April 18, 2017

How to Know if Freelancing is for You

Freelancing has become a booming industry for those who love the flexibility this type of job has to offer. Remote work is an option for stay-at-home moms who want to make extra money. If you are interested in freelancing, below are the skills you must have to be successful.

Professionalism

Above all else, professionalism is key. When you are your own boss, you are also your own PR agent. You must present yourself the way you want to be seen. This looks different for everyone. Some markets and jobs more are flexible than others when it comes to dress and attitude. This also applies to how you address your relationships with clients. If you want to maintain positive ties to your clients, you must be timely with deadlines and communication. It is acceptable to set times of the day when you are and are not available, but if a client contacts you, you must reply to them as soon as you can. If you are inconsistent in your work and your response, you will quickly find yourself without work.

Time Management

Being your own boss grants you a lot of freedom, but when it comes to making money as a freelancer, it is what you do with all of that time that matters. Your time—and your money—are in your hands. If you are naturally disciplined, time management may not be so difficult. However, if you are not inclined to follow strict deadlines, you may want to learn how, and quickly. Practice setting a time of day to work, as if you were working regular business hours. Set yourself a routine where you can get your responsibilities done with work and at home.

Organizational Skills

Unless you have a secretary, all dates, deadlines, and meetings are completely your responsibility. If you don’t already, use an app for your smart device that can help you stay informed of everything you need to do for the week, month, and year. Keep a file cabinet of personal documents, financial and otherwise. You cannot be successful if you constantly live in chaos. When you leave piles of paper on your desk and leave your inbox crammed with e-mails, you are leaving yourself open to losing something important. Not only will this cause daily anxiety in your life, but you are wasting valuable time. After all, you probably were attracted to freelancing for all the time you could have—don’t waste it rummaging through a disorganized mess.

Flexibility

You have a lot of freedom as a freelancer to change with the tides. As you grow, you need to become well informed with the trends in the market, and adjust your work accordingly. There are times when you will be able to change your services, prices, clients, and packages. Keep up on the latest in the freelancing industry, with particular focus on the particular skill you have. Technology and trends change at a rapid pace, so in order to stay competitive, you must educate yourself to remain a hot commodity.

Marketing Yourself

As a freelancer, one thing you will constantly have to do is market yourself. If you are just starting out, you will need to devote most of your time reaching out on social media and going to networking events. Reach out to anyone you know who is involved in the field you enjoy or who are freelancers in the field of their choice. Ask them for any tips that you can learn and build a relationship with them. Meet other like-minded individuals like you who are hungry for jobs, and even those who are seeking to hire freelancers. When you have the chance, ask these people out for coffee or lunch so you can probe their brains about the job, and put yourself out there as someone ready for hire. Always have professional business cards with you with your name, phone number, e-mail address, and applicable social media. Even after you get your foot in the door, you may have to ask for referrals. Always make yourself available and reliable to potential clients.

Freelancing can be a fun and rewarding career that allows you to take more time with your kids. Consider these skills to see if you have what it takes to be a freelancer.

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