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.
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.
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.
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.