When you are a freelancer, the only real resource you have at your disposal is yourself. Be it marketing, business development, operations, or finance, it is you who has to manage all the functions and drive the efforts. The freedom that comes with a freelancing career comes with a caveat: the buck stops with you.
So, what are some best practices that one can follow to have a successful freelancing career? Here are a few:
Think like a business. Instead of thinking of yourself as a person, think of yourself as a business entity. A business has many functions and all of them have to be given importance. Even if you are a great coder or a designer, if you don’t market yourself or seek new customers actively, the lead pipeline will go dry. Think about the ROI before you invest your resources, whether effort or time. Ensure that payments are made on time. Register a business entity as a sole proprietorship if you’d like to streamline all the functions; in short, follow the basic tenets of business.
Make technology work for you. Whatever your business requirement, you are likely to find that technology has a lot to offer.
The online world offers a never-ending flow of opportunities. Whether you are an expert in content, designing, coding, or teaching, there is a multitude of websites offering opportunities of various sizes promising various payouts. Apart from an offline presence, establish an online presence to take advantage of these opportunities. Create profiles on various websites and offer examples of your work. Link your website/blog if you have one. Actively bid for opportunities from several places. Remember, you are not the only freelancer; there is a lot of competition here too.
Moreover, to manage business functions, you can use several business productivity applications that help you automate and streamline parts of your business processes. You can use free online invoice software to create and send invoices or use online CRM software to keep track of your leads and clients.
Do not over reach. It is not uncommon for freelancers to bite off more than they can chew. After all, who wants to miss opportunities, right? In a bid to take on some more work, freelancers sometimes take on projects for which they are not completely qualified or for which they do not have the resources to devote.
Instead, take on those projects that you have competency in and have time to devote to; it is better to under-promise and over-deliver than the alternative. A satisfied customer might or might not come back with more opportunities but a dissatisfied customer never will!
Any more you would like to share? Please let us know!