Due to the coronavirus crisis, freelancers around the world are finding that they have a lot more free time on their hands. Baking bread and binging Netflix aside, now is the perfect time to spend your quarantine elevating your career!
In this blog, we’ll be outlining a few easy ways to start creating a foundation for your freelance business so that you can ultimately take it to the next level. Make sure to read to the end, because we’ve even included a free creative worksheet to help you get started.
Oftentimes, freelancers struggle to make decisions (big or small) because they haven’t yet taken one of the most important steps when it comes to building their business. We’re talking about: identifying your core values.
A lack of defined values can cause you to lose sight of your original goals, and potentially take you down a career path that you were never meant to be on in the first place. First off, don’t worry - this happens to the best of us! It’s tough to know when to turn down work or even knowing the right time to jump into something entirely new. However, when you’ve taken the time to define your core values, you will have a foundation that you can always lean on when you need it most.
Now we’ll walk you through two easy steps on how to start identifying the core values for your freelance business, so that you can make smarter decisions as a creative professional! Ready to get started?
Personal style doesn’t just have to refer to those quirky outfits you wear. Your style can be the defining uniqueness of your work, and make you stand out among creatives in your field. So here’s an exercise we recommend doing to start warming up to the idea of defining your style...
Write down the top 5-10 words that people use to describe you
Tip: If you’re having trouble remembering, feel free to shoot your loved ones/peers a quick text asking them to do this! They’ll probably be happy to help. Another option is to write down attributes of people you admire, and want to see mimicked in your own work.
We know that it can be hard to pinpoint your style. We creatives spend so much time creating content, managing strategies, and building brands for others that we sometimes forget how to do it for ourselves. Our advice? Don’t be afraid to go there! Now that you’ve started to nail down a few identifying attributes of your personal style, let’s start thinking big picture…
Your brand vision is essentially the picture that you paint of your desired future. It answers questions such as: How has your business grown in 10 years? Have you surpassed business goals, and even made new ones? Have you made a positive impact on society? There can be so many elements of your brand vision, that it can get a bit cloudy on how to start working towards it. So, here’s the main question that we like to start off with….
What do you want to achieve in your career in the next year?
This can be a daunting task to sit down and peer into your future, especially if you’re still trying to figure out the basics of becoming a successful freelancer. Don’t sweat it. There’s no wrong way to go about this. Feel free to dream big or simply break down your goals into achievable milestones that you can check off day-by-day, week-by-week, or month-by-month. Just make sure that your brand vision comes straight from the heart, so that it remains entirely your own. Be your own inspiration!
Once you’re done with these simple exercises, you’ll find that there may be words & phrases you were repeating with both your personal style characteristics as well as your brand vision goals. These attributes are the cornerstone of your values. Use them as a guide to help you build both your core value list and mission statement. Both are key foundational ingredients of a working business, and even highly successful brands will refer back to those basic building blocks time and again to ensure consistency as well as goal alignment.
What to take away from all of this? When you start to take your business seriously, others will too. Clients and peers alike will start looking to you for job openings, networking opportunities, career advice, and more. Once you take those first steps towards truly establishing your freelance career, you’ll soon realize that it’s not just a side hustle anymore. You’re the real freakin’ deal.
If you’re looking to level up as a creative professional, you can use this worksheet below to get started! Download, fill it out, and pat yourself on the back for taking the first steps towards establishing your very own freelance business.