Our top three tips for freelancers!

Invoice2Go are putting together an infographic of some of the best freelance tips, and asked us for three of our top pieces of advice.

To be honest, we found this request quite tough! Not because we couldn’t think of anything to contribute, but because we have SO much we could say about freelancing, that picking just three tips was tough.

Good time management is essential for freelancers

For example, we’ve covered the importance of good time management extensively on our site. From cracking the art of a good list (our favourite is the Success List), to getting a days work done in just 90 minutes using focus blocks.

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We even explore the best ways to start your working day, with the 14 secrets of an amazingly productive morning routine.

You also need to be expert at marketing

Another topic we’ve covered quite extensively is marketing – and for very good reason.

One thing EVERY freelancer needs is clients. But how do you find them? This is a question we get asked a lot, and the answer is with brilliant marketing skills!

To start with, you need to be really clear about your perfect client (we recommend writing a persona to describe your perfect customer  they’re as important for freelancers as small businesses).

You also need a freelance portfolio and great case studies of your work – and don’t forget your LinkedIn profile.

If you haven’t done so already, plan out a marketing strategy (read 10 tips to help you do so) that covers:

  • Who you want to market your services to.
  • What problem you solve for them.
  • Where these people are looking for help for that problem.
  • The message that will appeal to them the most.
  • Why they should hire you above other freelancers.

We recommend starting out by marketing your services in a number of different places, and testing which ones deliver the right type of clients, in the highest number, for the most competitive cost (either money or time invested). Then drop less cost-effective sources of work, and focus on the ones that work best for you.

Remember to manage your clients carefully

Once you have a client, you want to keep them happy. But what if they don’t WANT to be happy?

At some point in their career, every freelancer has the misfortune to work for a difficult client. So make sure you’re clued up on the signs of a tricky client, and have a strategy for dealing with them.

And make sure you get money-wise

Another inevitability of freelancing is money. As much as you may hate talking about or dealing with money, you can’t escape it as a freelancer. You’ll have to quote for projects, invoice for the work you’ve done, and maybe even chase late payments. Here’s some advice to help you with all of these tasks:

So what ARE our top three freelance tips?

So you see, there is SO much we could have included in our three tips. So what were our top three for Invoice2Go? Here they are:

1) Always be ready to network

You never know who may be helpful to you, so treat every encounter with someone new, both in person and on social media, as an opportunity to network. Have your elevator pitch ready and try to be helpful and interested in them. If they like and respect you, they’ll want to help.

2) Watch your money

It’s important to stay on top of your money. Know what you want or need to earn every month, and ensure you’re on track. Also identify your top earners. Work out what type of client need you the most or pay the best, and try to find more of the same.

3) Treat work as WORK

You may not have a boss peering over your shoulder as a freelancer, but act as if you do! Get into the habit of having a set work day, and dress for work. If your mind thinks you’re at work, you’ll be much more productive – and you can enjoy your free time later once you’ve finished.

Photo by Caroline Reed Photography.