Do you have what it takes to become a Freelancer? - Boffix

Do you have what it takes to become a Freelancer?

December 4, 2018  /  Lizzie Sullivan
A picture of a female freelancer working on her laptop sitting by a window at home

Time for a change

Would you consider becoming a Freelancer? If so, this type of work offers amazing opportunities. You’d be free to work from home or from a remote location, you’ll no longer need to struggle along the commute and you can take charge of the work you do.

Kick starting your career as a Freelancer could put you back in control of your day to day, your time, your money and your future. In this guide we have laid out the characteristics you’ll need, things you should avoid and ways for you to learn and grow.

Whether you plan to work full time or part time, want to create a big name for yourself or just earn some extra money, this guide will help you decide if this is the right career for you.

Freelancer Characteristics

To stand a chance of getting clients and having a fulfilling career as a Freelancer you will need the following attributes:

1. Be fearless

Going it alone, regardless of your background can be a challenge. Working for yourself and on your own at times means you might feel the pressure. You need to avoid listening to the negative voice in your head and instead replace it with words of positivity.

2. Know your niche

We are all gifted with specific skills that relate to our personal abilities. You need to find your niche and apply your strengths to work towards becoming the best you can with what you’ve got. Make things easier for yourself by choosing an area or a subject where you already have experience.

3. Be knowledgeable

You really do need to know what you are talking about. To get hired by others, you’ll need to demonstrate you have what it takes. Learn to showcase the skills that you have and boost your weak spots by attending courses and seminars.

4. Be yourself

Freelancing is a crowded market so bring to the table the one thing that makes you unique, you. Don’t be afraid to stand out by demonstrating you have a personality. This is your greatest asset so learn to use it to find clients and build foundations.

5. Be time bound

Working for yourself can mean that you may feel forced to work long hours. Remember there are only 24 hours in a day and you’ll need sleep and social time. Tell yourself you work to live, not that you live to work.

Freelancer bad habits

Working for yourself can be a real luxury but with this also comes bad habits. Avoid getting yourself into a rut with your work by applying the following rules:

1. Don’t over commit yourself

You may just work solo so you need to take this into account when scheduling your work. To avoid doing a rushed or sloppy job due to time constraints only take on the work you know you can do. Be structured in your day and ensure you diarise what needs doing.

2. Don’t work for free

Some companies recommend doing work for free to showcase your work. This is not a good idea. It decreases your personal self worth and value. Instead don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth. In reality no one wants to work for free so why should you.

3. Don’t get lonely

There is no need for you to get lonely. Build good working relationships with other people. Attend conferences, conventions, speed networking groups, small business groups and head to co working places. Do everything you can to avoid hiding behind your desk at home.

4. Don’t do it by yourself

With companies offering services specifically targeted at small business owners you don’t need to do everything. Outsource the elements you can’t do such as accountancy, IT and call handling and instead focus on the areas you can do.

5. Don’t let fear stop you

As already mentioned you’ll need a fearless attitude. To help you through difficult times find a mentor or someone you can confide in when you are feeling the pressure. Working on your own can be difficult especially if you were used to working with others in a team. A mentor can listen and offer advice when you are experiencing problems.

6. Don’t work for family or friends

You may be tempted to take the easy option and agree to do work for family and friends. This should be done with caution. To grow your business you need real clients that pay. Good relationships with those closest to you can easily get destroyed when working together.

Learn and grow

When you first start out you may go through many ups and downs. To ensure you get the most out of these times, embrace and learn from them by focussing on the following areas:

Network like a pro – this is one of the things Freelancers often find difficult but it’s vital. A Freelancer needs to be confident in putting themselves out there. By stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing networking will soon make it become second nature.

Use social – social media offers a wealth of knowledge and business tips for Freelancers. Join a Facebook group and learn to engage with others whilst using it to portfolio your business. Share other people’s articles so that they too will reciprocate and share yours. Form alliances with other Freelancers and share some of the workload or trade skill sets.

Love what you do – if you don’t enjoy what your doing then you will be more likely to fail. Loving your work helps push you forward so find an area you are passionate about and you are bound to do well. Working for yourself can bring about rewards, so the more rewards you can create the further you will push your business.

Take care of your wellbeing – there’s a lot of talk about Mental Health in the news. It’s great to see and hear that businesses are taking this seriously. But what can the Freelancer do? Build up a virtual team of family, friends and work associates. Make sure you keep talking about how you feel. If you start to notice health problems seek advice from your doctor.

Learn to practice mindfulness – set aside time in your day to spend alone in a quiet space. Download an app that offers guided meditation, focus on breathing and learn to centre yourself. This not only makes you feel better on a daily basis but can provide you with valuable tools on how to deal with stressful situations.

Start small but think big

Stepping out on your own can bring huge benefits for your lifestyle and your life in general. But you need to remember why you started freelancing to begin with and let yourself enjoy the amazing opportunity. Work smart by outsourcing work involved in the running and management of your business.

At Boffix we have a host of tools and services that can support you. We offer tailored packages or stand alone services at a reasonable price. This can help transform your business and provide you with all the back office support you will need to project the presence of an established business.

For more tips and helpful advice visit our website and follow us on social media.

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