Nowadays, many people decide to pursue a freelancing career. After all, being your own boss is much more appealing to some people than sitting at the office all day and being managed by others.
Be that as it may, a freelancing career isn’t as easy to manage as people may think. Sure you can stop working at any time to check out NFL week 7 odds or perhaps watch a movie but there are a ton of responsibilities that lurk just around the corner.
If you don’t manage everything accordingly you may get easily overwhelmed and end up with a lot of stress in frustration that you could’ve avoided, to begin with.
However, with a bit of effort you can organize yourself properly and manage your career as a freelancer like a real professional. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to manage your freelancing career more effectively.
Focus on finding work
As a freelancer, you have the liberty to choose which projects to work on, as well as how much workload to take. However, you won’t be able to choose if there’s no work for you at all. That’s why it’s important to focus on finding work, in the first place.
Only then can you decide whether to take on a project or not depending on the circumstances and your financial situation. Therefore, here are a few ways you can find work more seamlessly.
Create a network of contacts
Networking is of vital importance for freelancers because you cannot manage everything on your own. You need to connect with people who can point you in the right direction or even send some work your way, provided they can’t manage everything themselves. That said, here are some networking tips to consider.
- Join different networking groups.
- Attend various networking events.
- Use social media to connect with different groups or individuals.
- Join networking forums.
- Meet with people in person.
- Establish and nurture relationships with contacts.
- Follow up on every lead you get.
Marketing for freelancers
Another way to find work is to promote yourself using different marketing strategies. This will help you get noticed by companies or individuals in need of your skills. Since you’re basically self-employed and your services are your business, you must promote yourself adequately. Here are a few ways you can do that.
- Create your portfolio website – Nowadays, many freelancers have a website that serves as their resume and CV, as well as a portfolio of their work at the same time. When looking for work, you can simply include a link to your website so that people who want to hire you can see what you have to offer.
- Leverage social media – Self-promotions on social media can go a long way in helping you find work. You can even use paid ads to target potential clients if your budget allows you to do so.
Manage your finances
Personal finances are always a problem for freelancers. The main reason is that you have many ups and downs when getting paid. There will be periods with no work, as well as periods with too much work.
The key is to ensure you get paid on time. That’s an absolute imperative for freelancers. If you don’t get paid on time or at all, your work is pretty much wasted and you’ll have to manage somehow. Furthermore, another important factor is to always work under contract.
Since you’re not employed by a company, you have to protect yourself and your assets and ensure you have protection from clients that may want to scam you. That being said, here are a few ways to manage your finances.
Get paid upfront
When working on a project, you should strive to get paid upfront as much as you can. As a rule of thumb, you should ask for 100% upfront for small projects, 50-60% for mid-sized projects and at least 30% for large projects.
Choose a pricing method
As a freelancer you can charge per hour or per project, it’s entirely up to you. Just make sure your pricing options suit your financial needs.
Get yourself an accountant
Managing finances on your own can be a real pain, especially if you have no clue what you’re doing. As work starts to pile up, things will get even more chaotic. Therefore, find someone who’s good with finances like an accountant, for example, so that they can help you with payments, expenses and taxes.
The most important aspect of being a freelancer is yourself. You’re managing everything yourself so it’s only logical to manage how you go about your business. That includes managing your mental well-being.
As you may already know, there will be hardships along the way so it’s important not to get overwhelmed by everything. If you feel like you’re losing a grip, take some time for yourself and step away. You won’t be able to accomplish anything if you push yourself too hard. That said, here are some tips on how to manage yourself as a freelancer.
Take a vacation
Sure, if you don’t work you don’t get paid. However, if you’re smart enough about your finances, you’ll have money set aside to afford some downtime from everything. Therefore, take a much-needed vacation and recharge yourself. You’re no good to yourself if you burnout.
Don’t hesitate to say no
There are great clients and then there are very bad ones. Don’t be afraid to say no to bad clients, even if the project seems lucrative and promising. Sometimes it’s better to simply walk away than waste yourself on a project that will take more away from you than you’d normally give. That said, here’s how to identify problematic clients.
- They don’t really know what they want.
- They claim everything is fine until they suddenly change their minds mid-project.
- They’d like you to do a bit more but they don’t want to pay you for it.
- When it’s time for them to pay you, they don’t get back to you for days or weeks.
Being a freelancer definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. The important thing is to manage every situation effectively so you can make the most out of your freelancing career.