How to Start a Home-Based Freelance Business

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How to start a freelance business and key steps to make it work from the comfort of your own home, as well as mistakes you should avoid.

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As an business owner, overcoming obstacles becomes a sort of superpower. No doubt your multitasking knows no bounds. But, even our most successful marketers who start a freelance business have told us time and time again that the biggest challenge they face is time.

The time to sort through administrative work, write and film content, promote their brands, build up a customer base — the list goes on.

Yet, as someone who has been consulting (and previously freelancing) for over 9 years, I learned a thing or two about the common mistakes people make.

How to Start as a Marketing Freelancer

First, you need to do some prep work.

What type of marketing are you going to do?

Digital and social media marketing are extremely popular, but you should not base your choice on popularity. Think about your WHY, your mission, and the type of clients you are looking to help. Your unique selling point is a combination of your expertise, your level of knowledge and your WHY, your mission.

Depending on your field, consider looking into certification to become a better marketer and boost credibility. This can provide you with helpful tools, and earn you certification, which can increase your credibility and marketability.

It goes without saying that you should have knowledge and skills in the area you want to freelance in. This can come from personal experience, but you might want additional training.

Brainstorm Services and Pricing

Goes without saying that getting clear on your pricing will be key – as well as learning negotiation techniques that can benefit you in the long run. As a rule of thumb, when it comes to pricing, take into account your time, your resources needed and any costs associated with your marketing services.

Below are three common pricing methods:

  • By project: if you already have expertise in a specific type of assignment, charging by the project is probably the best. This way, you can finish it up quickly, but still earn well. Charging per hour would place you at a disadvantage as most likely it only requires a couple of hours to complete.
  • By the hour: this could be your best bet when the project requires multiple hours to complete. However, most clients are cautious about paying hourly, so we recommend setting a number of hours per project. We use this method to calculate our rates.
  • Building blocks: if you individually price each element of your project (eg individual posts, videos, stories, content development) you can do a simple sum of all of the blocks you are bringing into a project and let partners pick and choose what to leave out, pricing out every single item.

Establish Clear Boundaries

Your time is invaluable, and setting boundaries right from the beginning, particularly when you start a freelance business, is crucial.

One efficient way to safeguard your time is by using a calendar that potential clients can access to schedule appointments.

This strategy ensures you maintain control over your schedule, preserving specific times for content creation, forward planning, or personal activities like gym sessions.

When clients book through a calendar, your availability is clearly communicated, eliminating the need to justify your unavailability.

  • Establish boundaries regarding your email and communication time. It will significantly enhance your overall wellbeing. For me, prolonged email correspondences or addressing countless WhatsApp messages doesn’t work. In fact, I scarcely glance at my phone between 8 am and 6 pm.
  • Allocate specific hours for email or Slack to manage client inquiries, keeping communication organised and timely.

Craft a Remarkable Client Experience

From endorsements to testimonials, feedback and recommendations are pivotal when you start a freelance business.

A working paper from Harvard Business School discussing workplace feedback indicates that soliciting feedback can often yield vague, generalized observations rather than specific, actionable insights.

Jaewon Yoon, a co-author who studies organisational behaviour at Harvard, notes,

“It’s just not the ideal way to solicit input. If you want to feel good about what you did, ask for feedback. People are more likely to give you an overall assessment, [like] ‘You did a good job.’”

Facilitating an effortless process for clients to provide feedback is crucial. Consider implementing surveys and short forms to gather testimonials, obtain feedback on their experience, and even procure potential recommendations, when relevant.

Keep surveys succinct, ideally under 2-3 minutes, to encourage client participation.

Consider customising surveys for distinct clients based on your collaborative experience. For instance, encouraging clients who have had a 5-star experience with you to provide video testimonials and recommendations.

Automate Your Onboarding Process

Embarking on a journey as a marketing freelancer calls for solutions that facilitate automation of your client management process right from the inception, positioning you significantly ahead in your freelancing journey.

We’re advocates for crafting personalised client portals, much like the ones available in our template shop.

  • You can upload worksheets for clients to complete in advance, integrate a calendar link for session scheduling, or instantly incorporate a video conference link for their use.
  • Rather than sifting through emails or establishing individual client documents, you have the ability to send messages to your clients within each milestone, maintaining a record of their progress.
  • Your client will be notified via email each time you establish a new milestone or send a message. Each freelancing space is distinct to the client, ensuring all communications remain private.

The Best Way to Get Ahead is to Get Started

Your unique skills and passion pave the way, making you stand out in the vast digital marketplace.

Starting a freelancing career might feel like a mix of excitement and nerves, but with the right preparation and dedication, your path is bound to be successful and fulfilling. Your expertise is crucial for businesses navigating through the complexities of marketing, and your journey reflects your boldness and skills.

Set solid boundaries, manage your clients wisely, and have a sturdy onboarding process from the start.

These strategies aren’t just theories; they are practical steps towards a thriving freelancing career. Dive in with your valuable skills and smart strategies, and remember: This journey is yours, filled with potential and ripe with opportunities.

The freelancing world is ready for your skills and fresh ideas. Here’s to your new adventure in providing top-notch marketing solutions. May your path be wonderfully prosperous and continuously inspiring.

Ready to get started with positive impact marketing?

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