The life of a freelancer most certainly isn't for everyone. After all, you've got a lot of responsibility on your shoulders that would normally fall onto your employer, you have the pressure of not earning when you're not working, and you've got the stress of having to do your own taxes too! However, for those who are able to get the most out of it, freelancing can be one of the most rewarding career options out there. You get to have control over your own schedule, you are able to use your skills in order to earn a living, and you can choose your client base much more selectively than if you worked for someone else. However, even if you love it, making the most of your position as a freelancer can be tough. With that in mind, here are some ways to do just that.
Send out invoices earlyInvoicing can be an annoying thing to have to deal with. After all, it's just an extra step between you and getting paid when you'd much rather be actually working. However, if you're not sending out invoices, you're not getting paid. Clients can be frustratingly slow to respond to them so make sure that you send out invoices as early as possible. You can use an invoice template excel to make the whole process a lot faster as well. That way, you can focus on the stuff that you actually care about rather than constantly panicking about whether or not you're getting paid.
Give yourself a scheduleFar too often, people who are new to the world of freelancing assume that they don't have to worry about sticking to a schedule and that they can work whenever they like. And sure, the flexibility that it offers is one of the major draws of working as a freelancer. However, if you don't enforce a routine upon yourself, you're almost certainly going to end up falling into the trap of letting the work pile up on top of you. This almost always leads to you having to work late into the night or rush everything in order to meet a deadline. Giving yourself a schedule that you follow is going to make life a whole lot easier and less stressful.
Put yourself out thereOf course, none of those things are going to be a problem if you don't actually have any customers. The one thing that you really can't take for granted as a freelancer is the fact that you need to get out and try to find clients. If you're not putting yourself out there, you're never going to be able to succeed. You need a great website with well-integrated SEO, a strong social media presence, and the ability to network as effectively as possible. Otherwise, you're just going to end up getting buried under the competition.
None of this is meant to discourage anyone from choosing to become a freelancer. However, if you're not prepared for some of the challenges that you might face, then your freelance career could end up being over before it's even really had a chance to begin.