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Starting a freelance business may be the most “exciting” thing you may have done or wanted to do. I think there are many people who just think about the good stuff and do not actually plan out what they are wanting to do. In this article I will give you some tips and advice to get your freelance business up and running the right way.
Work full-time/ Part-time
When starting a new freelance business many people think to themselves if they should keep their job or go part-time. Quitting your job or going part-time may seem like a great thing to do but you really have to think it out before you actually make the final decision. If you have a job then I would recommend that you keep your job and save up cash. If you’re young or do not have a family to support then I recommend you stay part-time or leave your job.
When I was 16 I got my first job and was very excited about going to work but after a week or two I felt as if my pay checks were too small and decided to let my job go to work on something I knew I would not mind doing. After I quit my job I realize that I had no money to start my new business and keep my hosting going. Long story short, I did not think out my plan and just decided to jump directly into it not realizing the problems I was going to face. Working a part-time jobs gives you the opportunity to save money and work on projects when you’re not at your actual job. If you currently have a part-time job continue working it and saving money so that you do not experience the problems I have experience. If you currently have a full-time job then I recommend that you do web work as a side business and do not quit your full-time job until you have a stable income coming in.
Site Layout & Design
Creating a new portfolio is the next important thing to consider when starting a freelance business. I mean this is actually how people are going to see your work and learn a bit or two about yourself. Creating a new portfolio comes with a bunch of brainstorming. I mean you just cant put up a website and expect it to bring in customers. You have to think out your plan and I will do an example plan below.
Theme: Your website theme is like cars, clouds, dirt, room etc
Layout: Your layout is like 1column, 2column, 3column etc
Color Scheme: What color would like for your website to have. 3 colors at the most.
Creativity: Graphics, or hand drawn elements, Typography etc.
The plan above is the plan you should take when deciding to create a portfolio design. I will explain each one below more specific so you can get the basic understanding for each.
Theme: Your website theme is VERY VERY VERY important because it can sort you out from others and actually make people remember your site. When deciding upon a theme thinks which one bests fits you. For example my Portfolio theme is highway/road. So if you have visited my portfolio you will notice that I have somewhat of everything that a expressway/road might have. I have clouds for the sky and for the logo I have an exit sign to show visitors that they have exited onto cell-designs and for the footer i have grass hills and a road. So you get the hint of how a theme works.
Layout: A website layout is somewhat important. Many people decide to go with a two column layout. When deciding how many columns you would like to have it would be important that you think about what types of widgets of elements you would like to go into the sidebar or third column. 2 column layout, left column for content and right column for sidebar. 3 column layout, left column for content and one right column could be used for sidebar and last column could be used for social media.
Color Scheme: Choosing the right colors for your website is very important because it sets the tone or mood of your website. When deciding upon colors you might like to think about which colors goes with your theme or which colors you think sets the perfect vibe or mood for your customers. I usually pick 3 colors.
Creativity: Getting creative with your website is also a great thing to consider. Some people love to get graphic heavy with their website and some people do not like the whole graphic theme. I think graphics are very important because it shows neatness and shows that you actually took the time to create something elegant.
Functions: Your website functionality is another thing to consider. When a visitor visits your website they are going to want to interact with your web page. Whether you have a crazy navigation or nice scroll functions people will play with it. I know whenever I visit a website I always tend to stay on a website longer if there is something cool I can interact with.
Getting ready for take off
Now that you have your business plan sorted out you are now ready to launch your website. Well not quite, there are still a bit more to cover then you’re good to launch your new site. Before you launch the actual site it is important that you have the items listed below created and ready to go.
- Business cards
- Contract/Agreement forms
- Time Management Account(To clock hours/manage $)
I will explain each item listed above more specifically and to why you need each item.
Business Cards: Business cards are very important to have because they market your service when and when you’re not around. Many people believe that clients will just come to them but you really have to go find clients and build that relationship with them. Business cards are very efficient because you can post them at your local business, barber etc, and very most important hand them out to a future client.
Contract/ Agreement Forms: Contract and agreement forms are a MUST! Often times I hear about client’s not paying or bailing out in the middle of the project and you get the point. Before any project is started make sure your client has read and signed the contract so there are no misunderstandings in the long run .
Invoice System: An invoice system is very handy especially when it comes to filing taxes, Keeping clients organize or just keeping up with your income. Many newbie freelancers often charge by the hour but do not use any invoice software to keep track of their clients, time, and money. If you know or have a plan to make 4-5 digits with your business then I recommend that you get an invoice system to keep everything organize.
If you’re considering starting up a freelance business then I recommend you take my tips and advice from this article. I myself did not take each and everyone of the steps above when I first started my freelance business and let me tell you it was twice the work and twice the stress. Good luck with your new freelance business, go get’em tiger!