Freelancing, as the name implies, provides you with a level of freedom not often found with any other occupation. However, it also comes with its downsides. Life without a steady paycheck can be hard, and budgeting certainly isn’t the easiest thing on the planet when you have no idea what you’ll be making next week. That’s why we’ve put together this list of tricks to help you stay afloat as a freelancer:
No Place Like Home
Most freelancers start out working in their lounge room or home office, and while that’s nothing to be ashamed of, a residential address doesn’t make for the most impressive (or professional) inclusion on your business card. Rather than rushing out to rent your own office building and dealing with the costs and issues associated with a commercial lease, consider going the virtual route.
A virtual office in Melbourne, for example, can provide you with a prestigious address to have on your website and in your communications, without the often out of reach expenses that come with premium city frontage. Services may also include a receptionist and meeting space, so you can set up a full professional presence while working from the comfort of your sofa.
Although this one isn’t technically a financial tip, when your advertising budget isn’t the biggest, you need to get creative about how you promote your business if you want to stay afloat. Social media is a great way to do this as you can build genuine connections with very little outlay in most cases.
Make sure that you have a social presence that is updated regularly and provokes actual engagement, not just empty likes. Always showcase your talents while balancing the sales message with educational content and fun posts. This will keep your audience coming back not just because they see you as an authority, but also because your brand makes them feel a certain way.
Networking is also key to keeping yourself afloat when your paycheque is so irregular. Financially your network can help fund new projects that need backing and often have smaller tasks that you can pick up for some quick cash.
Strong connections can also bring in new work if you’re stuck in a quiet patch as they can pass your name along. Their importance cannot be underestimated. Small corporate gifts make great ice-breakers when establishing new connections, and as long as you keep the lines of communication open, it should be fairly easy to maintain a solid network.
Once your business is larger and you have a collection of steady clients, having additional income streams may not be as crucial, but it is always a good idea to diversify where your money comes from, especially when you’re at a stage where you’re still experiencing lulls.
Dividends from investments, invoice finance, and casual side hustles are great ways to do this. Just make sure you’re getting paid what you’re worth and keeping on top of your books.
Deciding to freelance can be one of the best decisions you’ve ever made, as long as you go about things the right way. It isn’t all cocktails on the beach, so you need to have the right expectations. You also need to look out for yourself financially, and that’s what these tips are designed to help with. We wish you the best of luck on your freelance journey – you’ve got this!