More and more Americans today dream of shedding their nine to five lifestyle for an exciting freelancing job. You may find yourself wondering how these people get so bold, how do they find the jobs or meet the deadlines? How do freelancers make it work? It can be terrifyingly uncertain to leave the security of a full time job and make the leap to freelance business without first knowing a thing or two about how to get started.
You need to have a decent amount of business sense in order to make it work as a freelancer. Do you currently manage your money well? If you’ve got a savings account and a steady, reliable budget management plan, you’re more likely to succeed as a freelancer. Freelance workers need to be able to tuck funds away for hard times, and can’t spend their windfalls when they receive them. Know the market standard prices, and don’t sell yourself short. Be realistic in what you take on, and realistic in what you need to charge to cover your bills and put money into a savings account.
If you say you’ll make the deadline, make the deadline. You are your reputation as a freelancer, and if your supervisor notices a pattern of poor behavior and missed target dates, it reflects badly on your work and hurts your chances of being rehired or recommended.
Despite being your own boss, you need to have a regular contact number and email in order to be reached. Keep your clients informed of your schedule, and return phone calls at your earliest convenience. Any type of professional needs to be available in order to secure jobs. If your customers can’t get a hold of you, they’ll simply employ someone else.
There is more to freelancing than what is happening right now. You may be faced with multiple assignments with limited time to complete them. Make a point of choosing your work wisely. This means keeping in mind future employment opportunities, opportunities for advancement, publicity, page views and recommendations. A freelancer relies on connections as much as skills, so be sure to objectively consider opportunity as it presents itself.
No one is there to protect a freelancer from non-payments, plagiarists and users. You need to know your rights and stand up for them. Keep vigilant records of requests, contracts, assignments, payments and taxes. Keep business practice separate from personal friendships. Protect yourself by joining a freelancers union and holding valid and reliable business insurance coverage.
Allison works with BusinessInsurance.org, where you can go to to learn more about finding affordable business insurance for your freelance business.