5 Key Things Every Freelancer Should Know

Whether you’re an aspiring freelancer, a newbie to the freelance world, or an established freelancer, there are five key things you should know as a freelancer. So today, we’ll look at the key things that every freelancer should know to be successful and how you can figure out these factors.

#1 Know your worth

Every freelancer needs to know what they’re worth in monetary terms so they can charge the right rate to clients, be it their hourly rate, their project fee, or their contract amount. To figure this out, you can:

  • Check average industry rates from reputable independent sources.
  • Be objective and realistic about your experience level and where on the earning scale you sit in your industry.
  • Check out your competitors to see what people of a similar skills and experience level are charging.
  • Evaluate your rates regularly as you gain more experience and skills.

#2 Know the value you’re adding

To succeed as a freelancer and keep your clients happy, you need to truly understand the value you’re adding to their project, company, or life. To ensure you know your value, you can:

  • Evaluate your skills, experience, and personal characteristics so you know your strengths and weakness.
  • Get feedback from your clients to see what you do well at and where you could improve.
  • Focus on the client’s needs and how you fulfilled them.
  • Regularly self-evaluate, for example, at the end of each project, to determine what you achieved.

#3 Know what you want

To feel fulfilled as a freelancer and stay focused, it’s important to know what you want to gain from freelancing. To do so:

  • Write down your motivations in being a freelancer, whether it’s to fill a CV gap, work less, or have a side hustle.
  • Evaluate whether each project/contract you’re offered matches your wants and needs.
  • Keep track of the experience and skills you gain from each project or contract.
  • Evaluate your goals regularly to assess progress and changes.

#4 Know what’s happening in your industry

If you want to get ahead of your competitors, continue to improve, and avoid stagnation, you need to stay abreast of updates in your industry. For example, you can:

  • Regularly check industry news on trusted pages.
  • Sign up to relevant newsletters, industry bodies, or subscription sites.
  • Follow LinkedIn pages or social media groups relating to your industry.
  • Look out for new technology or websites that may affect what you do and how you do it.

#5 Know what’s happening nationally that might affect you

There are also some national issues that can affect freelancers, such as the upcoming IR35 rules. These changes are vital to know about, as they may affect the way you work and have major implications on your working life. To keep up with these, you can:

  • Periodically check the freelance news using Google’s News function.
  • Check out our Freelance News Headlines posts once a month, where we’ll tell you about major changes affecting freelancers.
  • Sign up to an independent organisation such as IPSE who will keep you in the know.
  • Follow freelance websites like A Freelance Life or freelance-focused social media groups.

In summary, you need to know your worth, value, goals, industry, and work type. How many of these things do you know already? Which do you need to work on? Don’t worry if it’s a work-in-progress, because for most of us, it’s an ongoing journey along the freelance path.

Stay tuned and follow A Freelance Life for more freelance tips, insights, and insider interviews every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday…

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