If you’re diving into the world of freelancing, you aren’t the only one. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 62 million freelancers, and that number continues to increase every year. More people are ditching their nine-to-fives and venturing into becoming their own bosses.
However, freelancing life isn’t for everyone. To succeed, it’s imperative to put necessary practices in place so you stay organized, keep clients happy, and generate revenue. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself stressed beyond belief and nowhere near achieving the goals you set for yourself.
If you want to become a freelancer, here are four habits to adopt for the best chances of success.
1. Working in a designated space
When you work freelance, you have the opportunity to work from any location you choose. It’s freeing to know that you don’t have to walk into the same office with the same people five times a week. That said, you have the chance to create an environment that encourages you to work hard and get things done.
There’s a reason that 76 percent of content creators work from a home office. Not only does this reset your focus on the task at hand, but it also lets you create a space that encourages your productivity.
Create a workspace that helps you achieve your goals and stay focused. The area you work in should inspire you and encourage you to finish everything on your to-do list for the day.
Consider what type of environment you need to be your best and manifest the most success. Because you’re a freelancer, having a set workspace is crucial because you associate it with work even though you aren’t going into a formal office. If you work from your bed or the couch, it’s more challenging for you to focus and complete tasks without getting distracted.
2. Prioritizing tasks
When you’re your own boss, it’s crucial to know what tasks are a priority and which ones can wait until later. If you find yourself getting the little tasks done and out of the way, yet you’re constantly left with big projects you’re falling behind on, you need to rework your strategy.
To prioritize your tasks, organize your to-do list from most pressing to least pressing. If there’s something you need to finish as soon as possible, schedule that for the first task of the day. When you get bigger projects finished the first thing in the morning, it leaves room for relaxation later.
If you have trouble prioritizing the importance of tasks, assign them a grade letter to organize them by importance. Anything with letter A is urgent and important; B is still important but not as urgent; C is neither urgent nor important, etc.
For example, you might organize your priority list like this:
- Invoice clients by 10 a.m. (A)
- Reply to publication’s email later today (B)
- Brainstorm new topic ideas for next week (C)
3. Sticking to a schedule
You’re responsible for setting a schedule and sticking to it when you’re a freelancer or remote worker. You don’t have a boss to set deadlines for you, check in to make sure you’re on track, or give you advice about what to do next. Being your own boss can be just as scary as it is thrilling, which is why it’s essential to prepare efficiently.
Create a work schedule that works for you. You may have to switch things around at the beginning when you’re trying to figure out what brings the best results, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you stick to the schedule you make and use it as a tool to complete projects and find clients.
Freelancing won’t work for you if you aren’t good at beating deadlines and completing tasks on time. This kind of work depends on time management because your clients need your work sent back to them in a timely manner.
4. Communicating with clients
When you work as a freelancer, your clients determine how you sink or swim. Bad clients take the enjoyment out of your work and make it difficult to do a good job because nothing meets their expectations. On the other hand, quality clients don’t make ridiculous demands, state exactly what they want, and pay you a rate you deserve.
So, how do you make sure you work with only the best clients? Hardly any freelancer is free of poor client experiences, but it’s more than possible only to choose clients who are respectful and worthy of your time. If you practice straightforward, honest communication, it’s easy to see who’s the right fit for you and who isn’t.
Whether it’s before, during, or after the project is complete, it’s imperative to communicate with your client. If clients reach out mainly through your business website, make sure you have optimized contact forms that ensure deliverability and a smooth UX. Be transparent about your vision for the project, your rates, and what they can expect from your services. Blunders can’t occur if both parties communicate openly.
Over to you
If you’re a freelancer, it’s important to implement productive steps into your workday so you don’t fall victim to bad habits. Set yourself up to achieve your goals and bring your business to new heights by planning ahead, communicating, and prioritizing. What habits will you adopt on your freelancing journey?