5 Steps to Start a Work As a Freelancer
Ideally, the decision to switch to freelance should be balanced, and the transition to this format of work should be gradual. Of course, it happens that life forces you to act without thinking, but we are now talking about cases when there is time for preparation. So, how to start freelance work? Here are a few simple steps:
The amount of earning directly depends on your professional development. Choose intensive courses, workshops, online courses, you need those that are valued in the professional community. Read interesting and important material on your profession and related topics, like where to find freelance work.
Go to conferences, join thematic communities on social networks, and get acquainted with the creators of potentially interesting projects for you. Learn how to negotiate and talk to people properly. Meetings and self-study will be converted into your future orders and successful cooperation.
Work on the image
In advance, start working on your image of an expert in a particular business. Then, it will be much easier for you to attract customers when you decide to work as a freelancer. Think of your portfolio and what exactly you can add there. Remember, that this will be, let’s say, the first meeting of you and your future client - it’s your face. So, be sure to make it as nice and conducive as possible.
Learn the tools you need
Think over the process of interacting with customers: how will you communicate, transfer work results to them, where will you keep the work done, how do you protect yourself from sudden vagaries of technology, computer viruses, and scammers? You may need to master new programs for this, choose suitable cloud storage, and tools for scheduling tasks.
Start freelance work as a side job, first
Start taking your first orders without leaving work. So, you will begin to build the customers’ base and, at the same time, feel the pros and cons of freelance.
Make a contract
Large customer companies, as a rule, work according to their contract templates. For other clients, make your own version, simple and convenient for you in the freelance work. For example, insert in it a clause that correspondence by e-mail has the power of a simple electronic signature and is equivalent to paper documents with personal signatures of the parties. You should not thoughtlessly download the first free template that comes across on the Internet. Firstly, it may be with errors or with conditions that do not suit you. Secondly, it’s better to draw up a document with a lawyer, taking into account your issues.
Good Habits When Becoming A Freelancer
Here are a few simple tips to help organize freelance work with maximum efficiency and reduce the risk of overworking:
- Take breaks at freelance work. Go to the store and walk the dog. Allow yourself to break away from business: no one will die if you answer the letter not immediately, but in an hour. Such a "reset" will allow the brain to recover. In addition, during a walk, while the brain works "in the background", the solution to a complex problem can come by itself. But, it is important to adhere to a strict regimen in this, so as not to get caught up in procrastination becoming a freelancer.
- Avoid places that are not meant for work - a kitchen or a bedroom. A good alternative can be a coffee-shop or a cafeteria. At home, you need a full-fledged workplace for yourself. Adjust the height of the desktop, put the light source on the left, buy an ergonomic chair with a comfortable back and armrests - for example, “Marcus” from “Ikea”. Make it a rule to periodically clean the table.
- Set the boundaries of your working day. Optimally, it is from 9am to 6pm. And have weekends Saturdays and Sundays. You can also work from 12 to 9 pm. You are to warn your clients and colleagues about your schedule. It will help to avoid misunderstandings.
- Do not forget and do not be lazy to fix all agreements with clients. Work on trust is, of course, good, but you run the risk of working for someone for free. And try to discuss the current nuances of working in correspondence. Yes, phoning faster, but then in case of misunderstanding, you will not prove who said what. Correspondence is more reliable.
- Get out of the house. If you work during the day and relax in the same room in the evening, you can get depressed. Try sometimes to work not at home, but in a cafe, co-working center, park or library. If you like it, start practicing work from such an exit office once or twice a week - this will dilute the routine.
- Break the day into pieces by type of work. For example, in the morning until noon - a routine, then work on a serious task, in the afternoon - work that requires phoning and correspondence with customers or looking for marketplaces where to find freelance work.
- Stick to the mode. It is highly recommended to go to bed early (10-11am) and wake up at 7-8am This mode helps to stay in a good mood and energetic. Staying up late is bad for the mode. You get up late and have no time for yourself (morning hygiene, exercise, yoga, meditation, etc.) Get up at least in an hour, have breakfast, do exercises - the brain should have the feeling of a normal work schedule.
- Get dressed. Clothing may not seem to affect productivity, but pajamas are clearly not conducive to working moods. It is not necessary to wear a jacket and tie; just put yourself in order to draw the line between work and leisure.
The most important thing, working as a freelancer, is to find a balance between work and life (family, having fun, and loved ones). If you manage to find it, everything will be just great!