How to Succeed as a Freelancer

Many people dream of working on their own – of not having to answer to an employer for their daily pay. However, working as a freelancer also carries some risk. Nonetheless, you can find the means today to succeed in a freelance capacity, whether you choose writing, editing, accounting, or providing a similar professional service.

What to Ask

To begin, you need to ask the following questions:

  • How will I make myself stand out against the competition?
  • What methods should I use to win customers?
  • What should I charge for my freelance services?

So, why do you want to freelance?

People take the plunge and start freelancing for one or more reasons, including the following:

  • They want to arrange their own schedule and work on their own.
  • The like the idea of working on new assignments.
  • They don’t want to feel like a slave to their job or work.

Therefore, from the beginning, you need to be clear why you want to freelance and determine if your reason is practical. 

Choosing a Freelance Career

To decide on what you would like to do, consider the following:

  • What are your current skills?
  • Do you need training to assume freelance assignments?
  • Will working as a freelancer help you meet your financial obligations?
  • Do you know how to attract business?

You can begin working as a freelancer right away if you work as a sole proprietor. However, you also have to consider what this means for you in terms of getting clients and avoiding lawsuits. If you set yourself up as a sole proprietor, you increase your risk with respect to personal liability. That’s because, as a sole proprietor, you cannot separate your personal assets from your business assets. They are one and the same.

If you want to maintain a sole proprietorship and protect your assets, what should you do? After all this is the ideal entity to set up if you are a freelancer and want to make money fast. With this sort of autonomy at stake, it helps to find out how to reduce your personal risk.

Buy Business Insurance

The best way to protect your assets is by purchasing business insurance. Ask an insurance representative about the packages offered that focus on your freelancing needs. Usually, freelancers select liability coverage, errors and omissions insurance, and commercial auto insurance coverage.
Also, make sure the ventures you enter into are above-board. If you have any doubts, perform due diligence and research a company. You might also consider selling the expensive or valuable items you own to your spouse or a family member, keeping copies of the sales receipt and transfer of ownership. While this move may not protect you fully, the assets will not be listed as your own.

Establishing Your Business as a Corporation

If you form a corporation as a freelancer, you will find that the process can be expensive and the paperwork rather tedious. However, you will still reduce your personal risk, and separate your personal assets from what you own in your business. This business set-up also makes it easier for you to raise venture capital. If you wish to do business with other businesses or another government, you need to be incorporated in Canada.

Types of Freelancing Work

Freelancing allows you to work in one of various niche fields, including the following:

  • Copywriting and professional writing and editing
  • Typing legal and medical correspondence
  • Providing nursing services
  • Offering SEO services
  • Featuring web design services
  • Working as a digital court reporter
  • Providing consulting services
  • Working as a multi-level marketer
  • Selling products, such as real estate, insurance, and travel packages
  • Showcasing e-commerce products online
  • Offering legal or accounting services
  • Working as an entertainer or musician.

How to Begin

Above is just a sampling of what you can do as a freelancer. To make your dreams come true, make sure you do the following –

  • Prepare a business plan
  • Maintain an amount in savings that will cover your living expenses for at least 6 months
  • Decide on how you will raise your capital
  • Make sure you can pay your employees or contractors while you are waiting for the business to take hold
  • Create milestones and make a commitment to fulfilling each of these goals

It takes commitment and dedication to work as a freelancer. Therefore, make sure you have a plan in mind and have scrutinized both the pros and cons of working in this capacity.

Freelancing, on demand and gig work is increasingly common, accounting for nearly 45% of all employment in Canada. Find a loan to fund your freelance or online business here!

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Succeed as a Freelancer

What is the best way to get clients?

The best way to get clients for your freelancing business is to offer them something they can use. Just don’t tell people about your skills. Tell them what you can do for them – how what you offer can help them make their life easier.

Should I focus on giving a client the best price or the best results?

If you give a client what he wants in terms of a solution, the price no longer matters . . . as much. Therefore, place your focus on giving a client what he or she wants in terms of a product or service.

What start-up costs are ongoing for freelancers?

If you work as a freelancer, you will have initial one-time and ongoing start-up costs. The ongoing costs include what you may pay for rent, business insurance, employment income, and taxes. You also have to factor in what you pay each month for producing products and marketing and advertising them.

How do I prevent burnout?

If you want to make a decent freelance income and not overburden yourself, make sure you create a freelancing service that is productized. That means offering the same service to each client with a few minor tweaks or variations. By working from this type of template, you can systemize and outsource your work with optimized efficiency.

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Amanda Leach

Fifteen years can be a long time to work in one industry, but not when you are doing something that you love. Amanda has enjoyed the freedom of working as a freelance writer for the majority of her career. She has successfully combined her passion and skill for writing while still enjoying a life filled with travel, learning and exciting new experiences. While she loves exploring all different types of writing, her PhD in Consumer Psychology has made her a sought after writer for marketing, business and technology fields. Amanda is a regular contributor to Smarter Loans.