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6 Tips for Growing a Successful Freelance Career

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I’m living the laptop lifestyle and I’m loving it! Freelancing gives me the freedom to work whenever and wherever I want to. I make passive income, travel when I want to, take off work when I need to, and have time to spend with my friends and family. I think it’s great not to be tied down to a 9-5 job. I can do what I love, impact millions of people and earn a living from it.

As great as freelancing is, it is still a business and you have to take it seriously. You need to be consistent, committed and hard-working to make it successful.

Having a successful freelance career is a process. Believe me, it took almost 4 years to get to where I am today. I had my fair share of victories and failures. Every experience was a learning process for me, and I won’t change my freelance journey so far, for anything.

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I want to share with you some tips to help you grow a successful freelance career. I hope you find these tips useful.

1.    Have a plan of action
Planning is key to a successful freelance career. It helps you prioritize your goals, and it forms a blueprint for you to follow. This is great because it will help keep you focused on where exactly you want to take your freelance career. When you are drawing up your plan, make sure you include business goals, financial goals and personal goals. Break down into a set of actions you can take to achieve your goals within a week, a month, a quarter and a year.

2.    Keep an eye on the competition
Research into the activities of your competition. Stalk them if you have to. This will help you make sure you’re on the right track and in tune with the current trends.

The most important thing about observing your competition is finding out their weakness and shortcomings so that you can structure a way you can give better service than your competition. The aim is to strive to do better than what your competition is offering but be careful not to spend too much observing your competition than you forget to work on your career.

3.    Network
Your Network is your Net worth. Networking is a great way to meet new people, learn from them and get new clients. Join meetups in your area. Join in on Twitter Chats and Facebook Groups. Follow like minds on social media and do not forget LinkedIn.  Freelancing business is a people oriented business, so start putting yourself out there, and you will see your connections increase.

 

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4. Have a Healthy Work/Life Balance

I struggle a lot with my work/life balance. I am a workaholic and a perfectionist, so I work every opportunity I get, which has its pros and cons. The good thing about my work life is I get every job done in time, but then I feel like my personal life suffers. I work from home as you all know, I do most of my work once my kids are in bed at 7pm. I work past midnight every day, including weekends. And I also work around my kids daytime naps. I am pretty sure I work more than 40 hours a week, and I won’t have it any other way but sometimes I feel drained, all I want to do is curl up on a sofa with a cup of tea and a cool movie on Netflix.

Having a healthy work/life balance is needed for a successful freelance career. You have to know when to stop working to avoid burning out. I recently took a work/life balance quiz, created by Calibre Office Furniture, and my results were I have a work/life expectancy of 75 years, meaning I have 46 years left to work. The quiz advised I seek medical attention because my work life is killing me, I agree, lol. It is a fun quiz, so try it for yourself and let me know what your results are in the comment section below.

 

5.    Establish a powerful online presence
As a freelancer, you need to make sure that you position yourself as an expert and an influencer. One of the best places to do this is on social media. Help people out, give value and share your knowledge. This will help you build an audience and earn their trust and confidence. You’ll be easily remembered and potential clients will reach out to you.

Another great way to establish a powerful online presence is to guest post on authority blogs like The Huffington Post, Mumsnet, and so on. Write a tutorial, a how-to post or share an experience your audience can relate with.

 

6.    Define your boundaries
Just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean you should accept every job that comes your way. You are in control of what projects you accept or reject. Never be afraid to turn down a project that will not suit you or your brand and that has unfavourable terms or low pay.

Be sure to have a sold contract that covers the important terms that you and your client must agree upon. This will help protect you and let your client know how you work and how far the project will go and at what cost.

Setting boundaries shows you’re not a pushover. It’s a sign of professionalism.

 

The freelance career is a continuous process, like a journey that never ends. The key to success is to be consistent. You have everything it takes to be successful.

Do you have any tried and tested tip to share? Do you take the work/life balance quiz? What was your result?

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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71 responses

  1. I think having a supportive virtual tribe is really important, someone to have a virtual water cooler moment with.

  2. Great tips! I would love to be a freelancer, it is something that I may look into at a later date when the kids are older, these are all really great tips though, thank you!!

  3. I work from home too, similar to freelance and I know how it is. I can never switch off my work, but I love it, so it’s perfect for me (most of the times, anyway).

  4. Some fantastic suggestions here. After nearly five years of blogging and freelancing I’m finally feeling like I’ve achieved something. I’m loving it!

  5. Sound advice here hun, I certainly plan to go freelance in the next few years. I think it will fit around the kids a little better than my current job at the newspaper. I will be bookmarking this post 🙂 x

  6. I read this with avid interest because I completely relate. As you know I work multiple jobs and once I have done the other jobs I come home and do my blogging so all in all my hours worked must be skyhigh. I am about to take the test wish me luck!

  7. I am trying to get top the freelancing life too, but to be honest is scares me a bit as you don’t know what is gonna happen next. Love your advice. I am bookmarking this.

  8. fantastic tips.. im not exactly a free lancer but i do work from home.. and can truly understand were working in an office environment can be the death of you.. lifes too short..

  9. Great tips! I particularly like what you said about planning. That is something I need to improve when it comes to my freelancing. I am still working part time and that is taking priority but you are right that it is so important to have financial goals. Cheers for sharing your tips

  10. Useful tips. I think freelance work sounds great in many ways – to work from home & structure it as you want to. But I’m sure the structure and balance must be hard, and that would worry me. & networking & building online presence don’t come that naturally to me! (Lucy/R is for Hoppit)

  11. I agree with the first commenter, Nikki, who said that your article/blog can be applied to any area of your life. Good read and thank you Everything is about being willing to continue to learn

  12. Really helpful post – I’m not a freelancer but I do love to write. Building up my blog to act as a kind of portfolio for my work one day hopefully so I could maybe take the plunge and do some work like yourself.
    Loving your outfits in the photos by the way!
    Gemma – Life is Knutts.x

  13. I can imagine that defining your boundaries as a freelancer is hard, I always have a problem saying no to work projects. What’s the most challenging aspect for you?

  14. These are some awesome tips and I agree that we need to manage out time I have a full time job but would love to work from home ones and be my own boss, I then blog full time and started doing some freelance work on the side so I get supper super busy. Sometimes is hard to find a bit of time for me and my loved ones but I am working it.

    Leslie xoxo

  15. I’ve just made the leap and started freelance writing. These tips are perfect for me to read right now. I’m super excited but also really scared about carving out enough of an income for us through it. But some of these points have really highlighted the areas I need to work on. Thank you so much for sharing this! x

  16. Fab tips, I have to say keeping up to date, erm stalking no, erm keeping up to date with my fellow bloggers is what gave me the kick up the arse to redesign my blog and also I’ve discovered this amazing vlogger called Shameless Maya: her creativity is just redunkulous, that’s also giving me a kick up the ass about videos.. ( :

  17. Pingback: The Pros and Cons of Working from Home « fashionandstylepolice

  18. What a great article. Love the 4th tip, absolutely on point. Freelancing is great but it can be really challenging when it comes to keeping up with friends or even family, I know that from a personal experience. Inner harmony and good time management are so so important.

  19. Also, before taking that first customer, it is important that
    you buy company insurance to secure yourself versus suits, as well as that you are in compliance with work safety requirements.

  20. Great advice! I am in the process of becoming a freelancer myself and in turn learning the value of social media. I blog about experiences and mix in reviews, would you consider this diversity a hindrance? I’ve posted about things like trying to get freelance work at the local pub (funny story by the way) to film reviews. I am starting to think that I should go for a theme as opposed to a selection.

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