Freelancers are a growing workforce and it’s something that is contributing greatly to the economic market not just in one country but globally. From creative designers to social media influencers, there are freelance careers in many industries for people to explore and consider.
Becoming a freelancer though is by no means an easy feat. It’s not something that you’ll decide on overnight either. It can take time to plan a freelance career and many will start off their freelance desires as a side hustle that they do on the weekends or during any spare time they might have to offer.
What do you need in order to become a freelancer? This blog post will hopefully share with you everything you’ll need to know when it comes to taking the plunge into such a potentially life-altering opportunity.
Some freelancers don’t do well in the first year, whereas others are positively thriving in their new career path. Everyone is different, so it’s important to be well prepared and to make sure the area of freelancing you’re going into, is one that you can sustain and enjoy for years to come. Here’s a helpful guide on pursuing a freelance career in 2023.
Discover your talents and passions
What are your talents and passions? This is the first thing to identify because it’s these passions or talents that may eventually become what you freelance in. Everyone has a multitude of talents or passions, despite what you may think you are lacking.
Dig deep and explore what talents you have, what people have perhaps said you’re good at – note these down. Take a look at those things in life that you’re passionate about and be sure to note these down also.
Discovering where your talents and passions lie are going to help the process of freelancing, be more successful. At the end of the, you may be talented in one thing but that might not be something you could physically or mentally sustain for the rest of your life.
It’s important to know what these talents are and where your passions lie before moving forward with anything else.
Are they freelance-compatible?
Next up, take a look at what’s written down and start exploring online where these talents or passions have taken people in freelancing. For example, you may be good at photography and that could lead to a freelance career in owning a photography business or shooting weddings and corporate events.
There are so many niches within industries too that you may want to explore in more detail. You may find that just one or two talents and one or two passions are enough to create a network of opportunities in the freelance world.
With that being said though, not everything you’re talented or passionate about can be created into a freelance career. That’s not to say it might not be possible in the future but if it doesn’t really exist or there’s not a market for it currently, then it might be a good idea to go back to the drawing board instead.
Know what comes with being self-employed
It’s important to know that self-employment isn’t easy and it’s something that you’ll need to know a lot about. By knowing everything there is to know, you’ll be more prepared and more organized when it comes down to going freelance for the first time.
From registering for self-employment to knowing how to do your own taxes and allocating money aside for tax purposes. Understanding tax benefits and liaising with clients, which means knowing how to interact professionally, are all going to be a part of self-employed life.
There’s a lot that comes with self-employment, so it’s definitely worth doing the research so that you can properly prepare for when the time comes. Anything you can’t find or don’t understand is worth querying with freelancers who are already doing it. They may be able to help you get a better understanding!
Register for self-employment
Talking of knowing all about self-employment, registering for self-employment is crucial. This is going to declare to the taxman that you’re self-employed and that you’re responsible for paying your own taxes.
If you don’t register with the associated tax body of your country, then chances are you can get yourself into some deep, deep trouble as a result of it. Be very careful because if you choose to ignore and fly under the radar by not paying your taxes, you will soon get caught up and the consequences can be dire.
From hefty fines to legal action that could end you up in prison, it’s not really a risk you should be taking. With that being said, explore the route for registering online for self-employment.
Make sure you have emergency savings before quitting your day job
Emergency savings are great to have in life. They protect you during those times when life throws you a big pile of rubbish in your face to deal with. It’s often unexpected too, which can make it all the more worse.
When it comes to going freelance, many start it as a side hustle and earn money until it’s substantial enough that it warrants going full-time. At the same time, you want to start accruing some emergency savings so that when it comes to finally going freelance, you have some backup funds.
This safety net can come in handy when you have a few less-than-impressive months at work. That peace of mind is something you’ll appreciate when it comes to having an emergency fund in place.
Set up a portfolio of work
A portfolio of work is going to be helpful as a freelancer when it comes to gathering clients. It’s not going to be easy if you’ve not got any evidence of your work currently.
This work may be non-existent at the moment but that’s fine. Make sure you’re starting a portfolio as soon as possible. For those that do have the work available, use a website or social media platform in order to set up your portfolio. You may want to design a digital portfolio that you can download and then send to any prospective clients over email.
There are lots of great tools out there to use, so get creative. Talking of tools, make sure you’re buying what you need to go freelance. It might be that you get the Mavic 3 classic if you decide to be a videographer and create content for businesses. Or you may find you need to buy yourself a studio in order to craft the products you’re going to distribute to customers.
Gain experience and as much of it as possible
When it comes to freelancing, if you don’t have a portfolio of your work – it’s time to get it. Gaining experience is going to help you prove to any future clients that you’re capable and deserving of the work they’re recruiting for.
This experience might be a freebie or two at the beginning but it can be a great way of getting evidence of your work, to create a portfolio.
Start connecting with clients and work with what you have
A client portfolio or database is important to start crafting because during those slower months, being able to acquire work with other clients can be extremely helpful in your hour of need.
Start networking online and finding places where your clients are going to be. This is going to be the best way of helping connect with those that will end up giving you the work that you may so desperately need!
Promote yourself on social media – it’s a marketing goldmine
Social media is considered to be a marketing goldmine. It’s a place where you can really thrive when it comes to making it as a freelancer. Try to find ways of creating content on social media that will help promote either your products or services and utilize these platforms to build your following and client list.
You never know, it might be something that becomes mind-blowing. Some freelancers have created million-dollar businesses by simply existing online, on these social media platforms.
Acknowledge there will be tough times
Not every day as a freelancer will be easy, let alone financially fruitful. With that in mind, it’s good to acknowledge that there will be tough times and as a result, it’s good to get yourself into that mindset of facing rejection and those days when your mental health might not be at it’s best.
It’s a tough career but something that can be incredibly rewarding. A lot of freelancers can benefit by having a strong network around them to help with this.
Don’t give up and always persevere
It’s important that when it comes to perusing a freelance career, you don’t give up on your dreams. Many of those who give up are just on the cusp of success and it can be a shame to give up after putting in all that work.
Always persevere and you never know, that success could be just around the corner!