Having completed a master’s degree with the University of Architecture, I took on a 3 month position at an architectural studio. While architecture was a sincere interest of mine, I did begin to grow intrigued with marketing. In particular, digital marketing. In a world where our day to day existence is becoming increasingly digitised, I realised that effective digital marketing is an absolute essential for business success. So, I started learning everything there is to know about digital marketing alongside my 12 hour day, full time position at the architectural studio. As I learnt more, I started my own side business, which proved moderately successful. Spurred on, I launched three more businesses.
Soon, wanting to progress further and experience more success, I read the book Built to Sell and spent over $20,000 on educational programmes that would aid me further. My understanding of personal branding grew and I set up profiles on Fiverr and Upwork to start freelancing myself. I also created my own website to further enhance my online presence.
I continued to associate and network with professional communities, continually learning and expanding my expertise. This allowed me to progress much faster than I expected. Now, I own several businesses, including my personal brand, a digital agency and an online store - all within a matter of months as opposed to years!
Going forward, I intend to help others in a similar way to how I’ve been helped. It’s my goal to teach the benefits of freelancing that have improved my life, educating your professionals to successfully provide and market their services within their chosen niche! Hopefully, the information in this book will provide you with plenty of information and guidance, helping you along your journey.
Now, the first question you may be asking yourself before reading this book is “why?” Why should you consider freelancing on a remote basis? Of course, this is an entirely reasonable question. The vast majority of people work on an employed basis, where they work for someone else and are paid a reliable, static wage in return. There are plenty of perks that come hand in hand with employed work. You know your role. You know what’s expected of you. Often, there is always someone above you who can tell you what to do if you need help or assistance. Often, you don’t have too much responsibility. You can just complete routine tasks and rest assured that you’ll receive your pay packet at the end of the month. On top of this, your employer likely deals with your taxes and other essential contributions on your behalf, deducting them from your salary before it’s even deposited into your bank account. Finally, you get employee benefits, such as annual leave, sick pay, compassionate leave and more. It’s not all too surprising that many people opt for this simple and straightforward lifestyle. But if you’re a little more independent or ambitious, you may find that a freelance career works much more in your favour.
To establish some of the benefits of freelance work, we’ll first define freelance work. Put simply, freelance work is a type of self-employment. You work for yourself, selling a skill or service that others find valuable. You may find yourself working on projects for startups, small businesses or established corporations. You may opt for one-off projects, short term projects or long term and ongoing contracts. As you can see, this is a type of work that’s carried out on a largely flexible basis. Rather than working for one company for set hours, you control your own workload, arranging accepted projects and rejecting those that you don’t wish to work on. When you freelance, you can complete whatever tasks suit your skill sets. Some popular skills that people freelance with include anything from copywriting to product photography, accounting, graphic design, manufacturing and more.
You may have noticed the amount of self control already highlighted in freelance work. While you have to practice self control to get the work down and generate your income, you also gain control. You get to choose who you work with, what hours you work, when you take breaks, where you work from and practically every other element of your working life. On top of this, you reap the rewards of your own hard work. Seeing as you choose the rate of pay you expect in exchange for your work, you can rest assured that you take home what you genuinely earn. Rather than building someone else’s fortune on their behalf, you get to fully profit from the services you’re providing your clients with.
Now, freelancing has always been a viable option that many have overlooked. But with the rapid and unprecedented spread of coronavirus and Covid-19 around the world, increasing numbers of us are starting to look at freelance careers with a more curious and inquisitive eye. At a time where countless companies were facing difficulties due to restrictions placed on common working environments, such as traditional brick and mortar stores and commercial office blocks, countless freelancers seemed to be continuing their work with little interruption. Largely working on an independent and online basis with clients from around the world, often from the comfort of their own homes, freelancers seemed better suited than most to be able to continue their projects and work with their clients without the necessity of meeting on a face to face basis. Often, a laptop and a quiet place to work is all that they need.
While vaccines may be being rolled out around the world, many still consider freelancing a stable position where you hold more control over your own actions and your own income. On top of this, those who have grown used to remote working over the past year and a half, are more reluctant to return to commercial spaces now they’re reopening. Having waved goodbye to the expensive and time consuming daily commute, being able to wear comfortable clothes as opposed to restrictive office wear, making healthy lunches rather than limited packed lunches and countless other perks of working from home, the allure of remote freelance work is ever growing.
Of course, getting involved in freelancing can be relatively difficult and, admittedly, intimidating. When you step away from the world of employed work, you step away from relative security and take a lot more responsibility on your own shoulders. However, the benefits largely outweigh the risks and, given you have the drive and skills to strive for success, there will likely be no looking back.
So, how can this book help you along the way? When you read the following pages, you will receive a succinct guide to everything there is to know about success in freelancing and remote work. All too often, guides to freelancing don’t take the whole picture into account. They’ll tell you how to legally set yourself up and find clients. But, while these are important steps in the process, they aren’t the be all and end all of the freelance lifestyle.
Freelancing is a complex journey and small steps can make all the difference to your success. Skipping them could slow or hinder your progression, or even see your efforts fail. Having a good idea of what you’re getting yourself into before starting, or during the early stages of your journey, can save you a lot of struggle and strife.
This book starts out with goal setting. This counteracts one of the most significant challenges people find when switching to freelance work - staying motivated. It provides information that will help you to determine what you want to do and, consequently, what you need to do to get to where you’re going. It will show you how to prioritise your workload and, finally, how to track and assess your goals.
Next, we have picking your field of work. While you may have a vague idea of what freelance work you want to carry out, knowing your specific niche is essential. This section will teach you how to analyse and determine your weaknesses and strengths and how to work them to your advantage. It also highlights the importance of interests and passions, ensuring that you maintain a happy work life.
The following chapter highlights what not to do when starting out as a freelancer. Sometimes, avoiding negative decisions and habits can prove just as important to success as making the right decisions and developing the right habits.
Now, it’s time for clients. Choosing the right target market will help to ensure that you are paid the right amount for your work and that you are paid fairly and on time. It can also help to build your portfolio, helping you to secure further work.
Moving on, we have information on how to identify the benefits that your clients want. It’s all good and well being great at your craft and providing quality service and results. But if you miss the mark first time round, or misunderstand what your client is looking for, you’re going to find yourself up to your shoulders in revisions and unpaid work.
This is followed by defining your deliverables. This will help to further improve communication between you and your clients, reducing edits and maximizing productivity. Rather than lingering on the same project for too long, you can swiftly move from one happy client to the next.
All of the above information should help you to get your journey started off on the right foot. But what about price? Knowing how to correctly price services is a struggle that all new freelancers face. You don’t want to underprice yourself, as you won’t earn a sufficient income. At the same time, you don’t want to put clients off with overpricing.
Once you’ve set your price, the next chapter will help. This will guide you through generating leads, bringing customers in and letting them know what you can provide them with. This is largely based on selling yourself, which many people initially struggle with, but which quickly becomes a habit.
We will then go through how to qualify leads. This makes sure that you’re only investing time in people who are truly willing to invest in you, helping you to avoid time wasters and loss of income.
You’ll quickly begin to see that you need to build trust with your clients. A trusting relationship can help you to forge strong and lasting relations that can form the bread and butter of your income.
With trust, you can close the sale. But there’s a certain way to go around this. Here, I will guide you through how to seal the deal, allowing you to get the project started and actually generate some income.
Of course, one client is enough. You’re going to need a few to tide you over. Classified ads are a great way of achieving this. This section of the book will go through the ins and outs of classified ads and how to use them to your advantage.
The final section of the book focuses on producing quality work when under your own management. This starts out with how to do awesome work. At the end of the day, this is what will build your reputation and reviews.
Every freelancer will face problems at some point or another. The next chapter will show you how to deal with these in a professional way that will maintain your reputation and maximize your client base, even during difficulties.
Following from this, you’ll learn how to optimize your system, ensuring everything runs smoothly at all times.
By this point, people are generally feeling pretty confident in their freelancing skills. So, we’ll then go over the ultimate step - switching to a full time freelance career. This can feel daunting, but with confidence, there’s rarely reason to avoid going all in!
Finally, we’ll focus on staying motivated and networking. This will ensure that your freelance working model continues to experience success as you progress.