Making the decision to start your own business and be your own boss is overwhelming, exhausting and exhilarating!
Most of us will have started, or in the process of starting, our freelance writing business on the side whilst still earning an income from another job. So in order to be our own boss we have to be organized, motivated and hard working.
You are the BOSS!
The most important thing you need to wrap your head around is that YOU are the BOSS now, not an employee.
You are the one who decides on your own pay rate, working conditions, clients, training needs and other side benefits.
You must determine how much you, and your skill set, is worth and charge accordingly. That is not to say that once you have established your prices that they are set in concrete. As your confidence and skill increases you can change your rates accordingly.
Changing your mindset from employee to “boss” mode is the number one task in creating a successful business. I have been freelancing for about 2 years now, but only since May have I pushed to have my business as my main source of income. Becoming my own boss, and ensuring that I treat my work as a business rather then a hobby has seen Write Freelancer For You take leaps forward and attract more clients.
So if you take only one piece of advice away from today, make it this:
YOU ARE THE BOSS. YOU HAVE A BUSINESS TO RUN. DO IT!
You pick the work.
Another thing that is important to know about being your own boss is that you get to pick the work and clients.
This is great for work-at-home-mums (WAHM’s). We can take on a workload we feel is manageable around our babies, toddlers and/or children. When you are first starting out, it can be a balancing act between a manageable workload, family and earning an income you feel is adequate to meet your needs. As you gain more experience, you will become faster and can charge more for each project.
There are some WAHM freelancers out there who only work part time, yet earn a full time income!
If you cannot see yourself getting along with a client then don’t take the work, especially if it is a large client. When you resent or dislike your client, the work they are asking you to do, or the way they manage the work then it can come across in your writing and can result in lack of motivation, inspiration and second-rate work.
If you feel that your client is asking you to write a project that doesn’t align with your ethics and morals, you do not need to accept the project.
You choose whom you work for and what you write. You pick your hours, workload and clients!
Build a solid client base.
Part of being your own boss is building up a solid client base.
You are now responsible for finding your own work, not someone else.
There are many ways to find clients:
- cold pitching
- marketing online (advertisements, online presence, website etcetera)
- letter box drop
- approach local business
- job boards
- content mills (although I do not suggest these, however some will say they are a good starting point)
- through friends and family
All of this can take time. Once again pencil it into your schedule and be prepared to put in many many hours to build up sources for income and writing projects.
A marking plan is a great way to get yourself in the right frame of mind to be your own boss and attract clients.
Set yourself goals.
In order to build a successful freelance writing business, you need to set yourself goals.
Start off small. Set goals for the next month, such as I will pitch to 15 different clients or write 5 guest posts.
Make sure your goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-based) and achievable.
You are the boss, owner and strategist for your business, so you need to make it happen.
Goal-setting is a great way to keep your business growing and moving forward, as well as keep you motivated. As you tick each goal off it is a fantastic feeling. It is also a good way to see where your business is going, where it has been, and what you are achieving.
Be timely and organised.
It is essential to be organised and timely when running your freelance writing business.
No client wants to have work delivered late, and there is no worse feeling then being overwhelmed and in a tizz if you cannot keep track of your work, income and expenses.
Ensure you put some time aside each week as “planning time”, where you write down everything you need to achieve that week and when you are going to do it. Do not forget the importance of a social media and online presence.
You should pencil time into your schedule to browse social media and blogs, commenting and building up relationships and a reputation.
Reflection and Analysis.
Once a month try and spend some time on reflection and analysing your business.
What is working?
What isn’t working?
Have you attracted more clients?
Do you have more traffic to your website in comparison to other months?
From here you can develop new business goals, work on old ones and tick off those that you have achieved! It is a great way to see how far you have come as well as any changes that you need to make to your freelancing business.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork!
Being your own boss also means that you are responsible for bookkeeping, paying tax, bills, and all other financial aspects of the business.
There are a lot of software programs available to help with this, or if you are earning enough then you can outsource the financial side of your business to an accountant and a bookkeeper. But to be your own boss you need to ensure you understand and have knowledge of the finances of your own business.
So there you have it. A few ideas on how to be your own boss.
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Developing your own freelance writing business takes hard work and dedication, but it is rewarding. The most important thing is to treat yourself as a professional and do not undersell your work.
I would love to hear your ideas on being your own boss and how you achieved this.
Rachel specialises in writing for small businesses in the health, fitness, pregnancy and parenthood industries. She is a mum to 2 beautiful (and highly energetic) children and a registered nurse. She advocates for all women and mums and is passionate about building community and solid networks.