Being a freelancer can have its advantages, such as being your own boss, managing your working hours the way you like it, and deciding how you want to manage your clients. But all these advantages can quickly turn into drawbacks.
Yes, freelancers usually work from home, with a big cup of coffee in front of them, sometimes at late hours of the night. But working from the comfort of your apartment does not mean you can’t keep things professional and treat your business the same you would if you were working in an office.
If you want to be perceived as a professional, no matter what your job is, you have to do everything in a professional manner. Follow the tips below, so you don’t fall into the traps of working in an informal environment.
Make a schedule and stick to it
One of the great advantages of working as a freelancer is the fact that you can afford to adjust your schedule the way you like it. But this can easily turn into more of a disadvantage, as you may end up working much more than you would in an office, or, on the contrary, working way too little.
The number one thing you need to do is try to maintain a regular working schedule. It does not necessarily have to be from 9 to 5, but try to work no longer than 8 hours a day. Working too much may leave you burnt out while working too little can affect your financial stability, so the best thing to do is develop a schedule.
Take care of accounting
Just like any business, accounting plays an important role in the success of your freelancing career as well. You need to keep track of your income, expenses, as well as savings, to avoid going into financial trouble.
Clients will find it much more professional if you send them an invoice at the end of a project, and some of them may even request that, in order to get you paid. There are templates for small business invoices that you can download and use, so you can save time and make sure you did not miss anything when completing one.
Use a professional-looking email address
No matter how cool you thought you were 12 years ago, nobody is going to want to do business with blue_eyes_87, so make sure you have a professional email address linked to all your working accounts. This way, you don’t only look legitimate, but you can also easily separate your professional and personal life. The last thing you want is to get bombarded with small and newsletter emails when waiting for an important response from a client.
Use your name, or your business name when making your email address, to build up trust with your clients and look like the professional that you are.
Always keep in touch with clients
Speaking of clients, make sure to always keep in touch with them, even after a project is finished. Sending them an email asking for feedback, or if things are working properly is extremely important in maintaining a relationship with your clients and securing future jobs. Clients may lose your contact information quite easily, so sending them an email from time to time can work as a good reminder of your collaboration.