At Huss Group, we meet a lot of people interested in becoming a freelancer.
Being a freelancer is another way of becoming self-employed and starting your own business.
The main difference between being a freelancer and developing a business idea or starting company is that you sell yourself and the knowledge you possess. Most freelancers work for themselves.
We’ve put together three tips on how to become a successful freelancer.
The right customer is key!
Your day is 24 hours long, just like everyone else’s day. You want to make those hours count. There is no rule that says you have to accept every client and every project. This may sound a little weird if you’ve just started your first freelance business. Rejecting clients and projects? WHY?
You need all the projects and clients you can get.
In the early days of your new freelance business, accepting every project and every client may be unavoidable. We have to make money by selling something, either our products or services. No one is about to pay your bills or rent at the end of the month for you. You are your own employer.
For this reason, let’s take this advice as something we should aim to apply as soon as possible – perhaps just not right at the beginning. So why should you want to get into the situation where you can afford to reject clients and projects? Well, there are two reasons.
Firstly, when you can afford to reject clients and projects, it means you’re doing well. You probably don’t have to worry about making enough money to survive this month. So, the option to reject clients and projects you don’t like is one of the goals when you start a freelance business.
Reason number two is that not every project and client will be the “right” client or project. There will be projects and clients you will look forward to with a smile on your face. Then, there will be projects which will be just a job, nothing special. It will be important for you to focus on the projects which bring you joy.
A wrong project or client can, however, be defined by the payment you receive. Remember that, as a freelancer, you only have your time to sell. You have to make the most of it. This is why, sometimes, you will have to turn down a new client because the profit you stand to make on the project is not enough.
You should not imagine or hope that every project that comes your way will be your dream job, and not every client will be like your best friend. There will be good days as well as bad. There will be great projects, and projects which you take on simply to pay your bills.
Get comfortable with self-promotion
Freelance business is 110% about you and your ability to promote it and yourself. Later, you will start receiving new projects through referrals, word of mouth and returning clients. However, this all takes time, and it won’t happen overnight or in the space of a month. Before you get to this point, all you have is you. The existence of your freelance business – and your own – will depend on your ability and willingness to promote your business.
Fortunately, we live in a world of social media. We can reach out to millions of people just by posting something on the internet. We don’t have to pay for the opportunity to post a tweet or share a post on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. This makes it even more important to promote your business and yourself in a professional way. As a freelancer, your clients don’t buy a product, they buy you. Make sure your promotion has a personal touch, so potential clients can relate to you as a person.
When you decide to start your own freelance business, get comfortable with the idea that you will be the person promoting your business. Accepting this sooner rather than later will make starting your freelance business that bit easier.
Take a break
When you start your own business, everyone tells you that you have to work 24/7! NO, don’t do that! You are not a machine. Whether you like it or not. If you want to sustain a high level of performance, you have to give your body time to recover, recharge and also to relax. If you decide to ignore this, your ability to work hard and deliver top results will soon begin to deteriorate.
All the top athletes in the world take the time to rest in order to sustain their high level of performance. If you want to work hard, you should follow their example.
Not only does your body need a break, but your mind needs a break, too. You can’t focus on work all the time.
Get out, meet friends and live your life. The renewed energy will allow you to work much better.
Life is the best teacher there is. You can’t develop as a person or grow your business just by living in your own world. Talk to people in your industry, read articles online or just discuss your thoughts with friends and family. Feedback and inspiration will help you a lot.
We hope this provided you with some inspiration. Naturally, there are other aspects of becoming a freelancer which are also important. We believe these are the three most important ones.