Freelancing is a great work from home opportunity for those who need extra income or just want the flexibility to work for themselves. There are two options for those who want to work for themselves and have complete freedom and flexibility. It’s either starting your own full-fledged business or freelancing.
Why starting a business may not be a good option
Starting a business can be a drag. Administrative work alone can get you so bogged down that you end up sitting at a desk pushing papers instead of going out and freelancing and doing something you love. So why is it so complicated?
Well, you need to merge. Will you be a sole proprietorship, LLC or INC? The investigation itself is a pain, not to mention the paperwork required to complete it. The next step is to manage your freelance finances. If you end up in a place where you have a lot of business to do, bookkeeping can become a burden and eat up your time and money.
It is therefore inevitable and imminent that you decide to employ an administrator. Well, there’s more paperwork now to hire people, sort out loopholes in the W-2, research employment laws, find the right people, pay them, and ultimately manage them day in and day out.
Freelancing is the way to go
If you don’t want to be a business owner and want to do what you love, drop it and become a freelancer. Here are some tips for doing this:
1) Determine what you are passionate about. Without passion, the high level of flexibility and self-management of working for yourself will eventually overtake your level of discipline in freelancing. If a manager hangs around them on a daily basis (as is the case with freelancers), no one will stick around to do something they’re not interested in doing in the long run.
2) Determine if you have the aptitude and skills necessary to work as a freelancer in the field or position. If you have a passion for flower arranging, but don’t have the skills or talent to do it, you won’t be successful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try it. But also do it with your eyes open. Ask yourself, is this something you’ve been successful at in the past? Is it something others say you are good at?
3) Connect with people you already know. Ask friends, family, former business colleagues if they know anyone who needs your part-time services. Just put a few in gently, to be honest. Tell them about your skills and tell them you’re interested in freelancing in a particular field. Use the relationships you’ve built over the years to let one thing lead to another. You’d be surprised what it can lead to.
For example, I wanted to make some extra money, so I sent some scouts to do some side jobs in market research. I called a friend of mine who had a business but no projects. 2 days later a friend of his called me and offered me a project from his company. I didn’t get much on my first try, but it led to something better.
4) You need to go out and make some sales. Sorry guys, that’s not an option. Freelancing requires you to make some sales. This is one thing you cannot outsource. The best jobs are not listed on craigslist.com or other job sites. If it appears on a job site, you can bet thousands of people are searching for it. The Achilles heel of freelancing is if you don’t get down to selling. This is a must if you want freelance contracts. Your existing customers will continue to provide you with work, but you need to acquire those customers first.
Selling is not that hard. It’s all inside. Your hatred of doing this must break, but if you’ve done it enough, you will. I always liken selling, especially freelance selling, to digging a wall. It’s dirty, dangerous, difficult and frustrating until you break through to the other side. Then you are free to go home and you can do it without pain.
To find leads, go to the business association in your industry or go to a sales leader company like infousa.com or salesgenie.com and search by industry. This is a great lead generation tool especially if your freelancing can be done over the internet.
5) Not exactly your day job. Always generate enough freelance work to pay your bills. Not only that, stop only if you think quitting will bring enough business to make up for your regular paycheck.
Don’t walk away from your current employer either. They may not be happy that you are doing this, so maybe don’t tell them. But even if you don’t tell them, make sure you’re performing your duties to your employer in good faith. Not only is it true, but the integrity you maintain will lead to your long-term success.