When many people think of freelancing, they think of lazing around the house and not getting out of bed till noon. The truth is, it’s nothing like that. Sure, you’re able to set your own hours but if you want to be successful or even pay your bills, you’ve got to be dedicated, committed and you’ve got to work your ass off.
Before leaping into the world of freelancing ask yourself these five questions.
1. Do you have the skills needed to start freelancing on your own?
There are a number of great areas that one can freelance in. Website design, copy-writing, editing, graphic design etc but there are just as many individuals out there making it happen. Decide what your niche is going to be and then consider what makes you unique. What is your unique value that is going to make someone hire you over someone else.
2. Do you have the necessary networks?
It’s often said that it’s more about who you know than what you know. When you’re freelancing, you definitely need to know what you’re doing and have the skills to match but you also need a network of people who can hire you. Could your current employer become your first client once you leave full-time employment? Could they maybe refer you to someone else in need of your services?
3. Have you got a plan?
Go into your freelancing “business” with a plan of action. Don’t expect to just be able to wing it. Know who you are targeting, where you will find clients and how much you will charge for what services. Be prepared to offer free or discounted services to build up a portfolio but don’t undersell yourself if you have the necessary requirements and experience. Value yourself and build a solid plan around that value.
4. Are you ready to put your plan into action?
Once you’ve decided that freelancing is the way forward for you, make sure you don’t sell yourself short or set yourself up for failure. Make sure you are committed to your plan and that you know what direction to head in. Get your personal brand set up and develop various marketing materials around that. Have a brand ready to show to prospective clients. It’s much easier to trust someone who seems to have it all planned out and ready for action than someone who is getting around to it.
5. Are you prepared to work alone for long periods of time and hold yourself accountable?
You need to be prepared to be alone. A lot. There is going to be no one to hold you accountable and make sure that you actually get the work done on time. You need to be great at managing your time and planning your schedule because it will be really easy to just laze around in the morning and then find yourself short on time to get what matters done.
You also need to be okay with the solitude which can be very lonely. There isn’t someone in the next room or at the next desk to bounce your ideas off. You are going to have to figure out a lot on your own.
If your answer to the above questions is YES YES YESSSSS then what are you waiting for? Get out there and go MAKE IT HAPPEN!!
You need to make sure you’ve got all your ducks in a row before you set off in this direction. You need to be sure that you can financially support yourself while your freelancing business takes off and that you have a good service and the skills to market yourself well.
If you’re anything like me – freelancing, while extremely challenging is extremely rewarding because that feeling of satisfaction that comes with knowing you’re doing this for yourself is what really makes it worth it.
If you’re still not too certain then here’s an interesting review of a freelancing book that was recently discussed on Cape Talk Radio:
Do you freelance? Full time or part-time? Are you planning to in the future? What do you think was the most influential in deciding to go solo? I’d love to hear your comments.