Working as a contractor, or freelancing is a great step towards managing your own business and professional growth. For those who decide to set foot on this path, at first, it will be difficult to overcome the emerging difficulties associated with achieving a successful freelance career. However, it is quite possible. Moreover, there are a lot of opportunities for starting. Some decide to write paper working in writing help services, others prefer to master absolutely new business for themselves.
Freelance seems to be an ideal world with a free schedule, home comfort, a favorite pastime and a good income. In fact, the situation may differ. It can be a constant search for orders, an unregulated schedule, deadlines that overlap each other, the lack of personal space and the inability to concentrate.
You can avoid these problems if you start preparing to leave the office in advance. You need to learn how to organize and plan your work. The main mistake novices make is that they pay little attention to various aspects that determine whether a freelancer will succeed or be quickly disappointed in this kind of earnings. We have collected some tips for those who begin to work for themselves.
Creating a Recognizable Image
Freelancers find orders on various distant work platforms. As a rule, a freelancer, regardless of his specialty, is registered on several platforms. Therefore, before you start to write feedback on the proposals of customers, you must create your own “brand”. It’s necessary to register on freelance resources under your own name since this causes more confidence in customers. Of course, no one forbids work under a pseudonym, but it is needed to specify a real last name and first name. When filling out a profile, the user of the platform has the option of selecting an avatar. It is desirable that this is your photo because the image that is depicted on the avatar, can serve as a decisive factor when choosing you as a performer. Do not choose kittens, abstractions and ridiculous pictures as an avatar. You create your brand, be responsible. And most importantly – always specify the same name and use the same avatar. Create your own recognizable image!
Registration in Payment Systems
In the vast majority of cases, customers pay performers electronic money. To create wallets in different payment systems is not difficult. But you need to do this in advance in order not to be nervous if the customer wants to pay for your work and he needs an electronic wallet number, and you do not have it. The more different payment options you can offer the client, the greater your chances are. In the future it will greatly simplify the order of payments.
Staying in Touch
When the customer has decided on the choice of the freelancer, it is required to discuss the various details of the work. The platforms have the ability to send private messages, but many customers prefer to communicate via other communication channels. Try to make life easier for them.
Today everyone has an e-mail box, but for work, you will need a special “working” mail. It’s much more convenient. It is also desirable to acquire the same “working” messengers. As practice shows, some customers communicate with freelancers in social networks, create working accounts there.
Careful Storage of Passwords
As you can see, at the first stage you have to register a lot in various systems and services. Be very careful with this. All important data such as nicknames, passwords, numbers of electronic purses must necessarily be written into a notebook. Many people neglect this advice, which is then bitterly regretted. In some services, password recovery is quite a difficult task. It is best to anticipate this moment ahead of time – you will save yourself time and will not be nervous, not being able to quickly get to the site you need. And keep a notebook with passwords away from prying eyes – this is confidential information.
Improvement of Skills
Your income directly depends on your professional development. Intensives, master classes, online courses will help to expand skills, and in some cases to have useful connections. If you are doing sales on the Internet, get a Google AdWords certificate, you can do it yourself. If you are designing, look at the lessons on Lynda.com. Read the literature on the specialty and related topics; try to analyze what has been read. For this, it is convenient to have a blog. By the way, a thoughtful, regularly updated blog will also help attract additional customers.
Establishment of Connections
Go to the conference, read themed communities on social networks, get acquainted with the creators of potentially interesting projects for you. Learn how to negotiate. As practice shows, connections are converted into future orders and successful cooperation.
Learn New Tools
Skype, Dropbox, Google Drive, screening programs make life easier for freelancers. Take for the rule of calling up with the client in case of any contradictions. It is more convenient to discuss everything verbally, and not in long correspondence. Store documents in cloud storage that they are available to all project participants at any time and with the help of a screencasting, it is convenient to show the results of the work and to comment on the images.
Register as an Entrepreneur
This is a way to a new level and a natural development for any freelancer. It is not always convenient for some customers to work with individuals. These are additional taxes and legal risks. You will have to think about taxes, but there are special accounting systems for this. They track income, consider taxes and prompt when it is necessary to pay them, it can be done just a few clicks. Also, such systems allow you to easily bill customers and track their payment.
Draw up a Contract
Make a ready contract, simple and convenient for you. For example, enter in it the clause that correspondence by e-mail has the force of a simple electronic signature and is equivalent to paper documents with personal signatures of the parties. Edit other items in clear language. There are simple contract templates that are understandable to both parties, while legally it will fully comply with the norms.
Develop Useful Habits
- Try not to work in places intended for other purposes, such as in bed or in the kitchen. Organize for yourself a full-fledged workplace. Adjust the height of the desktop, put the light source on the left, buy an ergonomic chair with a comfortable backrest and armrests. Take care not to leave garbage in the workplace.
- Set the limits of your working day, for example, from 9 to 18 or from 12 to 21 as an ordinary eight-hour day in the office. Tell your colleagues and customers that your workday is limited to these hours. This will save you from situations when someone asks you to immediately fix the layout at midnight.
- Stick to the regime. Let’s say you set your personal start at 10:00 and it is very tempting to wake up at 9:50 and immediately sit down at the computer. Do not be tempted by this, otherwise, there will be a feeling that you spend all your life watching the monitor. Get up at least an hour, have breakfast, do exercises – the brain should have a sense of normal working schedule.
- Take breaks from work. Go to the store, go for a walk, walk the dog. Allow yourself to break away from business: no one will die if you answer the letter not immediately, but in an hour. This “reboot” will allow the brain to recover. In addition, while the brain works “in the background”, the solution of a complex problem can come by itself.
- Get out of the house. If you work during the day and rest in the same room in the evening, it’s easy to fall in melancholy. Try to work in a cafe, coworking center, park or library. If you like, start practicing work from a similar field office once or twice a week. This will dilute the routine.
- Do not skip lunch. Ideally, if you have a café with business lunches near your home. Or try to have at home products for a quick lunch or prepare food for a few days in advance.
- Dress up. It may seem that clothing does not affect productivity, but pajamas clearly do not contribute to the working mood. To put on a jacket and a tie is not necessary, just put yourself in order to draw a line between work and rest.
If you start working remotely, read the book “Remote. The office is not required.” Authors – entrepreneurs have created a successful company, all employees of which work remotely. In the book, they told how they managed to build the workflow as efficiently as possible. Some tips may seem trivial, but check them in practice. They really work.