A study from 2016 revealed that freelancers made up just over one third (35%) of the American workforce. Another study offered a similar statistic (32%) for Australia. Many of these freelancers are creatives, just like you. Whether you are writer, a social media manager, a computer programmer, a graphic designer, or another profession in the creative industries, there are a number of ways to enjoy a successful career as a freelancer or remote worker. You may have seen family members or friends enter the freelance market and decided that you just might like to follow the same route. Well, this is what you need to know.
The moment you decide to become a freelancer, you become your own boss. While this has some very definite advantages (or no-one would do it), it isn’t without its downsides. While the flexibility and freedom that comes with being a freelancer are tempting, take some time out to ask yourself whether you really have the work ethic required. If so, here’s what you need to do.
Create a personal brand
You’ll need to implement some personal marketing. What you’ll be marketing, however, is you and what you have to offer to potential clients. The most important aspect of creating your personal brand is self-reflection and determining your strengths, goals, and unique qualities. Begin with your CV to look back on what you’ve done and how your experiences can back up your career trajectory as a freelancer. Then highlight any projects that align with you as a freelancer when you realign your CV and LinkedIn profile.
Once you have created your personal brand, you need to have an elevator pitch in order to verbalise it. Networking is, of course, an important way of finding new clients and there’ll be no shortage of friends, family members, and ex-colleagues asking you about what you do. Your elevator pitch should act as a guide as you integrate your personal brand into your promotional efforts like social media. Now that you’re merging your professional and personal lives, you won’t need to spam your personal pages with posts related to work. Rather, decide on one or two platforms from where you can promote your personal brand.
Building enough connections to build a regular income isn’t an overnight process. You can start while at your present job, both in and out of the office. Check what industry events are taking place in your city, take part in virtual networking events, or attend classes and conferences both to connect and learn something within your field. Further, begin to create or realign your website and your LinkedIn profile to showcase your work and expertise.
While such platforms will attract potential clients there are other websites that allow you to seek out work for yourself. Sites such as Freelancer, Upwork, and Envato Studio, for example, enable you to create a profile and engage with clients through their postings. Stand out from the others with your personal brand and attract those projects that suit your skill set and interests.