If you crave more freedom to manage your time, have more control over your decisions, a better quality of life and be closer to the people you care about, it may be interesting that you have a desire to leave your boss to become a freelancer.
But what is a freelancer?
Freelancer is a term commonly used to designate a self-employed professional who is committed to providing services to one or more companies for a specified period.
Becoming a full-time freelancer can be a challenge that will revolutionize your life and bring you career satisfaction that you wouldn’t have elsewhere. However, it is not a simple challenge.
Perhaps the path to your success in a freelance career is not a straight and unimpeded road. You can come across many winding curves and steep slopes. But not everything can be that difficult. My intention here is to put signs on this road of yours that will guide you about the decisions to follow.
That’s why I have compiled 10 steps for you to start your freelance career so that you don’t get lost.
If you really want to follow this path, start by reading these steps and if you think it is useful, put them to use.
Define your business: what will you offer and to whom?
It may seem obvious, but it is important that you define how you will act because you will be your business, you will be the one who will represent you, it will be the company of a single woman or man. And for that you must know what you will offer and to whom, in order to present yourself in the best possible way.
For this, think about the following processes:
Define your specialty
It is important that you keep in mind a specialty for which you want to work full time in order to better serve your customers and demonstrate that you have mastered the subject. Your specialty will determine what you will sell.
Knowledge in other areas can enrich your skills, but do not be tempted to want to “do everything” so that you do not become a walking duck, swims and flies in a strange way.
Know your main competitors and define your differentials
Knowing your competition can help define your differentials. However, certain competitors may not overlap when you are not on the same level as them and, in general, if you do not classify them, they can be countless.
So define your competition as those who are at the same level of experience and authority as you and research about them.
From there it is time to look at you. Ask yourself, “Why should clients hire me instead of someone else. What are my differentials? ”
Some points you may notice are:
- Exclusivity – Serving a specific niche or a smaller number of customers can make it possible to provide a more focused and specialized service.
- Experience – Experience can influence the value of your service and can favor pricing higher values for first-rate customers. It is important to have a good portfolio that also presents case studies and customer testimonials.
- Price – You can offer a more affordable price if you still have little experience, but consider that the values are for customers who are at a level who need to pay for something that is within their budget. But I am careful when dealing with top-tier customers. Low prices can cause distrust.
- Reputation – Testimonials may testify in your favor, but you will not always have this control so to transmit confidence always follow what has been agreed.
Who will your customers be?
It is necessary to know the potential customers to enable an approach.
Compile a list of companies that you would like to have as customers to profile. Research about them, get to know the area of operation, their products, services and their needs.
Make a financial plan
You need to have satisfaction and mainly to make your freelance career financially worthwhile. Therefore, some questions may be welcome.
What kind of business expenses will you have?
Make a survey about all types of expenses that you will have when you are acting. The amount will be considered for you to know if it will be possible to fund your business.
Consider costs with physical space that you will use, costs arising from the use of machines and internet, purchase of furniture and office utensils, advertising, purchase of services, among others.
How much will you need to earn per month in order to make ends meet?
Here you will also take into account, in addition to the amount to fund your business, the sufficient amount for you to maintain yourself.
Take into account private expenses such as health care, education, residential rent, transportation, food and more.
Then add business expenses and private expenses and add the profit margin you want.
How much will you charge?
There is no specific rule. There are some variables to consider such as the degree of difficulty of a project and the client’s budget.
Some steps that can help you reach a value are:
- Know your hourly value as a professional – Find the value of a fixed salary that you would be receiving as an employee and also consider the benefits. Divide this figure by the number of hours worked monthly.
- Calculate the cost to perform the task – Here you will consider the costs involved with the task, such as electricity, internet, office supplies, taxes, etc. Dilute this amount fairly according to the hours worked.
- Make the value adjustment considering the project – Knowing its hourly value, the costs involved you must adjust the value according to the project and the company profile, and taking into account the time it will take to execute.