Not so long ago if you were a skilled and a dedicated worker, you knew you would be able to get a stable job without too much effort. The current economic environment has made finding a job much harder. There are many skilled people who simply cannot get work no matter how hard they try. I know, because I was one of them. My decision to do something with my time led me to freelancing, and this is where I found my own financial independence.
I admit there wasn’t much forethought involved in my decision to freelance. In fact, freelancing was simply the first way of making money online that I stumbled across that actually looked like it would work.
For me, freelancing is perfect, because it lets me use skills that I learned while I was studying. I have been able to develop a reputation as a high quality writer, leading to many repeat clients and recommendations. Over time, I have built up a considerable client base and I end up working with people from all types of different backgrounds.
When I got involved in freelancing, I knew absolutely nothing about online business. In fact, I still consider myself new in the field, although I have picked up a lot as I have developed my business.
Typically, you should enter an online business slowly and make sure it is earning enough money before you start relying on it to pay your bills. However, I didn’t have this option. I had to rely on my business almost as soon as I started it, which I do not recommend at all.
Regardless of how, or why, you start freelancing, there are a few simple tips that you can use to allow yourself to be financially independent.
1. Build up a Customer Base
Customers can be a pain. They are often irrationally, picky, annoying and unreliable. However, for a freelancer they are also a key source of income, so you can’t get around dealing with them. A solid customer base leads to lots of repeat work, and you will find that your clients recommend your services.
Although I advertise my services regularly, I’ve found that even if I don’t advertise, I get a considerable amount of work simply from repeat clients.
2. Budget, budget, budget!
Income from freelancing is very unpredictable. This means that you never really know when you will next be getting income, or how much it will be. I find that I can predict my income for the next two weeks, at best, but things often change considerably by the time I actually get there.
Budgeting helps a freelancer to predict when they are likely to get money, and also to spend the money they do get wisely. This is particularly important, because you may get a lot of money in one week, and next to nothing in the next. Over time, a budget also provides information about how much you are actually earning, and whether you are being more, or less, effective than working a normal 9-to-5 job.