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Wow, it’s been five years since I took the plunge into the freelance world. Insert happy dance here!
There have been lots of ups, downs, in-betweens, all-arounds, and the list goes on... I’m sure as freelancers yourselves you can relate to having lots of clients, no clients, a few clients. Wondering how you're going to manage it all, juggle it all, and still live your best life.
I remember thinking, Someone lied to me. They said I would have all this freedom, make six figures, and work only when I wanted. But what they didn’t tell me was that as a freelancer it would be extremely important for me to do these things in order to make all of those things a reality:
Implement effective and efficient systems
Systems are what give you freedom and allow you to serve your clients at your highest level. This is especially valuable to you as a business owner, because your greatest constraint is often on your time.
Too many freelancers spend more time working in their business than working on their business doing the things that drive growth, innovation, and profit. Carve out some time and take a look at your freelance business and where you could benefit from implementing systems.
Be clear on what you offer and how it solves a problem
Many times as freelancers we can get so caught up in chasing the gig and doing the work that we haven’t really mapped out what our core service offering is and how it solves a problem for potential clients.
When we forget to identify what our core service offering is and build our freelance business around that, we will often find ourselves accepting any gig that comes along and working with anyone who will work with us, instead of doing the thing we are great at and that we can generate the most profit.
Save and build business credit
Saving has to be non-negotiable, even though it can be one of the most difficult things to do as a freelancer. Things happen, clients come and go, invoices get paid late, hours get cut, and the list goes on. As freelancers, it is critical that we have some financial resources stored up so that we can still “live” when things happen.
We must also remember that we are a business! It is so easy to underestimate the costs involved with running a freelance business and it’s even worse needing to purchase something for your freelance business or to grow your freelance business without the right financial resources in place. Building your business credit will also help you begin to differentiate yourself from your business.
Stay consistent and show up (even when there are no clients)
As freelancers, one of our most powerful tools is consistency. The way we show up every day, even when no one is looking, is how we build success in our freelancing careers. There is always someone to serve, even when it doesn’t look like it.
Establish a goal, create the action steps to make it happen, and then keep working at it until you see the results you’re after.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
There are few things worse than putting all of your energy, time, and effort into one major client–and then the day comes when that client either cannot or will not continue to utilize your services. There goes all your income!
As freelancers, it is critical that we do not become dependent on one individual client for all of our income. We must keep marketing our services and maintaining a diverse roster of clients.
Find a coach or mentor
If the only person you are accountable to you, is you then your freelance career is in trouble! Could you learn everything on your own? Absolutely! Could you invest those few extra dollars elsewhere? Of course you could! However, how much longer will it take you to figure it all out on your own? Who will help you create a roadmap to bring your vision to life? Who will help you create systems, strategies, and brainstorm new ideas that are unique to you as a freelancer?
We all need checks and balances.
All championship teams had a great coach to lead them; freelancing requires the same level of guidance, support and leadership.
Crush the fear daily
Remember why you started... and keep going. Every day do one thing to crush the fear: Join a community of like-minded freelancers, learn a new skill, take a new class, offer a new service... whatever it is just, just do it.
Gwendolyn L. Young is a Virtual Administrative Consultant. She has helped dozens of established coaches, consultants, and speakers get their time back by implementing systems so they can make more money.