Sick of the politics, poor wages, jam-packed schedules, and insecurity that come with office jobs? You’re not alone – according to QZ.com, about 40% of the American workforce will be freelance by 2020.
Are you shocked by that stat? You shouldn’t be – technology has made self-employment easier than ever before. Don’t think you’ve got what it takes to work for yourself? Let us ask you this – do you have a blog? If so, you could turn your love of content creation into a career.
In today’s post, we’ll share five tips that will transform you from anonymous cubicle dweller to a rockstar copywriter.
(1) Learn to type faster
Right now, you may be a hunt-and-peck typist. Like any skill, however, typing can be improved through practice. Start by evaluating your current speed. Fenetic Wellbeing has launched a typing test that makes this task fun and easy.
Once you’ve established your baseline, work on your mechanics. Sites like Skillshare offer courses that teach the basics of touch typing. After a few weeks of practice, your fingers will be flying across the keyboard faster than ever before.
(2) Set up your portfolio
Next, you’ll need to post examples of work you’ve done in the past. That means setting up a website – Squarespace, Weebly, or other site creation tools are perfect for this task. Within an hour or two, you can have a presence on the web.
Then, think about the markets you wish to target. We know – it’s tempting to be a Jack/Jane of all trades. However, you’ll be FAR more effective writing about things you care about. Don’t have pre-existing content? Take an evening or two to whip up some representative pieces. Do this, and you’ll have something to point prospective clients toward when they contact you.
(3) Define the “rules of the game”
Before you start reaching out to potential clients locally or on the internet – STOP. Many newbie freelancers dive into their new career headfirst, without thinking about business strategy or workflow.
The end result – you end up an underpaid, overworked, stressed-out mess. You know, the one that’s currently STUCK in a hellish office gig!
Before sending a single prospecting e-mail, think – what do you want your freelance life to look like? How long do you want to work per day? What will your business hours be? How much will you charge per project?
Asking these questions can be terrifying. Get it right, though, and you’ll avoid working 60 hours per week to pay the bills.
(4) ABN – always be networking
One month, clients can deluge you with work. The next, your invoices crater by 60% – that’s freelancing for you. Many business contacts only offer infrequent work – when it dries up, you’ll need to search for new contracts.
As such, you need to put yourself out there consistently. By working sites like LinkedIn & Twitter, and by attending local meetups, you can keep your pipeline reasonably full. Over time, you’ll eventually acquire clients that offer recurring work – the Holy Grail of self-employment!
(5) Be mindful of your financials
In a day job, you get a consistent paycheque every two weeks. In freelancing, you only get what you go after. Sometimes, clients pay late – or not at all.
And then, there are taxes. Without fail, new freelancers underestimate their tax burden. They accidentally spend the money needed to pay their bill. Or, worst of all – they get so paralysed by the process that they end up going into arrears.
As soon as you get your business up and running, talk to an accountant. They’ll set up a system that will prevent you from stumbling into these pitfalls.