In recent years, the way that we work has changed in a number of ways. Record numbers of people are working from home, with offices closing all around the world. Startups are still going strong, with a pandemic not putting people off starting a business at all. Not only that, but there are more people facing unemployment than before, which can be a time to start thinking about starting your own business or working as a freelancer. It might be out of necessity, or simply because it is something that you have wanted to always do, and there is no time like the present.
Being self-employed isn’t something that everyone will get along with. It is definitely part of a lifestyle choice, as to how you work will be completely up to you. So if you are thinking about working as a freelancer, then you do need to be honest with yourself about the situation and the lifestyle of being a freelancer. There are a number of pros and cons to being a freelancer, so here are some of the things that you should consider if you are thinking about going down this path.
There are a number of things to consider when deciding to be a freelancer. You need to be honest with yourself and ask yourself if you have the skills to be able to make it as a freelancer. If you have been working as something like an accountant before, then you could easily work as a freelance accountant. If you don’t have anything that would work, then it could be worth retraining.
As well as having the right skills, then you need to think about having the right personality to be a freelancer. You need to be able to pitch yourself for work and to be able to be confident enough to pitch for work and really sell yourself as the best choice. There is definitely a lot of resilience that is needed with freelance work as you won’t always get the work or contracts that you would like. So ask yourself some questions and be really honest about if this is the path that will work for you.
Think about costs
One of the reasons why you might want to work as a freelancer is that you may not enjoy working for someone else or you no longer enjoy that typical office environment. However, there are a number of financial implications that come from being a freelancer. One of the first things is that you will not have a regular income. You don’t know what work you will get each month, so from that point of view, it can be quite tough if you have particular costs to deal with. Looking at loans from somewhere like www.plenti.com.au could be helpful when you haven’t got invoices that have been paid yet, but you need to pay for something upfront. All of these kinds of things need to be considered when it comes to costs.
There are additional costs that are involved like pension payments and dealing with your own tax. In fact, according to www.ons.gov.uk people who are self-employed are twice as likely to not have a pension. When you are employed, this kind of thing can be taken care of already by your employer. The same goes for holiday and sick pay. These costs need to be covered by yourself because if you don’t work, you won’t get paid. So learning to be good with finances is important for freelancers, as there are more things that you need to pay for yourself.
Working out how much you will charge
When you are working out how much to charge as a freelancer, you can go with set rates for things, or work on a cost-per-job basis. Some jobs may require more than others, so it can be a good idea to be open to discussion around budgets and costs. One of the best things that you can do is to think about a base amount of money that you need to have to survive each month. That can give you a good starting point, such as needing to have at least ten clients a month all paying a certain amount each, as a minimum.
Starting out, though, it is a good idea to do some research for how much you should charge. You could ask people that you know that work as freelancers, as well as look on websites like Glassdoor. Have a rough budget in mind but then work with the client to meet somewhere that is acceptable for both of you.
Get yourself online
If you have decided that freelance life is for you, and you have the confidence to make it work, then you need to make sure that people know how to find you! Being online, with a website and social media channels for your freelance work is something that is so important. Just word of mouth is something that will only help to get you so far. Working freelance, especially if what you do is solely online, means that you could potentially work with clients from all around the world. Being online helps this to happen and helps you to be seen.
- Improve your social media presence. This shows to brands that you are professional and have a portfolio, rather than just being a place for selfies. Look up how small businesses can benefit from social media use and it can make a big difference.
- As well as social channels, sites like LinkedIn are a good place to have a presence too. Update it regularly and make sure that you post relevant information in comments, and connect with people on there who you could potentially work with.
- Have a website with all of your details and services, but also have a blog as part of the website. When you have a blog it helps you to post relevant information and shows that you are an expert in your particular industry.
Deciding to start out as a freelancer is something that can feel pretty daunting. However, the good news is that there are a number of great sites out there that can help you. You shouldn’t be afraid to reach out, pitch for work, and make connections. Be bold, be confident, and more importantly, do a good job! If your work for clients is good, then it will speak for itself and likely lead to a range of other work.