Tag Archives: freelancing

Would you like to have a work from home freelance career? Start here

how to do a swot analysis for work at home
Freelance Sound Designer creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by vancouverfilmschool

Working from home is not perfect. As with everything in life, you have to take a lot of things into consideration before you make the decision. But, if you are reading this, it is likely that you have decided that the pros outweigh the cons. I agree.

If this is the case, take a look at this article to see what your next steps should be. And, if you are still not sure, you should take a look at these articles on the many advantages of working at home versus the potential drawbacks of working from home. However, once you’ve decided to go for it, what’s the next step?

First of all, you will need to plan your business. Don’t think that just because you won’t be a big multinational company, you don’t need a business plan. That said, if the thought of drawing up plans and making spreadsheets overwhelms you, don’t panic. Creating a business plan is not as difficult as you might think and will be extremely useful for helping you to better understand what your life and career will look like in the near future.

Advice to make money online as freelance writer
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Because working from home requires you to be entirely self-sufficient and self-motivated, having some sort of business trajectory – not to mention a daily/weekly schedule – is a must. It doesn’t have to be a detailed breakdown of everything you want to achieve in life plugged into a complex spreadsheet. Instead, ask yourself what your long term goals are. Do you want to work as a full-time blogger? Self-publish eBooks? Quit your day job and work as an article or content writer? Or find the perfect balance between work and leisure?

productivity tips for freelance writers
Simple personal Kanban flickr photo shared by kanban_tool under a Creative Commons ( BY-SA ) license

Whatever your goal, break it down into smaller, more manageable goals and give yourself a timeline to make sure you’re accomplishing each goal in a timely fashion.

For example, your first goal may simply be to set up a profile on one or more of the many freelance work platforms out there. While that may seem like a small thing, you’d be surprised by how many people find taking that first step to be the most daunting. So go ahead, put it on your ‘to do’ list. Whatever your ultimate goal is, if you break it down into smaller tasks it will become a lot more manageable.

Once you’ve established yourself and landed a few writing contracts, you’ll need to stay focussed on the work itself. While this may sound easy, when you’re working from home there are countless distractions to keep you from getting down to business (as you’ll see in my SWOT analysis), especially if you find something interesting in your research. Because so much of your work will be researching topics on the internet, it’s easy to get lost in a rabbit hole of links – only to emerge hours later with nothing on your page to show for the time you spent reading. To keep this from happening, try using a timer app to keep track of the time you actually spend working. Having an alarm go off every 20 minutes or half an hour is a great way to remind yourself of what you’re supposed to be doing – as well as chance to get up and stretch a bit.

upwork freelance platform review
Time To Break From Work flickr photo shared by Nanagyei under a Creative Commons ( BY ) license

Likewise, it’s a good idea to find a quiet, distraction-free space, whether in your home, a library, or local café, where you can work without interruption. If you still need help concentrating, try turning off your phone or, if you don’t need it for research, disconnecting your wifi. While this may sound drastic, it removes the temptation of procrastination. Many freelancers find that having a specified space just for writing helps them to get down to work faster because their minds are trained to recognise that location as a “work only” space.

Because you’ll be working alone for the most part, it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself. Make time to stretch, go for a quick walk, or even just look at something further away that your computer screen in order to give your eyes a rest. It’s also a good idea to learn a few easy hand and wrist exercise to keep the tools of your trade at optimal operating capacity.

work from home starts knowing your own skills
creative commons licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Johan Larsson

Moreover, when choosing your workspace, make sure you find somewhere comfortable. Nothing ruins your concentration more than a sore back or cramped legs.

Finally, don’t forget to make time for your friends and family. Freelancing can get lonely. If you miss office life, maybe try switching up your routine and spending a day every week in a co-working space or getting together with some fellow freelancers for a work date in a café – just make sure you’re actually getting work done! Working from home doesn’t have to turn you into a social outcast. Your best bet is to try a few different locations and figure out a routine that works for you and your workload. After all, the best part about working from home is that it’s all up to you. If something isn’t working, change it!

In the next few posts I will go over my SWOT analysis of working from home, in which you will receive tips on researching and understanding your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. If you aren’t familiar with the SWOT analysis, you can start by reading Wikipedia’s article about the SWOT analysis. Over the course of the next few days I will be publishing a post discussing each of the four aspects of this business planning tool in order to help you plan your strategy for working from home.

If you want to keep receiving these and future posts about freelance writing, you can subscribe to this site in the left column for email subscribers, and in the right one for Google Plus.

Below you will find the four articles discussing my SWOT analysis of working from home. There is one article per category to help you decided what areas you need to pay the most attention to when starting your freelance business.

Here you can read about:

How To Find Your Freelance Specialty

There have been a few deliberations on whether you must specialize your services and; whether or not you must charge your rates per hour or per task. Be that as it may, priorities must first be focused on what really is our specialty and how to narrow down your skills to achieve what you really want to accomplish. Here are tips on how to find your own freelance specialty and what you must prioritize to achieve success in working online.

Why You Must Specialize

Working online? Develop your specialty
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So why would it be a good idea for you to specialize? Fundamentally, regardless of the extent of what you learn and educate yourself with, it’s difficult to be the best of everything. What’s more, to succeed in freelancing, you must be truly good at what you do.
Specializing permits you to turn into a master in your chosen field. You’re likewise more prone to be seen as one by potential customers. Specializing likewise permits you to concentrate on sharpening your abilities and is simpler to stay aware of new improvements. This permits you to rapidly get to be preferable at what you do over the generalist.

Step by Step Instructions On How To Specialize Your Services

With a specific end goal to specialize, you have to settle on two things:

  • What you’re good at.
  • What you truly appreciate and love doing.

Regularly, the response to those two inquiries is the same, however not generally. If not, try going over the work you truly enjoy in doing, as you’ll in the end get to be better at it the more you practice. All things considered, you did start a new business for yourself to do the work you truly cherished, isn’t that so?

The Most Effective Method To Specialize Your Clients

Specializing your customers is just the same and as imperative as specializing your services. Choosing what kind of customers you need to work with will make you more satisfied over the long run and will build the viability of your market. It’s considerably more successful to get your message to 10 flawless fitting customers than to get your message to 500 customers who won’t work for you.
Thus, how would you pick who you need to work with? Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What sort of services are you presently advertising?
  2. What sorts of customers are the ones who’d need those services?
  3. What is your perfect working relationship and which customers from above would fit that scheme?

So as a conclusion:
Simply keep in mind that with every type of marketing effort, it usually takes some time for customers to perceive that you have specialized. Remember one important thing, if specializing doesn’t work for you, you can just retreat to offering every skills you know to every client.
Specializing provides for you the type of work and customers you need. When you are the master, they come to you and hire you more and not the other way around. There may be customers that pass you by, yet it’s not about numbers – it’s about the quality of customer and the specialized work you will do. The more you train yourself as a specialist, the better you’ll do as a freelancer.