Life as an independent freelancer can be full of surprises, especially if you’re trying to make it work alongside your family life. Most people embrace the freelancing world with one main thought: It will not be like in the office. While this is true, and your day-to-day activities don’t need to follow the same routine that you might have had as an employee, there is no need to reject every business procedures that relate to companies. After all, you could learn a thing, or two from the way companies manage their customer relations. Naturally, as you are a one-person business, you can’t rely on other teams to help you out or pass the call to your secretary when you’re busy. However, there are some tips to make your life a lot easier and help you to succeed as a freelancer.
#1. Take No Chances With Payment
A common complaint among freelancers is the difficulty to get paid on time. Companies might sometimes struggle with similar issues, but they have the advantage of having a more significant budget so that a few days’ or weeks’ delays don’t make any difference. As a freelancer, you need to be smart about getting paid. Choosing reputable clients who agree to sign a legally binding contract is key. You also need to be able to send your invoices, on time and with all the necessary information – which can be tricky if this is your first time. Finally, adding multiple payment options will encourage your clients to pay sooner. As a rule of the thumb, bank transfer and online credit card processing are the preferred options if you work with companies. Individuals tend to prefer Paypal and online CC transactions. Generally speaking, the more payment options you have, the easier it will be to arrange payment on time.
#2. Your Branding Strategy Matters
You may be just one person, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t be your brand. Every business needs a logo and marketing documentation. Indeed, your logo will not only make you look more professional, but it also makes you more memorable. Where does your logo need to appear? The logo needs highly visible on the website, business cards, invoices, and other official documents, brochures, and flyers if you use any, and naturally in your email signature. Your branding conveys your personality and your business reputation to your clients. In other words, think of yourself as a business and make sure to present your services as such.
#3. Time Is Precious, Don’t Waste It
If you’ve ever tried to contact a business outside of their open hours, you’ve probably received an auto reply message.
Thanks for your message. We’ll get back to you within the next 48 hours.
You know the style. Unfortunately, freelancers believe that they need to be available for their clients 24/7. As a result, they don’t use auto reply emails but tend to reply to every inquiry as soon as possible. In truth, you need to be honest with yourself. While you want your freelance business to work, you also want to keep sufficient time to relax and to be with your friends and relatives. In other words, you don’t need to be available all the time. You need to introduce an auto reply for your clients, stating your working hours and indicating when you will be getting back to their message. You need to allow yourself some headspace if you want to succeed!