pointers that will help to understand what freelancing is all about.
- Set up a Vision
- No matter how a business glows, it will die sooner or later without a vision. First, have confidence from within yourself by assuring yourself that you can do it. Actualize the facts and let it happen.
- A vision can be actualized by legitimizing the business. In this case, come up with a name for your freelancing business, work on a logo that will define your goals and let your company brand be visible to your potential clients.
- Give Yourself Time as you enter into the Freelancing World
Freelancing is not about gambling and betting to try your luck. Take time and ensure you have enough time to commit to the business. For instance, before resigning from your full-time job, take time to understand the good and the bad side of freelancing and overcome the hurdles.
You can also set apart some funds to help in time of need, for instance, when freelancing is not doing well.
- Be ready for the Low Season
Like any business, freelancing has low seasons, which you need to be prepared for. Be aware of the trends and know the tactics to implement such that during the low seasons, you will not stress yourself wondering how to survive.
For instance, implementing a savings plan, changing prices to cater for low seasons and identifying the peak periods to work to the best level to supplement the low seasons.
- Be Accountable for Your Freelancing Activities
Being a freelancer means that you are your own boss. With this in mind, you need to take charge of the assignments offered and give feedback in time, just like how you give feedback when in employment.
Besides, take charge of your time by setting a daily or weekly review to have a habit of improved function in life. Taking charge of others people’s work is what it takes for responsible accountability.
- Advertise yourself
For your business to grow, talk about yourself to others. Let them know what you have done in the past, the services you can offer, and where you want to take your freelancing business in the near future. Do not turn down opportunities as they come, but show your clients that you can do it.
Prepare some business cards and distribute them during seminars, whenever you meet with friends or on a weekend outing. You will be surprised to see how much business you can get in such forums.
- Finally, be ready to be a Lone Ranger
Freelancing can be a lonely skill. Sitting in the house alone can lead to loneliness and isolation, but that is a freelancer’s lifestyle. Train yourself to be confined alone for most of your time. But if you feel it’s too much, why not visit a coffee shop and finish a gig there while taking a cup of coffee?
Or meet with other freelancers for a weekend retreat and share your experiences?
These are some of the insights that enable a freelancer to make money, and this guide is of great help if you are anticipating becoming one.