Hacks to surviving and flourishing in the gig economyMunira Rangwala
Giving thought to the possibility of quitting your full-time job to switch to freelancing? While working in your sweatpants may seem like the best idea, it is not as simple as that. Let’s debunk some misconceptions about freelancing: starting out will be tough as nails, steady income can be as rare as the will-o'-the-wisp, stingy and non-complaint clients are part of the deal. With that said, it is true that freelancing allows you to earn double the money you draw in as compared to your full-time salary, but it also requires immense dedication and the will to succeed against all odds.
Here are five tips to help you need to flourish in the freelance economy.
Talk to any full-time freelancer and they will tell you that a strong network of clientele is the major reason for them to stay afloat. So, network like your life depends on it. Literally! The more people you know in the industry the steadier your chances at regular flow of opportunities. Therefore, networking is the key.
Build your personal brand
When you are a freelancer, you are the brand. Whether you're a web developer or a writer, you are selling your services, therefore, your personality should be a reflection of your skills and professionalism.
Make a plan of action
Yes, freelancers don't have bosses sitting on their heads. Now it’s easy to consider this as a much-needed relief, but be aware that the excess of liberty and lack of a figurehead can leave you lax. Therefore, you need to be your own tyrant. Set your own goals, timelines, schedules, etc., if you ever wish to sustain a life as a freelancer. Whether it is acquiring five new clients in three months or taking up work worth a certain amount every month, freelancers need to draft their business plan if they want to survive.
Determine your pricing
Overselling and underselling yourself are both harmful to your time as a freelancer. Research about the prevalent rates within the industry, before you quote a price. If you feel that a client is trying to stiff you, then walk away. Make sure you're charging enough to make a sustainable, comfortable living as you can always increase your rates once you've amassed a strong clientele.
Perfect your pitch
Pitching your services to a client is an art, which purely depends on how you position your value propositions and how much research you do for your pitch. If you begin the discussion completely based on the remuneration, then your client will get the feeling that you're only in it for the money. Therefore, offering value before discussing money will take you a long way.
For someone who is just entering the freelancing market, your main aim should be to increase your visibility. Use the above mentioned five tips to make big gains in your freelance business.