The Freelancer’s Handbook: How to make the most of your lifestyle

By Rachel Kurzyp

Are you new to the freelance scene?

Are you unsure how to take advantage of the freedom the freelancing lifestyle brings?

These four practical tips have helped me find my ideal clients, develop my service packages and live a more balanced and productive lifestyle. 

Invest in yourself

You shy away from spending money on your personal development. And you spend most of your time looking for your next job. You’re not alone. Most freelancers don’t invest in themselves.

Yet, it’s one investment that’s guaranteed to give you good returns. Invest time and money in your personal development. It will make you attractive to future clients.

Between jobs do an online course like SEO fundamentals if you’re a journalist. Or read a book on Lean Startup Methodology if you’re a business owner. Keeping your skills and knowledge up-to-date will help you show you’re the best person for the job.

Take up a side-project

You know that project you’ve been thinking about but never got off the ground? Well, now’s the time to do it.

Brands want to hire people who are passionate about an issue. They want to work with people who have a community and aren’t afraid to put themselves out there.

See your side project as an opportunity to set yourself apart from others. Use it as a platform to experiment with your voice, develop ideas and test products on the market. When potential clients approach you, you’ll have a body of work to show them. Plus proven real-life examples of how you can solve their problems.

Try different pursuits

Get out of your comfort zone and try something different. Take a painting class, go hiking or try a new cuisine.

Use this time to learn who you are – what you like and don’t like, your strengths and weaknesses, and what type of people you connect with and those you don’t.

Take these learnings and apply them to your business. If you’re a storyteller use stories to sell yourself. Don’t like bureaucracy? Seek out small business clients. Having a clear sense of who you are and what you do will make it easier to position yourself as an expert in your industry.

Build new relationships

We’ve all heard the saying ‘it’s not what you know but who you know.’ For freelancers, knowing how to build authentic and relevant relationships is key to finding ideal clients and ongoing work.

Step out from behind your laptop. Go into the world asking, ‘how can I help others?’ Not, ‘what can I get from others?’ People don’t want to be sold things, they want their problems solved.

Join online communities. Take prospective clients out for coffee. Look for speaking opportunities. And take the time to nurture these relationships. You’ll be the first person clients think of when they need help if you do.  

Join the Newsmodo freelance community  to get helpful tips, news and best of all – work opportunities!

For more freelancer tips see our articles on the importance of personal reputation, quoting sources, or writing for the ‘other’