Hopping from the full-time world to freelancing can be tough. After all, not only are you leaving the comforts and securities of a 9 to 5, but you’re also putting yourself in a position where you have to constantly provide work for yourself rather than having it handed to you. However, the freedoms and flexibilities of freelancing can be some of the greatest of your working career.
As it goes with transitioning from any job, it’s good to have savings in place. Especially when it comes to freelancing, this is a time when having some extra cash put aside can be crucial. Admittingly, a lot of us aren’t always the best at this, because as noted by GoBankingRates, 69 percent of Americans have less than $1,000 in their savings account. Which, if you find yourself in a similar situation, it’d be wise to possibly save a little bit before you start diving into freelancing.
Starting out, make a list of your current living expenses, including everything from your rent to your entertainment. Additionally, make sure to include some room for any incidentals, as well as possibly traveling to meet with potential clients. As there’s no telling where your current base is for gigs, it goes without saying that you want to leave yourself enough room to handle this accordingly, so take your time in really saving up a solid base to move forward.
Treat Yourself Like A Business
Another important aspect about freelancing is admitting that you’re starting a business. Although to some, making that connection is difficult, it’s truly a mentality you need to take on if you’re going to be successful. Not only will this help you become a much more attuned to the opportunities ahead of you, but you’ll additionally have a better understanding of things like how you’re spending your money and time. However, before we can start talking about specific behaviors, we first need to establish your foundational elements.
A big part of treating yourself like a business will be how you brand yourself. A lot of independent contractors and freelancers lack consistent branding, which could be what sets you apart and helps you thrive. Try looking at things like a logo creator or online templates for your website to help guide your design. Be mindful of branding elements such as your color scheme, which as noted by LucidPress brand recognition by 80 percent. Overall, make your best effort to get these things on lock, as they’re going to be crucial for your brand moving forward.
Look For Mentors To Help Motivate
No matter if you’re a one-person shop or the head of a Fortune 500 company, almost all of the successful business leaders will tell you they have a mentor. In fact, according to Forbes, 85 percent of C-Level executives surveyed expressed that having one helped them get where they are. And especially as a relatively new business owner/freelancer, having a trustworthy person to rely on is a must.
Depending on if you can rely on someone in your personal life for that role, it’s never a bad idea to start exploring who can coach you on online platforms as well. Serial entrepreneur Brian Magierski, for example, can give you plenty of perspective on what’s happening in the blockchain industry; look for thought leaders in your field. The important thing is to create a wide variety of sources you can pull from, giving you the best chance to learn.
Get Your Contracts In Place
Finally, if you’re going to be working as an independent, then getting your contracts in place is a must. As a freelancer, if you’re not careful, then it’s quite possible to end up in a position where you’re out on money without any protection for legal repercussions. However, that’s why having contracts in place is such a crucial aspect, because as noted by Glassdoor, with the average freelancer making around $51,104 per year, even getting skimped on a couple thousand here and there could mean a world of difference.
While you might be thinking that bringing on a lawyer for your contractual needs is expensive, it’s a much more painless process than you might imagine. Lawyer Aaron Kelly, for example, has developed a system to provide automatic contracts for freelancers, which can reduce the costs of protecting yourself. While this is something that you might take some time to educate yourself about regarding all the protection you need, it’s going to provide a tremendous layer of security and will help you ease into doing your job, so make the extra effort.
What are you most excited about in starting your freelance career? Comment with your answers below!