Are you a new freelancer and trying your hands in freelancing and you can’t wait to kickstart your freelancing career, right? If yes, then before you bid on your first project you need to read this article to understand and prepare yourself for your grand entry in the freelancing world. In this article, I am going to tell you 7 Simple (But Important) Things To Remember for New Freelancers.
Before going to the main content of the article, you have to understand that freelancing may sound easy and but it is not the reality. There is a large number of people who are attracted to the terms like ”be your boss”, “work at your ease”, “easy and comfortable working life”, etc. and they want to start freelancing. This leads to huge competition in your respective field. Thus, it is not easy. You have to be serious about freelancing before starting to jump into it.
Here are the 7 simple yet important things to remember before starting freelancing:
KNOW YOUR WORTH
If you are a new freelancer and you are trying to land on the freelancing world then the first thought in your mind would be Can I do it? And the short answer is YES! You can do it. If you are thinking about freelancing then you already have those professional skills and you are good at implementing those skills.
Thus, I would recommend you to know your worth; you know what you can do and how your style of work is different from others. You are unique in your way.
It takes time to land your first project
Don’t lose hope! It takes time. New freelancers find it harder to find their first project. That doesn’t mean you lack something. The only thing which you lack is freelancing experience and those golden stars in your profile (reviews) but you don’t need to worry because many employers prefer hiring new freelancers.
All you need to do for winning projects is to keep bidding and bidding and bidding. But almost every freelancing platforms offer limited numbers of free bids per month. If you want to bid more you have to buy their premium membership or subscribe to them. To deal with this situation you have two options; either bid on the selected projects only or try a freelancing platform that does not charge any commission or fee for bidding on a project and Quickenlancer is one such platform.
Never work for free
As a new freelancer, you may need reviews, portfolios and what not to strengthen your freelancing profile. Out of frustration, you may even convince yourself to bid on the projects which are offering extremely low cost. Never work on those projects just for the sake of polishing your skills.
It may also possible that some clients may not even pay anything but ask you to work on their project for the sake of your growth and exposure or there would be some client who will ask you to make updates or add new stuff in the current project for free. As I said in the first point itself; Know Your Worth.
Here is a quote to inspire you:
“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.” -Joker
Build strong Portfolio
The most important part of freelancing is a strong portfolio! Yes, you are a new freelancer struggling to win your first bid so how can you build a portfolio? You can show your previous work as a portfolio (which you have performed during your corporate life). But share those work only if you have permission to showcase them.
If you haven’t worked before or if you don’t have permission to showcase your previous work then you can create a sample portfolio (this is best for those working as a graphic designer, website designer & developer, Writing, etc.).
Don’t forget to add every project you have completed in your portfolio.
Be mentally prepared for the upcoming stress
This is not a corporate way of working where your team leader would handle if anything goes wrong with the project. You have to manage each and everything; from pitching to a project/client through a bid, to fix a cost for the project & deal with the client you will have to do everything on your own.
Remember one thing, you are your boss, you are your team! You have to complete every task within the deadline at anyhow. Excuses are not even an option in freelancing as it may cost you with losing away the project, negative reviews, and receiving no payment even if you have performed half of the task. So be ready to deal with all those stress.
You have to pay employment tax
If you are choosing to freelance as a full-time career option then you also have to remember that you have to pay a self-employment tax. The self-employment tax applies to freelancers and small business owners who earn at least $400 per year. The minimum earning criteria and percentage of payable tax varies in every country. In some countries, freelancers have to pay 10% of their total income whereas in other countries you have to pay around 15%.
Never underbid for the sake of winning a project
Even if you have just scrolled through the freelancing websites you must have observed the bidding message and bidding cost of the other freelancers. You must have noticed a few freelancers bid extremely low for the project even if it is a complex project to win that project. Never do this as it affects the potential of other freelancers. Underbidding may help you win the project but it will affect the industry standard. You are not a slave or labor to work extremely hard for little to no money. You have talent, you have those in-demand skills for which you need to get paid with the satisfying amount.
I am repeating it, Know Your Worth!
Freelancing is one of the best career options where you can balance your personal as well as work-life smoothly. You can freelance for extra income or you can be a full-time freelancer as well. Freelancing is a serious job.
The “gig economy” is attracting many professionals to freelancing and that double your competition. So be prepared and make it work your way.
All the best!