People who are unsatisfied in their jobs usually conjure up an inaccurate picture of freelancers; they envision them as people who work in coffee shops, are finished by noon, and can sleep in because they don’t follow regular work hours. While some of that can be true to an extent – depending on your workload – freelancing is no less demanding and a standard 9 to 5 job. In fact, freelancing might be more demanding because you are essentially running your own business. Freelancers have to reach out to clients, chase payments, and make sure employees (i.e. themselves) stick to deadlines. Read on to find out what else freelancers have to consider and ask yourself if you have what it takes to run such a business.
The only way freelancers get clients is if they advertise their services really well. Most businesses, big or small, have a website to promote their company and connect with their customers, and it can work just as well for a freelancer. Setting up a website is so easy, the almost everyone now has one; just go to a web hosting site, find a unique and memorable domain name that reflects your business idea, and start designing an eye-catching website with engaging content. The purpose of your website is to set yourself up as an expert and demonstrate why people should use your services over someone else. If it’s possible, include a few testimonials from previous clients so that people know that you are worth the cost to their business.
Taxes can get very complicated for freelancers, which makes paying them less fun. Are they self-employed, or do they technically have an employer if most of their work is for a single client? You can easily check out your employment status for tax purposes using the IR35 status indicators or by checking on a government website. However, many people find the IR35 legislation difficult to understand, so it’s worth double checking with a tax advisor or accountant. Reputation is everything to a freelancer, so the last thing they need is a tax violation on their record.
Becoming a freelancer is incredibly risky because they don’t have the protection of a big company if anything goes wrong. Therefore, any freelancer worth their money will have two things; Professional Indemnity insurance to protect them when a client accuses them of providing inadequate services. PI insurance covers the legal costs in defending the claim.
Freelancers are not skilled at everything; they do what they do because they are good at one specific thing and they figured out how to make money from doing it. A freelance content writer could put together several articles per day without breaking a sweat, but they could lose business if their computer crashes and they don’t know how to fix it. Fortunately, they know how to successfully outsource these jobs so they can focus on what they do know. Freelancers may work by themselves, but they know the importance of a good support system.