Freelancing is hard, especially when loving your craft isn’t always enough. Not only do you have to have excellent communication and create excellent work, you also have to deal with everything from finding work and dealing with contracts, to invoicing and occasionally chasing payments.
Building a Freelancing business that you love, takes time. We all love working more efficiently, so here are some of my freelancing tips and tricks which speed up processes.
Taking care of yourself when freelancing
Stopping what you are working on can be hard, especially when you are responsible and accountable for your business, but if you don’t take care of yourself, your freelancing business will not be the only failure.
Feeling great in the day helps us deal with stress, find solutions, and even fight disease. It’s important to take care of your body physically, and mentally. Appreciate the little things in life, and recognise the value.
Do you ever suffer with burnout?
Burnout’s when you have emotional, physical and mental exhaustion. Illnesses such as burnout can stop you from working. If you start to feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet demands. Stop and take a break.
Why should you eat healthy while freelancing?
If you make smart freelancing decisions, why not make smart food choices as well. Eating badly can cause devastating long-term diseases. It’s very easy to replace your freshly made lunch with snacks and junk food. Limit your snacking and try to eat a healthy lunch.
You can start to eat and drink healthy by consuming at least 5 portions of fruit and veg every day. Getting your 5 A Day portion is easier than it sounds. Try adding fruit to each meal. Replace junk food with a healthy alternative such as an apple and drink more fruit smoothies than coffee. Following these steps can dramatically transform your body and mind.
Start freelancing before the sun comes out
I’m more efficient in the mornings, are you?
I always aim to wake up by 6 am. When it’s early, no one is around making noise and distracting workflow, more work can get done. Here is an article on the 5 best remote working habits for the morning. If you are feeling unproductive at home, go out try working remotely from a coffee shop instead.
My client has promised more work for me in the future
When clients say this, they usually want a cheaper quote from you. Only drop your price if you believe in what they are doing, and they really have no budget. But be warned, from experience I find that these clients don’t usually value design.
My last designer left…
If a potential client says ‘My last designer left,’ run away. The reason I say this is because the client may be hard to work with. Before you work on a project that starts like this, find out the reason why the clients last designer left and make your own judgment on whether to work with the client or not.
Every project starts with a brief
Taking the time to put together a project brief at the start of the project, helps bring clarity to the job, not just for yourself but also for the client.
Many clients don’t know what they want. Occasionally this is fine if you are being paid by the hour, but if you are being paid per project, you need a brief!
If you are working on a project and you notice the brief changing, mention this to the client. If it changes too much, you may need to adjust the cost. Working for free is not cool.
“Can you show me what this will look like with…”
If the client is keen on being a freelancer, make sure you are paid hourly. Some clients want to be more involved with the process than others. When presenting work back to the client, try to have 3 choices available. When presenting 3 ideas instead of just 1, there are fewer amends. All of this can be outlined in a job proposal.
Shoud I be nice to my client?
Stay professional, polite and be nice. People whether you like them or not may introduce you to more work and new connections in the future. If you are not nice to clients, you may lose them. Keep a strong reputation, and don’t lower the standard.
Don’t be stubborn when freelancing
At the end of the day, the client is paying you to do a job. Advise the client and give solid objective reasoning for each choice you make. There are many solutions to a problem. Never stop exploring, and finding better ways to do something.
Stay positive when freelancing
Always be on top of your game. Smile and show gratitude. Acknowledge how great your life is, and help people feel great about theirs. Positive experiences will want clients to work with you again on future projects.
Show and share ideas
I am a strong believer in sharing ideas. If you empty your head of ideas, you have more space to make new ones. Sharing your ideas inspire a more positive and collaborative working environment for everyone. If you don’t share your ideas, then those ideas can never become a reality.
Don’t be Anti Social when running a business
Fit work around life, not life around work. You don’t want to wake up one day regretting you didn’t spend enough time with your family and friends. Life is short and more important than work, so enjoy every moment.
What is your passion?
Spend most of your valuable time working on what you love. If you do what you love, you will be a happier person. 80% of the time I enjoy what I’m working on. Life is happier this way. My hourly rate goes up for jobs, I don’t want to do.
It is easy to become focused on one discipline but broadening your horizon and keeping your mind buzzing will present new and exciting opportunities.
Speaking your mind when freelancing
Speaking your mind can be scary, especially as it can alienate certain people and risk relationships. However, this is so important for developing your own thinking and being independent. You are paid to speak your mind and be objective. Remember to smile and be nice when doing so.
Set realistic deadlines when freelancing
Deadlines and timeframes need to be met. If you know a certain deadline is not realistic, be professional and inform the client. Accepting the job knowing you won’t be able to meet the deadline, or under-delivering is unprofessional and may ruin your reputation.