Working for yourself is almost everyone’s dream. What could be better than running your own business—and by default, running your own life? Having no boss to answer to except yourself is extremely freeing, but at the same time it also deals out a lot of responsibility to you. Here are some tips on how to deal with that…
Be Extremely Organized
If you’re going to work by yourself, then organisation is absolutely key. Not only do you need to make sure that you keep track of when each piece of work is due, but you also need to ensure that you send out your invoices—and chase them up if you haven’t been paid on time. If you find it hard to organize yourself, then now is the time to change that. You’ll have to figure out your own salary, your taxes, your insurance, and everything else that your employer used to help you with. Working alone is liberating but also entails a great deal of things that you have to deal with.
The best way to build a good reputation for yourself is through reliability—doing exactly what you say you’ll do, by the date that it’s due. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who are looking for the exact same opportunities than you are, and they also have similar skills in the same field as you. What sets you apart is not just the content of your work but how easy you are to work with. If you hand in your work on time then people will want you to work with them again. You should also make sure that you’re always pleasant and courteous to deal with.
Remember To Discipline Yourself
If you aren’t self-motivated, then freelancing probably isn’t for you. You need to make sure that you can get up first thing in the morning to work an entire working day at your desk without getting distracted by sales websites or Twitter or Buzzfeed. Luckily, this should work well if you’re motivated by money—figuring out how to command higher rates, getting your invoices together and seeing the money flow into your account is a great feeling because you know that you’ve worked hard on your own terms for it. Figure out a lifestyle that works for you—set up a work area in your home separate from the rest of your life and make sure you get dressed to ensure you feel like you’re going to work.
Don’t be shy about yourself or the skills that you possess. Remember that everyone else is selling themselves as much as they can, so you need to keep up and do exactly the same thing. Make yourself a site and create an online portfolio that you can link possible clients to so they can easily see your work set out. Put yourself forward for new jobs, and pitch work to people—don’t expect everyone to come to you before you’ve built up a reputation. Make sure that you go to networking events and get business cards printed up with your website address and all your contact information on it.
Photo by Frontline Creative