You’re about to take the plunge and go freelance ? Or you’re a new freelancer still wondering what you could improve ? Or maybe you’re just curious about what it takes to be a freelancer ? In this article, I’m sharing with you what you need to get started, in regards of the equipment, the tools and the mindset.
Let’s start with the basics : the equipment. You probably don’t need me for this part, but I still have to mention it, right ! If you’re working as a freelancer, the holy trinity is : a good internet connection, a good laptop, and a good smartphone. You can’t avoid this. If you don’t get it from the start, you’re going to be forced to at some point, trust me. If there’s an investment to make, it’s on these three. In addition, think about where you’re going to work – your desk, do you need a screen enhancer, a bluetooth mouse, a bluetooth keyboard maybe, to be more at ease ? Maybe new earphones or headset ? I recently bought anti-radiation earphones, it changed my life ! (I had headaches almost daily, but since I got them -fingers crossed-, all is well !)
Try to be in good conditions when you work, otherwise your body is going to crash at some point and… if your body gives up on you, you can’t work anymore, right ? So don’t do it. Buy that comfortable chair, don’t damage your back or your neck. You will save money in the long run.
Next, we need some tools. I will only share in this article free tools, because well when you’re starting, you’re trying to save money where you can, right ? Here’s a little list :
- Google Drive – or any kind of drive, but I recommend this one as I find it very practical, easy to use and organize as you wish.
- The whole Google Suite. Google Docs, Sheets, Slides… Once again it’s so practical ! The fact that you can share the documents with other people is perfect when there are several people working on one project, or when you need to show things to your client, or even to share with them your final product, depending on the kind of services you provide. When you’re just starting, it’s enough to organize yourself : create several Google Sheets for your prospection, your projects, etc and update them daily or at least once a week.
- An online calendar. There are a few available, often linked to your mailbox, or already there on your smartphone for example. Use one. This way you won’t forget anything important, and if you have it on your laptop and on your smartphone, you will always be ready to add something new ! There’s nothing worse for your credibility than to be vague with people on when you can have a call or Skype and then reschedule it multiple times because you forgot you had other stuff at that time and day.
- Quote & Invoice templates. Depending on your country, research which elements need to be on your invoices, and either find templates online, or you can also try the free trial of an accounting software and just take the documents generated there as a template.
- If you feel like you need something more to improve how organized you are, there are applications with free versions such as Notion that can be useful. Or you can make some planners on Canva for free, it works well for me. (A weekly planner for everything I do every week like paperwork, content creation, learning… And I have a yearly planner for my writing projects for example.)
- A notebook. If you’re like me, all digital is great, but sometimes you prefer to take notes on paper, or maybe when you suddenly have new ideas you like to write it down and do a little brainstorming. I always have a small notebook and pen with me, just in case.
And last but not least… The mindset. What do you need to succeed as a freelancer ? To be honest with you, I was not sure about this when I started. I just knew I wanted to start haha. But now I can share with you what I found along the way. First, adaptability. This would be your greatest strength. You can adapt yourself to any situation, you have this ability to learn, and find new ways, new solutions. You will also need patience, and perseverance. Not everything is going to happen right away, it will take time to create your place online for example, to create some kind of visibility. Unless you’re very lucky, it will take months, maybe years to establish yourself the way you’d like to. And finally, you will need self-esteem. Why ? Because people will try to drag you down. Whether it’s your family or friends who would like it better for you to go back to a ‘regular’ job, or prospects who will try to make you work for free or for a very cheap price, guilt-tripping you, negotiating the smallest fee etc… You will need to love yourself, trust yourself and believe in yourself.
Are you a freelancer ? Do you have any other tip you’d like to share ? Feel free to reach out in the comments section !
There will be no video this week, sorry.
I wish you all a lovely day, and see you next Wednesday !