In the future, a large majority of the workforce will be freelancers. The reason for this is multiple, but it largely has to do with convenience; both for the employer and employee. The fact is that removing the boundary of location opens up the pool of talent and quality companies to work for. Meaning the workforce, theoretically, could be more mobile and richer for the removal of boundaries moving forward.
With that in mind, here are the most important considerations that you need to make in order to determine whether or not freelancing is actually right for you.
1 – Do You Know the Market?
It’s one thing working in a sector, selling to it is a whole different kettle of fish. And for that reason, it can be extremely important to make sure you know the difference before committing to the endeavour. If you’re unable to sell, then you may find yourself sinking before you even get the chance to tread water, let alone swim.
The best thing that you can do is to know that the product you are selling is in demand, as without this you will struggle to sell yourself or your product.
2 – Is Your Online Presence Strong Enough?
The thing about being a freelancer is that it relies heavily on you. Your motivation, your ability to get work and your determination to succeed. The strength of your online presence is also an important part of this.
For that reason, you need to ensure you have an online presence checklist, make sure you have:
- A website or consider an app developer for a different type of web presence.
- Social media accounts across Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Some sort of online portfolio (this can be part of your website).
- Don’t sell, sell, sell – try to be more human in your online activity! It can be a great way to grow yourself as a brand.
3 – It’s a Business
The trouble with freelancing is that people can give it less consideration than it deserves. It is easy to be flippant about it, especially to criticise the practice. But the fact is that freelancing when done right is a business all of its own. So, it falls to the person freelancing to treat it as such in order to properly succeed.
You will need to sort out your own taxes, insurance and all of the accounting that comes with having your own business. Even if you choose to freelance as a sole trader there are still plenty of things you need to resolve in this nature in order to be legitimate, as well as successful.
4 – Market Yourself
This falls under the same caveat as treating your freelancing enterprise as if it’s a business. You won’t get new clients if you don’t put the work into that business, which means that you will have to ensure you market it appropriately. Make sure that you have the right level of ads, blogs and all of those things to your name in order to properly market yourself.
5 – You Can’t Do It Alone
Freelancing comes across as quite a lonely endeavour. And, for the most part, it is. There will be plenty of times when you are hard at work and may not even speak to a real human all day. But, that doesn’t mean that freelancing itself is something that you can tackle as a lone wolf. In fact, despite the reputation that freelancing has you will find that having people to help you out is important, if not integral, to your freelancing success.
At the very least, you will need to have an accountant to help you with the financial side of freelancing. As unless you are an accountant yourself this is an area that you can easily fall foul of. From there, you may want to invest in other forms of help. Even having someone else to work to complete some of your surplus stuff is ideal.
6 – Give Yourself a Timetable
There is no one to hold you to it, you’ll still be your own boss even if you work on a set scale, it’s not a shackle keeping you down. Instead, think of it as a security blanket for your business. If you work on things for a set time, then you will be able to account for the better. This makes ensuring you’re working on each client fairly and invoicing for the appropriate level of work completed. If you don’t, you could easily over or under service someone. Equally bad depending on which it is.
Overall, becoming a freelancer isn’t always going to go perfectly. That doesn’t reflect the very competitive market and difficulties that you will likely face trying to carve your way into it. It is a lot of work and hard to fully achieve without putting the right amount of effort into the endeavour, especially if you are doing it in addition to a full-time job or other part-time work. Often, it requires full focus.
So consider the above and whether or not being a freelancer is really something that will be doable for you moving forward. Freelancing isn’t for everyone, so think carefully before you take the plunge. It may help you to avoid any rocks lurking beneath the surface.
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