Thanks to rapid advancements in technology and remote working becoming the new normal even as Covid restrictions ease, it’s easier than ever to run a freelance business from home. And as the pandemic has encouraged many people to take stock of their lives, there are many people who’ve ditched their traditional 9 to 5 in employment in favour of something more flexible, rewarding and conducive to a healthy work–life balance.
With some 2 million freelance professionals operating in the UK as of 2022, the freelance market is more competitive than ever, particularly in the creative industries. With this, many part-time freelancers and those who had previously supplemented their day job with “gig” freelance work are now aspiring to turn their side-line into their mainstay.
Here are some of our top tips that can help you make the transition, stand out from your fellow freelancers and carve out a trusted, professional reputation in your respective sector.
Define whether freelancing as your primary form of income is right for you
There are many reasons why turning ad hoc and intermittent freelancing into a business may work for you. As mentioned above, you may have decided that employment is not for you and that you’d prefer to control your own destiny or simply pursue a career that you are more passionate about.
It’s worth remembering that there are many benefits to being on the payroll with an employer that will be sacrificed when you go solo – such as losing a pension, holiday pay, security and more. But plan things out right and gain confidence that you have a substantial pipeline of work and those things can always be compensated for.
Start building your freelance brand with your skills in mind
Every business has a brand, in fact, that’s often the main difference between ad hoc projects and a fully-fledged business. Before you forge ahead with redesigning your logo, website and social media platforms however, spend some time defining exactly what it is you do.
Making the transition to business owner is all about knowing and capitalising on your niche. A copywriter for example isn’t just a copywriter; they’re a professional that specialises in writing about certain subject matter or in particular formats. Use your business brand to define your skills and experience, and establish a more distinct niche in the field you are passionate about.
Transform your online presence and reputation
Now it’s time to put all your hard work defining your niche into action. Whether you operate predominantly online or off, you’ll want to give your website and social profiles a business edge. Adding the professional touch clients expect is easy with the right know-how, but remember managing your online presence (and reputation) is an ongoing process that should be a part of your working week, every week.
Work hard to source the ‘right’ clients
Whilst many of your existing clients may be happy to stay on board when you make your business official, attracting new work from the right people is a must. To scale your freelance venture effectively, you should prioritise retainers to ensure the growth your new business needs for the long term.
As new work rolls in, you should be willing to outsource certain tasks and take on a bigger management role to encourage the continued expansion every thriving business requires.
Got a freelance business idea you’d like to get off the ground?
The team at TEDCO Business Support has helped thousands of businesses to grow, supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), so we’re here to support you as your team grows.
Get in touch with our team today to see how we can help you. Give us a call on 0191 516 61 02 or drop us an email at email@example.com.