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How to Start Your First Freelance Business

Although freelancing is a type of business you can start from home, it isn’t the only type of home business you can start.

First, with a freelancing business, you are usually starting a service business. This will require a certain amount of commitment on your part that isn’t always required with other types of home businesses.

Second, you need to really take a look at the skills that you have for starting a freelancing business. With a freelance business, you need to be an expert when you’re first starting out.

If you’re ready to start your first freelancing business, here are some steps to get you started:

1. Before you spend any money, before you build a website, you need to carefully plan your new business. This includes setting up your business books and bank account, licensing, and assessing your skills accurately to see what type of services you can offer.

2. Once you decide what type of services you want to offer, you need to think about a website, as well as domain name and hosting. Although you may not think that you need an online presence if you are offering your services locally, you have a better chance of succeeding if you set up an online presence first. Here’s why:

Often many people will go online to do research for services, even if they are thinking of buying locally. By setting up an online presence, you can tell others more about what your business is about and answer basic questions. This will save you a lot of time because you won’t be answering the same questions over and over again, which can be very time consuming.

Also, you can add your website address to your business cards. Although this isn’t as “cool” as it used to be, it can still help you differentiate yourself from a lot of other businesses that do the same thing.

Fact is, over 50 percent of small businesses today don’t have a website. By having an online presence, you can spread your reach for your business and possibly expand.

3. When you’ve set up your presence, whether it’s online, offline, or both, then you need to start thinking about how you will market and advertise your business.

Different types of services can be better marketed different ways. You can use free or low cost classified ads, both online and offline, flyers, business cards, bulletin boards or other ways can help you get the word out about your freelancing business.

4. After creating your marketing campaign, you want to test and track your campaign, as well as continue to market. Consistent marketing helps you continually get your name, as well as the name of your business, out there so that others know about you. If no one knows about you, you won’t find new businesses.

5. Look at new ways to grow your business. This can include adding products, adding new services, or even marketing affiliate programs. Look at your current line of services and see which services are doing best. The services that are doing well may even be another place where you can grow because you can raise your prices once you’re established.

Freelance Business – Content Subcontracting Questions You Should Ask Yourself

You’re freelance business is moving along and you’ve been wondering if you need to hire subcontractors to help with the big jobs. You may not be making much money yet, and aren’t sure of the pros and cons of taking this step. Is it worth it financially to hire subcontractors?

To answer this question, you have to ask yourself these questions first:

1. How much do you want to make per piece, per hour, per job?

Without the answer to this question, you shouldn’t commit to anything. If you have a fixed amount, then you need to answer the next question. And, be sure not to undervalue your time and effort.

2. Can you complete each piece in the allotted time you allowed to make the amount you want?

Using articles as an example, if you quote a fee of $25 per article based on an hour of work, but you find the articles are averaging 90 minutes each, you have a problem. My suggestion is to always offer an initial quote that can be renegotiated after you are familiar with the amount of time and effort that will be involved.

3. Is the fee enough to warrant hiring subcontractors?

Keep in mind that you will need to proof (and possibly edit) the outsourced content. You will need to determine what you can offer the subcontractors in order to cover the managing aspect of the project. If you are getting $25 per article and you subcontract the piece for $15, $18 or $20, it may be worth the investment. Whether it’s enough or not will depend on the amount of work and time it takes you to keep things running smoothly.

4. Will organizing and managing the project, with subcontractors on board, still allow for you to earn what you want?

If the project involves a lot of posts or articles, aside from the actual content writing the organizing and managing of the project will be time consuming. You will need to create multiple spreadsheets for each subcontractor that will contain: what specific job each subcontractor is doing; the specifics of that job; when it’s due; when the content is received, keeping track of all the titles or other information; when it’s submitted to the client; when you’re paid from the client, when you pay each subcontractor.

It would be a good idea to also keep track of how much editing you need to do for each subcontractor.

You will also need to organize and manage the content. Each subcontractor will need his own folder on your computer within the project folder.

Then there is the bookkeeping aspect of the job. There will be invoicing to the client, along with making sure you are paid, and invoicing and payments to subcontractors. You need to keep track of income and expenses-this is a must.

And, don’t forget about the all the communications between you and the subcontractors, and you and the client.

You may begin to realize that all the time spent on organizing and managing the project could be spent writing your own content.

5. Is it possible to do the work yourself? Or, do you feel you won’t get done on time without the help of subcontractors?

In regard to these two questions, it’s possible you think you have less time than you actually do. Maybe the client wasn’t very specific in regard to a time frame; this is where you need to request a specific time period and amount of content per week. Another possibility is to negotiate with your client for an extended time period so you can complete the project on your own without being overwhelmed.

Freelance Business Profits For You

If you know that writing is something that you do well and that you enjoy a lot, you may consider making it a freelance writing business online that could be a profitable enterprise.

Your passion for writing will make you discover what you need to do to become a successful freelance business writer. So, read on to find how you can go about getting the skills required that a freelance business profits for you can provide.

This aims to make you profitable from something you enjoy doing, and convert you and your efforts into a freelance business expert that commands good standing and continuous revenue online. The following tips will allow you to become a successful writer who achieves good profits from what you love doing.

To start with, it is a very good idea to map out as best you can, a plan of action to achieve your goals as a freelance business writer. This must include how and where you want to work; since we are talking online terms, presumably you would like to work from home. You also need to include the equipment, supplies, furniture etc. to make your enterprise a good environment in which to work.

Something to overcome, after that, is finding work. Remember that there are endless opportunities on the Internet constantly, but, at the same time, be careful not to get conned over something that they ask you to pay, knowing that, with a bit of research, you can obtain free of charge elsewhere. The endless opportunities for freelance writers, need you to be always engaged into safety and sound business care, or you could easily be deceived, causing you to lose money.

You are going to engage into building a list of subscribers. Remember that your clients need to be retained in this list. Something offered to them for free may just do the trick for them to agree to be in your list of clients. And this is achieved in many ways like online and offline advertising, press releases, and especially through word of mouth, from happy customers that you will generate. Think about nursing this free type of advertising, one that must be among the best and most powerful form of obtaining new leads and customers.

After that, you know that a price structure is needed by your clients. This needs to be specific about your charges, which must include provision for outsourcing, types of jobs that you can undertake and the correspondent charge, time taken to complete the tasks, delivery of orders, etc. etc. Clearly the market will bear certain charges within the scope that you intent to work with, and these need careful consideration to maximise your profits in your freelance business.

Best thing to do is engaging into market testing for price structures to see which one works best for yourself and your clients. Don’t be too cheap to inundate yourself with so much work that you cannot cope with or deliver on time.

So research a lot in order to avoid being too cheap, or getting scammed and to make the most of your opportunities to be the freelance business writer that you can be, giving your clients the best service possible, thus guaranteeing you greater profits from doing something that you truly love doing online.

Marketing Tools and Resources for Freelance Businesses Online

Marketing is a critical system for any growing freelance business. Operating near your maximum capacity is always the goal, and a proper marketing strategy will help achieve that.

Much of your marketing can be automated, and anything that is done over the internet is an exceptionally good candidate. Remember that in some areas your marketing system is there to increase the amount of human connections you make, and not to replace them altogether.

The are thousands of tools and resources available for freelance businesses, they range from blog creation, website development, social media and email lists, all the way up to keeping a track of what is actually happening. It’s not easy at first, but it certainly ain’t hard. All you have to do is believe and try as hard as you can.

Here is a list of websites that will help you get started in the freelance world, with these marketing tools you will be able to establish a solid starting base for any kind of a business. After that has been done, it’s time to think about utilizing these resources to gain attention. This is of course, taking in account that you haven’t got a budget to start with. Truth to be told, even a hundred dollars could make a difference, in how fast your business gets noticed.

Starter Marketing Tools & Resources for a New Freelance Business

With technology growing in leaps and bounds, there’s no way we to list all the options out there to help you get your business online and market it effectively. Here is the “starter package”:

Known primarily as being a blog platform, WordPress has grown quickly into much more than that. It is one of the best website platforms in existence today. You can create a simple profile site, have a website/blog combo, or create a complete online gateway for your business.

This website platform provides an extremely flexible system that can be used for nearly any web ideas you might have. From blogs, to stores, to forums, ExpressionEngine can do it all.

This is one of the neatest little form builders we’ve ever seen. You can create questionnaires, after-purchase surveys, new client captures, and more, and you can easily place the forms directly into your website.

One of the best email marketing systems out there, AWeber is easy for even the novice email marketer to use, and it offers many features that will unleash your marketing potential.

Google Analytics
Sign up for this, copy some code to your site, and start monitoring how people found your website, what they did while they were there and which areas of your site are the most popular. This is one of the best ways to see which of your marketing efforts are really paying off.

This is the go-to email marketing solution that will provide you with pre-built templates and easy to create HTML messages that you can use to reach your audience. No worrying about email deliveries, as iContact guarantees they will reach the clients inbox.

VerticalResponse provides a full suite of self-service marketing solutions for small businesses including email marketing, social media, online event marketing, postcard marketing and online surveys. You will have a choice of over seven hundred different templates, and building emails has never been so easy.

The social network that grew from out of nowhere. Twitter is great for engaging potential customers, and all around social network to use for following the latest trends and news. The use of hash-tags and reply function can greatly increase engagement, as you will need that in the beginning stages of the freelance business that you are making.

Freelance Business May Not Be Right For You

We know the advantages of freelance employment such as flexible working hours, choosing where to work, freedom from bosses, independence and being in control. On the other hand, freelance employment has its own challenges.

First it is true you have flexible hours but you will need a high level of motivation and self-discipline if you want to work on your own. No one is going to wake you in the morning and tell you what has to be completed and by when for you to do your work.

Secondly, if you work from a home office not only are you at risk of being isolated, you also have to deal with distractions such as reading the paper, watching TV, or throwing a load of clothes in the dryer.

It is true that you are the boss but keep in mind that you may have some very demanding clients. You will find there are clients who tend to give you an assignment that needed to be done yesterday and you cannot yell at them because they are your clients.

If you outsource some of the work on a project, you may have hired someone who does not have the skills you need or your outside source cannot stay with the schedule. Instead of helping you with projects, your outside source is causing more work for you.

Eventually you will learn to be a jack of all trades in your freelance business. You will need to find training about public relations and promotion, marketing in general, coaching and business planning to name a few areas.

For instance you may have difficulty communicating well with all your clients. This often takes place soon after you get the job. Never forget you are at risk for losing any client and not getting any more work if you do not have a good dialog. The best thing to do if you find yourself in this situation is to be a good listener. Paraphrase what they tell you to make sure you understand what they are saying. Clients like it when they know you are listening and can answer their questions. This may sound simple but it works.