Freelancing is both a lifestyle and career oriented choice that over 1/3 of the U.S working population currently choose to undertake on a full time or part time basis.
The rise and subsequent popularity of freelancing over the past decade is by no means a coincidence, with more and more professionals of varying ages choosing to freelance because they feel they could be doing something more with their lives.
The best freelancers often have a strong entrepreneurial side because they’re tasked with so many roles beyond the scope of their specialization. For example, regardless of whether you’re a web developer, writer, graphic designer, or any other subject matter specialist, you still have to network, you still have to market yourself, and you still have to look after all the financial aspects to your business.
Because there is much to be gained in terms of overall output and productivity in these areas, freelancers who thrive on this challenge not only find ways to deliver great work to their clients, but generally grow their freelancing businesses into highly profitable and rewarding passion projects which just keep giving back.
How to Tap into Your Entrepreneurial Reserve?
Everybody likes to be appreciated for doing something others feel is of high quality, they also like to receive something of value in return for their services. Even if you think you know someone or feel you may be someone who just wants to go to work, earn their paycheck and go home each day, I’m betting that given the right circumstances you have a bubbling entrepreneurial reserve just waiting to break out; you just need to find it.
Finding your entrepreneurial reserve can be tricky, but by asking yourself the following questions, you can really start to dig deeper into what might spark that entrepreneurial fire in you:
- What makes me happy?
- If I could do anything professionally, what would it be?
- What don’t I like about my current job?
- Do I feel underappreciated in my current job?
- Am I underpaid for my work?
- What sort of clients would I like to work with if I had the choice?
- Is my health and fitness suffering because of my current job?
- Is there something better out there for me?
When you push yourself to answer questions like these, often you’ll find yourself asking other questions of yourself. Sometimes as we get caught in the fast pace of life our real happiness can get away from us, so check in on yourself from time to time. It can do wonders.
I Want to Freelance, How Do I start?
So, you know what subject area you want to freelance in, you know you could be doing something more purposeful that would make you happier, but here comes a dose of reality. Have you asked yourself what you’re willing to sacrifice to make your dream happen?
The freelancing field is competitive, and the rewards are both financially and personally satisfying. However, when you take the sugar-coating off, there can be times when the work dries up. Or you have to work late. Times when you have to get up in the middle of the night to communicate with an overseas client. Issues such as this are all considerations you need to make before you start accepting client work. I recommend just sitting down and listing the pros and cons of freelancing as you see it.
By all means, read up on what others are saying online and listen to colleagues, but make the assessment based on your life circumstances. Remember, anything is possible, so if someone else says it’s too hard or gives another reason why freelancing may not be for you, hear them out but make your own choices. This is your life, do what’s right for you.
Now that You’re Really Ready to Start Freelancing
Now that you’re ready to start freelancing, it’s time to access your entrepreneurial reserves and market yourself like you would any other business. You are your own business, and everything you do and say from now on matters. Start by drawing up a business plan. If you haven’t done so before, there are lots of resources online. You’re business plan should include such items as:
- The products and services you intend to offer
- A target market breakdown
- Financial plans
- A SWOT analysis of your business
- A detailed competitor analysis
- A market overview
- Details surrounding your business structure
- An overview of your marketing plan
- A breakdown of your operational factors
Once you have a handle on your business plan, you’re going to want to ensure you have a thorough marketing plan. This will sell your services, and help bring in the clients. This may be as detailed as you want, but you will need to define some clear monthly budgets, and work on the presentation of your business to the market.
If you’ve made it this far, you’re ready to take action. By now you will have realized you’re in control, and your future successes depend both on your skill as a freelance professional and how you as an entrepreneur can drive your business forward. Because you have to be part entrepreneur to succeed as a freelancer this can be a very exciting time for you, so embrace the moment and move forward.
If you’ve made a realistic assessment of how you intend to integrate yourself into the market, and there is enough work out there for you, you should have no problem making a living from what you love. There is no greater professional reward than this, so even if you’re not sure whether this may be possible for you it’s definitely worth taking the time to analyze your life circumstances and make that decision.
Not sure where to go? Here are two of the largest Freelancer’s Marketplace to find work: