10 Tips For Freelancers Starting Out

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Author: Tatiana Rivers- Tati Rivs Social Media Marketing

So You Have Decided To Start a Career As A Freelancer

It’s no wonder, freelancing is on the rise. Today, freelancers represent 35% of the United States workforce. In the European Union, the rate is 16.1%. Both figures demonstrate the same global trend: freelancing is growing worldwide. If you have decided to try freelancing, here are 10 things you should know.

Top 10 Tips For Freelancers Starting Out

1. Set Up Your Operating Systems

As a freelancer, you will be starting a business and having one central processing system will help keep things organized and professional. For example, using Gsuite by Google is an easy place to start and it’s free! Gsuite provides drive storage, a calendar, reminder systems, document processing apps (such as excel, sign hub and word) as well as email, the biggest bonus is that it is all cloud based so you can work from anywhere, easily share with team members and everything can sync up. There are other competitors like Microsoft Outlook which has similar features as well as other apps that can provide these types of organizational needs. Whichever you choose, the most important thing is thst you have one place to organize your freelance business.

2. Find Your Niche

Having a niche area will help you stand out. When creating any online portfolio or applying for freelance contracts, make sure your niche is highlighted. If you are really skilled at creating Facebook Pixel ads or you are great at a particular style of graphic design, shining a light on this will help you get connected with those looking for this type of work.

3. Establish Your Brand

Branding is important to stand out against your competition, it is what makes you unique and memorable. You don't need to spend a lot of time or a lot of money on making a brand. Using free apps like Canva will help you design images with branded fonts and you can even design a logo. For more tips check out our blog on building a freelance brand.

4. Set Up Your Portfolio

Even if you don't have any clietns yet, you can put together a portfolio that showcases your skills. You can also use your social media to act as a part of your portfolio. See our tips on making your first portfolio.

5. Continuously Improve Your Knowledge

Freelancing is a competative and fast-paced industry, there are new technologies and opportunities coming up all the time. To stand out from the crowd, you need to stay on top of all the changing trends and services that your clients may be looking for. Having a system of continuous education will help you with your freelancing career. Listening to podcasts regularly, watching YouTube tutorial videos and browsing Pinterest blogs are all easy ways to beef up your skills when you're just starting out freelancing. Here are some of our favourite freelancing podcasts.

6. Set Up A Good Accounting System

Many freelancers start by dabbling in side projects while they are still fully employed. The urgency to setup an accounting system at that time isn’t usually that obvious, however, if you do this from the beginning you will make some of the growing pains that will eventually come along a lot less painful. Trust us on this, even if you are just doing some casual projects on the side for some friends, take the time to have a proper invoice system, record your payments, charge late fees and of course, don't forget about taxes. It is easier to set this up and learn how to manage it when you are small. See our blog post about accounting and tax tips for freelancers.

7. Set Up Your Social Media

Setting up your professional social media handles will help you get exposure. Now that you have your brand chosen and a portfolio, you have something to work with. Use your social media to showcase your skills, market your services and connect with your target audience.

8. Sign Up On Freelancing Sites

There are lots of freelancing sites out there today. Freelancing sites like Sage Groupy, Up Work and Guru are great places to start when you're beginning your freelancing career. All have easy-to-use dashboards where you can set up your portfolio, apply for projects or wait to get connected.

9. Get Some Business Cards Ready

As a freelancer, you are also a small business owner. You never know when you're going to meet a potential client and having a business card handy may get you closer to sealing the deal. Business card today are easy to make online and can be delivered within a few days. You don't need anything complicated, something simple with some contact information is sufficient. Checking out sites like Vistaprint, they will walk you through making your first set of cards and couldn't be any easier (and more affordable) to use.

10. Try Networking In Your Local Area

Although, freelancing is mostly done virtually, having a network that can lead you to potential clients is beneficial. Sometimes, it can be easier to find clients this way. Having a face-to-face conversation often helps you seal a deal rather than communicating through a third-party system like Upwork or even through email. Attending business networking events is a great way to put your business out there so fill up your calendar!

There you have it! We hope you like these tips. For more tips like this, check out the following posts:

5 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Starting Out As Freelancer

Do You Have What it Takes To Be A Freelancer?

7 Places Where You Can Find Freelance Jobs

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Posted in Freelancing For Beginners, Freelancing Tips on Jan 03, 2018

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