Been dreaming of saying goodbye to 9-5 and hello to the freelance lifestyle? If quitting your job is at the top of your to-do list, then it might be time to put some things in place before you take the leap. Here are 5 ducks to get in a row before you go freelance:
Write a list of every contact you have
The best thing to do as a new freelancer is to approach people that already know you, and have seen your work ethic in some way before. Create a list of every contact you have that might be useful to your business, whether it’s someone that you want to ask about their freelance work, someone you think might need your services, or someone you think may be interested later down the line. If you suspect you don’t know anyone, you’re wrong. Think outside the box; past employers, colleagues, classmates from uni, people you met on a night out that mentioned they had an interesting business…anyone!
Create an awesome portfolio
As a freelancer, you’ll likely want to show off the work you’ve done in the form of a great website. Start collecting together any impressive pieces of work that you’ve completed in the past, any testimonials you have from previous clients or reputable people who know you, and any screenshots or images of projects that you have worked on. Research the best ways to create a website, and start building! Top tip: don’t let “I haven’t finished my portfolio yet” become your go-to excuse for not contacting clients. You can create a simple portfolio in less than 60 minutes using these free platforms.
Set up spreadsheets
If you’re becoming self-employed, you’re going to have to keep up with things like freelancers taxes, expenses, invoices, and all the financial fun things that come with running your own business. To be extra prepared, and avoid nasty surprises down the line, spend some time researching what you need to know, and set up spreadsheets to help you keep track of everything you need to. It can be a bit of a headache, but it will be worth it when it comes time to sort out your taxes.
Set up a home office
If you’re going to be working from home a lot, then you’ll want to have a home office, or at least a nice work space that makes you feel motivated and productive. Get yourself a desk, and take a field trip to a stationery store to find any bits and bobs that you might need. Then spend some time setting up a space to work in. You can find tips on creating your dream work space here.
Side hustle up some clients
Before you hand in your notice, spend at least a few months testing the water with clients and trying to get a few contracts in place. The more work you have before you become self-employed, the easier it will be for you to hit the ground running once you have worked your notice period and you’re ready to go full-time freelance. Start putting out feelers for clients and sending out your portfolio of work. Let people know that you will be available for freelance work, and soon word will get around.
Photo by Dai KE via Unsplash Dai KE