With more people leaving traditional 9-5 jobs to become their own bosses, freelancing has become more popular now than ever before. Factors such as progress in technology and easy access to potential clients have catalyzed this trend.
Shifting from full-time employment to freelancing can sound complex, but you can successfully navigate the process with the proper steps.
1. Create a plan of action
As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. So, write a plan of action on how you intend to transition from your full-time job to freelancing. Here’s what you should determine:
- The services you’ll offer
- The clients you’ll target
- The amount of capital required
- The marketing methods to attract clients
- Your work rate
- The obstacles you may encounter
By creating a detailed plan of action, you’ll save yourself the pain of running into problems you never anticipated.
2. Establish an online presence
Most of your potential customers spend their time on various online platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram.
By building your brand on the most popular social media platforms, your prospects will know that you exist. This is the first step to converting a member of your target market into a returning customer. Consistently publish valuable content that appeals to your prospects, and they’ll begin to trust your product.
3. Keep cybersecurity in mind
Your employer takes care of cybersecurity when you work at a company. They ensure your computer software is regularly updated, and your work device usually has a good firewall and antivirus.
Consider your cybersecurity when shifting to freelancing because you’ll be on your own. To start off, be careful with what you click on and what websites you visit. Don’t click on random pop-ups or odd email links. Also, get antivirus software and a VPN to protect your device from malware and keep your IP address private.
4. Create a website and portfolio
Nowadays, any aspiring freelancer should have a website and portfolio. A website allows you to tell potential clients about you and your services. You can share your qualifications and the testimonials you’ve gotten from past clients.
Some people prefer having a portfolio to a website. A portfolio can be a single webpage on which you showcase your past work. Many sites offer freelancers an opportunity to create a portfolio page for free. So you don’t have to go through the trouble of building a website and portfolio page simultaneously. You can also use your LinkedIn page as your portfolio page until you have enough cash to build a website for your business.
5. Start saving and budgeting your income
It’s easy to get carried away by the money you get during your first freelancing days. However, remember that, unlike your monthly salary, which is usually already taxed, your freelancing income is gross income.
Be careful to keep up to 40% of your income for the taxman. It would be less painful when he finally comes for the 40% of your income, and you already have it saved up.
Start budgeting monthly expenditures to know how much money you need to maintain your lifestyle. This way, you’ll know how much income you must accumulate monthly for taxes, expenditures, and savings.
6. Secure your first clients
Don’t leave your full-time job until you’ve secured at least three clients in your freelancing business. Many people make the mistake of leaving their jobs to build their freelancing business before they even have one client. You may regret it when you spend the next year struggling to get a client while your colleagues at your previous job are advancing their careers.
You’ll be stronger and more confident when you already have two or more clients by the time you’re shifting to your freelancing business. So don’t be in a hurry to leave your full-time job.
7. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Building a business is hard – everything good takes time and effort to build.
Take some time off every day to focus on your well-being. You can go for a walk, converse with friends, or meditate. Remember that mental health is paramount when it comes to building a business. When stressed, your mind can’t come up with brilliant ideas.
Freelancing is becoming popular because of the freedom it offers. To transition to freelancing, create a plan of action, establish an online presence and start saving up your money.
Also, keep cybersecurity in mind because online safety is critical if you want to build a successful freelancing career. And don’t be too hard on yourself – take time off your daily work to connect with friends and boost your mental health.
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