Freelancing can be a great gig. You get to set out your own rules, and your destiny is in your own hands.
However, let’s not beat around the bush – being a successful freelancer is also tough. There is a lot of competition out there, and you will have to step up to the plate and get yourself out there if you want success. And, there are many pitfalls – large and small – that stand in your way.
In today’s guide, I’m going to reveal some of the common reasons why freelance businesses fail. Take a look, make some notes, and ensure you cover the basics if you want to achieve success.
First up, let’s take a look at a subject that is the downfall of many a freelancer: organization. Without the structure you get from working in a larger organization, it’s easy to slip into bad habits.
Invoices, contracts, admin duties – you can put them aside and deal with them later, at will. The trouble is, it doesn’t take long for everything to get incredibly messy. First-class organisation is nothing short of critical – so, keep your house in order.
Use organisational apps to help keep your admin and files together in one place. Also, look at time management apps like Pomodoro Time to give you extra focus.
If you aren’t prepared to get out there and sell yourself, you will find it tough as a freelancer. You need to dedicate time and energy to contact both warm and cold clients.
There will be networking events and local business meets to attend. You will have to spend some money on a great website to attract online business, and investing in SEO is critical, too.
In fact, with all this going on, where are you going to find the time to actually do any work? Again, making sure your organisation is up to scratch is vital to your success. And, knowing where to turn for the right help is also crucial. There just aren’t enough hours in the day available to do everything yourself, so don’t be afraid to outsource particular duties.
Use free website audit services to ensure your online presence is up to scratch. Strike up relationships with local SEOs or marketers. And get out there and meet people whenever you have the opportunity – it’s the best way to drum up business.
Ah, the age old problem of money. It’s a big one for freelancers. Set your rates too high and you will find yourself struggling to land paying clients. But charge too little, and you will end up working for peanuts.
Unfortunately, there are far too many businesses out there who happily exploit young freelancers. Don’t forget, as a freelancer, you aren’t just charging your clients for your labour and skills. You also have costs attached to each piece of work you do.
There are the raw materials you use, such as your electricity, mortgage or rent, and travel. You also need to remember to add on money for holidays and sickness. And don’t forget that you also have to pay tax and national insurance on everything you earn, too.
There are many other issues with becoming a freelancer, of course. But these three fundamental factors will have the most effect on your ability to succeed. Take a look around my blog for more great insights on how to achieve freelance and small business success!