Checklist : To Become A Successful Freelancer
This is a complete checklist for freelancers
Lets dive right in..
Your Complete Checklist
- Keep your daily job when you start freelancing
- Write down your goals
- Figure out your niche
- Prepare your portfolio
- Find your target clients
- Offer transparent & fair pricing
- Do not let freelance work affect your day job
- Find more clients
- Build your skills
- Divide your time
You are here because you have been thinking about becoming a freelancer and need to know what all it takes to excel at what you are planning to do. This is a very natural and common thought as many salaried employees think of working on their terms, especially the young millennials.
have a command on this, you can think about leaving your job. The bright prospect of working at your own, mostly at the best productive hours (not everyone is most productive between 9 to 5), working from anywhere, choosing the clients and projects you want to collaborate with and most importantly, getting the compensation you deserve for your hard and smart work, these terms can make a lot of people question their corporate jobs.
You need to know, being a freelancer is not as “cool” as it sounds. You will have to strive more than you think to become a successful freelancer. And when you do, you will be nothing but super proud of the brand you have become and the lifestyle you have from the efforts you had put when you began freelancing.
There will be more than just doing your regular work when it comes to freelancing, like managing the business, marketing, talking to people daily, staying motivated during the months when less work and money is coming in, handling finances while you are handling clients and much more. We will be taking you through all what you need to grow and become a brilliant freelancer.
You should be crystal clear about your purpose behind starting your freelance business. You need to know your short-term and long-term goals and come up with a plan to effectively make the best of the limited time you have.
Before we dive straight into it, let us first take you through the first few steps of becoming a freelancer that begins from starting freelancing while you have a full-time job.
1. Keep your daily job when you start freelancing
When you start freelancing, it is essential money-wise to keep the daily job that helps you live your life peacefully financially. Freelancing means sometimes less money and unsteady work. To avoid days like these, you need to develop a client base that gives you regular and steady work Your income flow from freelance work should be steady before you quit your daily job. You should make almost the same money as your current job offers you. If not the same, you need to come up with a number that you need every month without affecting your current lifestyle. Once you
2. Write down your goals
Goals that could be measured easily and are distinctly defined will help you stay on track and achieve your ultimate goal. You can break these down in the short-term and long-term goals. You need to ask yourself why you want to do this. To make some extra money apart from your regular job or do you see yourself becoming a full-time freelancer and choose your work life according to your wishes?
3. Figure out your niche
When you have decided to freelance, you need to give thought to the following:
- What are your best skills?
- Will businesses be willing to pay you for it?
- What is it that you enjoy doing and will that help you earn money?
Once you have answers to these three critical questions, you would know about what your business will be.
4. Prepare your portfolio
This is the sample work that you will show your targeted clients when you start pitching. A well-built portfolio will present your work, make you earn credibility and might become an inspiration for some clients who are not clear about their requirements.
You can also make a simple website where you can upload all your work so that the client can check it anytime they want. If you do not want to build a website right away, you can manage your portfolio by using Google Drive or Dropbox. If you think you have not done enough work to showcase, create some sample work to show. If you are a freelance content writer and do not have many content pieces to show, in such a case, we suggest, you write one content piece of common content categories like blog posts, social media posts, emailers, radio ad and posters amongst others. Do mention the services which you can offer but have not created sample work for it. Keep your services clear and easy to understand.
5. Find your target clients
This phase begins with you doing your research about the kind of businesses you want to target, plan how and what to pitch to them and setting-up your freelance business. Once you have done this, you should put yourself out there in the market.
You can register yourself on online freelance job portals which will help you get started. You should contact the people you know from the industry, your email list, your friends and family to spread a word about your business.You might get some referrals which you need to pursue until you get an answer.
6. Offer transparent & fair pricing
Be transparent and confident when you discuss your rates. Explain to your clients why you are charging your fee and the quality services you will be providing for them. This will help them trust you. Remember that you will face a lot of competition and negotiation, you need to know your work’s worth and communicate it effectively.
During the initial days, you might have to work on lesser pricing but keep your focus on delivering work, and increasing your portfolio and clientele.
7. Do not let freelance work affect your day job
Your freelance business will continuously demand time and effort like your daily job. You need to keep both of the jobs separated and assign time accordingly. Once you are comfortable with the income you are generating with your freelance work, you can think about quitting your daily job.
After following the tips shared above, you can make your switch to become a full-time freelancer. Once you have done it, you can invest more time in pitching for and delivering more work. After that begins, you need to make sure that you are doing the following.
8. Find more clients
Pitch more, talk to more contacts and referrals, and register yourself on more freelance listing marketplaces. You have more time to take up more work now, and this time should be used effectively. Look for the kind of work you have always wanted to do or something where your expertise lies the most. This will build your confidence, as well.
9. Build your skills
You must keep making your profile more useful for various businesses and their requirements. You can pitch for some specific projects where you want to work more or take courses to hone skills. Take up work that will make you more experienced in that department. Stay updated with trends in the area of expertise.
10. Divide your time
You will be handling and managing projects, talking to the clients, doing finances and pitching for more at the same time. You must divide these tasks in hours every week so that everything goes in a smooth flow. You can also get third-party software which will help you manage all these roles efficiently.
Freelancing is a great way to pursue your passion and do what you love for a living. You will need constant motivation, discipline, and zeal to run this, and if you have got it, then you will always be on a successful freelancing path. With all these regular practices, we hope you will be able to run a great freelance business.
Hope these tips prove helpful in your quest to become a successful freelancer. Make sure you take up the challenges in earnest to bring out that spark in your skills and capabilities.