Career

7 Things You Should Do To Thrive As A Freelancer

By Urban List Writers
31st Oct 2022

Saying goodbye to the 9 to 5, working independently when you want, how much you want, from anywhere in the world you want, with the clients you want—sounds like the dream, right? 

For millions of people around the world who’ve quit their full-time jobs and gone freelance in the last few years, it really is as good as all that. But like on any career path, living the freelancer dream also has challenges you need to be prepared for.

If you are considering taking the leap and going freelance, we've done the legwork for you to help you take the leap.  We spoke to Fleur Madden, co-founder and CEO of women’s jobs site Freelancing Gems, about what you need to know, to not only thrive as a freelancer, but potentially make even more money than you did in your full-time gig. Intrigued? Read on.

  1. Charge what you’re worth, not what people can afford to pay. It’s really important you know what you will charge hourly, daily, and on retainer or project work so that you are prepared for all job opportunities that come your way. You should also bench mark your rates against others, so you aren’t pricing yourself too low or so high that you price yourself out. Women who freelance traditionally charge 38% less than men and we aren’t about that, so to get a handle on what you’re worth you can download a free rate guide from Freelancing Gems here.   

  2. Build your personal freelance brand. If nobody knows you’re freelancing, how will your clients find you? Shout it from the rooftops, or at the very least social media. Use your socials as a way to showcase your best work, your brand values, and behind the scenes of the work you do, in order to get your name out there and attract new business. Also be clear about what sets you apart from your competitors—you want to stand out from the crowd.  

  3.  Network, network, network baby—you don’t win new business sitting behind your desk. Find your people and build up a business community who can refer work to you. At Freelancing Gems so much work is done between members who partner on projects or simply refer work to other brilliant people if it doesn’t fit their profile. Also, work outwhere your customers are and go to them by attending events that will give you visibility with potential clients. I like to give myself a target of attending at least one new event a month to grow my network. Networking doesn’t come naturally to many, but just remember that you’re building meaningful relationships  because you genuinely have value to add—when you remember that it becomes less about selling and more about what you can bring to the table. 

  4. Love your clients—it seems simple, but it is far easier to keep clients than it is to find new ones, so maintaining your current client base is your gold. Find new ways to add value by growing your work with clients that you already have. Bonus, this will also go a long way toward maintaining a consistent income.

  5. Don’t forget about the unsexy things like paying quarterly tax, registering for GST if you earn over $75,000 and accounting for 10% superannuation on top of your rates. These are the things that sneak up on you if you have only ever been a salaried employee and can really sting when tax time rolls around.  

  6. Freelancing isn’t Plan B. Freelancers have been driving the economy since Covid hit, so own it. Make sure you are set up for success with the right business templates, contracts, NDAs, branded invoicing, social media, a website—all the boring but important stuff. Not even sure where to start? Scope out ind business templates and contracts at places like Freelancing Gems, Foundd Legal or Positive HR. 

  7. Freelancing can sometimes be lonely, so get some human interaction by attending coworking days, joining business communities or even finding a freelance buddy that is on the same journey as you to bounce new ideas around or share your wins. Groups like Freelancing Gems, the Freelance Collective, One Roof or even your local Chambers of Commerce have all these resources and more.

Freelancing Gems is a digital jobs site for women looking for freelance, consulting, contract, part-time, maternity leave cover and flexible remote roles. They also offer coworking days, masterclasses, business tools and templates, and more to help you on your business journey. If you are an employer also check out Freelancing Gems to connect you with your next talented professional. 

Image credit: Freelancing Gems

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