If you feel stuck in your career and feel like you have not made the advancements that you had planned, then a freelance career may be your next best move. Many different careers work well as freelance careers. If you do decide to make the move and be your own boss, then it takes time and dedication to be successful. It is rare that success occurs overnight. If you are starting out on a new freelance career, then these tips will help get you started and hopefully make your transition smooth.
Pay Attention to Timing
You should make sure that you pick the right time to go from full-time work to freelancing. If you do not have prospects that are ready to start with or have plans for immediate work, then you might need to wait. Also, consider your finances. When you move from a full-time job with guaranteed pay to freelance work, you have to be prepared for the pay cut. You may or may not keep your income at the same level; chances are high that in the beginning of your freelance, you will have a pay cut. If you are not financially prepared for this, then you could run into problems.
Establish a Web Presence
Create a website or have one created. You do not have to spend thousands of dollars to get started. The main idea is to get your domain name registered and get something started. In the beginning, this could be as simple as a start a blog
and a page advertising your services. The blog will help attract clients to your page where they can see the services offered. In today's business world, a web presence is a necessity.
Ask Your Employer for Endorsements
Make sure that you leave your job on good terms. Ask your employer for endorsements on professional networks like LinkedIn. Also, make sure that everyone knows that you will be freelancing. Word-of-mouth is more valuable than social networks and resumes. When professionals hear your name, then you want to make sure that you receive endorsements for your work ethics. If you leave on bad terms, then you most likely will not get those necessary good reviews.
Get Out of the House and Socialize
One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make is not getting out of their home office. This can be a difficult adjustment mentally. If you are accustomed to going to the office every day and suddenly you do not have to leave home, then you could quickly find that you are not leaving home for anything. This can lead to depression and then you do not do well in your freelance career. Make it a point to get out of the house on a regular basis and do not become isolated.
Before you set your pricing terms and fees, you should do your research. You probably already have a good idea what the market charges for your work based on your past employment. However, it is a good idea to get an overall picture of what the market is charging across the board. You should set your pricing in line with the market, but stay toward the middle ground until you have the experience to back a higher fee. Do not undersell your talents, but do not think more of yourself and charge so much that people avoid your services.
Spread the Word
Make sure that everyone knows that you are freelancing. Moving from a day job to a freelance job means that you are always working in some fashion. Spread the word through your social networking pages; tell friends and family to help you spread the word. You never know who might be able to help you advance your career.
Many people are choosing to leave their fulltime jobs and go with a freelance career. Technology has made it much more possible to work from home in a variety of fields. If the move is planned carefully, then it can be a more successful venture. Timing and networking are important and can make the transition smooth and worthwhile. Before quitting a sure thing, make sure that you have considered every aspect of freelancing and used these tips to help facilitate the move.