Top 10 Tips for Surviving and Thriving as a Freelancer

Freelancing is a positive work prospect for many since it allows individuals to manage their work schedule on their own time; as long as the deadlines are met. Moreover, it also allows you to work from anywhere you want, such as the beach or the mountains. However, this may also bring a sense of uncertainty, especially when thoughts about the future are involved. Here are some tips for surviving and thriving as a freelancer.

Top Tips to thrive while freelancing

1. Choose your gigs wisely

When you start as a freelancer, you might need to take on as many clients as possible to kickstart your career and make a lot of money. However, this leads to a surplus of work that can be difficult to manage—for instance, having surplus work from all sorts of clients can lead to mismanagement and eventually burnout.

Hence, the best option here is to choose your clients wisely. Instead of taking up all sorts of jobs, carefully select the tasks that fit within your skill set and work on improving that instead. You must understand when enough is enough; know when you are maxed out, so you stay focused on further projects.

2. Save money and have an emergency fund

Once you progress in your freelancing career, you must work on saving money and having an emergency fund for uncalled situations. Business Insider says many freelancers are only paid on time if they work with reputed institutions. What's more, if the client is not trustworthy, there is also a chance that they might not pay you. Your freelancing career can only survive if you get paid on time, or worse, if you do not get paid, you have enough savings to manage for a while.

Expenses and bills usually need to be taken care of immediately. People you owe money to will want it immediately. Hence, a safety net with enough savings to pay those bills is essential. This will give you peace of mind in unforeseen situations.

3. Work on client retention with networking

Retaining previous clients can have a massive positive influence on your freelancing career. As a freelancer, you must always treat your clients as something other than a one-off for a project. Instead, prioritize client relationships and work towards retaining them so you can get more business from them in the future.

Searching for new clients and acquiring them can be five times more expensive than retaining your current client base. According to Forbes, retaining at least 5% of your existing clients can drive your profits by at least 95%. Loyal customers are more likely to give you repeat business if:

  • You are on good terms with them.
  • The work you provide is top-notch.

4. Have a monthly budget and cut down on unnecessary expenses

Unless you are already a seasoned professional in the field or have a monetary backup from your previous work, you need to have a fixed monthly budget. Even if you have an emergency fund, you should be disciplined not to use that unless necessary. Moreover, cut down on unnecessary expenses that can negatively impact your savings.

For the first few months, organize your income in this manner:

  • Manage your month on 50% of your income.
  • Save 20% for emergency funds or general savings.
  • Use the remaining 30% for expenses, including taxes.

5. Set a schedule and work on it

Owning your schedule may have advantages and disadvantages. Although you can choose your hours, if you need to be more organized with your time, you will soon realize that a whole day has been lost to inactivity. Have a strict schedule when you initially begin (particularly if you like to procrastinate) and stick to it until you become used to being your boss.

When you work from home, it can be tough to keep your professional and personal lives distinct. The best way to do this is by planning your entire week. In this scenario, dedicate fixed hours for working and fixed hours for recreation and other personal matters.

Furthermore, while accepting tasks, you should always be judicious. Before taking any gig employment, carefully examine the timeline, compensation rate, and other aspects. By doing so, you may eliminate tasks that provide little opportunity for advancement and better prepare for positions that can assist in accelerating your career.

6. Tailor and personalize your services for every client

You are no longer an employee, so stop thinking one size fits all. Instead, you must adapt your strategy and fulfill the needs of each client if you want to succeed in the gig economy. The number of freelancers you have to compete with decreases, when you concentrate on a particular area of expertise rather than a general approach. To meet their demands, it's crucial to carefully consider your client's goals, available options, and financial constraints before positioning yourself as an authority in that industry.

7. Have a dedicated office space

If you are working from home, it is essential to have a dedicated working space within to increase productivity and decrease distractions. However, you can spend less than thousands of dollars to do so. Alternatively, find a coworking space where you can spend enough time daily to complete your projects.

According to Statista, over 19,000 coworking spaces across the globe, with over 3 million individuals preferring coworking spaces to working from home. If you work from home, only work from the bed, or the dining table, since you might constantly get distracted or have things to move around. Here are a few things you should consider investing in if you prefer working from home in the long run:

  • A comfortable chair.
  • A desk.
  • Reliable and fast internet.
  • Basic stationery supplies, such as pens, notebooks, etc., to take notes.
  • A dedicated work on the computer, which is separate from your personal computer.
  • Headphones.
  • Over the years, once you have a comfortable budget, you may add extra luxuries such as plants, art, decor, etc.

8. Leave the house occasionally

Leaving the house occasionally is very important since you must refresh yourself between work to avoid burnout. Even if it is just for a few minutes, leave the house for a walk or to meet a friend. This break has a positive impact on not only your mind but also your productivity.

Consider going for a morning jog or a walk every morning while also getting some exercise in. This practice will help you avoid fatigue that is bound to set in if you consistently work from home and never leave the premises. Not leaving the house can also impact your people skills. Hence, you may also consider working from a coworking space.

9. Contact other freelancers

Working alone might be difficult since getting feedback or even fundamental artist collaboration is difficult. Because they all benefit from one another, creative teams are essential to studios and agencies. It is challenging to receive feedback when working alone from home.

There are various methods to fix this, but you may take simple steps to keep your creative juices flowing. You could discover that your city hosts regular gatherings for freelancers to connect and share important information. Additionally, there are specialized groups and communities on social media where freelancers may assist one another in finding jobs.

10. Have multiple ways to earn an income

You can ensure that your cash flow is more manageable when you have numerous sources of income. This aspect will allow you to stay in the game for a more extended period, expand your clientele, increase your experience, and take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Now, the other projects you choose to maximize your income with must be flexible, so they are distinct from your primary source of income. Additionally, it must be scalable, i.e., able to grow to take up any extra space. If your primary work calls for it, this will enable you to skip it at the last moment.


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