For those on the brink of taking the leap into freelancing, it can be a daunting decision.  As long as you have marketable skills in your field – coupled with a dash of communication, you’ll have all you need to freelance. Here are 10 things any prospective freelancers should consider, which will hopefully make your journey a smoother ride than most.

Your Environment

Read positive books, listen to positive podcasts, and surround yourself with positive people.  This will create a supportive and encouraging environment that will help you move toward your goals.  Negativity is a Cancer!

Don’t Be Afraid To Do Something You’re Not Qualified To Do

I’m not sure where I heard this but it makes complete sense!  It reminded me of my first business, which was effectively a side hustle.  I was preparing tax returns with little experience.  I took every job I was offered even if I wasn’t sure how to do it.  Of course, I found the proper sources that helped me prepare these returns correctly, all the while learning valuable lessons.

If I hadn’t taken these jobs I wasn’t qualified for, the valuable experiences of client interaction, pricing jobs, and on the job training never would have happened.

Figure It Out As You Go

Many times in my early endeavors, I lost money (and a whole lot of efficiency) figuring it out as I went.  As I said before, I took every client I could knowing I’d go above and beyond for them (even if I didn’t know how to do it at first).  With the internet at our fingertips and no boss pressing you for time, it’s rare that you won’t be able to find what you need.  Be persistent, the answers are there!

Modeling

Find someone who’s done it before and model them. That’s the best way to learn how to do anything.  Again, there are many courses and coaches out there in most (if not all) niches.  It may be worth the investment.

Upfront Investment

Don’t be shocked if there is some upfront investment.  Though freelancing has very low costs, you may run into buying some equipment (computer, software, etc).  Start saving up, you’ll make it back in no time.

When I first thought about freelance writing, I took a trip to a conference where I knew opportunities would be present.  It was a minor financial risk costing about $1,000 that I made back within 30 days.  Have some confidence in your ability to bring in some business.

Sales & Marketing

Some thrive on getting new clients, others dread the process.  Social media will go a long way for sales & marketing for three specific reasons:

  1. Reach
  2. Credibility
  3. History

Building a following will help you improve your reach, as your contact list will grow past people you’ve either graduated with or just saw over the holidays.  It will also build credibility, as it’s a platform that will showcase your abilities.  It’s almost like a new age resumé.  As time begins to pass, you’ll be building an online profile of your work.

Speaking of platforms, make sure you’re using the one that fits your niche best.

How To Handle Your Cash

Let’s assume you’ve invoiced and collected money from your clients and now have stockpiled some cash. What do you do with it?  My first answer to that is to track it.  Make sure you’re right down when and who you’re getting paid by.  Be as specific as possible.

The next thing to consider is how you’ll use it.  You can reinvest in your freelancing career by using some paid marketing strategies or upgrading your equipment.  Another option is to use it as a savings plan for a specific goal (mortgage, debt, etc).

Whatever you do, make sure you’re disciplined.  It’s too easy to blow through a bundle of cash these days.

How To Efficiently Receive Payments

Fintech has absolutely blown up in recent years, making it easier for people like yourself to get things done efficiently.  When it comes to payments, Due.com is a great option.  It’s an effective way to get started at low cost, while keeping the transaction secure.

Many clients expect to use credit and debit cards.  For many, it’s useful if not just for transaction documentation purposes.

If you’re not set up for payments, you may be telling your clients to go elsewhere.

Taxes

Another reason to document exactly when and how much you’re making is for the tax man.  It will be much easier to hand your accountant a notebook rather than an unorganized shoebox.  Truth be told, an unorganized shoebox would be a step up for some people.

Interest and penalties can be easily avoided if you properly save for taxes throughout the year.  Don’t let your hard earned income slip through your fingers.

And remember, you can write off most direct expenses related to your freelancing income.

Freedom

Many begin a freelancing career or side hustle in search of freedom.  Don’t lose track of that, if you fall into that category.  Once you lose your passion for your service, your business will go downhill.

You can bet on that!

 

Eric Estevez is a freelance writer, blogger, finance coach, and tax accountant. He has been training in the grappling art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since 2010, currently holding the rank of Purple Belt. JiuJitsuFinance.com combines his passion and life's work where he teaches you how to do Financial Jiu-Jitsu! The blog focuses on financial literacy, as well as current financial issues for all ages.

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