Freelancing – is it worth it? At first glance, being your own boss sounds perfect. But freelancing isn’t about sitting at home waiting for work to come your way. Sometimes it can be more demanding than the typical 9-to-5. What makes freelancing unique and attractive is that it offers more freedom and facilitates creativity.
If you’re thinking of leaving your job to become a freelancer, these 6 tips will help you consider every angle before taking the leap.
Develop your personal brand
As a freelancer, you are your own brand. Your personality and work ethic will have a huge impact on your success. Use social media strategically to build an online brand that will communicate to your target audience exactly what you specialise in.
Having a strong digital presence is absolutely essential, but so is meeting as many people as you can from the industry. This will establish you as an influencer in your sphere, and make you more approachable and memorable in the minds of potential clients.
Expand your network
Finding work and building a solid network are two sides of the same coin when it comes to thriving as a freelancer. Even if you’ve already started freelancing, it’s never too late to start reaching out to influential people and expanding your network. In fact, it’s important to review (and possibly refresh) your network annually.
Your objective should be to become the person clients go to whenever they need a professional in your field. From ex-colleagues to friends of friends, inform everyone you know of your specific services, and that you’re open to start taking on projects.
Bonus tip: Pinpoint an industry expert who can act as a mentor, at least until you find your feet as a competent freelancer. Their perspective will be both a learning experience and a boost for your networking.
Embrace your freedom sensibly
Freelancers call their own shots. You get to determine when and from where to work, and the type of projects you take on. If you tend to achieve the best results by being a self-disciplined jack-of-all-trades, freelancing might be your ideal way forward. But don’t let your freedom as a freelancer distract you from using your time wisely and building stable relationships with your clients.
Bonus tip: Don’t underestimate the importance of planning. Drafting a personal business plan with your requirements and goals should keep you on track.
Be mindful of finances
Being a freelancer is enriching, but not always in the literal sense. Before you start taking on jobs from an endless list of clients, you should consider 3 things. Firstly, your potential supply-and-demand ratio. Do you have a compelling enough value proposition that sets you apart? Secondly, consider your business base – because starting from scratch with no clients is extremely difficult.
Finally, put your economical thinking cap on. Will there be enough freelancing opportunities out there with high fees and low expenses? On this point, it might be worth speaking to one of the 17 Financial Planning Consultants listed on Yellow.
Pay attention to your competition
Being the best of the best is always key. But how do you compete with big companies and fellow freelancers in an ever-growing market? Research. Absorb information at any given opportunity, whether it’s from reading blogs, scanning your competitors’ portfolios or offering your services to friends in the industry. It will be overwhelming at first, but it’s always important to keep an eye on what the competition is doing, and aim to deliver work which is better than theirs.
Make freelancing work for YOU
Freelancing can be the best career decision you’ll ever take, but only if you make it work for you. The freedom that comes with freelancing can be liberating, but it can also burden you with more responsibility and accountability. So take time to carefully assess what you want to get out of being a freelancer, and whether it truly is the best way forward for both your professional and personal development. If you’re tired of working for difficult clients, and want more control over your work life, the pros of freelancing will most likely outweigh the cons.
Are you ready to become the creative freelancer you’ve always dreamt of being? Get in touch with any of the 52 Advertising Agencies listed on Yellow. They’d be able to help you put yourself and your skills out there, or they might even have a vacant position for a freelancer just like you!
Find everything you need to fulfil your freelancing goals on yellow.com.mt!