For many people around the world, freelancing actually represents the final frontier of anyone’s career progression, something they have been working towards their whole career. Freelancing career holds numerous possibilities for any individual. Autonomy. flexibility, control over the projects you take on and you also have the ability to chart your own course.

Every year, more & more individuals join this ever-growing sector of the workforce. The gig economy, of which freelancing career is a part, encompasses about 55 million U.S. workers. That’s about 35 percent of the total American workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, & that fraction is predicted to reach 43 percent by 2021.

Indeed, freelancing is becoming a crucial part of our economy, making it an extremely exciting time to become a new freelancer. Nonetheless, taking this career step can feel like a leap of faith. The uncertainty & steep learning curve freelancing career actually requires a careful set of thought &, above all, thorough planning. Here are four things everyone should consider before starting a freelancing career.

Freelancing Isn’t Easy

If you have a very rosy image of freelancing & think it is a walk in the park, then you have to get your facts correct. Freelancing is not at all easy.

It is extremely tough to be a freelancer. There can be a number of days when you have no work from your clients, & then there will be days when you’ve a delivery date for several clients. So you have to manage both types of scenarios with calmness.

Working in a small freelancing niche may not be that effortless to understand at the beginning. Once you have found your favorite niche, you then need to start building samples & learn to set the proper hourly rates.

After you’ve everything correct, then comes the most hard part, you need to learn communications, negotiations, & other such types of skills. Again, the whole idea isn’t to scare you away from doing freelancing but to give you the appropriate mindset before you want to start doing freelancing.

Remember, freelancing isn’t that easy, but then it is also worth the try. The best part of freelancing is you have so many benefits to it like time freedom, place freedom, etc.

Money Management Is Key

Find out exactly how much bucks you actually need to spend every month. Then, also try to figure out how many freelancing projects you need to complete in order to make that happen. There are a number of free apps available to help you track all your finances, but it is recommended that you should stick with pen and paper or an Excel spreadsheet.

Actually, keeping tabs on what you buy is not the most crucial thing. What you should actually focus on is the unexpected:

  • unpaid or delayed set of invoices
  • lack of potential clients
  • hardware malfunctions and family emergencies

This list keeps going. So must prepare for the unexpected & give yourself a cushion when controlling your spend.

Build your Personal Brand

Your personal brand is how the world perceives & defines you. Simply think of Nike, everyone knows the word & the brand goes hand in hand. Your personal brand should be no different.

Here are 5 simple starting pointers to building your own brand.

Your brand is personal, therefore it must reflect YOU, the real you. Your freelancing brand will build authority & trust, so should be transparent. People are relational & connect with those they actually trust, so must make it real.

Get the word out! You are not going to build your freelance business by merely sitting behind a desk. Find all the opportunities for speaking, webinars, join different communities, events & tell people what you do. Share valuable information from a place of authority & knowledge, so you will be viewed as an expert. People enjoy working with those individuals who they get along with, so must remember to keep conversations friendly & casual.

Build your online presence. Along with your site/portfolio, also create social media profiles, a Medium profile & share all your content to highlight your talents.

Don’t quit learning. No matter how much you know about your niche, technologies are always evolving. Stay up to date with the latest trends & get insights to what buyers really want.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

If possible, try to juggle between your job & freelancing. Your results will definitely be skewed, yet you will get a glimpse of what it is like to be self-employed. Work during the weekends or in your free time & you will see if you can make it full time.

Once you get a better knowledge of what freelancing is all about & you feel you are more than up to it, then go ahead & make the deciding step.

That’s our list of 4 crucial things everyone should know before they do freelancing. Although freelancing may not seem like a dream job, it can be. Once you get all these points covered, you will probably find your life has become easier.