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Today, freelancing certainly is at its boom! With a lot of benefits from being self-employed to have the liberty to work on your own terms & conditions, working as an independent contractor has become the most popular trend.

However, becoming a full-time professional freelancer takes a lot of dedication, knowledge, and effort. It is like setting up your own small business for less money.

Let us have a closer look at the top-beneficial tips for being a successful freelancer in 2019.

1. Calculate Your Rate

In the heyday of the internet, it is becoming more challenging for the freelancers to prove your services to be the best as compared to the other service providers in a similar niche.

So, as a freelancer, it is essential that you should know your worth, so that you can charge for your services accordingly.  You can apply this formula to calculate your basic hourly rate.

Basic hourly rate = (annual salary + annual profit + annual expenses) /billable yearly work hours.

After the calculation, you have to analyze that the results you have got are considerable for your business or not?

As per your freelancer business structure, you can analyze all the pros & cons of charging by project fees or hourly, pricing packages or day rates.

2. Always Have a Contract

Now that you have analyzed the net worth of all the services you provide, it’s high time that you should have a contract.

As a freelancer, it would help you to solidify various concepts :

  • It will help you to fix a perfect rate (payment to be made)  between you & the client.
  • The parameters & scope of the project would be more precise, which helps to avoid any future conflicts.
  • You can have more clear insights over revisions or project cancellations and restitution.
  • You will also be protected from potential legal issues.
  • If any disagreement occurs, you will be surely paid for the actual work done.

3. Get a Deposit Upfront or Down Payment before You Start the Work

There is no denying to the fact that a freelancer believes in building an empire of his own by putting every possible effort. However, it is only possible if your hard work is paid.  

Take this tip as one of the essential advice if you want to grow your business as a freelancer. Always make a rule of securing a deposit, before you embark on any work for your client.  

It could be done in a standard fashion like – by receiving ⅓ halfway through the project and ⅓ upfront, and the rest of the final ⅓ portion upon completion.  If this format does not suit your business, you can pick up your own & can sign it in a contract with mutual consent.

3. Deal Well with the Taxes

While you are working as an independent contractor, you should keep tax obligations at the forefront of setting your work-price.  The self-employed or freelancers are subjected to the self-employment tax.

Be aware of the fact that you should always manage to provide yourself with necessities such as dental care, healthcare, and a handsome amount for your retirement. Moreover, you should start looking for ways to save on taxes.

Not only this, but you must also look forward to finding one of the well-suited ways for your business to file taxes (either quarterly or annual payments).

4. Keep a Regular & Strict Schedule

Consistency is a hidden key to success for a freelancer. When you know that you are not bound to work in an environment of standard business hours, you may get lenient about work.

Understanding the fact, if you have the liberty to work whenever you want, you should not become careless about the timeliness of the work. The foundation of your freelance career should be built on trust, and if you are missing your job deadlines, you will lose the ground for sure.  Therefore, schedule your tasks & stick to it.

Scheduling your tasks allows you to:

  • Give each client the attention they deserve.
  • Meet important deadlines for the assigned tasks.
  • Create a required balance between work and life.

Working from Home

6. Technology and Tools

Freelancers are empowered with the technologies & tools to get the job done.

Therefore, if you want to get successful as a freelancer, you have to keep abreast of all the emerging technologies as well as essential tools like:

  • Project Management — Basecamp, Wunderlist, LiquidPlanner, Project Bubble
  • Invoicing — Toggl, FreshBooks, Hiveage, BlinkSale
  • Preventing Distraction — Cold Turkey, Freedom, Focus Booster, or one of these other favorite tools

7.  Dive Deep into Your Niche

As a freelancer, you have to develop the skills of targeting new potential clients. With the evolution of more and more technologies, people have started to become more tech-savvy than ever before.

It has made the scenario more challenging for the freelancers to attract more business owners or clients. Be an expert in your space and know each & every aspect of your niche.

Furthermore, it will not also help you stand out from the competition but also will attract many new clients.

Here are the top ways to market your business for less money:

  • Create a blog/ Articles
  • In-person networking
  • Create your up-to-date business profiles in the social media environment
  • Post ads for your services or a personal profile on websites like TECHdotMN, Facebook, Instagram, and many other popular social media platforms

8. Focus Your Freelance Business

This last tip may sound a very typical one to you, but, it is one of the most important tips if you want to stay ahead of the competition as a freelancer.  

“Focus On Your Work” – It is a Guru Mantra for creating your brand identity! If you have the expertise in your niche and you focus carefully on all the types of projects you take on, you can soon become one of the best leaders in the industry.

Categorize your niche in freelance career, pick one or two services, and finally get specialized into it. And consequently, you will master it all! Undoubtedly, you would able to create a brand of your own.

Here is a generalized to-do-list to excel as a freelancer:

  • By keeping in mind the Guru Mantra – Focus On Your Work, try to deliver affordable & high-quality projects. It will create a loyal customer base.
  • In your freelance career portfolio, only showcase the projects you have already mastered.
  • Market your brand on all possible online-platforms highlighting the types of projects you are specialized in.
  • Start producing informative content around those services/products to prove your expertise. And as a byproduct of marketing, it would help you to attract more & more clients.

Take Away

I’ve shared with you the 8 Actionable Tips for a Successful Freelance Career in 2019.

 If you also want to have a thriving and sustainable freelance career, you must put these tips into your work process.

Written By
Sarath CP is a Business Consultant at Inc Paradise, Business Incorporation & Registered Agent Services in all 50 States in the USA. IncParadise provides on its website lot of useful information like incorporation requirements for each state, possible business structures, explanation of documents required by the Secretary of State and many more.

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