Top tips for freelancers

Working for yourself is one of the hardest yet most rewarding things you can do. If you’re giving the freelancing gig a go, then make sure you consider our tips below to kick start you in the right direction.

1. Calculate your rate

Money is an important aspect, especially when you’re out on your own. You need to sit down and work out how much money you need to put back into your business, how much you will pocket, therefore establishing what you are going to charge your clients. There is no point in pocketing majority of your profit and not re-investing in your business. You also don’t want to over/under charge your clients. Compare your prices to other people who offer similar services. You want to be competitive, but you also need to be realistic.

2. Always have a contract

When freelancing chances are you will be working with people you haven’t worked with before. It is important that there is a clear document that both parties have signed that establishes the job required to be done, the cost, and the time frame. This not only covers you if something goes wrong but also will keep you motivated to get the job done and to the standard you promised.

3. Get a deposit upfront

To avoid anyone pulling out of the arrangement, secure a deposit once you have come to an agreement. This not only secures the job but also gives you a bit of income before starting the job. It will kickstart you into working on the project and help you keep your business up and running. We suggest 50% deposit on quote acceptance and 50% on completion of works.

4. Do research on your client first

Although you want work, the rule of quality over quantity definitely applies. You don’t want to be working with someone who isn’t reliable or has a bad reputation for not paying their contractors. A quick ABN search will give you that extra bit of comfort knowing you are going into business with a reputable client that has good morale.

5. Keep a regular schedule

Keeping a schedule is important, especially if you are working from home. Have a daily planner so you know exactly what you need to be doing and when it needs to be done by. It is important that you also give your clients the attention they deserve. If one client has given you a lot of work compared to a small task from another client, it is important you spend the correct amount of time on the work that it needs.

6. Time keeping

We cannot recommend enough that you time keep all your projects and tasks for clients. It helps you work out if you’re charging appropriately and will also help both you and the client with providing proof of works on invoice discrepancies, variances and scope creep.

7. Be the best at what you do

Being the expert in your niche is vital, especially if you are competing against a lot of other people/businesses that offer the same services as you. Blog about what you do, network, speak at events relevant, and keep your social media up to date. This is all so important in being reputable in what you do.

8. Get dressed as if you are going to work everyday

If you work from home, how you dress can affect your productivity for the day. If you roll out of bed and stay in your pjs all day, your brain will stay in a sleep mood all day. When you work from home you should still feel like you are in a professional environment. It will help motivate you to complete tasks and not get distracted by things around your house.

9. Consider a coworking space – get out of the house and socialise

Whether you have been freelancing your whole work-life, or your new to it, why not consider a coworking space? Especially if you have come from a working environment and have decided to brave going out on your own, having an office atmosphere may increase your daily productivity. It will also help separate work and home life. You won’t be distracted by household chores, unexpected visitors, or your noisy neighbours.

Goodluck and we hope you’re kicking goals left, right and centre.

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