The digital age has made it easier than ever before to start your own business and build a thriving personal brand. If you’re thinking about how to become self-employed, and want to start a career without a boss hanging over your head, then this is the right time to start strategizing.
After all, you have all the freelance tools you need to manage this freelancing gig remotely! This might just be the opportunity you were looking for to become independent – both professionally and financially.
Luckily for you, there is a myriad of opportunities out there: self-employment isn’t limited to certain sectors anymore, and there are plenty of marketplaces willing to take you on.
Let’s explore some of the common issues that self-employed professionals tend to come across – and more importantly, how you can ensure success!
Decide on your next career move
First things first, have you decided on your next career move?
Self-employment essentially means embarking on a whole new journey to expand your product or service offering, making better use of your skills and talents. For example, there are many opportunities for talented individuals in the creative field to offer services that clients need – such as strategy and brainstorming, visual brand-building, and even storytelling.
Becoming self-employed is a great learning opportunity. Going solo with your business ventures will allow you to further develop those skills, and easily acquire new ones.
Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs that you can do when you work from home. Here are some examples of services from the freelancers at Twine:
- Web design and Development
- 2D and 3D Animation
- Illustration and Graphic Design
- UI and UX Design
- Video editing
- Social Media
- SEO & Marketing
The possibilities are endless here – it’s important to choose the things you not only love but can also grant you build financial independence.
Develop a winning personal brand
Becoming self-employed puts you in the driver’s seat. You are the leader of your business and you call the shots, meaning that the brand-building process falls on your shoulders (unless you hire an expert to help you, of course).
Make no mistake, the brand you build can make or break your new business, so you need a careful and calculated approach.
Firstly, you’ll need to come up with a brand name. Be wise with this process – your brand name should effectively capture the attention of your target demographic, and allow you to build your online presence quickly. As a rule of thumb, keep it short and simple. Depending on the type of brand you want to build, you could even use your own name.
During the brand-building process, it will be crucial to come up with your tone of voice and personality. This will eventually be paired with a set of values that will resonate with your audience, and help you find your unique selling point. To uncover this information, you’ll need to conduct meticulous market research.
Obtain and manage the right documentation
As a self-employed business leader, you will be handling a lot of documentation. This is a necessary process if you want to ensure compliance, protect your work, and secure your partnerships.
Without a doubt, you need the right documentation to run your business, but you also need to be able to manage that documentation efficiently and effectively.
It’s important to enable remote work for yourself, and future team members, without waiting for documents to be signed or approved manually.
Signing documents online, capturing legally-binding signatures, and automating documents will keep things quick and easy. When starting off your business, you will want to keep the process as efficient as possible for your team.
Create a payment system to send and receive money
Yes, managing your own business requires a lot of documentation, but it also requires meticulous financial management. Managing finances is an extensive process, encompassing everything from cash flow management to revenue projections.
When you’re working with clients across the globe, it’s important that you’re able to receive and send money online securely, and with minimal transfer rates.
The provider you choose to work with needs to have a spotless track record, low fees, and excellent transfer times. If you do your research thoroughly, you can ensure you and your team will be getting paid in time, and in full, for your work.
Look for high-value clients
At some point, you’re going to start growing so much that you’ll need to bring in outside help for those large projects and clients.
You may come to realize that you need this help full-time. Assembling a team of professionals is one of the more exciting parts of the business, allowing your brand to grow into a diverse workplace.
But before you can do any of that, you need to get some big, high-value clients.
When you are reaching out to potential partners, it’s important that you emphasize your value proposition, and your company’s ability to solve very specific problems.
Remember, people don’t need generalized solutions so much as they need a highly-skilled individual (or team) to solve specific pain points. Before diving straight in, figure out how to tackle specific problems and optimize your sales cycle.
If this sounds way out of your depth, don’t panic! A sales expert can be hired at the beginning of your journey, so you can be working with high-value clients right off the bat.
Manage your workforce remotely
Tying into the previous point, when you do begin bringing people into your team, it will most likely be on a remote work basis.
Remote work has become the norm nowadays, with the pandemic has definitely been one of the major driving forces of this change. Your goal as an employer should be to prepare for this step early and have an action plan ready. After all, you might need to hire someone after a couple of months when you start landing big clients and projects.
The best thing you can do is to develop a robust performance management system, manage your remote team members, and improve productivity and efficiency.
The reality is that once you’re self-employed, you need to wear many hats to keep your new business afloat. One of those many roles is managing your team members, as well as your clients.
When the time comes, you may need to start outsourcing people management too.
Build sustainable relationships
If your goal is to stand out in a competitive industry, you will need to start marketing your services – and now. With the right content marketing strategy, you can make a name for yourself.
Having a solid content marketing strategy is helped by partnering with the right people. Partnerships are invaluable to freelancers, especially when you are prospecting for new clients.
So, consider partnering up with other freelancers to provide complementary services to their clients too. This way, you will be able to build sustainable relationships in your field and become a trusted figure quickly.
Use your home as your headquarters
Finally, now that you’re self-employed, it’s important to equip your home office.
Educate yourself on home office essentials, and what successful freelancers have to help through the day. Whether you need an adjustable work desk or an ergonomic chair, you can find what helps you work the most efficiently. This is where you need to pull out all of the stops!
Don’t forget to make sure your gadgets and office tech are synced and connected so that you can access your work wherever you are. Backing up your work regularly and keeping all important documentation in a safe online space is another great tip to begin self-employment.
Now that you’re leading your own business so to speak, put emphasis on data security as well. Consider using a hardware firewall for your home network from now on, just like any other company. After all, your home is now your place of business!
Over to you
Becoming self-employed is one of the best things you can do for your personal and professional future.
However, going into it blind can make things rather daunting. As an independent business leader, there are many challenges you’re going to face. You need to make all the right decisions on the road to long-term success.
And don’t worry about setbacks either! They are a natural part of this process but can be minimized if you take the steps we’ve outlined here. Make these tips an integral part of your business strategy, and watch as your new career path begins to unfold.
Ready to hire? Our marketplace of over 410,000 diverse freelancers has the skills and expertise needed to skyrocket your business. From marketers to designers, copywriters to SEO experts – browse the talented bunch here!