If you’ve been dreaming about ditching your 9 to 5 and freelancing, you’re not alone. According to the report, “Freelancing in America: 2018”, nearly 50 percent of Millennial workers are already freelancing. The report also predicts freelancers will become the majority U.S. workforce within a decade.
Although plenty of people dabble in freelancing to earn extra money, you can also scale it into a full-time living. Full-lancing is the idea that you can earn a full-time living while freelancing and staying in the driver’s seat of your career. It can absolutely be done but takes some time to get off the ground and flourish. Here’s how to do it:
Monetize Your Current Skills
The good news about full-lancing is you don’t have to reinvent the wheel and start building a business from scratch. Instead, look at the skills you already have that help solve a problem that people will pay for. That can be anything from lawn care to building backend databases. Brainstorm a list of skills and then do some sleuthing online to see what the going rate for your skills are. This can help narrow down which offerings are lucrative enough to sustain a full-time freelance career.
Find an Existing Opportunity
If you’re not feeling enthusiastic about any of your current skills, you can also look at existing business opportunities. Look to existing opportunities that give the flexibility to control your schedule and offer built-in support. Outgoing people with a mind for marketing can look to direct sales companies like Amway to see how working with the company could fit into their lifestyle. The best part is you can start with your own personal network or leverage your social media channels to spread the word about your new freelance business. Start by looking at Amway’s Instagram account for an example of how to promote a business in a genuine and professional way to find new customers.
Tap into the Connections You Already Have
Head to LinkedIn to leverage your connections and turn them into freelance opportunities. Take some time to update your profile to showcase your existing skills and talents. Then reach out to people in your network and let them know you’re on the hunt for freelance work and set-up a time to chat or get a cup of coffee to expand the conversation.
Get involved in LinkedIn Groups that attract the freelance clients you want to work with to help get your freelance services in front of new eyes. But the idea is to offer advice and resources in the group and be seen as an expert as opposed to someone spamming the group with your services.
Create Multiple Revenue Streams
It’s always wise to create multiple revenue streams as you get your freelance business up and running. It can take time to attract new clients and onboard them, and you need a steady income stream to keep it all going. Try to find like-minded opportunities to complement your core freelance service. For example, writers and editors could also tutor or run writing workshops to increase their revenue. Meanwhile, a social media consultant could also offer to work on a newsletter to increase their client’s touch points with their own audience.
Treat Full-lancing as a Business
At the end of the day, freelancing, especially full-lancing, is a business and needs to be treated as one. From figuring out your invoice processes and payment terms to saving enough for estimated quarterly taxes, you need to take responsibility for your freelance business to keep it growing. Meet with an accountant to talk about how to structure your business whether as a sole proprietorship or S-corp and how to plan for tax season. The stronger the foundation you set from the start, the sooner you can scale your full-lance business to success.
The best advice to get started full-lancing is taking action. Whether you’re brainstorming a list of skills or scheduling calls with your network, the only way to gain momentum in the freelance game is to take consistent action to push yourself forward. Remember that if you don’t take control over your freelance dreams, no one else will.