Are you out of work at the moment and looking for new opportunities, possibly even to start your own business? Or, perhaps you have a full-time job but want to increase your income by doing something on the side. Either way, the freelance market could be the perfect path for you. Not only do companies and individuals across the globe hire freelancers for a wide array of tasks and projects, but working from home also comes with a slew of benefits. If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, here’s some practical advice to help you get started:
Know the Benefits
Being a freelancer typically means that you work from home or remotely from some other location. This means that if you start your own business, you don’t have to rent office space, and you will have less overhead to worry about.
Also, you will have much more freedom and flexibility compared to working at a traditional office job. For starters, you will have less commute time and more work time, and you can establish your own hours, rates, and rules. These benefits will come into play whether you are dedicating all your time to freelancing or starting a side hustle.
Consider Your Skills and Strengths
When you’ve decided to give freelancing a go, the first thing you want to do is determine what industry or industries to enter — and the first step to figuring that out is assessing your marketable skills and strengths. Your skills are technical or functional things that you have learned to do through training, education, and/or experience. This could include anything from managing to fixing, from creating to selling.
Your strengths refer to the personal qualities that make you who you are. These might include your beliefs, values, motivation, style, and so forth. Take some time to write out details of your educational and work experience to assess what your best skills and strengths are. Then, you will have a better idea of what kind of freelance work you could be successful at.
Learn and Keep Learning
To set yourself up for a successful freelance career or side gig, it’s essential to study business growth. For example, look into all of the financial assistance resources available (government and private) during the COVID-19 pandemic, and research best practices for running a business virtually, including any modifications that are necessary during the pandemic.
Also, study how taxes work for work-from-home businesses. For instance, you can take deductions if you are self-employed and have a dedicated workspace at home that’s used only for your business. Moreover, learn new things so that you can stay successful in the future.
Stay Productive and Keep Clients Happy
Staying productive is key to your long-term success. If you consistently produce quality work on-time, you will keep your clients happy, which will help you to retain clients, build your brand, and expand your client base.
Examples of how you can satisfy clients might include using time tracking tools, collaboration software, and top-notch payment methods. If you run an e-commerce store, be sure to use competitive shipping methods, a reliable fulfillment service, and quality packaging, as well as monitor the quality control of your products.
Explore Your Options
Online job boards and social media are great places to look for opportunities. Seeing what kinds of tasks and projects are being hired out will help you determine which path to take. Upwork, Toptal, and Freelancer are a few of the best sites for finding freelance work. You can also use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to find freelance work by joining live chats, searching hashtags, and connecting with other businesses.
Whether you are looking to start a full-time freelance business or a side hustle to supplement your income, it’s important to factor in your skills and strengths when deciding what kind of work to do. Remember to keep researching ways to grow your business, prioritize productivity and customer satisfaction, and take advantage of the web when searching for new opportunities. Most importantly, try to enjoy the journey of starting and growing something new!