One of the best perks about being a freelancer is you can have a flexible schedule and you get to take control of everything by yourself in your own little organization. However, you are also by yourself when it comes to buying your own equipment, deciding which ones are best to purchase, and how much you’re supposed to spend.
Aside from that, you’re also in charge of your own time management since there’s no manager or a boss to dictate your way of work and your hours. The freedom and independence of freelancers come with less certainty, assurance, and, well, life insurance. You handle everything on your own. It has its ups and downs, and it’s definitely not for everybody.
As a startup freelancer, in whatever field of expertise you’re in, there are some reminders you always need to keep in mind.
Setting a SMART goal
Setting a goal is a basic and a priority when building up any type of business. As a freelancer, you have to have a S.M.A.R.T. goal—specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.
Of course, you have to set one according to what works for you. There is no one way of setting a goal, and there are several types of goal setting for different types of people as well. There is a three-month goal, six-, or one-year goal, and so on. The most important thing is that you have something to reach for and work smart to get to that goal.
Creating a work plan and sticking to it
Especially when you’re a freelancer who works from home, it’s not at all easy to stick to a schedule all the time. Of course, you don’t have to track every moment of your day down to the second, but that point is setting a schedule and sticking to it. Then again, keep in mind that there will come a time that you won’t be able to stick to a particular schedule, and that’s okay.
Time management skill is definitely one skill that a freelancer must acquire, but so as being able and smart enough to handle schedule issues or delays and still have a productive day. Obviously, there will be some things you’re not able to control, but it’s also a skill to not be affected by it too much and work your way to handle them.
Making use of project management tools
Whether you have short- or long-term projects, it’s proven to be easier if you’re using organisational tools, whatever kind works for you—whether you’re doing it on a board, on a notebook, and/or by using software or apps. Scheduling apps have proven to help a lot of project management tasks in different organisations.
It’s important to take advantage of cloud storage as well, such as Dropbox, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. This way, you can organize your files the way you need to, and they will be easy to find when you need them. Besides, you can also instantly centralize certain files and information to make sure your team can also have access to them.
Figuring out your marketing strategy
Apart from time and project management, marketing yourself and your services is also one skill you should apply in being a freelancer. You need to know where to find your target audience or clients. In order to get noticed, content creation is one aspect you want to have. Explore more on digital marketing and search engine optimisation or SEO, so you get to reach out to clients and vice versa.
Budgeting and financial goals
As mentioned at the beginning, not only are you in charge of your own time, but you also have to take charge of your finances. Obviously, this needs planning as well. How much do you intend on spending in half a year or a year? Including your professional development, business expenses, and, of course, your personal and emergency expenses, such as medical and unemployment.
Being a freelancer includes taking risks because you will have fewer chances and fewer opportunities to be the best you can be if you’re not willing to. And the best to do that is while your business is still small. Since you’re still starting, you will have to experiment and try things in different ways to see what works best for you.
Freelancing also comes after knowing what you want and your goals and being honest and confident about your work style, interests, and your ability to prepare yourself and manage everything throughout your career.