It is easy to start, but to succeed as a freelancer takes time and strategy.
If the corporate 9-to-5 just doesn’t work for you or maybe you just want to work on more interesting projects, freelancing is an exciting option. And often risky, but sometimes very profitable.
Here are 10 tactics to help you ditch the full-time job and start hustling your way to freedom.
It is unlikely you can quit your full-time job today and expect to replace that income in just a few months with no ground work. Impossible? No, but unlikely. If you want to jump into freelancing, start small by looking for jobs in your field (or the field you want to be in). Over time, those small assignments that you could finish after work and on weekends will add up to a decent portfolio. And those clients will end up as referrals.
Do Not Work for Cheap
If you are just starting out, you only need one to three examples of your work to show prospective clients. Don’t fall for the “working for exposure” line for too long. You can start by working for less, but not free. Undervaluing your work sets you and your entire industry up for failure.
You need the experience; I get it. But don’t be afraid to charge what you are worth once you have that experience.
Niche it Down
The purpose of finding your niche is so you don’t spread yourself too thin and you can assert your expertise in one, very specific industry.
Do Your Research
Let’s say you want to be a small business social media consultant. You need to find out what types of services you should be offering: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn? What goals do small businesses have? You might also realize that small businesses want a one-stop-shop for marketing—so maybe you team up with a local SEO person to offer that services as well.
Doing the research and making a plan will help you with the next step.