What You Need to Know in Your First 3 Months of Freelancing: a Checklist

There is a LOT to know early in your freelancing career. It’s because, first of all, you are running a company where you are the worker and the manager. Also, you have many different types of clients. These clients expect you to do different things in different ways. Your first 3 months as a freelancer is a steep learning curve.

How to Invoice

The term ‘invoicing’ is so common in the world of business – you may be embarrassed to admit you don’t know how it works. That’s okay. No one is judging you.

Invoicing isn’t as complicated as it sounds. It’s basically where you write down what you’ve done for a client and then instruct them how and when to pay you. This is how simple an invoice can be:

Service provided: Blog posts

Rate: $1,000,000

Quantity: 10

Due: Due on Receipt (which means as soon as possible – most freelancers use this for invoicing)

Payment information is discussed before invoicing so you typically don’t have to worry about that. See, invoicing is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Just relax and enjoy this final step before getting paid.

Deciding Which Payment Type You Prefer

I prefer electronic bank transfers. Why? Because they are free and fast. What more can a freelancer ask for? But if your client is international, you’re best option is likely PayPal. Besides being an international favorite for money transferring, PayPal is really easy to use. Its interface is very friendly. Some freelancers even prefer receiving paper checks. No matter which method you choose – Due’s invoicing platform allows for it.

How to Sign PDF Documents

Honestly, when I first had to sign a PDF document it probably took me an hour to figure it out. I’d search tutorials but they would be out of date. I’d watch YouTube videos how to do it but the videos edited out the parts I was struggling with. It makes me anxious just writing about it. But the good news is signing documents has come a long way – even in the past year. With the latest version of Adobe, signing is super simple. The best ways of doing it is either by signing it using the built-in pen feature or by uploading an image of your signature. Never type your name – always use a signature of some kind. And never ask the client how to sign the PDF. That’s not their job.

How to Brag About Your Experience

3 months in, you may very well have some solid experience under your belt. When this happens – it’s time to brag (and get paid more)! How will you brag about things like where you’ve been featured, which clients you write for, etc.?

Some people use websites like contently.com where they can link to published pieces. Others start killer websites dedicated to their freelance writing. Some people distinguish themselves with a fantastic LinkedIn profile. Or maybe you’re a superstar who wants tons of clients and you choose all of these options. Really there’s no bad way to brag about yourself.

It Gets Easier

The first freelance client I got was, I hate to say it, a nightmare. It was an unprofessional, bizarre experience. But I’m glad it didn’t let me down. Nearly all of my clients since have been such a pleasure to work beside. So if your first 3 months are hard, fear not. They will get easier. Have fun!