How To Try Out Freelancing Before Quitting Your Job
A career freelancing, either in your specialist field or doing something you enjoy, is an attractive proposition. The lure of being a freelancer has grown in recent years as employment has become more unstable in light of the global economic climate.
However, it is probably fair to say most people fell into freelancing, rather than it being part of the plan. People lost their jobs, for whatever reason, and couldn’t find another one. Freelancing was the logical thing to do to try to secure an income.
While that is still the road more frequently traveled, more people are today turning to freelancing as a lifestyle and employment choice, rather than being forced into it.
Deciding to alter your career focus and become a freelancer is a big decision, and not one to be taken lightly. If you’re currently employed, then the best path to take is to start freelancing in your spare time to try to establish a client base and generate an income.
Here are some tips for getting started, which will also help you when you move to freelancing full-time.
Decide the Worth of Your Time
The first thing to do is decide how much your time is worth. Even when you start freelancing part time, you should treat it as if it is your only income. How much do you need to earn per hour, including tax, for you to meet your minimum income needs?
It can be tempting when you first start out to do things cheaply so that you build up clients; you’re also in the mindset that, for now, freelancing is a secondary income.
However, you’ll be surprised how often your early clients become your regular clients, so you need to ensure that you’re charging them what you believe you’re worth from day one. How would you feel if someone gave you something cheaply, and then suddenly the price doubled?
Set Up Profiles
How you approach setting up your online profiles is up to you. There are likely to be two possibilities for getting started; here are our suggestions.
- If you’re planning to freelance in your current field of expertise, use your current profiles but amend the bio to show that you’re now freelancing. This can help you with finding client opportunities from your existing contacts.
- Look at additional opportunities, too, like building a creative portfolio on Enthuse, or starting a Facebook business page.
- If you’re going in a whole new direction, then rather than amending your existing profiles, launch new ones, but be sure to point your existing contacts towards them.
Start the Admin Cycle
Dealing with tax returns, invoices, and all other administrative features of being a freelancer are things you should start doing immediately. Treat it like your proper job rather than as something on the side, and you’ll quickly get into the good habits that will be the hallmark of an efficient freelancing machine.
Dipping Your Toe
Dipping your toe into the world of freelancing while still enjoying the security of a full-time job is unquestionably a wise thing to do. However, treat it like you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life, and when you do make the switch you’ll find your ladder to freelancing success that little bit easier to climb.
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Teo Alvin is a business expert who regularly meets with working individuals who are considering moving into freelancing. Teo offers advice around everything from online profile building to deciding the range of services you wish to offer.