Do you have a working freelance totally boring but it serves to reach the end of the month? Do not lose it, nor use it as an excuse for not following your dreams and passions.
The common misperception about successful self-employed is that one day, dramatically, give up their day job and live happily ever after.
Freelance in a recession
Armies of workers have been fired in the past year, and when you are one of the survivors who remain on the payroll, the natural instinct is to feel grateful to have been saved and not make a peep. The idea of seeking contract work, when the unemployment rate is very high may seem ridiculous. Freelancers cost companies less than half what they cost full-time employees, and large waves of layoffs often create opportunities for contractors to fill the gaps.
Do independent work in a time of job insecurity has benefits in two ways. First, diversifying your income stream. Since not depend on a single check to pay your bills. Second, independent work is ideal for showing what you can do to potential employers. When you’re independent you are in a constant interview mode.
The point here is that even in self-employment recession is not impossible, even something intelligent.
Place yourself in the market
The idea of becoming self-employed to put your name on the market and having to struggle to sell your services. Besides the common work you do, being a freelancer means being a sales person.
How you should get in the market and show your offers depends on your field. If you have no idea where to start, you should find some large independent professionals who do what they do and follow suit. Sure need some type of website, business card and a portfolio or CV. Do not skimp on this matter: rather than settle for a free hosting account somewhere, spend the $ 20 necessary to register a domain name and make at least a website that describes who you are, what you offer and contact information .
The best way to find a job is through people you know and references of happy customers.
How to get contracts and when to work pro-bono
Once you are officially on the market, it’s time to get some customers. The references of people you know increase business opportunities. Let your friends, associates, former coworkers, fellow members of book club, and the guy sitting next to you at the hairdresser know you’re available for freelance work. People are far more likely to hire someone recommended by someone you trust, so it’s your job to create a network. When you do, remember that other independent professionals are not your competition, but they are your friends. Knowing who do the same as you expand your group of contacts and potential clients.
When you have exhausted the references of the people you meet in person, you can try advertising services more broadly. The key is finding your audience.
If you are just starting out and need to fill your portfolio consider making some pro-bono work for a desirable customer. While not the best, this is sometimes used to gain opportunities.
Put a price: When time really is money
Your hourly rate depends on the project, your industry, market, location, economy, your experience, and how big your customer’s pockets. As a general rule, when you’re quoting an hourly rate, overestimates both the time and money.
When you’re just starting out, the tendency is to underprice because they really want to achieve the contract and are optimistic about the number of hours it will take to complete. However, you forget to take into account issues such as taxation and the time for administrative tasks. As you gain more experience, you will adjust your prices, learn to read different types of customers and what your budget range and have the confidence to walk away from contracts not worth taking.
Regarding the schedule, do not forget to be doing this work evenings and weekends, and things often take more than your initial plan. So overestimates the amount of hours you’ll need. It is always better to lower expectations and deliver rather than having to push a delivery date.
With your day job, you can start your career as an independent with less pressure to make money immediately.