Guest article by Kirsty Hulse
The jump from a secure income and regular paid employment can be a scary one but one that can’t fail but to reward you in the long run. Flexibility, a work life balance that you can control and a chance to maximise your productivity by working where and when you know you can achieve your best, is only the beginning. Here are a few pointers that I have learnt along the way that will help when starting out on your freelance journey…
- Try not to get too bogged down in having a perfect name, or a perfect website, as your first challenge. I have found that a lot of new businesses owners can prevent themselves from even beginning because they’re not sure what to call their business, or their website is taking too long. Whilst these things are crucial in the long run of business for the most part, especially service based businesses, your first customers will be from referrals, so the perfect website or perfect name can wait until a little later down the line.
- If you’re working from home, avoid the temptation of spending all day in your pyjamas. The temptation is real but the habits we develop as a new freelance tend to stick with us throughout the rest of our freelance careers. Developing a routine of getting up, getting dressed and setting up a distinction of going “to work” is very helpful. Having a dedicated space at home for work can help keep you focused, this can be as simple as working on the kitchen table, but moving your computer and papers away at the end of the day.
- Get an accountant, and your accounting software, set up as soon as you possibly can. Though it can often be the most daunting aspect of starting to work for yourself, the sooner you set yourself up financially, it will prevent you having to retroactively organise your finances a year in (like I did!), but, more importantly will give you a sense of control and financial understanding that is very important when you first start out.
- You will be surprised at how easy you find it, in the beginning to get business. Most of us have built a certain network during our careers, from our peers we have worked with, ex colleagues, ex clients, when you first go freelance using this network to grow your business can be an invaluable kick start to get money coming in. Think back through your entire career to date, who did you have a good relationship with? Who enjoyed working with you? Get in touch with these people and let them know you are setting up alone. By casting your net wide you are most likely to get clients, or business, most quickly and easily.
The Future is Freelance – By Kirsty Hulse paperback version and Kindle version are both available to buy on Amazon.
If there is one thing that Kirsty Hulse has in common with Winston Churchill, Frida Kahlo and Isaac Newton, it is that she does her best work in bed. Kirsty Hulse is the founder and Managing Director of ManyMinds, a digital marketing agency that works exclusively with freelancers in remote teams across the world. With clients ranging from global blue chips to small start-ups, Kirsty has truly disrupted the way that companies outsource their marketing efforts. With over a decade’s experience defining digital marketing strategies for some of the world’s biggest brands, she is a recognised digital expert and has spoken at conferences across the world on digital, innovation and leadership. www.manyminds.digital