There are those who assume that blogging [for example] is easy, lots of fun, glamorous and "not a 'real' job". In reality, it's flipping hard [loads of planning, research, preparation, drafts, edits, photography and the rest], it can be incredibly frustrating [mostly the lack of support], there's very little to no glam however, it is definitely something many have made a fab career of.
Based entirely on my own experiences [blogging, teaching, radio, events planning], these are the ingredients I believe will / can make for an awesome freelance career [albeit, one size does not fit all]:
- Identify what fuels your passion - what do you want to give, or share / gain and why?
- Understand exactly what it will take to commit - not just time, personal sacrifices too!
- Assess your skills and capabilities - do you need to study, learn the trade?
- Ensure you are aware of and have the resources you need - from Internet access to funds - you've got to be willing and able to invest in yourself for what might be a really long time!!
- Be realistic about what is required versus what you can actually do - e.g. monthly blogging is pointless, real talk!
- Make sure you have a strong enough database - no contacts, no audience
- Start with what you have and, if currently working, stay in your job! - you'll need the money and your colleagues may potentially be your market / buyers / clients etc.
- Prepare for and accept that you will have to prove yourself - unpaid work for the experience, building your database and references is once again the way to go
- Clean up your online presence - you want to be taken seriously and have your services hired
- WORK on your brand - you, your products, your services, your website / Facebook page / Instagram etc.
- Have a plan of action - what, when, how and why are you going to do whatever it is you are wanting to do? How much will you charge, how will you secure clients and maintain the relationships thereafter?
- Where possible, attend relevant talks, seminars, or workshops about going freelance and also anything beneficial relating to your chosen field. [Beware those who may try to sell you follow-up 'courses' - do not allow yourself to be pressured into buying anything. Do your research first!].
- Pay attention to others in your field - what are they doing and how? Where are they finding their clients, what events are they attending, who are they reaching out to?
- Look for a mentor - could prove to be a big plus and you'll also have an immediate support system
FYI: I don't believe it's possible to freelance and have a full-time job long term - I mean, headache and stress much...? - However, it's defo possible to do so alongside a part-time contract. That said, be mindful of the fact that it isn't easy and freelancing is not likely to be lucrative for a while. Also, you'll want to create a positive, encouraging working environment for yourself and a strict schedule!
Visit Eventbrite [UK / USA etc.] and book anything that you believe will be valuable and is cost effective. Also search Google for more tips and additional freelancer support.
The world of happiness comes from being able to successfully do your own thing and earn from it too but, it can be so dread at times! Isn't something to step into on a whim, that's for sure!!
Thank you for reading.