Starting From the Bottom: How to Make It as a Freelancer

The life of a freelancer is full of unique opportunities. You can pick who to work for, when you work for them, take on as little or as much work as you want, and most importantly, you are your own boss.

But it’s not a sudden decision that you can jump on and pray it works. There’s a lot of considerations to take into account, and you may not even find work for a long time if you’re not somewhat established and have experience. Not many companies will hire a beginner if they have more experienced options, even if you offer a lower price.

Taking the Plunge

Embarking on the freelance adventure requires you to have a plan. What do you plan to sell? Your services could be invaluable to some businesses, and they could be utterly useless in other fields. Practice what you plan to preach, research guides no matter how big or small, and make sure that you’re constantly on the lookout for opportunities. Your skill set could translate into a variety of fields, so don’t be afraid to go past your expectations—you may discover skills you never knew you had.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job… Yet

Getting your foot into the freelancer’s club isn’t as easy as some make it out to be. It could be weeks or months before you get your first paid job, and that doesn’t exactly mark the start of a successful career either. Many freelancers have fallen into the trap of getting their first paid gig and celebrating by quitting their regular job. Don’t make this mistake. Your jobs could be infrequent and you may go long periods of time before getting a stable income. The best time to quit your job is when you can provide enough work to sustain yourself for several months in advance. Don’t spend all your money in one go, and utilize some basic money management tips and keep a percentage of all your earnings into a savings account.

Chase Those Invoices

It doesn’t matter if the company you work for is big or small, they have to pay up. There’s no rule or exception that says that they are allowed to delay your pay (unless it was in the contract—read them!) so make sure you chase down and track every invoice you send until you get your money. When in doubt, consult a service like Cash Flow Finance to ensure you get your money, one way or another.

Keep the Work Flowing

Freelancing is a struggle when you’re unable to find work. Make sure you keep in touch with regular clients and ask for more work whenever there’s a lull. Build up your relationship with different companies and make sure that you’re always polite and professional—it will guarantee that the company will remember you and offer you more jobs in the future. When work is flowing, don’t take it as a sign to take it easy the next month. Keep it going, keep working hard, and never stop taking on assignments until you really need a break.

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