A recent report by Freelancer.com revealed that freelance jobs increased over 25% in the 2nd quarter of 2020. With the continuation of uncertainty in the pandemic, employers are looking for a more flexible and remote workforce, even replacing some full-time positions with independent workers. Striking out on your own can be daunting but it can be done, and quite successfully.
For this post, we turned to the freelancers on Twitter to learn some hard-earned advice.
Here are 7 tweets on how be a freelance success.
Think of Freelancing as a Business
People really need to grasp that freelancing is a BUSINESS not a hobby. #freelancechat— Stefan Palios (@stefanpalios) September 24, 2020
While many freelancing careers start as a side-gig, if you want to grow the business, it must be considered an actual business. That means doing all of the things that make a business legitimate - creating separate accounts, getting an EIN and more.
Prepare for the Road Ahead
Almost a year ago I left my office job to freelance full time, following six years of part-time writing (mostly after work or after class!)— Abby Lee Hood (@AbbyLeeHood) September 21, 2020
Here's some important things I've learned about writing along the way. [A THREAD]
As this thread points out, there's a lot more to freelancing than just taking a leap of faith. Your leap will be more like baby steps if you know what you're in for. Some of her advice included:
- Preparing financially
- Building a schedule of consistency
- Building relationships for networking
- Adding in some self care
Know Your Worth and How to Value Your Work
The results showed that the best and most common way to charge was per project. Nearly 40% of freelancers charge per project. More experienced freelance writers charge per project. And, per project rates were the highest. #FreelanceChat— Ashley R. Cummings | Freelance Writer (@ashleyrcummings) September 17, 2020
It's so easy to feel weird about asking for money. When you work for an employer, you're at the whim of the salary range. As a freelancer, it's important to understand how to charge for your work and how to value the time and effort that you put into it.
Set Boundaries for Yourself
Hello this is your daily #freelance reminder that you make the rules. Decide what hours, rates and terms work for you and stick to them.— The Writers’ Co-op (@TWC_pod) September 21, 2020
As a freelancer, you ARE the employer. You are in charge of what hours you'll work, how much you'll be paid, what clients are the perfect fit for you and more. It's important to understand how to set these boundaries so you're not a slave to your own business.
See also: How to Set Boundaries with Clients
Always Be Pitching
To recap, this is exactly how I found $3K of writing work this week:— Lola Méndez 🇺🇾 (@lolaannamendez) September 18, 2020
-Followed up on pitches
-Tweeted I was available for more work
-Emailed editors I write for often to ask for assignments
Make these tools part of your business. Set calendar reminders or schedule Tweets.
When you own your own business, you play every part within that business. Not only are you performing the work, you're also sales, marketing, accounting and all of the other back office operations. Set reminders for each of the activities you'll need to make your business successful.
Get Paid or Stop the Work
I have two editors at two big pubs that for months have been ignoring my pleas to be paid for finished work. Months! Every few weeks I'll get a "Sorry, will get to this soon" email and then nothing. Editors, don't be like this!— Brent Crane (@bcamcrane) September 17, 2020
Signs you might need to fire a client:— Jenni Gritters (@jenni_gritters) September 21, 2020
✨ They use more of your time than they're paying for
✨ You aren't making your ideal hourly rate
✨ The gig causes you high stress
✨ You're not passionate about the work AND it doesn't pay well
✨ Something more aligned comes your way
It is absolutely necessary to follow up with clients who aren't paying. If they're non-responsive, it's time to bring in a third-party collections agency to work for you. They'll get you paid and will only take a percentage of what they collect for you. Otherwise, if the client isn't paying, it may be time to say goodbye.
Going freelance is hard enough without having to chase down payments too. At Enterprise Recovery, we don't charge a cent unless we can help collect what's owed to you. Let us know if we can help!