by Travis Fleming | Feb 14, 2020
Freelancing is a great way to supplement your income and make some extra money on the side. However, many contractors take it one step further and decide to make freelancing their full-time career.
Most professionals have likely considered becoming a full-time freelancer at one point or another. But it can be a bit intimidating to strike out on your own and leave behind the security of a corporate job and a regular paycheque. That being said, there a number of skilled individuals who are freelancing full-time and doing extremely well.
So, just how do you become a full-time freelancer? Here are seven tips to help you transition from an office job to running your own freelance business.
Start by Freelancing Part-Time
If you haven’t started freelancing already, the first step is to begin doing it part-time. The great thing about freelance work is that you can do it whenever you like and as often as you like. You can pick up projects when you have time and make some extra money while you continue to work at your 9-5 job.
Not only will this help you get comfortable doing freelance work, but it will also allow you to build up your contacts, portfolio, and recommendations. That way, when you’re finally ready to go full-time you’ll have a solid foundation to build off of.
Secure Some Recurring Clients
The hardest part of becoming a full-time freelancer is getting regular work. Unlike when you work for an employer, you can’t always depend on a steady income. Some months you may have more work than you know what to do with, while other months might be relatively quiet.
One way to ensure you always get enough hours is to secure some recurring clients. These are clients who want to have an ongoing relationship with you and will continue to give you work each month.
These types of clients will be the foundation of your business, so search for opportunities that offer recurring work. But don’t be afraid to take on-off jobs either. Oftentimes, short-term contracts can turn into long-term working relationships if you do exceptional work.
If you can build up a few recurring clients you’ll be in a much better position when you decide to start freelancing full-time.
Save Some Money Before Making the Transition
As we just talked about, a freelancer’s income isn’t always steady. Your work hours will fluctuate throughout the year, with some months being slower than others.
One way to protect yourself against this is to have some savings set aside before becoming a full-time freelancer. This will give you some money to fall back on during those leaner months. It will also help support you during the early stages when you’re still building up your business.
It’s a good idea to have some money set aside for expenses before you decide to start freelancing full-time.
Photo by Alexander Mils from Pexels.
If you’re thinking of transitioning into freelancing full-time it’s a good idea to have three months’ worth of expenses saved up.
Consider Health Insurance
If you currently work for a larger company you probably have health insurance through your employer. However, once you quit your job to become a full-time freelancer you’ll be responsible for all of your own medical bills.
So, before you take the plunge into freelancing you’re going to want to think about health insurance. Luckily, there are a number of insurance options for those who are self-employed.
The first thing you should look into is whether you’re covered under your spouse or partner’s health insurance plan. Or you can see if you’re able to convert your current health insurance from a group plan to an individual plan. The Freelancers Union also offers health insurance options for freelancers.
Health insurance can be pricey, so if you’re not covered under your spouse or partner’s plan make sure to leave room in your monthly budget for it.
Quit Your Job When You’re Ready
If your goal is to become a full-time freelancer then at some point you’re going to have to take the leap and quit your job. Make sure to wait until you’ve built up your freelance business and have enough savings in place before taking this step.
There’s no shame in taking your time. Some people might make the transition in a few months while others may wait years. You may also decide to do it in stages, reducing your hours with your employer while you gradually build up your freelancer clientele. Do whatever feels right to you.
Make sure to leave your job on good terms so you don’t burn any bridges.
Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels.
Finally, make sure to leave your job on good terms. If you’ve done good work for your employer they can be a reference for you in the future. It’s also not uncommon for a previous employer to offer you freelance work down the road, so be sure not to damage the relationship when you leave.
Set Money Aside for Taxes
Another thing you have to think about once you’re self-employed is taxes. When you work for an employer they automatically deduct a certain percentage off each paycheque and put it towards your taxes. However, once you work for yourself it’s up to you to make sure you have enough money set aside for taxes.
It’s a good idea to set aside a certain percentage of each payment you receive. How much you’ll have to pay will depend on your yearly earnings, so research your local tax laws to determine how much you’ll potentially owe.
To make sure you always file your taxes correctly it’s a good idea to hire a professional accountant. They can review your income, deductions, and other important information every year to ensure you always follow the proper procedures.
Raise Your Rates as Demand for Your Services Grows
As a full-time freelancer, you’re in charge of giving yourself a raise, so don’t short-change yourself. Keep raising your rates as your business grows to ensure you’re valuing your time correctly and maximizing your profits.
If you’ve been working for a client for a while and have consistently delivered high-quality work there’s nothing wrong with asking for a higher rate. This is especially true if you’re receiving better offers from other clients.
And if you get to the point where you’re receiving so much work you’re having to turn some of it down it’s a good sign it’s time to increase your rates. Some of those offers will likely go away, but the clients you’re left with will be the ones that value your time the most.
Start Your Freelance Journey on Work for Impact
Work for Impact is a new freelance platform that offers jobs solely from socially and environmentally responsible organizations, and nonprofits. We give freelancers access to a wide range of impactful clients from around the world, making it the perfect place to start your freelance journey.
Article originally published at Work for Impact blog.
Today I received an invitation from Tristan and the Work for Impact team to be part of the initial group of Freelancers to make up the group that gets early access to the platform and a look at the first round of jobs. I would love you to be part of it.
Besides being another great channel for Independent Consultants and Freelancers to grow their pipeline, the platform has a purpose, they partner with Non-profits for projects that really make the difference in the world.
So far Amnesty International, Sea Shepherd, World Bicycle Relief, Plastic Oceans, along with hundreds of others are on-board for launch. This is your chance to work for some of the biggest charities in the sector!
Work for Impact is a platform that seeks to connect skilled individuals with jobs solely from socially and environmentally responsible organizations, and nonprofits.
All the jobs posted on Work for Impact will provide opportunities to work with ethical businesses and help contribute to a number of amazing causes around the world!
Why would you use Work for Impact?
A new way of working to change the world
The way people are working is changing. Thanks to technology, geography is no longer a barrier that determines who you can and can’t work with. As a result, over a third of the world’s workforce is now freelancing, and this number is continually growing.
The opportunities for today’s workforce are endless, and more and more people are taking advantage of this new economy in order to pursue their interests and find projects they’re passionate about around the globe
© 2019 WFI® Inc.
Stunning library of over 1 million stock images and videos.
Royalty free and safe for commercial use, with no attribution required.
Pikwizard is a free stock photo site with over 100,000 high-quality images, with 20,000 that are completely exclusive to the site. Most recently, free stock videos have been added to the site which are perfect for social media marketing and for business owners. What makes Pikwizard stand out is it's high-quality images of people, which are few and far between on the best stock photography sites. You can also take each image and edit it on graphic design tool, Design Wizard. There's also no attribution required!.
On Pikwizard.com you can find what you need for your blog, website, project, report, not to mention the multitude of situations a Freelancer or Independent Consultant need high-quality, copyrights-free images. Some of the popular searches are: Happy Birthday Images, White Background, Pictures Of Flowers, Black Background, Cool Backgrounds, Cute Pictures, Blue Background
No matter what the industry, more professional relationships mean more business — and the biggest boost to a business comes from trusted acquaintances that know your work and advocate for you. This is what we call your "business network". Referral Key helps you leverage your existing business network to generate highly qualified referral leads — and allows you to easily expand your professional network to establish new referral relationships that support ongoing growth of your business.
With Referral Key, you can quickly and easily build a business network of referral colleagues who know and trust you, inviting them to exchange referrals with you. Once your colleagues accept your invitations to exchange referrals, they will begin sending you solid leads.
The result is a web-enabled closed loop that provides a steady stream of timely, qualified leads from your trusted colleagues -- and a much higher probability of converting these leads into actual revenue. Every step of the referral marketing process, from initiating a referral to following up is automatically tracked within Referral Key.
Referral Key also makes it easy to expand your referral network by allowing you to tap into your colleagues' business network. Each member indicates which colleagues in their business network can be browsed by others. You can then proactively approach these business professionals about establishing a new referral relationship. Other features let you track referrals to ensure your relationships are reciprocal and the ability to set up promotional campaigns to reward your most profitable referral partners and customers.
When you sign up for Referral Key, you're also invited to add your business profile to the Referral Key on-line Member Directory. This valuable benefit lets you showcase your unique business offering to other professionals seeking to establish new referral relationships — as well as to potential prospects seeking the products and services you provide.
With our Free Membership you can join today, spend a few minutes setting up your referral network and begin exchanging referrals in no time. Take the quick Referral Key Tour to learn more!
July 25, 2017
© Copyright 2018 MBO Partners
A blog is more than something to update with your weekly experiences as an independent professional—it’s an opportunity to engage and grow your target audience. Blogging is a great way to showcase your expertise, bring in potential clients, and grow your personal brand. In fact, 53% of marketers say blog content creation is their top inbound marketing priority.
Blogs are simple to create and maintain, and can help you market your business while building your brand and audience. Here are four reasons to consider making a blog a part of your professional website.
1. Engage Your Target Audience
A successful blog engages readers. There’s something about a blog that is simply more believable and personal than reading a company fact sheet. Blogs are a chance for you to share your voice, and show that you know what you’re talking about as a professional in your industry. While some blogs may turn off readers by acting solely as an opinion column, if you back your statements with research and proven facts, you can build trust in your readers.
Potential clients are looking for an independent professional who is knowledgeable. They want to be sure that you’re really an expert before engaging your services. Providing readers not only with information about how you can help them solve their problems, but also with industry advice and updates, will show them you’re someone who cares about your business as well as your clients.
2. Build Brand Awareness
Blogs help build brand awareness, particularly by increasing traffic to your professional website and improving your visibility on search engines like Google. By consistently publishing new content that includes keywords and topics your audience is interested in, your website will appear more frequently in search engines results. Be sure to share any new content you write on your social networks to drive traffic as well.
3. Future Clients
Your blog is an opportunity to provide your target audience with the voice and personality behind the services you offer. By discussing industry news and trends and backing up your opinions with research, you can begin to establish yourself as a go-to authority. When searching for content ideas, think about common questions your clients have, and create helpful posts around these topics. This will help build confidence in your audience, and ensure you are top of mind when they are in need of expertise for a project.
4. Build Strong Relationships
A blog is an ideal place to build strong relationships with existing and future clients. Engage your readers by asking them questions in your posts. Then, encouraging conversation through comments and feedback. Developing a positive rapport with your readers is a great way to develop trust, and it can also help you gain insight into additional questions potential clients have, what they may be looking for in your services, and what types of problems they are dealing with.
The best part about creating and maintaining a blog is that it will continue to produce positive effects for your business in the long-run. So long as you continue to produce quality content, old posts will still be relevant to your audience well into the future.
May 26, 2016
American businesses are always looking for the best talent, especially when it comes to the needs and demands of a special project. More and more often, they turn to independent contractors. Today, enterprises are determined to find the best, and geography is no barrier. This has opened the door to teleworking, telecommuting, and virtual collaboration.
Technological innovation has helped to lead this charge: the evolution of “Anytime, Anywhere” technology has opened the door for many independent professionals to be top tier collaborators and coordinators without the need for a single in-person interaction. While nothing compares to the value of “pressing the flesh,” the best consultants create the next best experience in their virtual collaboration tactics.
Soft Phone: The World is Your Desk
Are you a talker, or does your area of expertise involve a lot of discussions over the phone? Softphone has become the go-to mechanism for all voice communication for the independent professional. Essentially, a softphone is a software program that allows one to make telephone calls using their computer, tablet, or cellular device, rather than using a traditional, line-in-the-wall phone. Today’s technology allows working professionals to make telephone calls without a phone!
Essentially, all one needs is a headset or USB phone, and your portable workstation can become a portable power station. One can toggle standard phone controls, in addition to availability status, auto-responses and messages, as well as online text messaging. Two industry standards in this space, which include levels of use one can try for free, include Skype and Google Voice. Google Voice enables users to create their own telephone number for all of their phone numbers/extensions – this way business conversations stay in one place, with that place not being your personal home or cellular phone.
Nation of Collaboration
Independents collaborating virtually often need to work with multiple contributors, many of whom could be based in different time zones and with various aspects of a single project. A number of tools and platforms have been developed to assist– many include the opportunity to chat, upload particular documents/items, establish calendars and deadlines, and assist in project management overall. A few examples are below:
Slack is a platform that allows team members to group themselves into a number of discussion channels, thus only involving the “invested” parties in a discussion. Multiple channels can be created for multiple projects (or types of projects), and multimedia items can be attached in the discussion themselves. Discussions groups can also be created around a particular topic (e.g., Best Practices) – essentially, everyone has a transparent view of all that’s going on. Private channels and direct messages are also options within the platform. The base level is free, but the paid version may be preferred for many enterprise engagements, so be sure to file the appropriate deductions or make sure your client is covering the cost(s).
Basecamp claims to have written “the book on remote working,” and have been an established virtually collaboration tool since 1999. The platform includes interactive “To-Do” lists that can both outline and assign tasks tied to a particular project. Similar to Slack, it allows the uploading of files/documents, in addition to user comments and notes. Additionally, it includes a message board for topical discussions, and a “Campfire” option, which allows users to chat with a group in real time for quick feedback.
The Campfire option can also serve as a “meeting space,” and virtual meetings is a topic we plan to discuss on our blog as a follow-up in the near future!
“Social” Business Collaboration
Other collaborative tools have taken a more “social” approach. For example, SalesForce’s Chatter application allows from project collaboration, similar to the offerings above, but presented in a Facebook-like layout. Very similar to the function of a Facebook group, individuals can share posts and content, while others on the project can “like,” comment, and share items.
Playing in to the interests and needs of millennial independents, the trend to “socialization” of collaborative tools appears to be a growing, attractive item in virtual collaboration discourse.
Whether you’re at home, on the road, or somewhere undisclosed (for our associates with government clients), harnessing virtual collaboration technology will leave you plugged-in and in touch with your network of clients and business partners.
Get to Know MBO Partners
MBO Partners has the industry’s only complete business operating system for independent workers, offering technology solutions that make it easy for self-employed professionals and their clients to do business. By re-envisioning and streamlining the entire contract talent acquisition and engagement lifecycle, MBO improves how independents operate and succeed while helping enterprises reduce risk and get the best return on their contractor investments.
MBO is privately held. MBO fosters the same spirit of entrepreneurship at their company that they do for the independent workforce.
Their purpose is to serve independent consultants. To learn more about MBO or to share ideas about America’s changing workforce, contact them directly.
With 200 years of combined industry experience, the MBO Leadership Team is the backbone of our company. The core of the team has been together for more than a decade, comprising leading experts in the contract workforce industry. They are the movers and shakers, and as varied and unique as their strengths may be, they all share the same passion for the MBO mission.
President and CEO, Gene Zaino, is the visionary who guides our company on its mission. An accomplished and nationally recognized expert in the contract workforce market, Gene launched MBO Partners to re-invent the way independent consultants and organizations work together.
Intellectually diverse, battle-tested, and passionate, the MBO Leadership Team is leading the American workforce towards a bright future. Learn more about the team.
Mission, Vision and ValuesMBO Partners exists to make it easier for self-employed professionals and their clients to work together. More and more people are seeking the freedom to be their own bosses and build their careers independently; we help them do that. MBO is a trusted guide for independent workers and the companies that hire them, leveraging our experience and our passion as the country moves toward the future of work.
Our vision is to see a majority of the workforce become self-employed. Being your own boss, setting your own hours and following your own dreams shouldn’t be reserved for the few. At MBO, we want to make this dream a reality for millions.
Above all else, we value trust. Whether you are an independent, you engage independents, or you’re just looking to learn, MBO is committed to being honest, factual and objective. We pledge to be responsive, empathetic, and fair, delivering success where we can and working to improve when we can’t.
We are problem solvers who believe that research and knowledge provide value to our customers. Call us; we can answer your questions and provide you with valuable information. We employ experts in independent work who specialize in finance, labor laws, and technology, and if we can’t find your answer, we’ll find someone who can.
We believe that to make career independence possible, people need a guide they can trust as they take that bold leap.
Price-Waterhouse put together a new website aimed at identifying independent consultants in different areas of expertise for their high profile projects.
The PwC's Talent Exchange is offered as a first of its kind tool and work as a large, broad job board looking for staffing projects in the segments the company works on.
Below I selected information from their website to explain the tool's benefits and process.
The Talent Exchange is a first-of-its kind marketplace that connects top independent talent, like you, with exciting opportunities at PwC. It is a place where you can learn about open roles with PwC, network with PwC employees and gain support to continue building your career.
More than just staffing you on a project, PwC are looking to establish a relationship where you will continue to be considered for roles that match your skills and experience.
Through the Talent Exchange, PwC is pioneering new ways for you to connect with our engagement teams to deliver distinctive, high-quality service to our clients.
Opportunities to work on high profile projects and interesting challenges that position you to make a difference for leading brands worldwide.
Greater transparency into proposed project pipelines, timing and even market pricing.
A single, integrated platform that facilitates the project lifecycle from searching for open roles, to joining a project, to submitting hours and expenses, to networking.
IT JUST GOT EASIER TO FILL YOUR PIPELINE
with interesting work
STEP 1: Tell us about yourself.
Share your skills, your availability and your preferences for things like travel and rate. We’ll use this to connect you with the open roles that best fit when, where and how you like to work.
STEP 2: Meet your match.
Open roles that best match your profile and preferences will be sent directly to you – or you can search the marketplace for roles that meet your interests and experience.
STEP 3: Get to work.
Let’s do great work together – helping to solve our clients' most important problems and achieve the extraordinary.
STEP 4: Keep us up to date.
Log into the Talent Exchange any time to update your experience, qualifications and availability. We’ll continue to connect you with the open roles that best fit what you are looking for.
EXPLORE FOCUS AREAS
tailored to your expertise
To help you connect with the roles that fit you best, we’ve created Focus Areas. On the Focus Area pages, you can align yourself with your area of specialization, explore sample roles and subscribe to receive emails about new roles that match your interests. Over time, we’ll add opportunities to network as well as learn from new content and thought leadership. We're starting with six areas but will be adding more soon. Select a Focus Area below or read more about how they work.
Talent Exchange Focus Areas are where you can learn more about projects at PwC within your area of expertise.
Subscribe to receive emails about roles, read about the types of projects we regularly have available and find out how our members are helping to solve interesting problems for our clients. Over time, we’ll also use this space to provide opportunities to network as well as share new content and thought leadership.
Follow the Focus Areas relevant to your experience and be the first to hear about role.
Sign up to become a full member of the Talent Exchange and you'll also receive the following benefits:
FINANCIAL SERVICES RISK AND REGULATORY MANAGEMENT
FRAUD, INVESTIGATIONS & REGULATORY ENFORCEMENT
INFORMATION MANAGEMENT AND BIG DATA
PROGRAM AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT
SEEKING TOP INDEPENDENT TALENT
PwC are looking for independent talent who are both located and authorized to work in the US without sponsorship. Whether you have just a few years of experience or are a seasoned senior executive, our marketplace gives you unprecedented access to exciting and challenging PwC opportunities. From developers and program managers, to specialists with deep industry or functional subject matter knowledge, to C‑suite executives and thought leaders, we have a place for you in the Talent Exchange.
While looking for options for a current customer project, I came to the article I am copying and pasting below in this post.
This excellent article was published May 8th, 2017 by Rachel Burger in Project Management. Rachel tackles the topic in a very objective manner, using her actual business problems as example to talk about why an independent consultant or freelancing professional would need a time tracking tool and further.
An important rationale for our benefit is the critical factor of the invoicing and billing process. While I already superficially mentioned accounting tools (Quickbooks On Line or GoDaddy for example), being able to also track your most important money making engine (your hours) and through this tracking to accurately invoice your customer comes to be the maker or breaker for your operation. Please note Rachel's remarks on this, she makes a great point when exemplifying the chaos of our daily routines and the challenge that is to reflect the time we actually worked on a project and not necessarily only the time we showed up in front of the customer.
8 of the Best Free Time Tracking SoftwareAt my first job, I worked as a research underling for a small HR consulting company. As tends to be the case with consulting, we billed clients on an hourly basis.
Of course, this was my first job, and I had no idea how to accurately track my time. I was used to campus hourly work, where you got compensated based on whether you showed up, not based on the amount of time you spent working on a specific project.
Getting used to time tracking was tough for me. In my creative process, I tend to have tabs upon tabs open.
As someone who is chronically struggling with the battle between ADD, creativity, and getting things done on time; as someone who flips between Facebook, Hangouts, work email, and expense reports; and as someone whose attention span fluctuates (often forgetting to stop or start the time tracking button), calculating my hours was an optimistic dream at best.
Then again, we were relying on tools that didn’t facilitate the time tracking process well. We used Trello to track our projects and wrote in our hours worked on the kanban cards. That meant that we used another free online application with simple “start” and “stop” buttons and that we had to record each time we worked on a project. For me, that meant hunting through tabs and remembering to comply with time tracking altogether.
It was, in short, a disaster.
Since entering the project management software world a few years ago, I realized that my old job was suffering from a lack of quality business tools. Yes, what they were using was free, but there is also free time tracking software that’s better than the system we had.
So I went on a hunt. I looked through the time tracking apps that:
After filtering through 500 or so time tracking applications in Capterra’s directory, these eight stood out in the areas that I was examining. Not every business will fit every solution offered here, though. Take the time to compare features and pricing, and let me know in the comments if I missed any big winners!
These time tracking apps are sorted alphabetically, as their features vary enough that there isn’t a clear “best” or “worst.”
** please note that in her article, Rachel provides a full thorough review of each of the tools she mentions, listed in the above list
While looking for opportunities to strengthen my pipeline, I usually look for new tools, platforms or sites (new for me, meaning those tools I am not familiar or have not worked with before).
I came to know the LinkedIn Profinder tool, offered by the largest professional social network.
It is interesting, and from my own interpretation, how many independent consultants, freelancing professionals and companies looking for those professionals started to use LinkedIn to staff their projects. My conclusion is that creating that tools was a natural step for the site.
Below is a copy and paste from their overview.
LinkedIn ProFinder is LinkedIn's professional services marketplace that helps you find the best freelance or independent professionals in your area. It's currently only available within the U.S. and within specific service categories.
We aim to get you up to five responses from highly qualified, local professionals within 24 business hours of your request submission. Currently, LinkedIn members from any valid U.S. zip code can file a request for a service.
If you're a freelance or independent professional, learn how you can apply to be a service provider on LinkedIn ProFinder and our five keys to a successful LinkedIn ProFinder profile.
Intro for ProsWith LinkedIn ProFinder, quality, vetted leads will come directly to you. Learn how to apply to be a professional service provider and get started with ProFinder.
Applying to be a Professional on LinkedIn ProFinderIf you're a freelance professional wanting to be a pro on LinkedIn ProFinder, follow these steps to applyto be a service provider on ProFinder.
Getting LinkedIn ProFinder LeadsWhen a consumer submits a project request, the project is distributed via the LinkedIn ProFinder algorithm. The algorithm considers the following criteria when notifying pros of leads:
Pros can receive email notifications when the ProFinder system determines that they are a good fit for a new project request. Learn more about how to adjust your email preferences to receive email notifications.
In order to view all the project requests that are available in your area at any given time, be sure to check your Client Requests folder regularly. Any projects listed as Available are still open to accept proposals and are first come first served.
LinkedIn ProFinder - Keys to a Successful ProfileLinkedIn ProFinder is a marketplace that connects top quality freelance or independent professionals with new clients and leads. Having a fully complete profile is the most important piece to getting opportunities, as it's one of the first things potential clients will see.
There are five main pieces to consider when building a successful profile:
Viewing Project Requests on LinkedIn ProFinderTo view your LinkedIn ProFinder project requests, you'll need to log into your ProFinder account and click Client Requests in the upper right corner of the page. You'll see a list of all proposals that have been matched to your services.
Pros will be notified of new projects via a drip model. That is, when a project is approved by our team, pros will be notified in small batches until the project request fills with 5 proposals or a 48-hour window has passed, whichever comes first. Pros will receive email alerts for all projects they are eligible for within their geographic radius.
Pros will receive email alerts for projects that are a good fit for the services they offer, otherwise all project requests available in their area will be visible in the Client Requests folder. We recommend checking your Client Requests folder multiple times per day.
If you're not receiving emails for project requests, be sure to check the spam folders in your email. Learn more about ProFinder email notifications.
Writing a Quality Proposal to a Client on LinkedIn ProFinderHere are some tips for writing a great proposal within LinkedIn ProFinder so you're more likely to hear back from a client who is looking to hire professionals like you.
There are a few things to keep in mind when writing your proposal:
I dedicate my life to science, technology, music and to bringing people together. And I do it my way.