As a self-employed individual, you need to always come up with new freelance ideas to get your new business journey going. Starting a business is truly not a walk in the park. It involves a lot of planning and effort to run it smoothly and keep the projects coming in.
Unlike regular employment, being an independent worker means you have to handle all aspects of your business singlehandedly. You are basically the CEO, the accountant, the marketing head, and the customer support specialist. These are your responsibilities over and above your actual freelance job. While this may sound scary and challenging, remember that there are several tools and strategies you can take advantage of to jumpstart your career and keep your business on good footing.
Freelance Tips on Management
So, you have decided to put up your freelance business. That’s good. Statistics show that in the United States alone, freelance businesses are continuously increasing. It means you are on the right track in joining a workforce that promises sustained growth. And to keep up, you need ideas on how to manage your business efficiently. Here are some tips on what you can do to make sure you do not come to your wit’s end in running your new business:
Establish Your Office
Before anything else, you have to establish your business and office. Decide on whether you are going to use a business name or not. Most freelancers simply use their names. Then, depending on your location and industry, check out your local government agencies if you will need a business license or permit to operate. Make sure too that you have already secured your necessary tax ID numbers. Remember, as a self-employed individual, you still need to pay taxes.
Knowing your legal obligations and complying with your state’s or country’s policies is extremely important. You wouldn’t want to regret not doing this when they ask you to pay penalties!
After you have established your business, it’s time to set up your office. As a freelancer, you do not necessarily need an actual office space. You can convert a portion of your house into an office, or, if budget permits, you can rent out in coworking spaces. What’s important is that you have the necessary equipment to complete a project. Secure the things you need before you start accepting gigs. This way, you can work on your projects immediately and without interruption.
Use Business Management Tools
There are a lot of business management tools you can use to help you with your business. There are online accounting and bookkeeping tools to help you with managing your financial documents. These are extremely helpful, especially for tax purposes. You can also explore using appointment setting and calendar tools to help you manage your daily schedules. Simply set your meetings, presentations, and deadlines, and you will receive alerts. Investing in a project management platform is also a good move.
You do not need to stress about how to organize your project flow. Project management tools are available online. These are actual life-savers for freelancers! Kosmo is an easy-to-use, powerful project management solution that can make managing your business easy. Check out its features and see how it can make your freelance journey a breeze.
- Client Profile. Create a profile for your clients. This is where you add your client’s name, company name, physical and email addresses, website, and contact number. In the profile, you can add notes (with titles) too. After creating the profile, you can now add a project folder for your client. All the projects and invoice data can be seen in the client’s dashboard too.
- Project Folders. The project folders are for the progress tracking of your tasks. You simply add tasks, documents, files, and notes. Once you add a task, you can track the time you spend on it. You can also draft your proposals and contracts. Kosmo has customizable templates that you can use (and digitally sign). In the Project folder, you can see the invoices you’ve created and sent to that particular client.
- Business Documents. Kosmo offers templates that you can brand (just add banners and your logo). Business documents like proposals, contracts, and invoices are already available to use per project. So you no longer need to create these documents separately in your word documents, convert them to PDF, and spend time organizing them in folders. Do everything in the project folder on Kosmo!
- All Features are Integrated. All these features are integrated. Your proposals, contracts, and invoices will automatically be added to your project folder, which will then be added to your client’s profile. In preparing the invoice, you can simply click on the timed tasks in the project folder and it will be added to the line items of the bill. Amazing, right? It’s a simple, all-in-one system.
So you see, running a business becomes super easy with the help of business management tools. With the aid of these tools, you will avoid errors in handling projects and documents.
Freelance Ideas to Build Presence
One of the secrets to a successful freelance business is having a strong presence. You have to make a (positive) noise. Make the world know you exist. And thanks to the internet, you can effortlessly do this.
Create a Killer Website
You don’t need to pay for a website designer if you do not have a budget for it. There are a lot of free website builders online that you can take advantage of. Most of these are easy to use and have pre-made templates. You just need to add the contents.
A website is an excellent tool to introduce and showcase your work. This is also a good platform to place information about you and your business. You can add a blog post about you and your experiences (and credentials, of course). If you want, you can already post your rate cards on your website. You can also dedicate a space for reviews, inquiries, or feedback forms.
Having a website shows that you are a competent freelancer running a well-established business. Plus, it’s easier to direct potential clients to this website if they ask for sample works.
Set Up Social Media Pages
Everyone and everything is on social media. And you know it. Set up a professional social media page and make sure to update it constantly. A social media marketing strategy definitely yields good results. In fact, you can do more than just post your work on your page. You can post about news relative to your industry, tips, and other relevant content. The important thing is that your page is kept updated and active to drive viewership and following.
You can even take advantage of it, like hosting a poll to see the market preferences. For instance, if you are a food photographer, you can post two photos where you used different angles and styles and ask viewers to pick which one is better. That way, you will see which type of photo appeals to the public more. Or, if you are a graphic artist, post an image and start a poll asking whether the image is edited. So now you will know if you need to improve on your editing skills.
Make Demo Reels
Who says demo reels are only for actors? In this day and age, just maximize what technology can offer. There is plenty of free and user-friendly video editing software nowadays. Some even come with royalty-free music which you can use. Having a demo reel is definitely one of the freelance ideas you can explore.
Making demo reels to promote your product or service will definitely make your business stand out. It creates a buzz and serves as a teaser. Post your reels on your website and social media pages. It is important to note that people are more inclined to watch a video than to read details about a product or service. So have that option available to them. Spark their curiosity. Make them interested in checking out your products and service further. Just make sure that your demo reel is not too long. You want to keep your viewers’ attention on your reel.
Participate in Speaking Engagements
Being a guest speaker, or even guesting on vlogs or podcasts is a good avenue to build your presence. This is another way to market your product or service. Plus, this will definitely look good in your profile and portfolio. It shows that you are an authority in that field, and potential clients will have more confidence in hiring you. When it comes to building your brand image and identity, this is one of the freelance ideas that are taken for granted. Showing that you are serious about your craft and business through interviews and formal engagements is equally important as having a social media presence.
Other Freelance Ideas
There are other freelance ideas you can explore to help you get your new business going. Do not forget that as a new business, you do not need to look far to gain recognition. Go and engage with your local community. Join fairs and festivals. It would be better if you could set up a booth during local events. Think of a creative way to get the locals to visit your booth. This is an excellent way to tell your neighbors, “Hey, I have a new business; come check me out.” After all, your neighbors could most probably be your first clients.
You can also host a networking event. Invite your family and friends to dinner and ask them to bring friends (invite your neighbors too!). It doesn’t need to be formal; you can have a backyard barbeque or a potluck party. The purpose of this is that you get to introduce yourself and your new business to people that matter. Your family and friends will always support you, especially in this new journey of yours.
As you begin your freelance journey, you will definitely need a lot of unique ideas and practical tips. As a freelancer who has to wear many hats, you might be overwhelmed with all the tasks you need to complete. Yes, there will be challenges. And there will be slow days. This is why many believe that freelancing is hard and unsustainable.
But the point often overlooked is that freelancing, though pretty challenging, is very rewarding. You are now free from the toxic 8-5 work setup and have total control of your time. Only you get to decide on your workload. Plus, you are doing exactly what you want to do, in the comforts of your own dedicated space. Do not worry about managing your business, and do not fret about marketing and sales, because there are a lot of freelance ideas that will help you get your business in place and running smoothly.
Get Organized & Win More Clients
Kosmo has everything you need to run your freelancing business.