Tips for getting started with a freelance career
The very notion of a fixed job for life is on the decline, with more people turning to freelance careers in an attempt to take control of their working life. It is estimated that there are 16 million self-employed and freelance workers in the US currently, each searching for a more fulfilling career.
Choosing a freelance career
Freelancing is a great way to put your skills to good use and create a career that you will enjoy. A great advantage of becoming a freelancer is that you no longer hold commitments to single clients or companies; your time is your own, leaving you to decide which projects you take on. Freelance careers are popular for those who need, or want, a flexible way of working, including new parents, the recently retired, or those whose lives are in transition such as recent graduates. Being self-employed offers opportunities to access a variety of projects at any one time as well as the chance for people to improve on existing skills, gain exposure to different groups of people, and take ownership of their careers.
There are a number of careers that lend themselves to freelance work, including IT worker, program designer, illustrator, tutor, administrative assistant, social media consultant, marketing executive, project manager, accountant, and copywriter; these are all positions that can be performed at home, or on the go, often utilizing minimal specialist equipment.
Becoming a freelancer
As a freelancer it is essential that you make sure you are familiar with the rules and regulations and always manage your schedule properly. You must also research your market carefully, identifying potential clients and areas in which your product or service would be best received.
When it comes to marketing you must know your audience and develop a strong online presence. Do not underestimate the power of social media as it is a fantastic avenue for meeting the very audience that you are targeting. Make sure you know your business inside out, and always aim to add value to your products or services; make people know how you can be invaluable to them, and never be afraid to make the first move.
A little help along the way
When it comes to starting your own business, the administrative side is often underestimated. Luckily, help is on hand in the form of umbrella companies, which are designed to look after freelancers, contractors, and the self-employed, liaising between them and those who hire their services.
It is important to know how an umbrella company works. An umbrella company takes on all administrative duties, such as chasing clients for monies owed, calculating taxes and insurance, offsetting business expenses against taxable income, producing invoices, and ensuring that freelancers uphold legal and contractual obligations. Their input makes it much easier for the self-employed to receive accurate payments, and makes sure that they are able to dedicate more time to their business venture.
Becoming self-employed is a big step, although one towards a successful and fulfilling career. Be sure to access help wherever it’s offered, particularly when it comes to using the services of an umbrella company; with their help you can run a viable business while keeping on top of paperwork and upholding business laws and regulations.