5 ways you can rock your freelance success
This may sound obvious to some people, but freelancing is just like any other business. If you’re a freelancer then you probably feel like you can work anytime and anywhere. However, at the end of the day you still have to make some profits if you want to eat.
So, since the core goals of a freelancer and a business owner are quite the same, we can safely say that treating freelancing like a business is a must. But how do you do it? Right now, the whole idea sounds a little vague. I hope I can shed some light on this.
Protect your business
Every business needs to implement some mechanisms that will help it to remain safe. For an online business, there are no factory buildings that might burn down in a fire, and no machinery that could get damaged or stolen.
What’s important for a freelancer is data. No matter if you’re a writer, designer, consultant, photographer, copywriter, or have chosen any other line of career, data is your most valuable possession. That’s why you absolutely need to backup your data and implement some kind of automated or semi-automated system for this.
Some tools and principles I recommend:
- Back up your data on multiple hard disks. This sounds like a complicated concept, but actually it’s not that difficult to do. You only need to buy an additional hard drive and keep a copy of your important data there (you can use a tool like Synchronize It! to get it done automatically).
- Consider using Dropbox to get access to (and backup) your data from any computer with internet access.
- If you use a WordPress site, I strongly recommend installing a backing up plugin. There are free and paid ones available. I use a plugin called Online Backups for WordPress.
Build your assets
Assets is something that can be used to make money. Or if you prefer a more official sounding definition, as asset is: Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value. Simply stated, assets represent value of ownership that can be converted into cash (although cash itself is also considered an asset).
For a freelancer, these are your skills, links pointing to your site, your methodology of work, and to some degree the content/data you’re producing.
When it comes to building your skills, you probably know the best approach to take. The only tip I have is that you should make your education structured. You’ll get best results if you set aside regular time for learning, and stick to this schedule.
You can also strengthen your work methodologies. I can recommend Getting Things Done. It’s a concept created by David Allen that’s been widely successful around the world. However, it’s not something you can learn overnight. Mastering it will take some time, but it’s surely time well spent.
Focusing on yours assets is one of the best kinds of investments you can make. Over time, this will allow you to grow both as an expert and a money maker.
Get out there and network
Some people say that who you know is much more important than what you know. I don’t think that reality is that extreme, but having a healthy network of contacts will help your freelancing business greatly.
One of the best methods of building a network is to give and ask for nothing in exchange. This may not sound like sound business practice, but when it comes to networking it’s important to promote your expertise and establish yourself as a subject matter expert.
Go through your niche (the area in which you’re freelancing) and reach out to people. The idea is not to try to monetise your network right away by pitching at people but to build it over time, as one of your assets. If you put the effort into your network it can even become your main means of attracting business.
Estimate your earnings
Successful businesses don’t function without some sort of earnings estimates and freelance writing (and other freelance businesses) are no different. Financial planning should be on every freelancer’s regular task list for two reasons.
First of all, it can give you a broader look at your growth rate, so you know if you’re going anywhere with your business.
Secondly, once you estimate your earnings, you’ll know how many more clients you need to reach your goal.
Let your mindset lead you
How you see yourself will impact how others see you. Your mindset and the way you approach your career is the most important influence on your success as a freelancer. This is the main takeaway I want you to get from this post.
Finally, I’d love to know how you’ve attracted more success to your freelance business. What can you share with freelancers just starting out?