You’ve been thinking about it for a while and now you’ve built up the courage to take the freelance plunge. You are understandably both excited and scared to kiss the familiar corporate world goodbye. Before you call it quits there are a few steps for you to take to help you succeed.
Regardless of how excited you are to leave your previous full-time job, unfortunately, you may have to hold off a little bit. It takes time to have enough client work in order to be able to sustain yourself as a freelancer so before you jump ship you need to calculate exactly how much you will need. First of all, calculate how much you will need to budget for things you may not have had to before, like health coverage and taxes. Other expenses are about to go up too, like your internet, phone, and any supplies you may need to be able to do your job that previously were provided by your employer.
You will also need to establish how much to charge. Take into consideration all of the above, plus your other household expenses in order to calculate your minimum viable income. This is the bare minimum you need to charge to keep yourself clothed, fed, and out of debt. We all have financial growth goals too of course, so take those into account as well as you plan.
Even with all of the above calculated, you still can’t quit your job cold turkey. Build up a healthy savings cushion and start freelancing on the side in order to build your name in your chosen industry. And those savings you have set aside? Make a special little pile for your bills and expenses during your first few months of freelance, outside of your emergency fund, just in case you don’t get paid on time!
GET YOUR PLANS ON PAPER
You know what you want to do and you know how to do it but that’s not all. An important part of your success will be how you roll out your services. You need to decide who you are going to be advertising them to; picking a niche will guide you in how you do this. Wanting success is great but it is a bit vague. Set long-term and short-term goals to give yourself something to work towards. These can include financial goals or how many clients you want to have by certain dates.
SPREAD THE FREELANCE WORD
Even though your goal is to get out of your 9-5 job, the connections you made by working there can still be useful to you. Do not gleefully dance out the door on your last day, singing to everyone about how much better you will be without them! Keep those bridges with bosses, managers, or coworkers intact as much as possible! You may even be able to convince them to let you take them on as a client.
You never know who may know somebody, so tell everybody about your budding freelance career! Share your website and professional social media accounts on your personal ones; add them to your email signature; even have your friends share it on their accounts. Don’t wait for potential clients to find you, reach out, and introduce yourself to individuals and businesses in your niche.
SECURE YOUR SUCCESS
Deciding to finally follow your dreams is exciting! Give yourself the best chance of success by taking it slow and making a plan to follow. Be strategic with your finances and don’t be shy with telling people about your freelance career. No one can guarantee success, but by following these steps you’ll feel less like you’re taking a free fall and more like you’ve got a parachute to guide you down.
You’ve built up the courage to take the freelance plunge. Before you call it quits here are steps to help you succeed.