Freelancing is becoming more and more popular. Ten million more people are freelancing now than just five years ago!
However, every freelancer you ask will tell you there are certain things that they wish they knew in the beginning. Things they learned along the way would have significantly helped if they had known before starting. Most still would not trade it for a full-time job, but had they known, the journey would have been much more manageable!
You have to deal with some things as a freelancer that nobody talks about. However, if you are considering starting a freelance business, you should know these things before you start.
Freelancing: What Is It?
A freelancer operates as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Freelancers offer a specific service based on knowledge and skills.
As a freelancer, you get to control the variables like where you work, when you work, and how much you make.
Typically, freelancers work under self-employment. They can work on a project-by-project basis or a monthly retainer choosing what services they want to sell and how they want to charge for those services, based on an hourly rate or a flat package fee.
What kinds of jobs can you do as a freelancer? In the blog post 7 Legitimate Work From Home Jobs For Moms, we covered 7 of the most popular jobs you can do as a freelancer, the typical rates, and a summary of the tasks performed.
If you are brand new to freelancing, I suggest you start as a virtual assistant (a job that does a little bit of everything), so you get a feel for the kinds of work you do and do not like. You can always transition your workload and clientele to a specific niche later on doing other jobs…
- Social media management
- Pinterest management
- Graphic design
- Podcast management
- Online business management
- Web design and development
The Best and Worst Parts of Freelancing
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it is a great starting point to the best and the worst parts of freelancing.
- You choose where you work, like from home on your couch!
- You choose when you want to work.
- You choose what clients you want to work with.
- You choose how much you want to make.
- You don’t need a website, degree, or training to get started. Instead, you can use the skills you have to start as a freelancer today.
- The more experience you get, the more and the faster you can raise your rates.
- There are no fees to get started or to keep your business running.
- Rejection is part of the job, especially in the beginning. You may hear “no” a lot until you develop and perfect your pitch.
- Sometimes clients suck and can be challenging to work with. When you encounter a difficult client, you get to choose to keep working with them or replace them with a new client.
- You are now in control of things usually set up for you through your employer. So, you must make any 401k contributions, healthcare plans, and money to pay taxes.
- There is no paid vacation or sick leave.
- Freelancers often feel isolated or lonely, always working from home.
- Limiting distractions and setting boundaries are common challenges for work-from-home moms too.
How to Be a Successful Freelancer
1. What is your why
When starting a business, you will make a considerable change. You will be changing how you work and structure your time. So it’s going to take some adjusting.
And on those days where it’s difficult to see results or why you are making this massive change in your life. You can use your why to remember why you are doing this for your family and yourself.
2. Set your goals
With any business you start, you will want to set goals. Goals give you something that you are working toward. And setting measurable goals will help you see the progress you’re making along the way.
Outcome, performance, and project goals are things you’ll want to learn when setting your goals for your new business.
3. Create a client strategy
A big part of the business is figuring out how you will find clients. Because no clients = no income, the Live Free Academy Training includes a section dedicated to helping you build a successful client strategy, so you can focus on who you want to serve and how.
We’ll start by answering four questions. First, who is your ideal client? Second, what is their pain point? Third, how can you solve it? Fourth, where can you connect with them?
Then we will use that information to create a client avatar to help you create and develop your brand.
Starting your business, thinking about branding, strategizing, goal setting, messaging, bookkeeping, and all the other little things it takes to be a freelancer can be overwhelming. If you want a guide, the Live Free Academy is a training broken into steps with workbooks included! It gives you the information about what it takes to freelance as a business.