It is no secret that advances in digital technology have made remote working an increasingly routine aspect of a growing number of jobs. Yet for some, that is only the first step in achieving independence and the perfect work life balance, as more people than ever are taking the plunge and leaving paid employment to set up on their own as freelance consultants.
The trend is being seen across a variety of industries, from the ones that might spring immediately to mind such as web design, digital marketing and writing to more unexpected areas including management consultancy, accountancy, and even administrative support.
Whatever your sector, there are some basics that you need to get right to make a success of the freelance lifestyle. Let’s take a look.
Balance the balance
Work life balance is one of those phrases that is thrown around like confetti but is easier said than done. Most freelancers are home based, and while the theory is that this provides the perfect opportunity to seamlessly blend home and work commitments, it takes organization and focus in a dedicated home office environment to get it right. Only too often, you can find the two aspects of your life competing for your time rather than complimenting each other, and the net result is often that neither gets the attention it deserves.
Make a plan
Being a freelancer can sometimes be a lonely business. One of the most important lessons you learn is that nobody is there to do anything for you, and that includes strategic planning. Benjamin Franklin famously said that if you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, so create a business plan, including your financial needs, goals, and how you will actually translate these into tangible work.
Promote your brand
If you think branding is all about the multinational conglomerates, then think again. When you enter the freelance business, you are competing against plenty of like-minded individuals with similar skill sets. You are your own brand, so promote it. More than a quarter of the global population is on social media – there are two billion on Facebook alone – so make use of this amazing resource to let the world who you are and what you can do.
Only you can do it
Being a freelancer puts you in control of your own destiny. It is a great feeling, but it also carries great responsibility. Success or failure can rest on a knife edge, and it is all down to you.