There’s not an awful lot that we’re happy about as far as the past year, and a bit is concerned, but one hugely positive step forward has been the realization by workers worldwide that the daily grind and the perpetual 9-to-5 is simply not worth it anymore.
This has been spurred on by what is now known as the “Great Resignation,” workers and professionals alike have started finding new ways to generate an income that doesn’t mean being on the payroll anymore. (Or confined to an office cubicle).
The rise of the digital nomad is evidence of this for globetrotting singletons, and parents who have spent more time with their families than ever before thanks to lockdown are also getting in on the action.
As we all seek to find a greater cohesion between the work-home balance, the rise of the Freelancer has been nothing short of stratospheric. But what does this mean for business and industry, and more to the point, how can it work for you?
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”— Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker.
FIRST, START LOCAL
So your mind is made up; no more traffic or banal conversations around the water cooler for you. We couldn’t be happier for you because life has been more than 2+ hours of traffic every day for 40 years, and it’s definitely more than entertaining the weird guy from accounts at the watercooler; so good on you for that.
But how do you enter the freelance market? If you follow the line that the simplest solution is often the most obvious one, then you’ll start your career as a freelancer by first identifying gaps in your local economy or market. The whole point of working for yourself is that you get to avoid most of the trappings of the daily grind, so do a little reconnaissance work in your local community.
The easiest way to set up your gig is to help everyone else set up there’s. Speak to business leaders and other service providers and try and find gaps in the supply chain as far as services or goods are concerned. So if you have an existing network of businesses and professionals that you can draw on, positioning yourself as the “go-to guy” in your community and creating links between those who have and those who “need” can lead to a tidy business as a freelancer.
FREELANCER, KNOW THYSELF
Before you pack it in at the office, you will need to answer a vital question: what can you offer? What is your unique edge, and what skills do you have that are marketable, independent of being a number on the payroll? Once you’ve identified the specific set of skills or services that you’re able to offer the marketplace as a lone-ranger, you’ll be able to use that intelligence as a compass that will inform your business plan. Remember, you’re building a business here – even if it’s a business of “one.”
CONNECT WITH EVERYONE
We love a circular reference. It is a misnomer that “because everyone is doing it, no one can,” because no one would be doing it if that were true. The only motivation you need to craft your freelance career is opportunity and lots and lots of hard work. But the plus point – you’ll be doing it for yourself and doing it primarily at home.
What we see in ever-increasing numbers is just how vastly freelancers are improving the efficacy of services provision in specific sectors. This is put down to the knowledge that the more you invest in yourself, the greater your returns are likely to be.
So take the time to connect with as many businesses and companies as you can, draw on those years of professional corporate service, and use what you have available to you. It also doesn’t hurt to create networks of other freelancers either, and if you need some help navigating this world, Mentoring Software from Pushfar can be a tremendous asset.
WORK YOUR RATES
New freelancers tend to make one of two common mistakes:
1. They charge too much as an hourly rate;
2. They don’t charge enough.
This is because you never want to sell yourself short. In an effort to appear accomplished, you might be tempted to place your rates in the upper percentiles – but that area is the preserve of the established. Until you have a solid portfolio of regular clients, you want to meet somewhere in between.
The reverse is also true. Don’t sell yourself short just because you need clients on your books; remember that every hour your work now – is for yourself, and if that hour is not spent productively and purposefully, you’re literally stealing from yourself.