Top Three Tips for New Freelancers
1. Establish a Fair Price Point
If you’re just starting you should have rates that are lower than people in your field who are established. The reason for this is because they are the “safer” bet. Employers can look at their record and portfolio, and even call companies they’ve previously worked with to confirm their skill set. So to compete you have to give your employer the benefit of cost savings. Later in your career once you’ve built up a resumé you can charge more.
Before deciding on this price point based on what you think is “fair,” do a little market research. What are other people with lacking experience in your field charging for their services? That should give you a ballpark range with which you can tailor an individual price based on your market and personal skill set.
2. Track Your Cash Flow
Most new freelancers are so eager to get the job and start working on it that they forget to ensure their employer pays them on time. In fact, one of the biggest challenges small businesses and freelancers deal with is struggling to ensure that they get paid on time.
Even if it’s the same amount, a payment a month or a couple weeks late can cripple a freelancer. Using an invoice platform like Invoice2Go can really help freelancers track payment due dates. You’ll also want a mobile invoice program that allows the employer to pay with debit or credit. If you as the freelancer make it as easy as possible for the employer to pay you, as well as send them reminders on an invoice platform when the payment is due (politely), you likely won’t be stuck hassling them at the end of the money for the money that you deserve.
3. Be Open To Learning From Your Peers
Often freelancers will engage in collaborative work. Especially in fields like web design, it’s common for freelancers to work with someone else remotely. The natural instinct for a new freelancer is to make the project “yours” so you feel you can show it off on your portfolio. But what you have to remember is that the person you’re working with is likely more experienced than you. Be open to their guidance and leadership if it’s one of your first projects. Not only will that likely lead to a better finished product for the employer, it will likely also cause them to rate you highly on collaboration and teamwork.
One way to ensure that this goal is met is by working in a shared work space. These are getting more common by the day and popping up in major cities across the U.S. The idea is that instead of paying for an entire office space, you just pay for a computer and workstation where other startups, freelancers and small businesses work. This inevitably leads to networking and meeting people in your field who you can learn from.
(Guest post by Kate L)