Freelancers are generally thought of as having an unlimited list of clients and professional contacts, as well as being able to bag one job after another, which results in them being able to have a steady stream of income that is much more sizable than the ones they used to earn in their office jobs. As a result, this makes other people start thinking about becoming freelancers as well. The prospects are certainly very exciting and promising. Imagine being able to do the kinds of jobs that you like, and earning more than you did and without having to go through the daily commute as well. These factors help to push people to decide to quit their jobs and become freelancers.
Of course, you have to remember that freelancers didn’t attain their comfortable status without a load of work. Getting clients and making money don’t happen automatically for freelancers. You won’t have clients seeking you out and clamoring for your services just because you’ve decided to don the mantle of a freelancer. It takes work to gather all those clients, and creating a strategic plan is necessary for you to get your freelancing career started and to ensure its growth.
One of the most important things you should determine is what you intend to offer your clients. Just because you are skilled at a number of things doesn’t mean you have to offer all those to potential clients. Figure out what skills and services you know you are especially good at, and focus on and build those instead. Don’t spread yourself too thin, and have a solid focus for your offerings. Even if you think you will get more clients this way, this makes you less able to pay attention to your strengths and really develop those.
You should also think about how you intend to build your list of clients. Where do you intend to market yourself? How will you present yourself to your potential clients? What are you going to do to get in touch with them? Make sure that there is indeed a market for your services before finalizing your decision to become a freelancer. At the same time, you have to think about how you can cope in case of any difficulties you may have when trying to look for projects. There are times when you’ll have a lean season when very few projects are trickling in. It may also happen that your clients will begin working with a different service provider. In such cases, you have to know what to do to keep your business alive and how to retain your clients’ loyalty.
Implementing strategic plans isn’t just limited to major companies. Even if you are running a one-person operation, you want to make sure that you are guaranteeing your success and guarding against potential failure.
- Essential Tax Tips for Freelance Writers (2009taxes.org)
- American Entrepreneur – Reid Hoffmann (ismagazine.com)