Working in the freelance lifestyle is one of the most exhilarating experiences in the world. You are your own boss and can set your own hours, but you have found that there are obstacles that you must overcome. Here are ten tips to help you navigate the freelancer’s world.
- Expect change: Change is inevitable. Even though you worked on the project and did the best that you could, your clients will probably want changes to suit their vision. Changes will also occur in your personal life as you become more acclimated to being a freelancer.
- Use a contract: Clients want to get the most out of their transaction and they generally do not understand the depth of services that you perform. With a contract, you are establishing the parameters of your business dealing so that everybody knows and understands the other party’s motivations. It is a practical business practice which will protect both you and your client.
- Stay motivated: Motivation is the key to your survival. That internal motivation will gather more clients as well as keep you working on a project which has lost your interest. If you have briefly lost your motivation, take a break from your work. Take a nap. Exercise. Allow your brain to recharge. That boost of energy will carry you to the project’s completion.
- Get the free tools: There are free tools available for almost every aspect of the freelancer’s business. There are tools for time management, design and motivation. By taking advantage of the tools at your disposal, you will be able to spend more time working.
- Work hard: Working hard is the key to having a successful freelance career. Take that eight hours a day that you may have spent at the corporate job and devote them to your new profession. It takes more time to set up your own business than it does to work for someone else, but the rewards are grand when your name has been established.
- Have someone to talk with: You want to have someone around with whom you can share your research. You want someone who will delight in all of the neat things that you have discovered. Most of all, you want someone who understands the stresses that you have. If a human is not available, enlist your pet.
- Start early: Start your day as early as possible. If you have completed four articles before most people are awake, that’s four less articles that you need to worry about. This practice will free up your schedule so you can attend networking breakfasts and other events.
- Stay connected: Take time during the day to find out what is going on in your niche. Use Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools to be a part of the continuous conversation. Every interaction is a potential learning experience. Your peers understand your daily stresses.
- Learn to outsource: If there are things on your agenda which will take too much time or that you do not wish to learn, outsource. There are individuals who are well suited to the tasks that you have. If having a virtual assistant will allow you to design another piece, then it is well worth having one.
- Enjoy yourself: Take the projects which seem enjoyable. If you are doing the job just to make the money, you are missing the entire point of getting into the freelance business. Relish those moments that you wake up and trudge to your computer wearing bunny slippers. When you enjoy the work that you are doing, it gets to be much easier.
Enjoying the job is the key to survival in the freelance world. The work will sometimes be hard and tedious, but it will often pay off with unexpected rewards. Use the right tools and make sure that you keep contracts. Roll with the punches, and you will be well rewarded.
This post was contributed by James Adams who is an in-house writer at a toner cartridges store. Much of his day is spent writing reviews of newly released hardware like the Q6000A. When he enough free time, James also writes about advertising and media design on the CreativeCloud blog.