Top 3 Habits to Follow as A Freelancer

June 15 2016, 0 Comments

As a freelancer you have the freedom to find your way in terms of seeing how you work best. You will learn a lot about yourself, your work ethic and the habits you have. As you strive for efficiency, it is all about trial and error when it comes to finding out what’s the most productive process for your overall efforts. 

Often, you will develop some good and some bad habits, which is an inevitable part of the career choice. This post is designed to squash those bad habits by highlighting the best practices to follow in order to run a smooth ship. When you run your own business it is crucial you don’t fall prey to bad habits. You need to be effective at all times, staying on top of your finances as well as your work, therefore we’ve listed the top 3 habits to follow, to ensure you’re performing as good as you possibly can.

Get Social

Freelancing, especially as an unknown party, is tough, which is why it is so vital you get social. Being social is simply a must as a freelancer. Working from home, you’re not subjected to meeting new people or new clients so in order to create new business for yourself you need to be getting out there. This takes two forms – social media & networking.

Social Media - If you’re not already active on social media, you’re already behind. Social media accounts are free so they’re a cheap and easy way to promote yourself. You need to be actively sharing your work and portfolio as well as interacting with companies and professionals. This way, you’re spreading your name whilst advertising what you can do, ultimately making you more attractive to hire.

Networking - As daunting as they can be for first timers, they aren’t as scary as they seem! Get yourself involved in some networking events, they don’t have to overly formal ones but it is a great way of mingling with local companies. Talking face to face, makes the process more personal and they can get to know you as a person, which creates trust. You don’t have to attend hundreds of events but do not overlook them as an option as it is a great way to grow your support network (designers, web help, copywriters etc.) who will come in very handy for your work and also future referrals.

Be Consistent

The most important habit to follow is without a doubt, consistency. Nothing is more damaging to your reputation and your workload than inconsistent behaviour. This includes your quality of work, invoicing, communication and your pricing.

This is a point that cannot be stressed enough so let’s look at this in more depth.

Invoices - Set out in your terms and conditions your invoicing process. That way, you avoid those late payers by identifying to them from the start your pattern. If you have a strict rule each time this offers consistency across the board, clearly stating what is involved if they want to use your services.

Pricing - When it comes to pricing, clearly set a fixed fee for specific jobs as well as your time. You can’t charge more for one job that you have previously done for cheaper before as it is not ethical, nor consistent. This also stops you from undercharging for a job that you’re performing a lot of work on, saving you going back to client asking them for more money – which obvious they never like or appreciate. Use your personal finance software to structure your fee's and what your hourly rate is. This way you can quickly offer them a consistent set price that will be identified from the start and be continued at throughout.

Communication - This is often where the bad habits arise. You need to ensure you keep on top of your emails and follow the same response rate. You will annoy clients if one minute you’re replying in minutes, then the next you don’t respond for a week. They need to know you’re there and working on whatever it is they’ve asked you to do and if they have deadlines, they don’t want to be panicking you won’t have it done on time. Make sure you reply within a few days if not the same day, that way you show that you’re on top of it and they’ll then be more likely to recommend you and more importantly, hire you again.

Keep Up to Date

If you specialise in a certain sector, it is part of your freelancing job to keep on top of the industry. You need to be aware of any news, trends or latest developments in the area so that you can offer insight on the subject or even knowledge about it. That means you should subscribe to any relevant publications, follow social media accounts and also follow the news to ensure you don’t miss out on anything. If you’re already clued up on the area, it will impress the client and save you time having to do background research. The best bit about this is if you can inform your client of something they aren’t aware of as it shows them how proactive you are and how you share their enthusiasm for the field.