How to go freelance like a pro
Maybe you’re an office worker looking to leave the daily 8-5 grind. Maybe you’re a student looking to earn while in school. Or maybe you want to work by the beach for a client across the sea.
There are many perks to working as a freelancer, or even as a global remote professional. You get to work anywhere. You have greater control of your time. You can get clients far and beyond geographic limitations.
But you already know that! It’s why you’ve decided to make that jump. But enjoying all the benefits of freelance work also means that you need to step up your game. As you embark on your freelance journey, make sure you do it like a pro.
Plan it like a business
In many ways, being a freelancer is kind of like being your own boss. And like any boss, you need to run your business like a pro. You need to know your business, what role it will play in the industry, and how you can sell yourself to your clients.
If it sounds like you’re trying to build a business, then it’s because you actually are. Set aside time for some reflection, goal-setting, and business planning:
- Goals and objectives: How do you envision your business in the next two, five, ten years? What do you want to gain from it (apart from money of course)?
- Services and offers: What skill or expertise are you selling exactly?
- Marketing strategy: How are you going to sell yourself and your services?
- Competitor analysis: What are your fellow freelancers doing, and how can you set yourself apart?
Get yourself out there
You’ve done the work. You’ve planned it out. Now, it’s time to get out and to get noticed.
There are many ways to get clients, but the first thing you need to do is to create presence online by building a portfolio. Showcase your best work, specifically the ones that align with the jobs you’re seeking, and demonstrate your skills, strengths, and abilities.
You can build on your own site; create profiles on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn; or make use of third-party platforms like Behance or Dribbble. Or better yet, do all of that. You need to get noticed, so make yourself easy to find.
Use the tools of the trade
You’ve booked your first client. Congratulations! Now, it’s time to show them that you’re a pro. To do that, you’ll need to create a process and workflow—one that you can replicate for future engagements—that will allow both parties to collaborate, track the work, and create a “paper trail” that formalizes every step.
First, you’ll need to sign a contract that stipulates clearly the scope of the project or engagement. Your client shouldn’t ask for things that go beyond this contract, and from your end, you need to deliver everything that’s written on it. As a digital freelancer, you can use platforms like DocuSign that will allow you and your clients to sign documents and contracts formally, securely, and remotely.
As you move along with your project, you can set up milestones for when you and your clients can align on the project’s progress. They could be weekly calls or offline reports. Make the most out of the commenting system of the Google or Microsoft suites. The important thing is to keep the flow of communication going.
Finally, once you’ve wrapped up a project (or a phase of it), it’s time to get paid! Whether it’s a monthly salary from a remote employer or a one-time project fee for an overseas client, you’ll need a financial platform that will not only make it fast and easy but will also make it look professional. The great thing about earnie™ is that it has a built-in invoicing system that makes it easier for you to bill your clients.
The invoice you create can be shared to your client via a unique Pay-Me Link, which they can use, from their end, to directly send funds to your bank account.
You’re a global professional now, so you need a bank that’s as flexible as you. Sign up for a free earnie™ account here.