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Start-Ups

4 Secrets to Building a Successful Freelance Business

By Garrett Spence   |    February 28, 2017   |    3:08 PM

 

In today's world of hyper communications, the internet in particular, has made it easier than ever to work as a freelancer. Being freed from the strictures of a 9 to 5 office job can be emancipating but also it can be daunting, especially when starting your own freelance business. You might not be sure where and how to begin. 

This article will guide you with our strategies to build a successful freelance career.

1. Network

Having a rich and robust network is a crucial key to being a successful freelancer. You can start with your pre-existing network to kick start your business by proposing your services to family and friends, and asking them to recommend you to their friends. However, that network may not be sustainable, so therefore you need to expand your network by attending events, linking up with people on social media and making new acquaintances. The more people you know, the more likely your services will be recommended.

2. Fix your fee

Having a variable fee or no clear idea of how much to charge for your services is going to prevent you from being consistent. You need to identify the exact services you offer and assign each one with a fixed fee. You should not base your fees on what you need to earn to break even. Find out what the rates are and how your service offering compares to the competitions’. You will need to ascertain what you can charge within the range, according to your skills and your client's budgets. If you are just starting out, you may need to charge less until you have the experience requisite to charge more.

3. Stick to your agenda

You just can't say yes to everything. Freelancers sometimes try to bite off more than they can chew. They may try to take on too much work and then get overbooked as well as delayed on deadlines. You need to create a schedule, allot the necessary hours for each project and not try to do more than you have time for. Furthermore, as a freelancer you may now have administrative tasks that become necessary, such as scheduling appointments with clients, answering calls, writing client emails, managing social media and other chores. However, these tasks may be an unnecessary waste of your time therefore it may be worth hiring a virtual assistant to handle the administrative work that prevents you from working on your projects.

4. Have professional paperwork ready

When you start to get requests and projects from clients, you need to be able to respond rapidly and professionally. You should have everything ready including your business cards, your logo, and a basic letterhead. You should also have model documents ready to customize such as quote, contract and invoice documents. Make sure that a lawyer has reviewed these to ensure that they correspond to legal standards for your industry. You may also build templates online, but remember to personalize these with your logo so that you build your brand.