Going freelance is a terrifying, exciting and thrilling chance to take control of your career and be your own boss. You can choose your own working hours, decide which clients you take and pursue any leads you find interesting and profitable.
However, this is a big decision and preparation is key. Whether you have left your previous employment by choice or you have been made redundant, planning is key to your success.
Here’s what you need to think about.
Organizing Your Office Space
When you first start working for yourself, it will quickly become clear just how many things your old office supplied. You will need to buy everything from printing and photocopying equipment to 9 x 12 envelopes to send letters to clients, boxes of pens and pencils to stacks of paper. However, you don’t necessarily need to buy all of this at once. Prioritize the things you need now and make use of print shops if you can’t afford a printer just yet.
Lots of freelancers will create a dedicated office space for their work, but again, this is optional and if you prefer to sit in your pjs on the sofa, that’s your prerogative as your own boss! However, do consider coworking spaces as a way to meet new people and to help refine your business ideas.
Working Your Contacts
You might be freelance now, but that doesn’t mean you have to work alone. Work your contacts and follow up on any new people you meet to see if you can build a working relationship. Business is all about who you know and the bigger your network, the more likely it is that you will find profitable work.
Networking is also about meeting friends of friends so don’t be afraid to ask people to introduce you. This is a great way to meet people because your friend will act as an instant recommendation as well as be able to steer the conversation in the right direction for you.
Creating an Online Presence
Meeting face to face isn’t the only way to build your network, though. Having an online presence is vital if you want to attract new clients. Creating a website is a good first step and even if you aren’t familiar with the process, there are online tutorials to help get you started and a wide range of templates too.
You should also set up social media accounts for your business. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are considered the big three in social media but if you have a creative business Instagram could be a good option too. Make sure that all your posts will be visible and do consider using social ads to get people to build up an initial following. Obviously, you should encourage all your friends to support you too!
Going freelance is an amazing opportunity and if you are ready to take the leap, you will certainly reap the rewards. Take your time setting yourself up, and know that even though business may be slow to start with, being a freelancer is a journey and you will find your feet in your own time.