You have a freelancing hobby that looks like it could become a full-time career option then you need to make some major changes in your work environment. Some changes will be easy and comfortable while others can be difficult and time-consuming.
For example, if you are planning to start your own company, you have to pay taxes at both the state and federal level. Something that your company took care of before. We have provided you with a map here showing everything that happens when you leap.
Let's start with some of the basic pre-requisites to launch your freelancing career.
- Make sure that there are a fair and profitable market and a client base out there that you can cater to.
- Make sure that you love your hobby enough to make it a full-time job that gives you income.
- Ask yourself this question before you start, am I willing to put in the work and energy that it requires this business to become a successful source of income? You have to remember that the goal of every freelancer is to become successful and earn good money.
The number of freelancers is increasing day by day because more people seek flexible working hours
Have a Business Plan
Before you start with the actual work, there is a need for a basic plan. A plan that tells you what the fundamentals of your career are going to be. You need to chalk out certain points that form the basis of your work.
- The number of hours that you are willing to put in every week.
- An account of what your expenses are going to be.
- Your goal and your purpose behind your career. Basically what you hope to get from all of it.
- Your long and short term goals.
- How are you different from your competitors in the field and why should your customers choose you over them? You need to provide not only your area of expertise but the specifics of your skills. The longer and more elaborate the list, the better are your chances to get selected/hired by prospective clients.
Now that your hobby is going to become your job, you need to make sure that it brings in enough money. You have to do a thorough calculation for this purpose. Calculate your annual salary and calculate what you need to earn in a month.
You have to take into account various aspects like unforeseen expenses, clients leaving and months where you need to beef up your productivity.
Take a good look at your budget and your level of industry expertise and decide on the number of hours you're going to work in a week.
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Growing Your Business
Now, this sector is big, as in you have to rattle your brain over this because this is what keeps your business alive and going. When all of this was just a good old hobby of yours, you took whoever came to you as your client. But now you have to be wise and selective when it comes to choosing your clients. You need a source of income, preferably one that is long-term and also stable. Look for clients who have spent at least $10,000 online and are looking for long-term relationships.
Marketing Your Services
You need to increase the number of clients. That is of primary importance. This is the most basic strategy of success in your business. Also as your number of clients increase you will start to look "official" to your existing clients.
It's the age of the Internet and to be a successful freelancer you need to have an impressive portfolio/webpage. There are multiple ways to do this and it's really easy.
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There are many websites where you can build your portfolio. If you are a content writer then here are the websites for you Clippings.me, Press folios.
If you are a graphic designer then you can create your portfolio on Wix, Kro.
These websites have attractive templates where you can drop in your information. Or if you want a webpage of your own then you can go to Weebly or WordPress to create your website. You don't need any type of programming skills to develop your website on WordPress.
Be it a portfolio or a webpage, it's a good idea to include case studies showing the problems that your client presented to you and the way or the skills that you used to solve them and a visual (if possible) showing your final work. Your portfolio/webpage must include who you are, what skills you've got and why you are better than others in your field.
LinkedIn is a necessary tool that can further your career. Your account should be polished and complete with authentic information about your working history and skill set. If you have a web-page or a portfolio then make sure your LinkedIn page has their link. Include a professional-looking headshot and if possible, testimonials from past clients.
Try and reach out to potential companies and recruiters. There's an even more effective way to make sure that companies notice you. There are LinkedIn groups that are great for networking and getting new clients. Show active participation in group discussions and put your skills to good use and someone or the other will notice you. Some of these groups allow automatic joining whereas in others you have to request access.
Another thing that you have to learn is that Personalized cover letters give you a better fighting chance. This shows your interest in the company and your willingness to work with them. Begin by researching the company and learning about its needs as much as you can. If possible address the cover letter to the hiring manager's first name. Your message should be brief with proper official format and language. But try to give a little touch of personalization and discuss how you could add value to the firm. Make sure to include email address, phone number, Skype ID and available hours to set up an interview.
Benefits Of Turning Your Hobby Into A Full-time Career
There are so many advantages to choosing a freelance job as a full-time career. You can travel anywhere in the world. This is the best way to work while you are travelling because in a full-time job under any company you will not be able to do this. But if you choose to be a freelancer for full-time then you have the opportunity to work from anywhere, travel to beautiful places and eat delicious foods.
Many people are now becoming Digital Nomads to enjoy their life and to be free from the regular 9 to 5 schedule. So, take advantage of this time and just ride on the wave of success.
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As we can see, it's a long journey and it also has to be a well-planned one. You have to keep your patience and keep working, trying to bring in more and more clients to make yourself eligible to work with some big-shot companies out there. There's fierce competition out there but as the wise old owl said there's nothing that a good business plan and determination cannot achieve.