For many people, the idea of beginning a career as a freelancer seems like the perfect career path. Whatever your skills are, going freelance means that you get to be your own boss – something that most people can only dream of.
As a freelance graphic designer, I want to share with you a few tips for getting your career started. As you could probably imagine, a successful career as a freelancer is never just handed to you on a plate. It takes dedication, self-motivation and masses of determination to make it work. Being a successful freelancer also takes a little bit of know-how.
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Is This the Life For You?
Life as a freelancer will come naturally to some people, but for others, a few pointers in the right direction are needed to make sure that they don’t steer off course! Perhaps the first thing that you need to consider is, do you really want to become a freelancer? Being your own boss really isn’t the ideal scenario for everyone, and you need to be 100% sure that it’s what you want before you start chasing that dream. You also need to be honest with yourself. Are you skilled enough to make a success in this field?
Set Yourself Some Goals
It’s always a great idea to have goals to work towards. Set yourself achievable goals, and always have concrete milestones to work towards. Make sure that your goals are realistic but at the same time, don’t under-exert yourself! Do all that you can to make this a success!
Kit Yourself Out
As you won’t be working for a company who will provide you with all the tools for your trade, you’ll need to invest in your own. If this is going to mean a large outlay of cash, perhaps you should put your plans on hold until you save enough capital. Alternatively, you could always seek investment or take a loan.
Draw Up a Business Plan
Even though your business consists of only you, this is still a business. Every business needs a plan from the word go. Your plan will provide details of your current position, where you see yourself going and how you plan to achieve your goals. A solid plan will also be beneficial if you plan to seek investment.
Organize Your Finances
Again, you must see yourself as a business, and as such, you must organise your finances just as any other business would. Register your business and make it official, or you could be in breach of the law. You must always keep on tax returns and any other obligatory payments. Failure to do so could land you in trouble. Check the HM Revenue and Customs website for more information.
Even if marketing isn’t your strong point, you really need to get the word out about your services. A website is pretty much a necessity in this day and age, and you’ll reach a much larger audience through the internet than you would through more traditional means. Of course, that doesn’t make good old-fashioned flyers and business cards completely redundant!
In most cities you’ll find a range of network event. Keep your eyes peeled as these are the ideal situation to sell yourself to relevant people.
Build Up a Good Name for Yourself
Once the work starts flowing, make sure you deliver. Word of mouth is a powerful thing and you really want to be sure that people can say nothing but good things about your work!