You’ve been toying with the idea of becoming a freelancer for a while now. The thought of setting your own hours, being your own boss, and doing work that you’re passionate about is incredibly appealing. But you’re not sure if you’re ready to take the plunge into full-time freelancing.
Do you have what it takes to become a successful freelancer? Read these nine signs to find out! Freelancing can be a great way to escape the 9-5 grind and do work that you’re passionate about. But it’s not for everyone. These tips will help you decide if freelancing is right for you.
1. You have a solid portfolio of work.
If you’ve been freelancing on the side while holding down a full-time day job, chances are you already have a decent portfolio of work to show potential clients. If you don’t have much in the way of a portfolio yet, try picking up some small projects or doing some pro bono work to build up your samples.
Why a portfolio is important
A portfolio is a powerful tool that can make or break your reputation as a freelancer and your freelance business. It’s an essential part of building and preserving client relationships, showcasing work you’ve done in the past to potential new clients as well as prospective employers.
What to include in your portfolio
If you are a freelancer, it’s important that your portfolio showcases all of the different types and styles in which you can work. A clean design with well-organized content will help a potential first client see how great their ideas could become! Put your best quality work upfront and make sure you have a fair and transparent pricing structure.
How to get started building your portfolio
The best way to build your portfolio as a freelancer is by focusing on one job at a time. Once you’ve completed a project, add it to your portfolio. Make sure to include an accurate description of the work you did, what software or tools you used, and how long it took you to complete the project.
Tips for maintaining and updating your portfolio
Showcase your work online and offline
Show off your work. Target clients by displaying what you can do through social media channels, blogs, WordPress websites, and other online platforms that are popular in today’s market. Set up your profile and show your new projects on multiple freelance platforms. Printed outputs will never go out of style, too! Nothing can top a fresh, tangible output that your client can read and observe using their own two hands.
If you want freelancing to become a full-time career, you really need to put your best effort out there. Display your high-quality work, become genuinely interested in your potential client’s projects, and be flexible with whatever service you’re offering. Social media management and basic graphic design will also be a good skill set to learn especially if most of your freelance jobs and freelance opportunities come from online networks. Enhancing these skills with social media marketing courses can significantly boost your freelancing portfolio.
It’s also important to mention that there is no need to show all the details about every single project. Just make sure it’s enough that your prospecting clients will know how dedicated you have been to your past projects.
2. You’ve been freelancing for a while and it’s going well.
If you’ve been freelancing part-time and things are going smoothly, you’re earning a steady amount of extra income every now and then, and the previous jobs you took have been proven successful, then that’s a good sign that you’re ready to take the plunge into full-time freelancing.
Of course, there’s always a bit of risk involved in any career shift, but if you feel like you’re ready to take on more clients and a bunch of future projects, you have a solid business plan, and a steady internet connection (lol), then it might be your cue to go full-time.
3. You have a steady stream of new clients.
If you already have a steady stream of clients who are happy with your work, that’s a great sign that you can make a living as a freelancer. Of course, you don’t want to be too reliant on any one client, so make sure you have a few different clients lined up before making the switch.
You know you can become a freelancer when you have regular customers who are happy with your work, and you’re not struggling too much in finding clients. But don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Make sure you have a few different customers before quitting your full-time job.
4. You’re good at time management and staying focused.
When you’re a freelancer, there’s no one looking over your shoulder to make sure you’re getting work done. That means it’s important to be good at time management and stay focused on the task at hand. If you find it easy to stay on track when working from home, then freelancing might be a good fit for you.
Tips to become better at managing your time:
5. You’re comfortable with marketing yourself.
As a freelancer, a big part of your job will be marketing yourself and your own business.
Ways you can market yourself as a freelancer:
If you’re comfortable promoting your work and finding new clients, then you’re well on your way to becoming a successful full-time freelancer.
6. You have a support system in place.
Working from home can be isolating, so it’s important to have a supportive network of family and friends who understand what you’re doing and why. If you feel like you have people in your life who will cheer you on as you pursue your freelancing career, that’s a good sign that you’re ready to take the leap.
As with any career path, there are always some risks involved in freelancing. But if you’re comfortable with the risks, confident in your abilities, and have a strong support system that supports you every step of the way, then it might be time to take the plunge into full-time freelancing.
7. You’re financially prepared for the transition.
Freelancing isn’t always a steady gig, so it’s important to have some savings set aside before making the switch. If you have enough money saved up for a few months, then you’ll be in good shape to weather any dry spells.
When you freelance, there are no guarantees that you’ll always have work. That’s why it’s important to have savings set aside so you can cover your living expenses during those times when work is slow.
Tips for saving money as a freelancer:
8. You’re organized and self-motivated.
As a freelancer, you’ll need to be organized and self-motivated in order to succeed. If you’re the type of person who likes to keep things tidy and stay on top of deadlines, then freelancing might be the next big step for you.
Working from home can be a great opportunity to have more control over your work schedule and projects. However, it can also be easy to become unmotivated if you’re not careful.
Tips for staying motivated as a freelancer:
9. You’re ready for the challenges of freelancing.
Like any job, freelancing has its ups and downs. But if you’re prepared for the challenges that come with working for yourself, then you might just be ready to become a full-time freelancer.
If you’re feeling ready to become a freelancer full-time, then make sure you evaluate yourself against these nine signs. Having financial security, being self-motivated and organized, knowing how to pitch an idea to a prospective client, and being prepared for the challenges of freelancing are all important factors to consider before making the switch.
Are you ready to become your own boss?