There’s no handbook on how to freelance, yet so many people turn to this style of working as their full-time career because they want to be their own boss and work only for themselves. If you’re someone who’s found themselves fed up with working a 9-5 in a big corporate company, you probably also figured out a lot of things about freelancing the hard way. It can definitely be a learn-as-you-go job! Here are a few things most freelancers wish they knew beforehand.
1. How to create detailed invoices
Knowing how to generate invoice is not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of being a freelancer, so it’s no surprise you probably did not consider this as an essential skill to learn before you started up. An invoice is what you send your client to request payment. A detailed invoice is a key to receiving on-time payments as well as keeping everything as organized as possible. Details included on a good invoice are the business name and address, client name and address, a unique invoice number, an invoice date, payment details, and due dates. As long as all of this information is included and the format is clear and organized, there will be no confusion with your clients and you can expect your payment to go smoothly.
2. Have patience — lots of it
You may have gone into freelancing expecting to take off immediately and continuously gain clients. Unfortunately, that’s not the reality for most, and it’s better to go into it knowing there will be inevitable highs and lows as a part of the job. Building up a portfolio and client base takes a while and you need to be patient. If you work hard and put in a lot of hours it will pay off, but freelancing is not easy, especially at the beginning. You will also be dealing with all different types of people who may give you a hard time and may not want to pay you enough or may pay you late. Patience is key in these instances as well. As the workforce changes with the times, you have to be adaptable and patient with the changes.
3. Know your worth and why you’re different from the rest
In every aspect of life, you need to set yourself apart from the competition in order to thrive. That’s especially true in freelancing — you need to show why people should purchase your goods and services over the many other freelancers out there who might be doing the same thing. You also need to know how much your work is worth because you don’t want to be undercharging for something you put a lot of time and effort in. If you’re confident in your worth, then people will be confident in your products and services.
4. You have to consistently put yourself out there
Freelancing involves constantly getting your name out there and making people aware of you. This means taking advantage of as many social media platforms as possible, self-advertising, and building as many relationships as possible. A freelancer cannot live in the shadows since so much of your business is built on word-of-mouth and recognition. No one will know who you are and what you do if you do not make the effort to make it known. Your work can speak for itself only to a certain extent — the rest is up to you to get your name out there as often as possible.
There are tons of considerations to make when making the jump into freelancing, and it’s almost impossible to think of everything you will have to do as a freelancer. These few tips will help you feel more prepared though and give you an idea of what to expect as you enter the world of freelancing.