The freelance industry is fast becoming a viable career path for many, as more and more businesses are adopting either a partly or fully remote workforce.
A recent FreshBooks survey reported that over 80 per cent of respondents have willingly shifted into a freelance career, admitting that it leads to a better work-life balance. While many people get into freelance work as a way to get supplementary income, not many understand how to successfully make a career out of freelancing.
Read below to learn about five tips to make your freelance career a successful one.
Create your schedule
Before you transition into a full-time freelance career, it’s important to create a schedule and see what your day will look like. Remote work proposals provide a useful template in this regard. You’ll need to plan out the work you’re expected to finish per day, as well as how you plan to communicate with offices.
LifeWire emphasises that you should make it clear what kind of tools you’ll need from clients, from hardware to software, as this will allow you to start work straight away.
Digital security is a must for everyone, but this is especially true for freelancers who rely on their laptops on a regular basis. Freelancers should always set up encrypted passwords and update them regularly, but you should also look to set up firewalls and use VPNs to further secure your data. Public Wi-Fi networks should be avoided at all costs, as hackers can easily link up to the other laptops connected to that network.
Set clear boundaries with clients
Despite the growth of the freelance economy, lots of employers are still learning to strike a balance between their remote and full-time workforce.
Yoss’ guide to managing remote workers cites poor engagement as a common pitfall, suggesting that managers need to reach out to remote workers on a regular basis to keep them engaged and focused. Communication goes both ways, however, and keeping in touch with your supervisors instead of waiting for work can help you manage your workflow and establish a trusting relationship.
Give yourself breaks
One of the benefits about working for a company is that leaves are often the norm. Paradoxically, Freelance Corner’s ‘How Do You Escape a Freelancing Rut?’ highlights that freelancers actually give themselves less breaks in general than office workers.
The freedom of remote work often leads freelancers to take on more than they can chew, leading to burn out. Allowing yourself a week or two off without any projects is important to give yourself a breather and make your freelance career more sustainable.
Network as much as you can
Networking is crucial, especially when you’re in the beginning stages of your freelance career. Set some time dedicated to networking, but also make sure it’s enjoyable. Rather than just relying on career sites and social media groups, try and find networking activities in your area. Reaching out to people within your industry for a quick coffee meeting can do wonders for facilitating deeper connections and getting your name out there.
Freelance work is no longer just a hobby or a side gig: it can be a viable (not to mention secure) career. The key is to do the legwork in establishing your freelance gig as a serious business while also taking care of yourself throughout the process.
This is a guest post written by Ryan Stephens, Wise Outreach.