Becoming a successful freelancer requires that you can (and will) wrestle with the challenges that come your way.
You can't plan your way out of everything, but if you have the biggest disadvantages of being self-employed in the back of your mind, you can at least have thought through some scenarios so that you don't get caught in bed.
The independent world is tough, and to thrive – rather than simply survive – requires discipline, hustle and often also a strong network.
Here we've put together some tips to help you overcome the most common pitfalls in the freelance world:
Make clear contracts:
This part is important to avoid misunderstandings between you and your customers. By having detailed and clear contracts, both you and your customer will have the same expectations for the project, the time frame, payment terms and other important details.
Build a stable (and diverse) customer base:
If you would like to have a stable economy and turnover, it is a good idea to build a stable customer base. You can do this by varying your type of customers and focusing on a base of fixed/longer-term projects.
In addition, you should also avoid committing to larger projects, e.g. to give 30 hours per week for the same project. If a major project suddenly ends, you will be left with a big loss in your turnover all at once.
Invest in your own development:
The freelance market is constantly developing and with the growing competition, it pays to invest in professional development. With the latest knowledge in the field and course certificates, you ensure that you can deliver good quality. In addition, you will also have the opportunity to raise your prices more easily.
Expand your network:
By participating in professional events, conferences and online forums, you can meet like-minded freelancers, which can lead to new opportunities and collaborations. A strong network can be your most valuable resource as a freelancer.
Manage your time effectively:
As a self-employed person, you manage your own schedule, so it is important to have a good overview of your time consumption. Use possibly time tracking tools or management tools to keep track of your projects and make sure you meet deadlines.
Have an overview of your finances:
Set a budget, manage invoicing and accounting. As an independent freelancer, it is important to have an overview of your paid salary, take care of the finances and ensure that the business runs as it should. It can also be savings for tax rates, VAT and a buffer for months with less income. At Factofly, we also have templates for this, and we can help you with this through our platform.
Be aware of your worth:
It is important to know your value as a freelancer. This is also closely related to belief in yourself, in what you can deliver and your mindset – so don't be afraid to negotiate your price and stick to what you know you're worth.
Setting clear boundaries and sticking to your value will help maintain a profitable freelance business.
Take care of your well-being:
Life as a freelancer can be unpredictable and changeable, so remember to set aside time for yourself. It is important to take breaks, eat healthy, exercise and stick to a stable everyday routine – your business and income depend on you functioning.
Thriving as an independent freelancer therefore does not only mean that you deliver a good piece of work to your clients. It also means that you thrive in your business, and can make both everyday life and the economy fit together.