The thought of being your own boss has definitely crossed the minds of many people. Whether you’re working in a corporate, a copywriter in an agency, a graphic designer, or even if you’re still an undergrad. It’s for certain that you have had this thought at least once throughout your working or learning years.
So if you’re thinking about quitting your full-time job and start freelancing, here’s what you need to do!
1- Set up your portfolio
First things first, always make sure to gather all the previous work that you feel can impress your potential clients to work with you. Be picky about anything you put in the portfolio because that's the first thing your client will look at before reaching out to you. And not just that, your portfolio will always be one of the most important aspects which will convince a client to work with you. Simply, just back up your claims to your clients. If you say that you’re good at something, don’t hesitate to send samples of your work to show your quality.
Also, make sure to invest in equipment that you will use to get your job done and to dedicate a suitable place for you to work in (could be your favorite coffee shop for example) which will vastly improve your productivity and work rate.
2- Map out your working process
The key to a successful freelancing career is always to define and put for yourself an effective working process depending on what you do. If you’re a copywriter, for example, you should work on your most effective working process so you don’t feel lost while writing. That doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll follow the process every time, as each project will come with different scenarios and different requirements which will definitely need some flexibility at work. But its always good to have a plan mapped out to articulate your work. Moreover, some clients will be curious about how you do your work and what can they expect from you, so make sure you define and document your process to make it easier for you in the future.
3- Get your payments figured out
These days most freelancers follow one of two ways of pricing methods, either hourly or per project. The hourly pricing method could be very easy to negotiate, a rush rate can be implemented for time-sensitive work and can easily accommodate variable job scopes. While on the other hand, the client might wary and can sometimes harm you if you’re a fast worker. In addition to that, an hourly rate can get your client to make regular comparisons regarding the time it takes you to do a certain task, it also raises an opportunity for your client to micromanage you because they want to save money, which will eventually make it more difficult for you to do your job.
Meanwhile, project-based pricing can help you see the project as one unit in which you can put a price and a timeline on rather than looking at each line of the whole project and dividing it hour by hour. Whether you go with project-based pricing or hourly pricing, always make sure to charge clients what you’re really worth. If your work is great, the pricing won’t be that big of an issue.
4- Market yourself
“The cost of being wrong is less than the cost of doing nothing.” I truly believe, when it comes to marketing yourself that every day you skip without putting on content to either promote your work or educate people about it is a crime. You don’t need to throw flyers and shout what you do in the rush hour traffic. All you need to do is to correctly present yourself to the digital world either by setting a blog, creating a website, or by simply presenting yourself and what you do on some social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And start pushing related content throughout all these platforms left, right, and center. And as they say “Content is fire, social media is gasoline.”
5- Think about the future
Finally, before you make your decision on switching to freelancing you need to give some thoughts a second visit before the transition.
1- always make sure you have work in your way before quitting your job. In other words, get clients.
2- make sure that you have some money saved up in case things didn’t go as planned and you can’t find clients or projects to work on.
3- Don’t get into freelancing until you mastered your craft. If you don’t think you are as skilled as required to compete, then it’s time for you to pick up a book, or search the web for videos, how to’s, or even webinars to get to know more about your field of expertise and master it eventually.
And if you think you’re stuck with any of these issues, then now is not the time for the change. Give yourself some time to sort these points out, and make sure you come back when you’re totally ready for your new challenge.