Freelance work is booming. The number of people looking to become freelancers rose by 31% in 2018 – and the Midlands is now the most popular destination for people looking to escape the 9-to-5 routine.
If you’ve decided to become a freelancer, it’s important to start your business on the right footing to ensure its success. Here are 5 key things to think about when working as a freelancer.
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1. Remember freelancing is hard work
You may have worked a 9-to-5 job before becoming a freelancer. It’s important to remember you are now running your own business and the traditional 9-to-5 schedule will go out of the window.
You may need to work long hours to get your business established. In the beginning, there might not be much work coming in – so make sure you have some savings and prepare yourself for the challenge.
Once you’ve established a steady flow of clients, it will become easier to set a routine.
2. Network with contacts and other businesses – and ask for referrals
The larger your network of contacts, the more successful you are likely to be.
You need to be reaching out to your colleagues, contacts, and other business owners that could use your services. Use social media – in particular Facebook and LinkedIn – to reach out to potential customers and build a following.
3. Build your brand
When you first start freelancing, you may not have a brand. Your prospects may not know of the work and services that you offer. This makes it extremely important to build your brand from the outset.
As a freelancer, you are the brand. Your reputation depends on how well you complete your assignments and the satisfaction of your clients.
Nowadays, it’s much easier to build your brand online. You can make use of the web and build a presence very quickly. As a minimum, you should complete a LinkedIn profile. You should also create a Facebook page and a Google My Business account.
Your website should reflect the services that you offer. We also recommend linking to your social media profiles to complete the picture.
4. Know your competition
By knowing your competitors, you can discover lucrative gaps in the market. Your products and services should offer something that stands out from the competition – in terms of quality, speed or uniqueness. This will be your unique selling point.
You need to monitor your competitors continuously to ensure that you remain at the top of your game.
5. Get good advice – and a good accountant
Your business is only as good as the team around you. Your advisors should be the best that you can afford. By choosing your team carefully, you will build up a reliable set of second opinions.
A good accountant will be a time and money saver. They’ll also act as a useful source of advice. We run through the seven most important reasons to use an accountant in this article.
Appleby Mall has been working with freelancers since 1998. We’ll get to know you and your business – and tailor our services to match.