Tips For Successful Freelancing Part 1

Nearly every single week, I receive a couple of emails from readers asking for any tips that I have so that they can get started with freelancing as well.

Today’s post will be all about freelancing successfully, enjoy!

When I tell people that I am switching to 100% freelancing, they tend to think that my life will be easy as cake and that I will basically be prancing around in my pajamas 24 hours a day.

They also think that I will be sleeping for around 15 hours each day.

I’m not sure why people think this. Freelancing is still working and everyone still needs to plan in order to be successful.

Below are my tips in order to freelance successfully:

Be realistic.

One thing that I always tell everyone is that you need to be realistic with your freelancing plans. Not everyone makes 6 figures, and not everyone is successful.

What works for one person may not work for you. Not everyone has the same skills, and not everyone enjoys doing the same thing. I think that if you want to work for yourself, then having some sort of passion is a good idea. Enjoy what you are doing!

Have a plan.

If you are going to switch to freelancing, make a plan for what you want to do. Can you afford it? How many projects can you realistically take on? Will you hire employees? What kind of business budget will you have? What will you do as a freelancer? What will your pricing be?

There are many questions to ask yourself. Not everyone has everything answered, but it is wise to have some sort of plan so that you are prepared for things that may happen.

Market yourself.

If you just started freelancing, then it would be very hard for anyone to know about your services unless you market yourself. How is anyone supposed to know what you do, if they don’t even know that you exist?

There are many ways to market yourself. You can start a website (as discussed below), ask for others to recommend you, be active on social media, advertise online or in the paper, and so on.

Create a website detailing your services.

This goes hand in hand with marketing yourself. When most people are researching what company they want to use for a project that they need done, then the first thing that they do most likely will be searching online for the company’s website.

If you don’t have a website, then this might hinder your growth. Just start one! It can be simple, depending on what type of service that you offer. Of course, if you have some sort of design business, then having a nice website will be key.

Ask for a review or a testimonial.

If you already have some projects completed for your clients, trying asking them if they will leave a review about how you did. If you have REAL reviews from REAL customers/clients, this will help potential future customers choose your services.

Have a schedule and stick to it.

When I make the freelancing switch, it does not mean that I will be sleeping in until 1 p.m. every single day. I will still attempt to stick to a similar schedule as to what I have now.

In some industries, your clients may only need you after 5 p.m., maybe only before 7 a.m. If you plan on entering these industries, then you will have to adjust your schedule and work when they need you.

What other tips do you have for successful freelancing?


This post was mentioned on Money Bulldog.



Tips For Successful Freelancing Part 1 — 36 Comments

  1. I would love to freelance more, and go into business for myself one day, but the marketing part makes me nervous. I would need to be doing a LOT of side-jobs in order to feel comfortable switching to self-employed, but it seems that folks who are good at marketing themselves have a much easier time making the switch!

  2. Excellent advice. As a freelancer myself I can say it’s all true. If you can start it as a ‘side job’ it’s better. I was forced into it, after losing my job and being SERIOUSLY into debt. It was a horrible experience for 3-4 months, until I was able to start earning better.

    It’s been 4 years since then and I do make a comfortable living from my small business. As you said, it’s not gonna work for everybody. It’s a lot of effort and hassle, but in some cases it works out πŸ˜‰

  3. Great stuff Michelle. I think another key point is, if you can, starting out small while you still have a steady job. It’s hard to answer these questions or really know what goes into freelancing if you haven’t done it before. You’ve done a great job building up a big freelancing business while also working another job, which means your switch will be much smoother than if you were starting from scratch.

  4. “They also think that I will be sleeping for around 15 hours each day.” Lol, I am glad I am not the only one who gets asked the same thing. πŸ™‚ These are all great tips. I would also add network and then network some more. You never know who someone will know and remember to be willing to help out someone I need as networking is a two way street.

  5. I just tried freelancing for the first time. I wasn’t really trying to find a job, but I ran across a company looking for health writers, and I knew tons about the topics. I thought it was going really well. Two of my three articles were approved for publication, then I got a no reply email telling me my services were no longer needed. I’m not sure how to feel about that. Did that ever happen to you?

  6. After seeing how much you are making freelancing, I am considering giving it a go and these tips certainly help. I am still not ready to start writing content for others (and the fact that I’m not a native English speaker is a big drawback), but I am seriously considering it…

  7. To me the biggest challenge is time. With a full-time job and a family it can be tough trying to stick to a schedule. If I could get to the point of quitting the day job to work from home full time I could get a lot more done, but for now it is more like baby steps.

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  9. Great post Michelle! I think people can underestimate how much planning can go into working for yourself before even getting successful. With our “adhd” world, I think people think success comes instantaneously, but it takes a lot of grunt work before things can go well.

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  11. Time management is so essential to freelancing! Being realistic as well is key. You need to know what you are capable of accomplishing at a certain period of time. And it’s actually not enough knowing this. You need to communicate this and not take in more than you can chew in the hopes of getting more.

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