Becoming a freelancer can be a beautiful, challenging, and rewarding experience. There’s nothing better than knowing that your boss is … well, it’s you. It can, however, be terribly tricky navigating a business world that is still getting used to the idea that creatives don’t have to be sitting at their assigned desk in-house.
Here at Blended Sense, there are three pillars of freelancing that we find are key to focus on in order to do well… Project Management, Customer Service, & Accounting
We’re going to break down healthy habits for each, so that you can start building a routine for success that can be repeated over and over again.
Managing not only your projects, but also your day-to-day workload is essential to staying on target with your goals. Keep. It. Clean. Your calendars, books, customer communication, office desk… whatever you use on a daily basis to get your work done on time. We cannot stress this enough.
At Blended Sense, project management looks like a clear process for each role along with outlined steps of how to successfully navigate each stage of production. This allows for less hiccups and more time spent on creating quality content that we can put into the hands of our customers.
Tip: Use an app! Try your best to minimize all of the places that you spread your work out on. There are a number of free platforms & apps out there today that will cater to your workflow and help you lock down your process.
P.S. We’re partial to Trello, ourselves.
Let’s face it: most of us freelancers cringe at the words “customer service”. We’re reminded of the sales team at our last corporate job that we did NOT envy one single bit. It’s why we went rogue, right? But it’s time to take on a new perspective.
Customer service isn’t only a skillful way to communicate with your clients, it's a way to connect with a fellow professional and build a lasting (and rewarding) relationship. When you create a partnership where there’s mutual respect and an understanding of each other’s needs, it’s more likely that you’re going to love working together… and continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Tip: Create a follow-up system to execute after you’ve completed a project! One way to do this is by sending an email with a short survey for the client to evaluate your services. This shows them that you value what they spend their money on, and it helps you to take feedback in a constructive way.
For the creative-minded freelancers out there, accounting means math… which is hard. The facts are, though, that it is imperative that you regularly keep track of your income. Here are some factors that you should always include: customer name, invoice sent date, payment due dates, when you actually get paid, and monthly/year income.
Tip: Keep a folder on your computer or Google Drive for each of your clients. You can save budget spreadsheets, proposals, contracts, invoices, and more as a reference point. This is also a surefire way to keep backups, even if you use platforms such as AND.CO or QuickBooks
If you hadn’t noticed, the key to staying truly woke in your freelance business is being extremely organized. This allows you to look back on where you’ve been, and be prepared for where you’re going. Hey, and learn to love every slip-up too! Recognizing where you’ve taken a misstep is growth in itself. Make sure to take a pause and appreciate all of the goals you’ve hit on this incredible journey.
Looking for more tips & tricks on how to become a highly successful (and badass) creative freelancer? Check out our events calendar to stay up to date on our orientations, Creative Workshops, become a part of our creative network, and more!