Born Free: How to Launch Your Freelance Career
Starting a career as a freelancer may seem like a dream come true to many people.
But before you decide to quit your day job, there are a few things that you will want to get in order to make sure you have the best chance of succeeding. Ultimately, you want to hit the ground running so you can start building up a name for yourself and bringing in a steady stream of clients. Here are some of the ways to start your freelance career off with a bang.
Set Up Your Working Environment
Many people start -and, indeed, continue – their freelancing career from home, and if this is the case you will want to establish a comfortable office environment. Your most important piece of equipment will be your computer, so you firstly need to decide on whether you would prefer a solid and secure PC, or the on-the-go appeal of a laptop. Another option for a working environment could be to look at co-working space solutions which allows you to rent office or desk space. This gives you an appealing social setting, as well as a professional place where you can bring clients back to.
Establish Your Website
You will want your website to be fully up and running before you take the plunge and get started with your freelance career. This is going to be how many clients decide whether or not they are going to use your services, so you want to make sure that it looks professional and is easy to navigate. Get down to the bottom line of what you are offering as quickly as possible (i.e. place it ‘above the fold’) and ensure that your contact information is clearly listed throughout.
Network as Much as Possible
You need to reach out to as many industry professionals as you can so that you get your name out there. Of course, freelancing has the natural advantage of allowing you to work with people all over the world, but sometimes you still can’t beat some old-fashioned industry networking through events and conferences. Make plenty of calls and send out emails. Though this is the part of the job that most freelancers aren’t all that keen on, it is essential – particularly when you are just starting out.
Go for Repeat Work and Testimonials
Many first-time freelancers are tempted to take on too much, too soon. But you are better at the start focusing on each job as you get it. This way, you are more likely to get repeat business from your current client rather than needing to keeping seeking out new customers all the time. Even if they have no more work to give you, you should still get a positive testimonial which will help you to get more clients on board.
Though striking out solo can be challenging, it is a career path that many people find brings countless rewards. Making sure you get started in the right way is essential in helping you to enjoy a long and fruitful freelance career.