If you are reading this, perhaps you have decided to make a career move and be your own boss! Remember we told you both sides of the story in one of our article Be your own boss? So now that the decision is made, here’s a checklist to align first things first.
1. Contact and Network
Browse through your phone book and start dialing! Tell everyone you know, about your decision and communicate your availability for taking projects and assignments on a freelance basis. The reason to do so? You can get references and contacts. The earlier you do this exercise the better. In fact, you can start it a month before you actually settle in as a freelancer (maybe while serving your notice period with ex-employer). Follow ups won’t harm as you need to keep yourself fresh in people’s mind; so much so that you become their top of the mind recall when they need professional in your field. Having said that, you need to be subtle in doing so.
2. Brand Yourself
You are a brand now! Make all the efforts to build yourself and sell yourself well because if people don’t like you, they won’t buy your services. Having social media at the tip of your fingers makes this very easy. Start with building your profiles on social platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Fill in your details, experience, expertise, and gateways to reach you. Join relevant groups related to freelancing on these platforms and engage with members. Be active on the popular question and answer sites like Quora.
You need to come across as an expert and an influencer in your field. These activities may in due course make you easy to find, easy to remember and good to know.
3. Plan, Plan, Plan
Never undervalue the importance of having a business plan in place. Set your goals, strategy, and how you will actually bring the strategy to action. You may perhaps reach out to experts in the industry through your network and understand how to find clients, how much should you charge, what kind of pitches are deal closers, etc. Have your finances sorted. You may need to make small investments time and again to keep the show going.
4. Go Live
Now that the base work is done, it’s time for going live. Make sure you undertake only as much as you can execute. Though being freelancer gives you the liberty to work in pajamas and sweat shirts while being at home; when you meet clients, you should come across impeccably professional. Hire a meeting room to conduct these meetings, instead of meeting in a crowded café. If you are addressing a larger audience you can also take meeting halls for rent. Prepare a captivating, customized strategy and set the perfect impression to bag the deal!
Trust this checklist helps you to kick start your journey as a successful freelancer!