Set realistic expectations
The first step to succeeding as a freelancer is to set realistic expectations. It can be easy to spend all your time searching for the right project and the perfect client and end up getting burned out or frustrated. Accepting the fact that there will always be a shortage of work and that you’re more likely to find work through networking than job postings, it’s important to keep your eyes open for projects that are good fits for your skillset.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
While it might be tempting to try and do everything on your own, you will only end up making more work for yourself. It’s important that you trust your team members to help you out. You might have a team of four people on the project with you, but don’t hesitate to ask them for help when things start to get rough. The best way to get feedback from a team member is through conversation. Instead of waiting until the end of the project to talk about where you could improve, talk about things as they arise. This will give you more time to adjust and make changes before the big reveal and deliverable deadline.
Set up an organizational system
As mentioned, project management can be difficult. One of the best things you can do to make it manageable is to set up an organizational system for your projects. This means creating a schedule for how often you will check in on different aspects of your work and when you need to send out invoices or other important documents. If your projects are spread across different time zones and locations, then you might want to set up a system wherein you go through your email after every day’s work to see if there are any orders that need actioning or questions that need answering. Also, create separate buckets for general paperwork like contracts, tax forms, invoices, and more so that they don’t get mixed up with personal paperwork. This helps ensure that everything gets addressed in a timely manner and that nothing falls through the cracks. You’ll also have all of these tasks in one place where they are easily accessible rather than scattered across various notebooks and sticky notes.
Establish good habits early on
The earlier you develop good habits, the more likely it is that you can continue to build upon them in the future. The best way to start developing good project management habits is by planning out your day-to-day schedule and taking advantage of your spare time. For example, if you wake up at 5AM every morning to do some freelance work, then you’re going to have a tough time getting any work done during the day because you’ll be too busy interacting with clients or responding to emails. If, on the other hand, you set a schedule for yourself and stick to it (even if there are days when it's hard), then when the pressure of working at other times of the day comes along, you'll already be used to working when others might not want or need your services. Another important habit that can help make freelancing a successful venture is having a plan in place for how much $$ will come in from each client. You don't want to get so caught up in juggling multiple projects that you're spending more than what is coming in. Keeping track of money coming in and out can help ensure that you're okay financially throughout the year. This also helps create a sense of accountability with clients who might be wondering why their payments haven't been received yet. Finally, consider investing in some software that will give an overview of everything related to your work as well as keep track of invoices and contracts without adding too much time onto
Hold yourself accountable
One of the most important things for freelancers is to keep themselves accountable for their work. This means staying on top of deadlines and being able to estimate the time you need for a project. If you are struggling to do this, then giving yourself weekly milestones can help you stay more organized. You’re also going to want to take the time to learn how to be more efficient with your time so that you don’t spend too much time on tasks that aren’t necessary.
1. Choose your projects wisely It’s important to evaluate the risks of a project before you take it on. You should always ask yourself if the funds you’re investing into a project are worth the risk or if there are other, more suitable options available. It doesn’t make sense for a freelance designer to accept work that is too low-value because they would have to spend hours perfecting designs in order to turn them around for a client. Maybe you won’t be able to find high-paying jobs, so don’t take on jobs that require significant skills and time investment with no guarantee they will pay out. 2. Plan ahead Have a general idea of your schedule and estimate how much time you need for each project by taking into account pre-production, post-production, as well as travel time. If this is not something that comes naturally to you, try writing down what tasks will be required for each project beforehand so that you can plan accordingly. This also allows you to better budget your time and budget projects appropriately. Don’t just settle for any job because it pays the bills; instead aim higher and do work you enjoy! 3. Utilize tools like Trello Trello allows users to create lists or boards of tasks or “cards” which can be easily moved between cards at any given moment without losing their progress across all of the cards in your list or board respectively.