If you’re stuck in between jobs, there are so many reasons to consider freelance work, as Sitepoint clearly indicates. The extra income alone is enough reason to create your own freelance brand, but figuring out exactly where to start and what to do can be challenging.
If you’ve decided that you want to start freelancing, but you aren’t quite sure what to do next, then you’ve come to the right spot!
There are 7 key steps to creating your own freelance business.
1. List your skills
First, take a moment and list down all of the skills that you have. This part can actually be more difficult than you think. If you’re like most people, you may think that many of your skills are ordinary or just skills that anyone knows how to do. However, you can always build upon those certain skills later, so go ahead and write those skills down anyway.
After listing all of your skills, label each skill on a scale of 1 – 10 according to your level of expertise.
Next, label those same skills on a scale of 1 – 10 according to how much you enjoy that skill.
2. Decide which skill to base your business around
After you have created your list, take some time to review it and really think about how successful you could be in each area as well as how much you would enjoy it.
If you base your freelance business on something that you are really good at, but hate doing, you will hate your job. This will only cause your business to suffer.
3. Develop your business plan
Once you have decided on what skill you will base your freelance business on, it is time to develop your business plan.
Within your business plan, you will want to include the purpose of your business, specific services you will offer, the marketing plan as well as financial plan. Each of these areas need to have a clear and concise plan of action.
The purpose of your business plan is to have something concrete to keep you on the right track when starting your business.
4. Create a website
After creating your business plan, you will have a better idea of your service offerings, business purpose, and marketing plan. Now, it’s time to focus on a company website.
It is true that you do not have to have a website for your freelance business, but if you want to portray a more professional service offering, it will help you in your marketing strategy to have a website that your potential customers can access.
When creating your website you can sign up with hosting sites online through WordPress or other online website services. Most of these services offer hosting for as little as several dollars a month, so it is quite affordable when first starting out.
Also, if you search on google or youtube for tips on creating a website, you will find many instructional resources which will help get you started.
5. Attack your sales strategy vigorously
Once you have your website in place, it’s time to reference back to your marketing and sales strategy as outlined in your business plan. Now is the time to take action and get customers!
It is always wise to start reaching out to existing contacts that could benefit from your services. Always remember to ask for referral business as well.
Once you’ve reached out to your existing contacts, it’s time to start reaching out to the unknown – start contacting businesses or people who could benefit from your services. Utilize LinkedIn or other resources that give you access to these people.
If you want your freelance business to succeed, you must vigorously attack your marketing and sales strategy.
6. Set boundaries
As with any business, it is important to set your boundaries when it comes to work hours. When managing your own freelance business, it can be very easy to slip into the habit of working all hours, non-stop.
If you want to provide quality service to your clients, you must take time away from your business in order to rejuvenate.
7. Keep good records
Lastly, be sure to keep good records of the work you complete, all of your earnings, as well as any business expenses. All of this is needed in order to report accurate earnings to Uncle Sam and get the most back from any business expenses.
What’s keeping you from starting your own freelance business?