Deciding to dive into the world of freelancing is a huge decision and one that can be slightly intimating to newcomers. Whilst excelling in the freelance work does need you to do your research, you will be glad to know that in this day and age, it is no longer as daunting as it used to be. Did you know that nearly a third of Australian workers are freelancers or independent contractors, and they have truly blazed a clear trail for any and everyone that has and will come after them. If you are looking into joining the world of full-time freelancing, here are some tools that will assist you in making that transition a lot easier!
1. Register A Business License
One of the first things that you have to do when you are looking into freelancing is to register yourself for an Australian Business Number (ABN). An ABN is a unique 11 digit number that identifies your business to the government and community and allows you to confirm your business identity to others when ordering and invoicing, avoid PAYG tax on payments received, claim GST, claim energy grants credits and obtain an Australian domain name. Getting this sorted is the first step in joining the world of freelancing.
2. Set Up A Business Bank Account
Always remember, keep things professional. If you are going to be a freelancer, you need to treat yourself like a business. That means, no mixing your personal bank accounts with your business bank accounts. A business bank will help you make your bookkeeping and taxes easier, as well as making it easier to set money aside for when tax return time comes around.
3. Create A Client List
Client lists should contain all the email addresses, personal information and contact details of your clients both past and present. Using this list will help you keep those connections warm, as well as make it easy for you to send clients greeting cards on birthdays and holidays. In the beginning, your list may be very short, or even non-existent. However, when it does inevitably start to grow, having a list will help you stay organised. A handful of freelancers also utilise customer relationship management (CRM) tools such as Hubspot CRM.
4. Find A Good Web Hosting Service
A business website is essential for you as a freelancer as that is how your customers will be able to find you, look at your portfolio, read testimonials and contact you. This is why your site’s hosting service should be one that is reliable, have awesome customer service and professional looking templates that help you save costs on web designers.
5. Job Sites
We know that not all freelancers are huge fans of job sites, but those who are often tend to sing praise for sites such as Upwork, Fiverr and Contently. These are useful platforms that can help connect clients with high paying gigs to freelancers who want them, so don’t completely alienate job sites – you’ll never know what you can come across on them.
6. Pay Attention To Your Contracts
As a freelancer, you will definitely need to draft up contracts that you will use with your clients. In the beginning, you can use DIY templates from sites such as RocketLawyer and LawDepot, but always keep in mind that it is good practice to consult in a trusted attorney review all your contracts before you use it in order to keep yourself out of future hot water.
7. Stay Connected
Did you know that the most successful freelancers actually view their fellow freelancers as colleagues instead of competitors? Getting to know your local freelancers can help you build your network, learn more about freelancing itself, exchange gigs and find mentors. Connecting is made simple these days with LinkedIn, so build a strong profile on there as soon as you can.