5 Dos and Don’ts of Being a Freelancer

Friday, February 8, 2019, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Though many of us dream of going out on our own, the prospect of going freelance can be an intimidating one—but it can be done, and quite successfully.

After four years as a freelancer, I’ve learned a few dos and don’ts of the job.

Here are my top five.

  1. Do set up an office at home

    If you choose to work from home like many freelancer, create a working space in your home. Management and productivity experts note the value of having a physical space to work. This helps your separate work and home not only physically but mentally as well, which can increase your productivity, and boost your bottom line.

  2. Do hire a tax accountant

    When you’re a freelancer, the phrase time is money has never been more true. The more admin work you can outsource, the better.

    If you can’t afford a tax accountant off the bat, I recommend a digital program that helps you organize your invoices and payments and guides you through the tax process. There are a number of them tailor-made for freelancer finances.

  3. Do leverage your network

    Regardless of what kind of work you do, tapping your network is a very efficient way of growing your roster of clients. By letting past employers and even friends know about your services, you are more likely to widen your pool of potential clients. As a freelancer, you’re also your chief marketing officer as well.

  4. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth

    Set your hourly rate and stick to it. While you may want to take on a few passion projects or projects that could lead to great connections for slightly less than your standard hourly rate, don’t make this a regular practice. You wouldn’t take a salaried job for less than you can live on, nor should you do it as a freelancer.

    While your rate should ultimately depend on how much money you need to stay afloat, you can consult industry websites regarding standard freelance rates. For example, editorial freelancers might check the EFA’s freelance rate guidelines.

  5. Don’t burn too many bridges

    Even if you decide to part ways with a client, even if they’ve been a difficult one, make sure you leave on civil terms. Remember that you’re your CMO and that as a freelancer networks matter. I’ve had clients that I didn’t like recommend me to other companies because at the end of the day I made sure all my interactions with them were professional and respectful.

This article is written By Matilda Davies.

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