It’s the dream, right? Working from home, setting your own schedule, marching to the beat of your own drum?
For the right person…..absolutely. For the person that is not prepared or motivated–it could spell bad news.
Freelancing is an opportunity to build a business on your terms and work with the clients you choose. This one aspect alone is valuable, especially when so many 9-5ers hate their working environment in the corporate world.
Being given a chance to do this on your schedule and work around family commitments is an experience most of them would trade in their overtime pay for. However, if you approach it with the wrong attitude or perspective, it could end up being an excellent time waster and money loser.
So what’s the secret to freelancing and making money? It all begins in the preparation….
Using a profit mindset approach
The first step is to prepare your mind in that freelancing is your job. If you come at it with the approach of “do it whenever I can,” you’re not going to make money.
Set up a daily schedule and stick to it. Don’t take phone calls, make coffee dates, hang out on Facebook, or anything else that is going to distract you from your work.
You have the ability to set up your ideal work environment, whether that’s at home or in the local coffee shop. Once you have done that, then USE that environment to be productive!
Value your work and others will too
Second, this is not the time to sell yourself cheap. Your work is valuable, and if your clients are happy, then your work is worth paying for.
It might be fun to start out by doing smaller, low-pay jobs to get your foot in the door, but once you get going, set up a fee schedule and use it. This shows your clients that you stand behind your work and understand the value it’s going to give them as well.
Choose your clients wisely
Third, you do not have to work with everyone who approaches you! Some of these clients just want to negotiate you down to a bare-nothing pay and this is only going to waste your time!
Be polite, yet firm with your clients. Let them know what your policy is and document exactly what work you have agreed to.
This eliminates the chance of them adding things on, one at a time, just because “it will only take a few minutes.” Clients like this are going to get as much as they can, for as little as they can.
When you devalue yourself and your work by continuing to accept their jobs, you are literally throwing dollars out the window. Be selective in your clientele, give them exactly what you have promised and your high quality work will start to bring in business on its own.
Having all the freedom of a freelancer can be overwhelming at first, and you can get lost in all the “great ideas” to make your business successful. However, if you don’t master the basics first, you’ll never make it past the first few months.
Keep in mind this is YOUR business and you have to work it responsibly, professionally and creatively.
With great power comes great responsibility — doesn’t just apply to Spiderman.
It’s exciting to build a freelance business and do so from the comfort of your home office, wherever that may be. There are plenty of pitfalls along the way though, and if you fall into them unknowingly, you’re going to have a difficult time becoming profitable.
Make a plan, follow it carefully and then enjoy the satisfaction of building a home-based company you’re proud of, and that lets you pay the bills!
Let me know how you’re accomplishing your freelancing goals in the comments below …