Are you considering freelancing? Welcome to the world of being your own boss! It’s a rewarding, challenging place to be. So we asked Freelance expert and founder of Freelancing Females, Tia Meyers, for her top freelancing tips.
Create your portfolio
The resume is practically dead in the freelance world. Portfolios can help bring your work to life and allow your personality to shine through. Set up a portfolio site (I recommend Webflow and Squarespace) with a clear title of roles you want to be hired for, examples of your work, testimonials and a point of contact.
Build out a contract
No matter how small the job, always use a contract and ensure it is signed upfront. If you’re wondering where to start, here’s a great contract creator (www.freelancersunion.org/contract/). Additionally, in my contracts I outline the scope to always reference back to, my hours of availability and the ways you can get in touch with me. You’ll be thankful when you start receiving 11pm “emergency” phone calls with questions that could easily be answered by Google.
Start when you’re ready
Before you decide to throw your papers into the air and yell “I QUIT” there’s a few steps you need to take. Transitioning from a full-time job to freelance is quite a big change. You are now responsible for every aspect of your business. So it’s time to set yourself up for success. Line up your clients, save for at least 3 months of expenses (there are slow times) and get ready to market yourself.
No one will know you are available for work until you tell them. Friends, family, previous coworkers, LinkedIn, and Facebook are your new best friends when it comes to finding clients. People get busy and sometimes a simple follow-up email can open up an opportunity you otherwise might have missed.
Stick to your rates
Calculate your rate accurately from the start and present it with confidence. Keep in mind that you should also take into consideration new expenses like healthcare, taxes, etc. When it comes to freelance work, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all for jobs or projects, so it can be difficult to figure out pricing. Don’t be afraid to ask friends what they’re charging to better understand industry averages. You can also refer to Freelancing Females rate sheet to access over 2,000 freelance rates.
Trust your gut.
Even if a prospective client is making you a too good to be true offer, but something still feels off, it is okay to walk away. One of the highlights of freelancing is getting to choose who you want to work with and what you want to work on.
Automate your processes
Your time is highly valuable and the less you spend on the mundane tasks, the better.
Learn to say NO
Each new project defines you as a business owner, who you attract and the path you’ll go on. Save your “yeses” for the opportunities you are passionate about and that will help move you and your mission forward.
Take time off
You do not always need to be hustling. Give yourself those much needed days off. You won’t be able to do your job well if you don’t give yourself some time to rest and reset. & remember, the beauty of freelance is the flexibility.
You choose this path for a reason, and make sure to remind yourself of that when it feels like a struggle. Take time to celebrate every small win, because they are all allowing you to continue on your freelancing journey.
If you found Tia’s tips helpful, and want to better set yourself up for success in starting out your freelance business, this is a great article with actionable tips for getting started. Good luck and happy freelancing!
Tia Meyers is the founder of Freelancing Females, a global community of over 20,000 freelance women. Their mission is to support women on their journey of redefining their 9-5 by building resources, sharing vetted jobs, and offering mentorship and community. Find them on IG @freelancingfemales or FB @freelancingfemales.
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