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Freelancing business strategies for success

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This guide outlines how to build a successful freelancing business either as main or side income.

For women, there are more opportunities than ever before to build a strong business in a flexible way. There are marketplaces and different ways to offer your services, and you also have flexibility in things like the setting where you work. For example, you don’t have to put money toward the overhead of dedicated office space, but instead, you might find that the benefits of a coworking space are right for you.

How to build a freelancing business

One way to create a freelancing business that’s sustainable and take advantage of the current flexibility in the marketplace is to become a freelancer, and below are tips on how to make that happen as a female entrepreneur.

What is a Freelancer?

First things first, what is a freelancer? Most freelancers will earn money by the job or on a by-task basis. The work is usually short-term, and the individual is working as an independent contractor. In this arrangement, you’re not an employee. You can, as a result, have the freedom to take on a variety of different jobs, even among competing companies, as your time allows.

You can build a freelancing business as your full-time source of income, or you can do it as a supplement to your full-time job if you have time.

You might sign a contract for the job that’s going to be done, but sometimes you don’t even need to do that. You could just charge a flat fee, an hourly rate, or a rate per project with no contract at all.

Freelancers often work in creative or skilled industries, like copywriting, editing, marketing, consulting, computer programming, or fields that are similar.

If you’re an independent contractor, you are self-employed. Your income is considered self-employment income, so you get IRS form 1099. You could have to pay the full amount of Social Security owed, and the downside here is that if you were an employee, then your employer might pay half unlike being a freelancer.

If you’re a full-time freelancer, your projects fill your day, just like a full-time job would. You can grow as you want because you’re in charge of your projects, and you’re able to take on multiple projects. A part-time freelancer has the benefit of a fixed income in addition to their freelance job, but it can take longer to grow your business simply because you have less time.

Getting started with a freelancing business

It’s important to be successful as a freelancer that you have an area of expertise you’re focused on. Because of this, it may not be right for everyone. You can, however, if you have the skills, work in multiple areas.

The primary way you’re likely to connect with clients is online, so start building an online presence as soon as you think this might be the career path for you.

It takes a long time to get your name out and to come to a point where people are going to consistently want to work with you.

You can start with a profile on a marketplace like Upwork, and you should also consider creating your own website with a portfolio of your work.

When you’re building your online presence, you need to be able to show people you have the skills and competence they’re looking for. Once you’re more established, this becomes easier, but when you’re starting out, you’re going to have to build a sense of trust primarily through your portfolio. Even if you don’t have any paid projects, you can create and show some samples.

As is true with any type of business, if you want to build your business as a freelancer, develop buyer personas. These are fictional representations that are based on who you ideally see as your targeted customer. You want to know as much as possible about the people you’re targeting because this is going to help you refine your marketing and messaging.

Pricing

Freelancers have to find a strong balance when it comes to pricing. They need prices low enough that they’re competitive but high enough that they’re going to earn a viable income.

If you’re just starting out, you’re going to have to set your prices lower, and then over time, you can raise them as your experience and your reputation expand.

Depending on your industry and area of expertise, you might want to create packages that clients can choose from rather than charging by the hour.

Networking

Aside from the flexibility you’ll have and the reduced costs of overhead, owning a freelance business is similar in most ways to any other type of business. A lot of your success will rely on your ability to network, and it’s going to take a lot of your time and energy.

You want to start out by going to the places your clients are likely spending time online. You might also network in person, but this just depends on your goal and the area you work in.

Prepare to Be Persistent

When you’re working as a freelancer, you’re doing everything on your own, and there are inevitably going to be pitfalls as part of that. It’s also going to take time to see results with a freelancing business. It may take years, so prepare yourself for this and mentally get ready to weather storms that may arise.

You will face hard times, but this is the reality for anyone who owns a business—it’s not exclusive to freelancing.

Building Relationships

It’s much easier for you as a freelance entrepreneur to have repeat customers who come back to you over and over again than it is for you to have to find a new customer every time a project ends.

This means you need to make current customer relationships one of your biggest priorities. Always offer the best service and outcomes, and stay in touch with them. Not only is this going to help you get repeat business, but they’re also likely to pass your name onto other people.

Last words…

Finally, just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean you don’t need to build your brand. It’s just that you, yourself are the brand. You want to make sure that you’re regularly updating your blog and social media. Let people know more about who you are, what you bring to the table, and why they should consider hiring you.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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