Like many freelancers, you probably said goodbye to an employer’s steady paycheque to work independently in a field you love. Consistency is the key to financial success as a freelancer, which is something many freelancers struggle with. To develop a freelance business that earns you the income and lifestyle you want, it’s important to develop a daily work routine and try to adopt some of these habits.
Think Like a Business Owner
A lot of freelancers think no further than their current projects, which means that theyre out of luck financially when the work runs out. Thinking like a business owner means developing strategies for success. For example, you can create an effective strategy for success by lining up multiple projects weeks and months in advance remember, you’re the boss, so you won’t have to do all the work by yourself. As you grow your business, it’s important to remember that you’re the one in control, not your client. So, another success strategy might be having your clients sign contracts detailing project expectations, payment amounts, and due dates. You also might consider keeping track of your profits and losses with the help of simple cloud-based accounting software.
Generating Leads Regularly
It takes more than setting up a website and sharing a few tweets to grow a freelance business. To get your name out there and land more clients for your freelance business, it’s a good idea to get into the habit of developing leads. Developing an email marketing strategy that you use on a consistent basis is a great way to develop leads. You also might consider good old-fashioned cold calling or direct mail marketing to find clients.
Hire Help When You Need It
You cant enjoy being a freelancer if you have to work 10 hours a day or more just to keep your head above water. You became a freelancer to get more flexibility, not less. To have more free time, consider getting into the habit of hiring help when you need it. You can certainly work on parts projects that need your expert touch, but its a good idea to get comfortable with the idea of delegating time-consuming or tedious tasks to others. For example, if youre a freelance social media account manager, you might hire someone on Upwork or Fiverr to research content for you to post, while you spend time crafting attention-grabbing messages to share.
Craft an Amazing Elevator Pitch
You never know when youre going to be in an elevator, or anywhere else, with a potential client, so it’s important to have a rock-solid pitch that gets you business. Everybodys business pitch sounds slightly different, but the basic formula includes:
- Precise details about who you are
- What you do
- How long youve been in business
- Why the potential client should seriously consider doing business with you
Elevator pitches are short, so once you come up with yours, take some time to memorize it. Its also a good idea to practice the body language you’ll use when pitching to a potential client. If you appear to be more confident when you approach potential clients, you’ll have a greater chance of snagging their business.
Have a Mission Statement
A mission statement just a statement that says why youre in business. As an employee, you probably never thought about why your employer was in business, but as a freelancer, its important for you to express why you do what you do. If youre a freelance wedding photographer, for example, your deep love of photography, your have a track record of taking amazing wedding photos, and your desire to enrich couples’ wedding experiences with awesome photos is a powerful-enough mission statement to inspire people to give you business. Having a mission statement also gives you something to refer back to whenever you feel your self-confidence wavering.
Save Your Big Cheques for Rainy Days
Freelancing is one of the toughest ways to make a living. When you have a lot of clients lined up, you can make a lot of money but you could land in big financial trouble if business dries up. You can lessen the impact of slow periods by paying yourself a modest regular paycheque. Developing a habit of saving your big cheques means that you’ll have money in the bank, and you won’t have to go out of business if unforeseen market forces slow or dramatically affect your ability to get clients.
Join Networking Groups
Life as a freelancer can get lonely, and your inspiration could wane if you stay isolated at home. Joining one or several networking groups of other freelancers connects you with people you can relate to. In the digital age, many people join networking groups online and take the experience offline at in-person gatherings setup through tools such as MeetUp. Freelancing can be an exhilarating way to make a living. It’s important to develop strong business habits so you can thrive in your career as an independent professional.