You’ve decided to take the leap and become a freelancer. You understand what it means to be a freelancer and you’re ready for it! Not so fast, here are 5 things you should do before you start freelancing.
- Choose your Niche
If you’re new to freelancing, you might feel ready to take on ANY paid work you can get your hands on.
However, as you grow in your freelancing career, you’ll need to start being more strategic about the types of work you do and the clients you take on.
The more specific you can be about what services you offer, the better. Not only will it help you brand yourself, it’ll allow you to control how potential clients perceive you and give you the opportunity to continue building your portfolio in the direction you want to move in.
- Create a quality portfolio
One of the most trusted ways to demonstrate your expertise is by having an awesome portfolio. If you want to be taken seriously as an independent worker, you need to have a ”ready-to-share” collection of works you’ve done. An easy way to showcase your expertise is by having a website. The purpose of your portfolio is to convince potential clients that they’ll want to choose you for the job. That’s why it’s important to create a stellar portfolio.
Remember that your freelance portfolio should only contain the work you specialize in and are willing to take on as gigs. Your portfolio may include work you’ve done for clients in the past or even a personal related gig.
For example, if you specialize in website design and that’s what you want to be known for, you should only showcase website projects you’ve done on your freelance portfolio.That is what will attract potential clients and of course help them make an informed decision.
- Define your target clients
Before you go to start looking for clients, it is important to create a clear picture on the type of clients you’ll want to work with. Do you want to write content for small business owners, create pitch decks for startups or take on longer-term contracts with larger companies? Making these clear distinctions between who and what type of business you’re targeting helps you properly build services relevant to them and effectively pitch them.
- Determine your pricing
Deciding your pricing is the first step to determining your perceived value, therefore, it is important to be strategic about it.
This of course can be tricky, especially when you’re just starting out. A good place to start is by carrying out research to find out how much other freelancers are charging for projects similar to yours. This will give you a realistic idea of a pricing range. You can also carry out surveys to find out how much people are willing to pay for your services.
- Figure out an accounting system that works for you
Unless you’re an accountant, sorting numbers and balancing spreadsheets are probably not your thing. But like it or not, this is part of the job.
Once you determine your pricing, the next thing you want to figure out is what your payment structure will look like. Do you want to bill per hour or per gig? What type of payments do you receive? How will you accept payment from international clients?
Above all, a good accounting system makes you accountable. You’ll be able to track your income and compare your expenses. This way it is easier to save up for other projects.
- Join a community
Having a network of other freelancers is invaluable. You are able to connect with other freelancers and have easy access to resources and useful tips to enhance your career.
Once you start connecting, you’ll realize that the freelancing world is very welcoming.
JASS Academy is developing a talent pool of independent workers for the new economy. As a member of our community, regardless of where you are on your Freelance journey, we are committed to supporting you through resources, training modules, and access to work opportunities.
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