Guest post by Sarah Bull of Economy Mom.
Turning your freelance gig into a business is a significant step for your career. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication, but it can also allow you to do something you’re passionate about every single day. Don’t expect raving success on day one. Even if it’s in a field in which you have the experience, building a business takes time. It also takes good decision-making and strategy.
Before you dive in headfirst, make sure you know a little of what to expect and what steps you should take to get off to a strong start. Here are some practical tips to consider as you turn your freelancing into a small business.
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Stick With Your Niche
The first rule: Don’t try to cater to a broad audience. Individuals and businesses are attracted to professionals who specialize in a niche. By developing your business plan around reaching customers and clients in a specific part of your field, you can hone your skills and earn a stellar reputation for being an expert in the field. If you have dreams of widening your scope, first wait until your business is well-established in a single niche.
Even if you have experience in your field, chances are there’s still room to grow your knowledge and skills. This is especially the case if you’ve never started or run a business before. That’s why going back to school can prove beneficial to your long-term business prospects. For instance, earning a degree in accounting can provide you with the right credentials and help you develop your business know-how, including knowledge in marketing, business ethics, and economics.
Handle the Business Side of Things
When it comes to starting a business, many freelancers struggle with the business side of things. Nonetheless, you can’t start or manage a successful business without getting them done. Early in the process, determine what legal structure you will use as it will play a major role in the taxes you pay, whether or not your personal assets are protected, and much more.
Also, start creating your business plan — complete with short-term and long-term goals, key demographics, financial projections, funding opportunities, and so on. Finally, thoroughly evaluate your finances so that you know where you stand and what you need to do to get where you want to be.
Create Your Brand
Even if you’re just starting out, you can make your business look well-established by creating a brand. While a lot is involved in branding, one of the first things you should do is create a logo.
A logo can represent your business on websites, social media pages, emails, printed brochures, and more. Don’t worry about making it elaborate at first — just go with a simple design that reflects the services you provide. You can then start developing a website, creating content, and building your brand in other ways.
Market Your Brand
Once you have some branding in place, it’s time to start marketing. We live in the information age, and social media is perhaps the largest platform for small business marketing. Develop a strategy for how your company will engage your audience on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other relevant platforms. Also, connect with Ted Vieira to develop an attractive, easy-to-use website (where your marketing efforts will ultimately lead to).
Creating a business out of your freelance gig will come with challenges, but it can also provide you with a fulfilling and rewarding career. Consider if going back to school is the right move for you. Take care of the business side of things. Above all, start developing and marketing your brand early in the process. You’ll be in a great position to start building a base of faithful clients before you know it.
About the Author
Guest post provided by Sarah Bull of EconomyMom.com, a fantastic resource for information, tips and advice for business-minded moms to help them with their own business, side hustle, freelancing and more.