Running your own freelance business sounds exciting, right?
You can choose your own projects, negotiate with clients, and become your own boss. Multiple sources of income ensure your financial stability in the long-run. After all, it’s highly unlikely that every income source will be wiped off in the next recession or pandemic, but it can be challenging to begin as a first-time freelancer.
In fact, 57 million Americans are part of the gig economy. Additionally, 50% of Americans are estimated to engage in freelancing in the next five years.
Not surprisingly, freelancing seems like a lucrative career. Unlike other business ventures, it requires a small capital to get started. However, with Fiverr, you can easily set up an account and start offering your services to clients in no time!
At the early stages, getting your first client may seem like an uphill battle—it can be daunting to find a profitable niche or handle your taxes. However, there are tricks you can use to successfully scale your business.
How to Manage Your Freelance Business: Top 5 Do’s
- Do manage your time
- Do find a niche
- Do hire an accountant
- Do control your rates
- Do leverage different resources
1. Do manage your time
Working from home has opened our eyes to the perks of not staying in an office.
There’s no need to endure a long commute or spend so much time on your hair, makeup, and outfit. Instead, you can sit at your desk and look decent for a webcam call within 15 minutes. However, it’s still important to manage your time and get things done.
Similar to working in an office, you need to maintain a consistent schedule. Set aside time for completing your assignments and marketing your business. Try to limit the time spent checking on emails to eliminate distractions. A good tip is to use these 11 to-do list apps for managing your tasks like sending invoices, client calls, and so on.
2. Do find a niche
Most freelancers choose a niche and become certified experts in a certain area. Having a specialty will make it easier to market your business and sell yourself to clients that will benefit from your skills.
Due to the current economic climate, finding a profitable niche seems impossible, but some businesses are still thriving in spite of the downturn.
For example, media companies are seeking freelance journalists and freelance writers who can report on COVID-19 stories. Some businesses even experienced an increase in traffic because people have more time to check out their content while self-distancing at home.
If you have a strong network, you can easily get more projects and survive the recession. You can also check out this list of highest-paying freelance jobs of 2020 to find out profitable freelancing gigs.
3. Do hire an accountant
There are different tax rules based on your country or city.
It can be difficult to navigate the intricacies of tax law for self-employed professionals, so hire an accountant. A competent accountant can guide you through the right process and save you from a lot of financial headaches. You can hire professional accounts through Fiverr’s accounting services.
4. Do control your rates
A common misconception is that freelancing isn’t sustainable because you can’t get “promoted.”
Rather than a typical employee, freelancers have an entrepreneurial mindset. To scale their business, they get more clients by promoting on social media platforms and building impressive portfolios.
A good portfolio can help you raise your rates sooner than later. When you experience rising demand for your services, you can simply weed out lower-paying clients and increase your rates. You can check out these tips for writing a price increase letter when the time comes.
Ultimately, it’s a lot faster to raise your rates than to wait for a promotion.
5. Do leverage different resources
The freelance industry is rapidly evolving, so it’s best to get advice from industry veterans.
If you’re a freelance writer, subscribe to gurus like Carol Tice, Ed Gandia, and Jorden Roper. If you don’t know any experts in your niche, then you can start by reading blogs related to your industry and pick up role models from there.
How to Manage Your Freelance Business: 5 Don’ts
- Don’t accept every offer
- Don’t get sidetracked
- Don’t give up your day job
- Don’t lie about your working hours
- Don’t become too dependant on one client
1. Don’t accept every offer
Newbie freelancers may accept any offer that comes to their lap, even if the rates are extremely low.
Be aware of the market prices for your work so you don’t get taken advantage of by clients. Understand the scope of the project so you won’t be manipulated to take extra work.
According to expert financial advisor Ramit Sethi, rates for freelancing begin at $30/hour for writing and editing, $40/hour for graphic design, and $50/hour for tech and programming.
2. Don’t get sidetracked
Don’t let the flexible work arrangements tempt you to stray from your schedule and get sidetracked.
Find a consistent freelance gig to ensure that you can maintain consistent working hours. Set a break time in-between work so you don’t end up watching Youtube videos and scrolling on your newsfeed every time you feel bored. You can use concentration apps like Focus Booster, RescueTime, and Anti-Social to avoid distractions.
3. Don’t give up your day job
There are a lot of freelance success stories about those who’ve managed to earn more than $3,000K+ per month.
Snagging a high-paying client may tempt you to abandon your permanent job, but don’t quit unless you have a stable set of clients. A freelance job isn’t as stable as a permanent job and you can lose a client at any time. So, plan ahead and ensure that you have enough clients before you begin your journey as a full-time freelancer.
4. Don’t lie about your working hours
One of the perks of being a remote freelancer is that you don’t have a boss to monitor your every move. That said, if you’re charging for work by the hour, be honest about the hours you’ve worked. You can use time tracking apps like Clockify, Due, and Calendar to determine the amount of time spent on each project.
5. Don’t become too dependent on one client
Similar to a real job, you can lose your freelance gig at any time. A client may suddenly go out of business or decide to hire an in-house employee to finish your workload. Freelancers can’t foresee when they’ll lose a project so don’t become too dependent on one client. Constantly promote your business so you won’t be hit hard when the unpredictable happens.
5 examples of successful freelancers
How lucrative is a freelancing career? We’ve compiled a list of successful freelancers that have managed to earn thousands by consistently working hard to build a client base. We hope that their stories and insights can help you figure out how you’ll get started.
- Joe Jobrise
- Charmaine Pocek
- Jorden Roper
- Benef Lisefki
- Meteraba Damith Wickramawardena
1. Joe Jobrise
Joe Jobrise a Fiverr freelance artist in Spain specializes in logo design. After successfully completing his first assignment, he was able to scale his business and work with startups and businesses. Today, his freelance business makes up 30 to 40 percent of his income. His financial success even helped him achieve his dream of traveling to Japan.
Job seekers often need resume writers to boost their CV and get their coveted resumes, and this is where Charmaine Pocek comes in. The freelance writer initially charged $5 for resume revamps. When Fiverr promoted her to Level 2 status, she was able to snag more clients and raise prices. Her side hustle included gigs like career counseling, writing cover letters, and revamping LinkedIn profiles, and she eventually managed to earn an astounding $38,000-$48,000 per month.
3. Jorden Roper
Jorden Roper managed to earn $5,000 in a month after four months of freelance writing. Her secret to success is consistently marketing her business, picking a narrow niche, and developing an entrepreneurial mindset. She currently serves as a founder for Creative Revolt. Her blog posts and online classes teach aspiring freelance writers on how to earn their first $1,000 freelance writing in a span of 45 days.
Benef Lisefki is a notoriously successful freelance designer that managed to earn $15,000 per month. To sustain his business, he built a strong reputation by providing high-quality work and gained referrals. As his reputation grew, he was able to raise his rates and grow his business.
Metaraba is a Fiverr software developer that started out at $5 per hour. As he gained more experience in the platform, he was able to complete 1600+ orders at high rates. His advice to freelancers is to work hard consistently and build a quality consumer experience so business keeps pouring in.
Ready to get started with freelancing?
Unlike an agency job, freelance writing or blogging allows you to choose clients and companies that you want to work with. You can choose niches that are based on your personal passions and interests. You can also freelance full-time or part-time, with minor repercussions.
Now, it’s your turn to let us know: Are you interested in starting your own freelance business? You can get started by joining Fiverr which connects thousands of clients with freelancers offering digital services.