Today marks the first year of Avid Creative – Whoo Hoo! Also the one year anniversary of my going full-time freelance, aka the birth of Avid Creative. What a year! Let me tell you.
It is always a little tough making that first jump — that may be an understatement to some, it can be daunting really. You may have a full time job, you do not feel satisfied with where you are what your doing or just really have an entrepreneurial itch. That was definitely my case!
So I thought I would share 6 basic pointers that helped me and took me by surprise in my first year of freelance and may help you if your thinking of becoming your own boss.
1. First Step: Taking the plunge
Once you decide to go full-time freelance you should be planning way ahead of the game whether it is saving up money so you do not go broke in your first 6 months, and producing a plan. One great step I took was telling everyone what I was doing. This played a huge part in helping me spread the word, and may lead to more projects.
2. Create a Business Plan
Not saying everything always runs smoothly, but once you plan out what you want to achieve it is much easier making it a reality. Ask yourself things like; where you see your business growing, what you want to work on, where you will find clients etc. Not to forget reviewing it every few months will help you keep on track.
3. Finance, finance, finance!!!
It really is all about money, now if you have any business education you are one step ahead — kudos to you! I had to figure it out on my own *tear. To be quite honest I am still working out some kinks. Get a great accountant, and maybe have a meeting with your financial institution, they generally have a business expert that can help you out. But all and all figuring out finances and how much you want to get payed each month then snowballs into the next category:
4. Work your butt off
Most of the work you do in the first and probably second year won’t give you money but will help define your recognition. Building your recognition is (in my opinion) really important. With this also come planning, and great organizational skills. Figure out how you work — everyone has a different way of working. So wether you enjoy going to coffee shop or set up a home office, form your work routine around what you enjoy!
5. Find a Niche
This is still one of the most important aspects of being a freelancer because the market is extremely saturated! Finding a niche that you enjoy and an area that you excel in, will break you out of the pool of generalists. There are a lot of mixed feelings on generalists but this is one way that will make you stand out!
6. Be Confident
Well to be honest I am still working on this one, and is more of a personal battle with speaking to people and audiences. So I have decided to see a speech coach and is in my long term goals to do presentations (which is part of my business plan). Finding ways to build up your confidence is almost mandatory in a hard knock industry. So chin up and look to great achievements!