Whether you’re self-employed or a freelance creative, it’s easy to fall into the mindset that being good at your job is enough to get you clients. While it’s a vital part of it – it’s not the only thing. We touched on this in a previous post, which you can read here.
When you’re the only person in your company, or one of only very few, you need to be willing to muck in and perform every role that you’d usually find in a business.
Sometimes this is easy. If you’re a writer, the marketing and social media side will be easy. If you’re an art director, you won’t need to think twice about your branding and website design. But what about when it comes to the trickier parts, like legal, finance, project management and new business? Do you have the time and skills to do your own accounts? Are you happy with how well your contracts protect you? How customer-friendly are you?
While your talent and finished work will get you clients, you need all the other parts too. And this is how you can go about getting them.
Learn what you can. Outsource the rest.
There are some skills that you need to learn if you’re going to run a business yourself. You need to learn how to acquire new business. You need to learn about project and account management. But there are some skills that are just too complex and too time consuming to bother with, like doing your taxes.
When you come across a missing role that has complex skills, like finance and legal, start looking around for a company to outsource them to. There are plenty of businesses set up to help self-employed or freelance people.You normally pay a relatively low monthly fee, and in return you don’t need to worry about paying too much or too little tax. Xero has put together a great guide about how you can find the best accountant for your situation.
However, for the skills you do need, it’s time to start investing. Look at online or in-person courses, like the ones at Frosch Learning, and slowly build up your skillsets. While it’s an initial investment of time and money, just think of how much you’ll get back: the confidence to run your own business like a real business. Not just like someone who’s doing their hobby and trying to earn a bit of cash off it.
Dedicate time to your business
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/matsuyuki/4663319060/
Imagine if you had a client whose work you kept on relegating. If every time you came round to work on their project, you got bored or lost motivation, and therefore put it off until another day. Well, that client is you and your business. If you’re going to do well, you need to put the effort and time in. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to marketing your business, this cheat sheet is a great place to start. While spending a day on your own work won’t give you a pay cheque directly, it will be the reason you get many more coming in in the future.