There is no shock factor to the news that a lot of freelance contractors have been making things complicated, whether they intended to or not, as they embark on the journey to becoming their own bosses.
While a lot of freelancers find it a bit of a challenge to put everything into place, others hacked ways to make it simple and profitable. They manage to smile while being very productive at the same time.
If you have been banging to get yourself out of that mess and repetitive drill, here are ten basic things you can put to use to free yourself of the knackering routine.
IF YOU’RE NOT PASSIONATE ABOUT IT, DON’T.
It pretty much applies to almost everything.
One of my favorite movies, A Dream For An Insomniac, even had a character saying, “anything less than mad and passionate [love] is a waste of my time.” I believe this has to be a principle you could apply to freelancing.
Why would you even waste your time in something that you’re not really into when there’s so much you could be more productive about – or maybe even become a better person at?
One of the reasons a lot of freelancers find the task unsettling is their lack of passion for it – therefore leaving them undetermined to carry on. You can never accomplish anything if both your heart and your mind are not in sync to do it.
You need to ask yourself whether you’re freelancing because they money is in the bag and everyone else is doing it, or you actually want to succeed at it.
You also have to assess what drives you to it. You need to learn how strong and authentic your feeling about becoming your own boss is.
IF YOU SAY YES TO EVERYTHING, YOU’LL NEVER GET ANY JOB DONE.
Learning how to say no to certain jobs gets you more focused on the more beneficial ones. Although some would say that you could easily get rich by taking on one job together with another, this just compromises the quality of the job you can deliver. Which leads us back to rule number one – where is your passion in this path?
If you work on a lot of jobs at the same time, even if if you claim to be a time-management superhero, you are putting extra pressure on yourself and get distracted.
You need to say no, especially when you think that one task may ask you to exert more effort and make more time for.
And even if raking in the dough motivates us by accepting another job offerwhile working on the current one, you must find time to check if it is relevant to what you are doing at the moment. Ask yourself if doing it will compromise with meeting your deadline.
YOU CAN’T GET DISTRACTED BY EVERYTHING YOU SEE AROUND.
The Word Wide Web is every freelancer’s office. The minute you sit at your desk and turn on your computer, your screen is about to buzz with almost every bit of distraction that can keep you from being productive. Your discipline will be challenged at this point.
Personally, I run a lot of tabs on my browser while working. My email client also runs all the time, as I check my email from time to time – expecting important messages or not.
However, with all the buzz going about, I found it hard to concentrate on the task at hand. Imagine Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other things running. They’re just so hard to ignore.
Identify the things on the Internet that could keep you from working efficiently and do not open them. Ideally, you can create a separate user profile for work where you can configure distractions to be blocked. This way, you can work without any distractions. Assign a different schedule for leisure browsing, too.
UNDERESTIMATING YOUR OWN SKILLS AND POTENTIAL WON’T GET YOU ANYWHERE.
If you strongly believe that you have value, backed by your the skills and all the applied learning you’ve got, you have every reason to give yourself a fair rate.
Even if “ignorant” clients get ticked off by high rates, you still can get the confidence of other prospects if they know the value of an excellent freelancer. They’re always ready to pay the awesome ones.
Putting up a market-competitive rate for your skills can simplify your business. Find out what beginners are charging compared to the seasoned ones and those that are merely in the middle of making it better. Know your worth and value and establish a freelancer rate based on what your abilities are worth.
A SIMPLE CHART OF YOUR DRILLS COULD BE WORTH LOOKING AT EVERY SINGLE DAY.
An efficient working routine does not come in easily, and neither does a great output. When working on a project, the quality of your end-product epends on how much process it went through. Well, it’s funny that this is a routine you do all the time. Keep a visual representation of what you do at a certain time and hang it where you can see it to remind yourself and what needs to be finished when.
REMIND YOURSELF NOT TO DO THE SAME ADMIN TASK OVER AND OVER AGAIN.
If you’ve got repetitive admin work to be done, like a weekly task report, or a regular invoice, chances are time will be spent doing it over and over again. Instead of having to start from scratch, creating a template that you can fill out will be more efficient.
Not every freelancer signs up on a marketplace website where reports and invoices are automated. Proposal letters and other correspondence are another issue.
Creating templates are very useful and can save you loads of productive or even leisure time.
IF YOU’VE GOT TOO MANY TASKS FOR ONE PROJECT AND IT PAYS OFF, OUTSOURCE A FEW OF THEM TO SOMEONE WHO CAN HELP.
Yes, small businesses and a lot of freelancers are outsourcing several of their tasks to other freelancers to make things better. If you’ve got an all-in project where you may not be very confident about one of the tasks that comes with it, you can ask for assistance for a small price.
Writers usually outsource their research work to someone else so they can concentrate on structuring their pieces. Web developers may also ask someone else to do the coding, while they work on the more complex matters.
Find someone you can trust to do the work and pay them from a portion of your own earnings.
GET THE BALL ROLLING.
If you feel that your mind, body, and spirit have adapted well enough to the rudiments of freelancing, then you can start the ball rolling.
The education you have attained and your constant applied learning, combined with all the feedback and constructive criticism you receive all the time should be your driving force to not stop.
Moving along and performing like clockwork is set out to bring in more positive results for you.
SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING AROUND YOU.
Businesses (or your clients) are not just the only ones who need to listen to what is being talked about on the Internet. As a freelancer, you also need to be aware of what’s going on in the market and the industry.
Take time to read about the latest news on freelancing, marketplace reviews, industry best practices, etc. These pieces of information are available in almost every Social Media channel, blog sites, and digital news platforms.
Keeping yourself informed allows you to make your own clever decisions about your career and your business.
WISELY GENERATE AN AUDIENCE AND CHOOSE WHO TO PROMOTE YOURSELF TO
In other words, wisely pick your network. With an endless sea of individuals and organisations looking for the best freelancers, set against millions of contractors on every known freelance marketplace, you need to be able to stand out and wisely choose who you want to establish a trust working relationship with.
Market yourself as a freelancer, but remember to emphasise what you’re an expert at. Being a “jack of all trades” in the freelancing world may be an advantage but people may think you’re a “master of none”. Be sure to out your expertise at the top of your list to show off to the global online audience and the other skills at the side, for additional value.
When promoting yourself on the World Wide Web as an independent contractor, prospective clients will take a first look at what you can mainly do for them, and then take a glance at the value added services you can offer.
Networking with your peers will also help. They can give you great advice on best practices and at the same time you can share yours. This will also help you become more visible on the Internet.
Once you started putting these rules into practice, you will eventually learn to evaluate your own worth as a freelancer and the way you do your business. You caan expect your work to become more simple and way more productive than how you used to do it.
If you’ve been freelancing for a while now and you’ve got best practices that you find to be very useful, feel free to share it with us.