Taking the plunge into freelancing full-time can seem very daunting – but it shouldn’t be this way. According to Cushman & Wakefield, the freelance sector is estimated at 1.91million people in the UK – an astounding figure. This alone should be proof to all aspiring freelancers that it can, and has, been done successfully by so many.
Many people might be freelancing part-time, or hoping to leave their company to start their own freelancing venture up. We have some tips on how to turn your interest in freelancing into a full-time career.
1) Channel Your Self-Motivation & Dedication
To be a full-time freelancer, you need to have a great deal of dedication and motivation. Working for yourself will give you freedom to pursue your own projects, and manage all clients yourself – quite simply, you can become wholly responsible for your business and its success. What makes freelancers successful is their drive to build something for themselves, and the dedication they put in to make it work. You may not have the benefit of a team around you to help and motivate you – this is on you. Find motivation in doing the most for your clients, and building something you know adds value for so many clients.
2) Get Finances In Order
If you are going to become a freelancer full-time, you need to know where your finances are going, and how far they can stretch. If you haven’t built out a significant client base yet, you may soon find yourself short on money. Having 3-6 months worth of savings to back you up can give you the confidence and freedom to grow your freelancing business, without worrying where the next cheque will come from.
Now is also the time when you’re likely to benefit from having low overheads for your business – potentially just the cost of your laptop, a flexible working space and any tools you need for the job. Keep track of all costs and keep tight control of your pursestrings, so that you know where your money is coming from and where it is being spent.
3) Find Your Selling Point
In an increasingly saturated market, it’s key to have a selling point which can help you stand out from the crowd. Now, this doesn’t need to be gimmicky – we’re not telling you to only do client work wearing a clown suit, or bring a sock-puppet to all client pitches.
Maybe your selling point is your niche and expertise – covering an area of the market previously underrepresented. Maybe your dedication and ability to go above and beyond makes you stand out. Or maybe it’s your previous client/corporate experience. Whatever it is, find something that will help you stand out amidst other freelancers, and find out what works well for you. Not only will this help clients find you, but will give you assurance and confidence in what you are offering.
4) Build Your Online Presence
A large part of freelancing is building your online presence, and marketing yourself. Having a grasp of basic marketing strategies will help your freelancing go a long way and will impress clients; look into getting a great website explaining what you do, replete with a portfolio and testimonials from past clients. Learn a little about how SEO can help you appear for searches in your niche, and how social media can get your name out there to potential clients.
Many freelancers will gain a lot of work through word-of-mouth and recommendations, but it is only a positive to have a strong online presence, which affirms your reliability and quality, and which will impress potential clients.
5) Build Up Your Client Base
They key to longevity as a freelancer is to have clients you can rely on. Whether you’ve already got one or two through freelancing part-time, or you’re starting from fresh, having the security of a varied client base assures you that you can continue freelancing full-time. Short-term projects from new clients are a great way to build your portfolio and make inroads, but only with a steady stream of work from reliable clients will you feel confident you can support freelancing full-time.
— IPSE (@teamIPSE) June 21, 2018
There are many things to consider when going full-time as a freelancer, and it takes a lot of bravery to decide to work yourself. However, the number of freelancers in the UK is only set to grow – and for good reason. Working for yourself gives you freedom, ownership and allows you to build something exciting. We are proud to see so many brilliant freelancers using Avenue HQ as a workspace, and their determination, focus and motivation inspires us every day.