According to The Office for National Statistics, there were 4.8 million people who were self-employed in 2017. That number has increased since then, given that I know of a few people, like me, who have taken the leap of faith and started their own business.
If you are beginning your self-employed journey it can be very difficult – trust me, I know. Since I decided I wanted to become a freelance copywriter, the transition hasn’t been entirely smooth. But here are my 3 tips that I can give to you, from the heart of one freelancer to another.
Build it and they
will won’t come
Build it and they will come, is a load of tosh. You need to put yourself out there.
I’ve been stumbling around the freelance scene for a few months now and have decided if I want to make this official and see if I have a shot at being successful then I need to up my game.
This means I need to:
- have a website (voila – yes, it is still a work in progress, but it is getting there)
- allocate time for the business side of things (marketing, researching, setting up the business)
- avoid content mills at all costs.
Having the product or services isn’t enough. You need to find clients, you need to market yourself, you need to interact with other freelancers, you need to keep learning your trade, etc.
Freelancing is a lot of work, are you prepared to put in that work?
Savings are essential
Any freelancer, whether they are beginning or highly experienced, can struggle in finding work and winning clients.
When this happens you either dig into your savings or financially rely on your support system. Neither scenario is great, which is why having a rainy-day fund or a specific saving stash for this event is essential. Especially at the beginning of your freelancing career, but also throughout it.
Freelancing can be very profitable one month and another might be very dry. So, when you have a good month make sure you put some money aside (and not only for taxes).
It can be very tempting to treat yourself when a big pay cheque comes in, but don’t blow all your hard-earnt cash; always save some of it.
Give yourself time
Give yourself time. Free time is an essential part of the work-life balance.
It can be very tempting to work on your business all the time. But you need to recharge. You will be able to produce a higher quality of work if you are fresh and replenished.
Freelancing has brought a whole new level of stress into my life. When I first started, I struggled to turn off at night because I was constantly worrying about failing.
Don’t do what I did – allow yourself to sleep, and don’t feel guilty about going on holiday or taking off a day or two. (I say this, as I write this on Sunday evening; I never said that I have mastered these tips myself.)
Freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted
I might have started freelancing prematurely and for some of the wrong reasons, but it must be said that I am enjoying the freedom freelancing gives me.
The best advice I can give you is that freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted; it is for those who are dedicated and passionate about their trade and for those who really want to succeed.
It’s safe to say that I have learnt a lot. But it is also safe to say I still have a lot more to learn about being a sole trader, running my own business, and producing fabulous content for clients.
If you want to help out a fellow freelancer and need some content for your business, or you want to ask any questions, have a chitchat, or anything else, get in touch with me.