If you want to transition into freelancing, you need to change your employee mindset
Handing in your notice and skipping off into the freelance sunset is a dream for many. You believe that once you’re your own boss, the clients and the money will come rolling in. But there are some changes that you’ll need to go through on your new freelancing journey to go from someone in the workforce to a successful business person.
You are no longer an employee, buffered by your boss. You are now in business — you are the boss and the employee. You are now the one responsible for everything. If things go wrong, then you have to take that responsibility.
You are now accountable.
I’ve been in situations where I have screwed something up (in my days as a web developer employee) and it has generally been the case that my boss has been the one to appease the client while I rectified whatever went wrong.
As a freelancer, you are now the person who liaises with the client. You are the one doing all the work. You are the one correcting all the errors. Not to mention that you’re the one doing all the admin, invoicing, banking, and business planning.
You can of course hire people to focus on various aspects of your business for you but you’re going to need the money rolling in to be able to afford that. And how do you get the dollars? By selling your services, and advertising yourself. You are now also a sales and marketing person on top of everything else — congratulations!
If that is starting to feel overwhelming, then you need to step back and focus on one thing at a time.
- Have a plan. Even if it’s just a one-sentence plan, that’ll do for now. What is your new business going to do? How are you going to get clients? What services are you going to offer?
- Get a website up and running (if it’s appropriate for your business). Update your LinkedIn profile, and start posting and networking like a Tasmanian Devil.
- Get a template contract in place. It is advisable to use a solicitor for this but you could also do a Google for online contract service. Don’t ever start any work without having a signed contract in place…