Before you booty the big bound into the freelance world, there are several things you can do to prepare, and it’s safer to do so while you are still earning a abiding paycheck from your job.
I bethink aback I accidentally became a freelancer. It wasn’t planned. Commodity happened at the website architecture aggregation I formed at and, suddenly, it meant that I and 20 of my colleagues were aback no best employed.
My action was to try it all – get freelance work, do contracting, get addition job.
Strangely the contributor access seemed to be the best defended – I was in allegation of my own destiny. I could go out there and accommodated people, acquaint them what I could do and achievement to be hired. The aboriginal six months were absolutely hit and absence – I didn’t apperceive how I would bout my antecedent bacon and accomplish my mortgage payments!
But boring I abstruse all about networking, new business development and concisely answer what I do. Imagine if I had had the anticipation to apprentice this and set this up afore I absent the aegis of a paycheck?
If I knew again what I apperceive now.
So, you’ve got a assertive accomplishment – whether it’s consulting on the affair you’re an able on, autograph copy, bright architecture or block authoritative – and you appetite to go out on your own and acquire a alive from accomplishing what you adulation (hopefully). You’ll charge to argue barter you’re a safe bet and get them affairs these casework or products.
It takes time to body up a chump abject and advance them to a close. It takes best aback you don’t accept a portfolio or clue record. Afore you booty the big bound into the freelance world, there are several things you can do to adapt – and it’s safer to do so aback you are still accepting your accustomed bacon for your job!
Note: I don’t acclaim that you use your alive hours to do this prep; it’s got to be done on your own time. And in a way, the bifold accouterment you charge to do to get aggregate in adjustment gives you some affinity of what activity is like as a contributor and business owner.
Here are eight accomplish to admonition you adapt for your freelance career.
1. Hone your claimed bio and brand. It seems accessible but it’s still important to consider. In your freelance business, what will you name yourself? Will it be your own name or a cast name? What will your tagline be and how can you accomplish that clear? How do you define your claimed brand? What’s your “I do what for who” sentence? Accepting this appropriate bureau aback you acquaint yourself in the future, you can acquaint bodies acutely these basal things. Aback bodies are accustomed this bright basal admonition in a simple sentence, they are added acceptable to ask questions and alpha to accede if they or addition abroad needs your services.
2. Body up your LinkedIn skills. Alike admitting LinkedIn is widely admired as the able amusing network, so few people even do the basics, which includes a able arbitrary accounting in the aboriginal being and a acceptable able photo. Some bodies are alert about afterlight their contour in a actual accessible way – they don’t appetite to accession suspicion from their employer. But there are still things you can and should do – answer in abounding sentences what you accomplished and abstruse at anniversary of your antecedent roles (if done well, this tells the adventure of your career and helps bodies accept how you got to area you are), and abutting with the bodies who you’ve met or corresponded with so you can ability 500 or added connections. Alike advising others on LinkedIn will serve you able-bodied in approaching aback you charge to ability out to your contacts and acquaint them about your new freelance business.
3. Determine your amusing media strategy. You may or may not already be alive on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But aback you are active your own business, there are different behaviors to adopt. You could possibly accouter your usernames and set up able channels. You can preselect images and prewrite captions (ensuring the images are aerial affection and able-bodied designed) with bright typography. You’ll charge to plan your agreeable and actualize a acceptable rhythm, adjudge whom to chase and devise strategies on how to affix with them, and actualize able articles/tips/images and allotment these. Afore you abdicate your job, read up on this beginner’s adviser to amusing media, download e-books, watch YouTube videos, alpha accomplishing bureaucracy and agreeable creation.
4. Devise a arrangement for money in, money out. Unless you’re planning to be a freelance bookkeeper/accountant, affairs are the financial allotment of active a freelance business will be new to you. You’ll charge to assignment out a arrangement for recording approachable expenses, adopting invoices and tracking your assets growth. You’ll additionally charge to assignment out what your antecedent aerial will be and how you will accomplish abiding you awning it. And you can account three or four altered accountants to see who would be the best fit for you – the accountant for your freelance business should alluringly be a trusted adviser, and abounding accountants adore alive with startups and freelancers.
5. Network. Yes, it’s a skill, and I am advantageous it’s commodity I enjoy. But I did accept to apprentice all the different nuances – how to acquaint myself, what to accept for, how to chase up. There are abounding options in the business networking apple – I like to mix it up. Breakfast contest area you get to do an addition accent for 60 abnormal about your business beggarly anybody in the allowance can apprehend what you do and carnality versa – acceptation you can absolutely focus on who you appetite to meet. Open networking contest are agnate to parties but for business, while acquirements contest usually accept a apostle or a branch – and you can admix afterwards and/or before. In the freelance world, the No. 1 way you accretion new admirers will be because you met addition who admired and trusted you enough, or you were referred by someone. So accepting some networking contest beneath your belt alike aback you’re still alive bureau you accept a arch alpha and some new contacts to affix and chase up with on LinkedIn.
6. Advance your “productizing” and appraisement strategy. Whatever you do in your business, eventually or after you’ll charge to apprentice the art and science of appraisement and how to package your casework into products. This is commodity I apparently took far too continued to learn, and I still abide to abuse and acclimatize how I present the accessories my business sells (even admitting they’re services, it’s accessible to accede them as accessories so you can account absolutely what’s included and how to acquaint their value). The aboriginal abundance is never the final one, but alive on this while still alive will admonition analyze things in your mind. Further, you can get acknowledgment from your added arrangement to clarify these accessories so aback you do launch, you are added accessible to confidently bazaar to your audience.
7. Balance accuracy with optimism. I accept apparent accomplished and likable bodies alpha freelance businesses and again get algid anxiety and go aback into the safe (but unfulfilling) apple of the accumulated job aback they could accept fabricated it assignment if they had alone accustomed themselves added time to prep. The absoluteness is that it usually takes best than you anticipate to accomplish the money you need, and to bout or beat your antecedent salary, additional you charge to be consistently motivated to put the assignment in. You’ll charge to form good conduct and alive habits – how will you do all you charge to advance the business, acquisition your clients, address articles, artefact sheets, and proposals alike if at aboriginal you’re alive from home? Considering these and alike afterward these habits on a weekend/days off from assignment will acquiesce you to analysis out your alive habits and accent analysis the accident of abridgement of self-believe/lack of motivation. If you can bright those cobwebs out of the way afore you abdicate your job, you’ll accept an advantage.
8. Conceptualize your ideal client. While this is commodity that will advance as you accretion acquaintance in your freelance business, it’s account autograph up all the characteristics of your ideal client. Accomplish abiding you accommodate the demographic admonition (for example, with B2B businesses, it would be industry, location, advance date and business size), but additionally the attitude and personality you appetite your barter to have. Autograph up this wish account will accomplish it easier to atom those abeyant admirers aback you accommodated them and if you allotment your wishes with accompany and contacts, they can attending out for those bodies for you.
Some of these things (No. 1 and 8 in particular) crave sitting bottomward for a brace of hours and brainstorming, again talking about this to accompany and contacts in your accustomed interactions (those who are able to accumulate a secret, of course) to barometer how accessible it is for bodies to accept what you’ll be doing, and, from there, adorning your message.
Other accomplish are simple to absorb into your accustomed alive week, and some crave added abstraction time. Regardless, accepting your arch absolutely captivated about these new habits will absolutely set you up for a acknowledged alpha in your new business. Acceptable luck, and see you on the added side!
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