How to Be a Successful Freelancer
Freelancing is a great way to earn extra income on the side, create a passive income stream, or even a way to launch a small business.
If you’re serious about successful freelancing and consider it more than a hobby or side gig, TechPawa shares some forward-thinking steps you’ll want to consider.
Evaluate Your Skill Sets
Make an honest assessment of what you can do in a freelance capacity. Is it writing? Graphic design? Building websites? Consulting? Tax prep or accounting? You could look for ways to utilize professional skills, your education, or even monetize a hobby.
The key is in finding something you’re skilled at, that you love to do, and that there’s a market for. You also need to be a self-starter.
Successful freelancers are savvy hustlers, so make sure you’re prepared to give it your all.
Look for Opportunities
Skilled freelancers can find work in a number of places.
You can tap former colleagues and supervisors for leads and recommendations; join industry associations and network; use online job boards to both post your resume and apply for gigs and freelance roles; and market yourself via a website and social media platforms.
If you work in a specific industry, you can also go to the leading companies in that space and ask about the potential for consulting roles. Once you start getting clients, ask for referrals.
Create a Passive Income Stream
Some freelancers look for ways to create a passive income stream – in other words, make a single investment or do something once but earn money from it repeatedly.
For example, you might buy an investment property and rent it out; publish an ebook; create a blog or online video channel and solicit subscribers and advertisers; or sign on to an affiliate marketing program.
This approach allows you to multiply your earnings and have cash rolling in so you can focus on building your freelance portfolio.
Use Accounting Software to Manage Your Records
As a freelancer or small business owner, you have a lot of flexibility and freedom. Unfortunately, you don’t have paid vacation, paid sick leave, or an employer-paid retirement plan.
You’re also responsible for paying your own taxes, so good record keeping is important. You’ll want to ensure you’re getting all of the self-employment tax deductions you’re entitled to.
Keep track of everything from home office use to mileage, office supplies and equipment, and business dinners.
Using accounting software can be beneficial when managing taxes as a freelancer.
Software will let you store receipts electronically so you can stay compliant with the IRS.
You’ll also be able to create and send professional invoices, and you’ll gain insight into which types of jobs are most profitable.
Build a Business
A good freelancer can build a full-time business out of freelance work. You might rent out a storefront, find a coworking space, or establish a home office.
Go completely legit and get your business license, write a business plan, and establish yourself as a limited liability company or sole proprietorship.
Turning your freelance gig into a business can be immensely rewarding.
Make sure you’re operating legitimately, providing exceptional customer service, and continually looking for ways to grow and expand.
To stay on track, revisit your business plan and your marketing strategy on a regular basis to ensure you’re hitting milestones and meeting your goals and objectives.
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