You’re a freelancer, right?
Or maybe you’re not. But whether you’re a moonlighter, solopreneur, or love hiring people for gigs, you’ve landed here because you thought “I want to be successful! And I love tips!” Welcome, then! Here at Moonlighting, we’ve made it our mission to help you on your freelancing journey, empower you to succeed in the gig economy, and make money doing what you love.
The entrepreneurial path is a unique road full of surprising twists and turns, sharp rocks, and glorious views. No one ever said it is an easy career choice, but it can be the most rewarding. You get to do work you’re passionate about, and you learn how to deal with some of the more unsavory parts; but you’re a stronger person for it. To set yourself up for success and make your mark in the gig economy, brush up on these 26 tips.
- Get a website. It’s your starting point. Your home base. Your mothership. Your experiences. Your skills. The world needs to know who you are and you need a place where they can go to learn about it. Get one.
- Have a set work space. Whether it’s a desk in the corner of your studio apartment, the Barnes and Noble down the road, or a community networking space, keep it separate from your home. Work-life balance is important in any field, so make sure you can separate them physically. And keep it organized and clean. Clean desk = clean mind.
- Let everyone know you’re a freelancer. Neighbors, high school friends, cousins, brothers, aunts, or an old coworker can help you find more clients. Don’t be bashful about letting everyone know what you can and can’t do. Every moment is a networking opportunity and a chance to expand your network.
- Buy dope business cards and carry them everywhere.
- Create a Moonlighting profile.
- Cultivate your personal brand. You are your own brand. Be on it all the time.
- Keep up a positive attitude, open mind, and a willingness to learn. You’ll make friends, impress clients, and grow more as a person.
- Seek out a mentor. It could be a few people in your local freelancing community, an online network (like Moonlighting), or a few favorite thought leaders. No one is an island…because life’s a beach and we all know those are always crowded; so make a few friends along the way.
- Write down your business plan. This isn’t just your plan of action; this is your mission, your vision, and everything in between. The more detailed you can be the better – it will allow you to stay on track. But make sure you’re still flexible; as much as you try, you can’t control everything!
- Create social media accounts. If you don’t have them – get on it! They’re free, easy to use, and you can build and grow your following and business at no cost. Plus everyone’s on them these days, what better way to find new clients?
- Research your niche. Learn common prices, who’s your competition, and how saturated it is.
- Ask for things. Don’t be afraid to request a review, social referrals, or for help when you need it.
- Build out your Moonlighting profile and post as much as you can.
- Know your worth. Don’t let rejection get to you; as Eloise Ristad said “When we give ourselves permission to fail, we, at the same time, give ourselves permission to excel.”
- Don’t work for free. Not even for your friends. Free samples are okay (I mean, when Costco hands them out, I’m ready to buy the whole thing); but you, your time, and your project is worth something. Ask accordingly.
- And know when to say no. “It is no simple endeavor to know when to listen and adapt, and when to say, ‘No – we’re going this way because I am the freelancer and you hired me as the expert!’ Learning that line is like discovering gold in the desert, and it’s one of the trademark qualities of success.” –Julie
- Write down your goals. Splurge on that nice planner and start scribbling. To-dos, due dates, plans–it’ll keep you focused. Plus who doesn’t love crossing things off a list?!
- Manage your time wisely. Analyze your processes. Look where you spend your time. Trim the fat. Be efficient.
- Put on some pants every once in awhile.
- Track everything. Clients, invoices, communication, taxes, payments. Organization is a major key. Track your projects as if you were a big company, because one day you might be running one.
- Automate where you can. There’s nothing that can replace a personal touch, but if you can save time on the lesser things, do it.
- Make yourself indispensable. Go the extra mile for your client and be a great team player. If you can communicate well and set yourself apart as the dependable, present and communicable freelancer, you’ll be the one everyone wants to hire.
- When business is slow, never stop working on your craft. Hone it, read up on new techniques in your industry. Write a blog. Add to your portfolio.
- Be professional. Nothing you do should look casual…even if you do (I see you sitting on your couch in a gym clothes and a baseball cap writing that proposal…)
- Market yourself. Give yourself a Boost and make sure people know what your skills set is–you never know where a potential client could be lurking.
In the end, every freelancing path is different and it’s up to you to succeed. We hope these tips will get you there. So stay strong, keep on keeping on, be the light. Have fun. Make money.
Have some tips of your own? Share them in the comments!