Being a successful freelancer can be an extremely beneficial venture. Being one’s boss and having the freedom to work from anywhere can provide a sense of autonomy and control. Many freelancers report increased job satisfaction due to their ability to create projects and shape their careers’ direction. With the right skills, time-management tools, and dedication, it is possible to make a steady income or even build a profitable business as a freelancer.
According to the Freelancing in America survey by The Upwork and Freelancers Union, 59 million Americans are currently freelancers. This number has grown by 3.7 million since 2016, representing an increase of 7%. Of those surveyed, 36% reported making over $75,000 per year in freelance income – typically up to double the median full-time worker income in the United States. On average, freelancers earn 30% more than they would if they were employed in traditional roles since they usually have more control over pay rates and potential clients.
Given that technology has created so many opportunities for people worldwide, it should be no surprise that at least 68% of freelance workers say they enjoy greater flexibility while working remotely with fewer distractions. This figure increases amongst millennials, who are estimated to make up 44% of all freelancers.
However, starting and maintaining a successful freelancing career can be difficult. Aside from mastering the necessary skills and gaining knowledge in your field, taking into account the administrative tasks that come with being self-employed is essential. Fortunately, you can set yourself up for success by securing these things first.
A Well-Equipped Home Office
A well-equipped home office is essential to a successful freelancer’s lifestyle. It provides the physical space to focus and complete tasks and allows freelancers to work at their own pace and according to their schedule. In addition, having a comfortable and functional workspace can help boost productivity and creativity.
Creating an environment that helps you stay focused and motivated when setting up a home office is essential. To ensure maximum efficiency, here are some items that every freelancer should consider for their home office:
- Comfortable desk and chair
- Printer, scanner, or fax machine
- External hard drive for data backup
- High-speed internet connection
- Phone with voicemail capabilities
- Whiteboard for brainstorming sessions
- Good lighting
Adequate Software and Hardware Solutions
In addition to having a proper home office setup, freelancers should invest in quality software and hardware solutions such as computers, laptops, tablets, or smartphones. Depending on your field of expertise, you may need additional specialized tools or equipment. For example, if you are a graphic designer or video editor, you’ll require specific programs like Adobe Creative Suite or Final Cut Pro. Make sure that whatever software you choose is compatible with your hardware and provides the necessary features for you to be successful.
Of course, a high-performance desktop PC setup will be more expensive than a laptop. Still, it will provide the best performance and be most suitable for intensive tasks like video editing or 3D modeling. Moreover, powerful computers with ample RAM and storage can make multitasking more accessible, allowing freelancers to take on more jobs and make more money.
Having reliable backup solutions is also essential since data loss or corruption can be disastrous for freelancers. Cloud-based applications like Dropbox and Google Drive are great ways to store files securely and access them remotely from any device.
Finally, investing in a good antivirus program is essential for protecting against malicious viruses, malware, ransomware, and other cyber threats. With cybersecurity becoming increasingly important, having a quality security solution in place is non-negotiable for any savvy freelancer.
In the digital age, having an online presence is crucial for freelancers. A website and social media accounts can help attract potential clients and spread the word about your services. It also provides a platform to showcase past projects, portfolio pieces, and recommendations from previous clients.
Make sure your branding is consistent across all mediums when setting up a website. This includes using the same color palette, logos, fonts, etc. Suppose you’re not well-versed in web design or coding languages like HTML or CSS. In that case, many user-friendly tools allow you to create professional-looking websites with no prior knowledge needed.
Optimizing your website for organic searches using SEO techniques will increase visibility and help you reach more potential clients.
Finally, use social media platforms to promote your services and network with professionals in your field. Platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great for showcasing your portfolio pieces, announcing projects, and staying up-to-date on industry trends.
Starting as a freelancer can be daunting but also very rewarding. Having the right equipment and creating an online presence will set you on your way to establishing yourself as a successful freelancer. Remember, having the skills required for the job is only one part of the equation; consider all the elements needed to make your business thrive.