You want the flexibility (and freedom!) that having a telecommuting position provides. But you kinda want to be your own boss, too. That’s where a freelancing career comes in. Forge your own freelancing career with these tips.
Do your research
As soon as you decide that you want to start freelancing, you’ll probably want to start ASAP. But you’ll need to slow down and make sure that you can find freelance jobs in the area that you want to work in. So do some research to determine if your specialty is in demand—and that you can make dollars from it! You may discover that you need to tweak what you were planning to freelance in so that you can be profitable in the future.
You want to be a good freelancer. One way to accomplish that is to network, network, network. Even if networking isn’t your thing, it’s an essential part of any freelance career. Whether it’s attending local events or even joining a professional online group, establishing new connections can help you to meet with new people in your industry. You may rub virtual elbows with key players in your field—or even find potential new clients.
Sure, you might think that you know everything you need in order to be a successful freelancer. Well, chances are there are still some things you can learn in order to prevent some pretty serious professional pitfalls. That’s where having a mentor can come in handy. It’s ideal to find a fellow, more established freelancer in your field who can guide you as you start on your freelance career.
Set up home office
Having a dedicated space to work is important, especially if you’re planning to make freelancing your career. Not only will it help you to focus on your work without distractions, but it will also help your family to respect the fact that you’re working. Even if you don’t have a single client yet, setting the stage for future work can motivate you to be serious about your freelancing work.
Unlike working in a traditional office where you always had work to do, finding a steady stream of clients can be difficult at first. So reach out to friends and family at the onset to let them know about your career change, and ask them to refer you to potential clients. You should also continuously update your social media channels (such as LinkedIn and Google+, as well as your Facebook and Twitter accounts) with the services you offer. You can even post newsworthy information about current trends in your field, thereby establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Use niche (and reputable) job boards that specialize in telecommuting and freelance-friendly jobs, and apply for positions that interest you. Finally, you can reach out to companies you would like to work for directly (even if they haven’t posted any positions) and offer your services.
Freelancing is a great way to continue working in the career you love, but also be completely in control of your workday. While it might seem like a big undertaking, following each of the above steps will help you create a solid foundation upon which to build your freelancing career.