The freelancing lifestyle has become so appealing to many people across various career fields; choose the hours you work, be your own boss, decide what you will be paid accordingly. Starting up in this type of work can be a little stressful and more complicated than you think especially when you still hold a full time 40 hour week job. Here are some suggestions to think about before and during your time of building a freelancing business while still working for your primary employer:
- What are your goals? Define what it is you want to accomplish or create a mission statement.
- What’s your niche? What is it that you do that is different from anyone else in the same field? Think about what makes you unique and stand out from the competition.
- Who are your clients/target audience? Think about the demographics: who are your customers? How old are they? What are their interests and hobbies? When you come up with who your average customer is, find the best way of marketing that will be the best to communicate with them
- Do your research: Think of any overhead materials you will need and their costs. Search around for similar products and services for rates and figure out a set price for what you feel your time and talents are worth. What is your base or minimum and what do you feel is your high end? Over time don’t be afraid to reassess and readjust your base rates accordingly.
- Create a portfolio/website: Make a vibrant website that showcases all of your products or services. Potential clients like to see examples of past projects or any examples of what you can do. The quality of the portfolio is a great way to reflect the quality of your products.
- Pitch yourself: Always be ready to market yourself and what you do. Have your business cards on hand ready to hand out. Meet people and don’t be scared to strike up conversations. Find out what needs people may have and how your product or service could benefit them.
- Balance freelance hours with your day job: Don’t let your new endeavor lessen the focus and quality you will still need to provide to your full-time employer. Set a schedule and know your limits; don’t try and fill every spare minute you have. Leave extra wiggle room if a side project takes longer than anticipated and will need more time.
- Be organized and mindful: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Start small and work your way up; spend money wisely. If you throw all the money you had into one area instead of sparingly, you could lose everything you have.
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