As I was reading How To Be A Freelance Writer Or Virtual Assistant, I realized how far I’ve come since I started in 2011. All I had was a family computer and a slow internet connection but with a strong drive to make things happen, I signed up in UpWork (then oDesk).
Finding a legit job was hard, I had to deal with a few scam jobs before landing a real one.
Today, finding a job is easy, getting the job is what’s hard.
With a lot of people leaving their 9-5 jobs to start working on their own pace or start a business they can do from home, the freelance world is more competitive than ever.
Every month, I see (and read) a lot of articles talking about how people are enjoying their freedom from working a traditional job and how being a freelancer has been the best decision they’ve ever made with a strong proof of their Instagram account full of snaps from their travels (I may be one of these people, ha!).
But the question remains the same, do you have what it takes to be an independent worker?
The only person who can answer this is you.
Ask yourself this question: What am I passionate about?
Finding out what you’re passionate about is the first thing you should ask yourself.
Because I’m a firm believer in the saying “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life – Confucius“.
Working in the office and working from anywhere you want has only one difference, the location. If you leave your stressful 9-5 job only to replace it with the same type of stressful work-from-home job, it defeats the purpose of working independently.
Find something you love and then find a way to make a living out of it.
What to do: Get a pen and a paper. Make two columns, label one with “Passions” and the other “Actions”. Under the column “Passions”, write everything you are passionate about whether it be food, games, clothing, makeup, be creative! Awaken the child in you. Next, under the “Actions” column, write in the same line with your passions the actions you can do. For example, under passions column I would write writing, so under actions column I would write, start a blog or apply as a content writer for websites.
After you decide which point you want to pursue, here are some tips to help you get started:
Create your schedule
This is very important especially if you’re not the best in time management.
Personally, I prefer journals/planner where you write your tasks and to do list. But today, there are lots of stylish calendars you can use, even checklist apps are available for you to download in your phone. I use both.
I have a planner, I use the calendar on my phone and I use Any.do (and the built-in calendar) for Mac.
The great thing about being able to work in your own timetable is you can cross off items from your list aa you go about your day.
Some days my to do list includes: Do laundry, clean drawer, buy groceries, get a massage and dinner with my parents. If I was working traditionally, I would only be able to do these tasks after work or during weekends. But for independent workers, you can do your morning routine when you wake up, check and respond to emails, do laundry, work for an hour or two, clean drawer, have lunch, work for an hour, go out and buy groceries, go to the nearest cafe and work again for an hour or two, have dinner with your family or friends and get a massage after.
Create another income generating channel
This is where some freelancers fail, they rely on their clients for income.
Rainy days happen to everyone.
Contracts may end abruptly and before you know it, you’re broke.
This is usually the reason why more freelancers take up more than one contract just to be sure they have a steady income. But the best step for a brighter future in freelancing is to invest in something while you are working.
You can start a blog, an online shop, or maybe even start your own business. Invest earlier in your career. As I am writing this, I wish somebody told me this sooner.
Prepare everything you need
I failed in this area big time.
Before you start your freelancing business, create a strategy on how you will market your services.
Create a contract, set working hours, create a working email, write out quotes and proposal templates that you’re going to use. After all, you wouldn’t go to war without your weapons.
More and more people are turning to freelancing and I’m pretty sure we will see a spike in the coming years.
Be organized and prepared so you can keep up with the rising trend.
Make use of technology
There are so many tools you can use today that’s essential to your freelance career.
Familiarize the ones that most freelancers use. Test them out and see which one works for you. Some tools you may want to get are collaboration and organizational tools.
I love Trello, it makes everything easier and more organized.
Never stop learning
Read articles, do your research, be updated in your niche and with the trends.
There are already millions of freelancers all over the world, a lot of them have shared their stories and tips. Learn from them.
After all these years, I’m still learning more about my craft. There are so many things to learn and everyday, thousands or articles are published.
If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message using the contact form 🙂 I would love to hear from you!