Being a freelance might sound great – being your own boss and working when you choose to – but it can be more difficult than you might imagine. That's exactly what I've experienced a few years ago when I impulsively dove into the full-time freelance adventure. (right now I also work at a newspaper as a layout designer, so I'm able to grow at my pace) With this in mind, here are a few tips for anyone who is planning to go freelance:
◆ One of the most important things to remember as a freelancer is that you will need to be disciplined. Working for yourself means that you won’t have the boss looking over your shoulder, but you’ll still need to put in the hours if you want to be successful. Following you dreams means a 100% dedication, at least, if you want to be successful. It can often be easy to get distracted by facebook or games when working online, but this can mean that you won’t accomplish as much as you hoped to. Why not set time aside to indulge in the pastimes which you enjoy, and focus on your work when you need to. Oh, and get out of your pjs.
◆ As a freelancer, you will also need to learn to manage your money carefully. If you’re unable to find work, then you won’t get paid, and some months are likely to be busier than others. Most freelancers soon learn not to blow their earnings as soon as they’re in the bank – you never know when work might dry up and you find you need to dip into your savings. (that’s how I’ve learned my lesson the hard way) You may also find that you need to think more carefully about the investments that you make. Your camera equipment won’t be provided for you, so you’ll need to consider what to invest in if you want to develop your freelancing business.
◆ Have fun doing what you do! This is why you’ve started your business, right? Experiment, try different things, find creative solutions. Whatever you do, don’t forget the passion! It’s super important to reflect on your work and business once in a while and ask yourself how you’d like to take it from there. Are you still having fun? If not, shake things up a little and make it work!
◆ Lastly, you will need to develop your contacts. Make sure you are always reliable, and impress those that you work for in order to ensure good recommendations. This can be key in establishing yourself as a freelancer.
What are YOUR top tips? Please, do share!