Freelancing has been around for quite some time now, but the COVID-19 outbreak has pushed it to the forefront. More individuals are turning to freelancers as the workforce becomes more fragmented across industries. By 2020, the independent crew will have earned $1.2 trillion, with one out of three Americans working as freelancers. How crazy is that? Freelancing is something that the new generation is looking up to and has a lot of potentials!
A growing number of self-employed professionals are quitting their day jobs to work full-time as freelancers. Nearly one-quarter of a million people utilize their skills only as freelancers, an increase of 8% from the share of freelancers in 2019.
While the attraction of working for yourself is apparent, making a significant job change can be nerve racking. Many prospective independent professionals wonder how they might start a successful freelancing career and finally quit their day job.
We’ve compiled seven ideas to help independent workers achieve the freelancing success they desire, whether it’s to supplement their regular employment or to run a freelance firm full-time.
8 tips to achieve freelance success
We’ve compiled a list of some recommendations in response to the growing number of independent professionals looking to expand their consumer base. These pointers will help freelancers of all skill levels advance their careers and carve themselves a niche in which they may thrive on.
Set Aside Money to Pay Your Taxes
Self-employment profits are taxed. There will be two types of taxes to pay: income taxes and self-employment taxes. Federal and state income taxes are charged on your company’s profits. The self-employment tax is a bundled tax that includes both Social Security and Medicare contributions. Self-employed people are taxed at a rate of 15.3%.
The difference between self-employment tax and employee Social Security and Medicare is that you pay half of your Social Security and Medicare as an employee, and your employer pays the other half. You must pay both halves as a self-employed person, I know that blows but let’s remember all the benefits that come with it. And anyway, the “employer” share of the tax can be deducted from your AGI.
Even yet, if you earn a lot of money as a freelancer during the year, the sum of federal and state income taxes, as well as the self-employment tax, might add up to a lot of money at the end of the year. You should set aside money to pay the taxes to avoid sticker shock when submitting your tax return, and you may be required to pay the taxes quarterly. Not messing with the law, and trying to keep all legal formalities in check is always a great practice as a freelancer!
Ease the Administrative Burden
Freelancers frequently demand higher rates per hour than their salaried counterparts. However, that higher hourly rate must account for the reality that most self-employed people’s day is unbillable. After all, you can’t generally cost consumers for time spent organizing meetings, replying to emails, or preparing and submitting invoices. Freelancers must raise the price of paid labour to compensate for lost time to be successful. Many freelancers deal with imposter syndrome, which makes them doubt their skills and think that they just are not good enough. So if you are into freelancing it is important to realize that you need to charge your clients based on your skills.
Freelancers can also take steps to cut down on the amount of time they spend on non-paying jobs. FreshBooks accounting software, for example, allows self-employed people to avoid being bogged down in administrative detail by providing easy invoicing, time and expense tracking features. Furthermore, freelancers may save all administrative tasks for one day instead of completing administrative duties in little chunks throughout the week. Also, who said freelancers cannot hire other freelancers? It is always a great idea to delegate where you can, so you can focus on the important tasks.
Build your digital presence
Almost everything in today’s culture is done online. Businesses post job vacancies on the internet, and clients look for freelancers on the internet. Several online sites also make it simple to create a portfolio that highlights your skills and knowledge for those wanting to employ freelancers in your industry. Professionals may create personal sites on Upwork, for example, that highlight their prior work and allow clients to browse available experts and pick those who have the skills they require.
You may build a strong internet presence in a variety of ways. In addition to creating an Upwork portfolio, you may use social media for advertising your freelance business. Create a LinkedIn profile and use it to connect with everyone you know, from your best friend to old coworkers. Instagram is also a great place to build an audience by showcasing your work to people, you never know who would be interested in your work.
Maintaining a solid network may provide you with fresh customer leads and opportunities to demonstrate your professional abilities. On LinkedIn, you may highlight your expertise and skills while also gathering evaluations that will help you present a professional image.
Use online platforms to help you find clients.
Web-based platforms are aiding in the interaction between freelancers and consumers as freelancing becomes more widespread across sectors. Upwork, a job marketplace where thousands of independent workers may showcase their skills, is at the forefront of this industry.
Clients looking for freelancers are also aware that they may create accounts on these sites to get the independent specialists they want. This allows them to rapidly get bids from several independent professionals in the appropriate field and view their portfolios and prior work.
However, for freelancers, the ability to contact many customers looking for labour in their preferred locations and bid on multiple jobs quickly from a single site is critical. Professionals can start to expand their customer base and enjoy the numerous advantages of the independent lifestyle.
Use contracts to clarify expectations.
When you win bids or are assigned work by a new customer, the contract you write can help to clarify expectations and streamline the process. Both the freelancer’s and the client’s pleasure is dependent on effective communication.
Consider including statements in the contract that define both parties’ particular expectations. Before increasing your project rate, think about how many adjustments you’re willing to make as a freelance writer. If the job is paid by the hour, establish monitoring and reporting time to the client. If it is a writing or a designing gig, mention how many iterations are you willing to make.
Details such as how the two sides will collaborate and communicate should be written down and agreed upon. Email communication requirements can be included in the contract if you don’t like having your workday interrupted by phone calls but excel at replying to emails fast. Other terms, such as whether or not the work can be included in a portfolio, should be discussed and agreed upon. A contract template may help you create the perfect contract. Make sure the final agreement fulfils the needs of both parties before signing. This step makes sure that your client relationship goes smoothly.
Update clients regularly
Once you’ve started a project, keep your clients informed about its progress regularly. Pay attention to the contract’s rules, so you know when and if significant modifications are expected. In the agreement, you may have said that you would tell them when essential milestones were met, for example.
If something changes with the project, let them know straight away. If you need to change the deadline or if unanticipated circumstances force you to reconsider what you previously agreed to, keep the lines of communication open. It would be best to explain why the change was made and how you plan to help them with it.
Once you’ve turned in the product, keep the lines of communication open about their satisfaction. You want to take advantage of every chance to increase your customer base and network as a freelance professional. Knowing how well you met their expectations might indicate that you care about the customer’s experience—this aids in the growth of your company’s brand and reputation.
Don’t be shy in requesting referrals.
When you start getting satisfied clients, make a point of asking for recommendations after each project. Inform your clients that you wish to build an outstanding business and that you’re available if they know of anybody else looking for a freelance professional to help them with the job. The advice will be more believable because it comes from customers who have demonstrated that they respect your work.
You may also ask your consumers for feedback. These testimonials may be used in your portfolio, business website, or social media sites like LinkedIn. Demonstrating that your brand is trustworthy, like with any small business, can assist you in attracting the attention of others looking for comparable services.
Look for a platform to empower your freelance success.
As a freelancer, landing your first client may be an exciting experience. Knowing what your freelancing clients want to see and delivering on it may help you get started on building a successful company plan and freelance career.
It might be intimidating or frightening to take the first steps toward a freelance job and away from a traditional work structure. Understanding how to establish a business and nurture a steady stream of clients may help you get off to a strong start, whether you want to be a marketer, copywriter, programmer, or anything in between.
To get started, create a profile on any credible freelancing site, develop your portfolio and qualifications, and begin bidding on jobs that will kickstart your career as a freelancer.
It is the best time to start working as a freelancer in today’s era of work-from-home. So, think about it again and let’s do this. All it takes is that one small step, it could be mailing a potential client, making an instagram profile to showcase your work or maybe putting down your papers at your job? Switching to freelancing completely is a huge step in your career so definitely put a lot of thought into it, weigh the pros and cons and then get started! Best of luck!