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7 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before You Start Freelancing

Let’s talk money, hustling and career growth

Freelancing sounds fun, right? Being able to fulfill all your professional obligations from the comfort of your couch without ever changing out of your jarmies. Sweet. However, there is quite a lot more to it. So before we dive in, what exactly is freelancing? A freelancer is someone who is self-employed and provides their services to a company or clients. Freelancers get paid for each bit of work they do and have the freedom to choose their clients.

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What’s great about it

Freelancing gives you so much flexibility. You decide how much work you do, who you work with and where you work (hello, comfy couch) – and the financial potential is so appealing. Yeah, you have to hustle hard but the benefits can be amazing.

But wait…

The independence is great and you decide what jobs you take on and when you make money, but in the beginning, you might not see an income right away.

You’re going to have to make all the decisions, do all the admin and constantly be in work-mode. A quick coffee with an acquaintance could quickly turn into a business pitch so you’ve always got to be ready.

From Yaaas GIFs via Gfycat

1. Have you got what it takes?

Only you will know if you’ve got what this career move needs. There are no right or wrong answers but if you’re running away from a boring job, or you’re unhappy with your current working environment, these might not be the reasons to jump in.

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2. Have you registered your business?

You’ve got flexibility when it comes to registering your business and you can decide if your business will be a sole proprietor or a company. This will also affect things when you register your business for tax. Don’t panic, SARS has detailed information for small businesses.

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3. Do you have your workspace sorted?

Depending on your finances and what environment you feel most productive in, you can choose to work from your home, a co-working space or even a coffee shop.

4. Are you staying ahead of your competitors?

Upskilling yourself will keep you ahead and ensure that your business is always evolving. GetSmarter partners with world-leading universities to select, design and deliver premium online short courses. Until the 1 December 2019, you can also get R2 000 off of select GetSmarter courses. See some of these courses here and below.

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5. Are you representing your brand?

You’ve got to think about yourself as more than a freelancer – you’re the brand and the work you produce is unique.

Your social media should reflect your brand and even if you post pics of puppies (who could resist?) and then talk business in your Instagram Stories, it’s all good – just be sure that you’re enhancing your brand and using every opportunity to promote your services.

From Animals GIFs via Gfycat

6. Are you getting your work out there?

Creating a portfolio or website will help you pitch your business like a pro. You could even sign up to freelance groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and other websites to find your next client. It’s all about networking and getting your business known.

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7. Have you got your money talk down?

If you’re just getting started as a freelancer, it can feel awkward to talk about money and setting your rates. It’s business – and the sooner you become comfortable with it, the better.

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You could decide to use cost-plus pricing, whereby you decide on your rate based on how much it will cost you to complete the job and make a profit.

Competitor-based pricing involves setting your rate based on those around you. You’ll need to do some research on your industry and competitors with similar experience to figure out your rate.

Value-based pricing involves speaking to your client and figuring out what they are willing to pay for your product/service. Your rate could differ according to the projects you’re working on and will help you determine what your clients value.

Empower yourself with short courses.

You can choose from amazing online short courses from GetSmarter, which are perfect for freelancers. And did you know that COSMO is also offering our babes R2 000 off the below courses? Sign up now before it’s too late! Offer valid until 1 December 2019.

Use the below codes to get R2 000 off a GetSmarter short course:

University of Cape Town: AM2000UCT
UCT Graduate School of Business: AM2000UCT-GSB
University of Stellenbosch Business School: AM2000USB-ED
GetSmarter: AM2000GS

1. University of Cape Town Social Media Marketing Online Short Course

In just eight weeks you’ll be equipped with the ability to master the social-media marketing skills needed to create, execute, measure and refine a high-impact social-media strategy.

R13,500 GetSmarter Register Now

2. University of Cape Town Web Design Online Short Course

With a focus on both the practical and theoretical elements of web design, you’ll leave this course with the knowledge and confidence you need to pioneer a unique online presence for you or your company.

R14,500 GetSmarter Register Now

3. University of Cape Town Interior Design Online Short Course

The need for creative commercial and living spaces has led to an increased demand for interior designers with a trained creative eye. This short course highlights why you need to strive to build environments with a specific purpose, and create functional interiors.

R10, 500 GetSmarter Register Now

4. University of Cape Town Graphic Design Online Short Course

Learn how to produce captivating content for print and digital, as well as how to make use of graphic-design programmes, with a specific focus on Adobe Illustrator.

R13,500 GetSmarter Register Now

5. University of Cape Town Digital Photography Online Short Course

By building on your camera knowledge and learning the habits of a professional DSLR photographer, you’ll gain complete creative control of your photographs. You’ll appreciate the versatility the camera affords you and be rewarded with a better photograph every time.

R13,500 GetSmarter Register Now

6. University of Cape Town Copywriting for Online Marketing Online Short Course

Using the most relevant marketing techniques across different online platforms will help you communicate effectively to your audience. The UCT Copywriting for Online Marketing online short course provides you with tools to tackle writing in an ever-changing digital landscape.

R12,500 GetSmarter Register Now

This article was sponsored by GetSmarter.

Read more: Hustle

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