Hello lovelies! As part of my freelance journey, I have received lots of questions from people asking how I went freelance. I think that lots of people do have a passion for something in particular and imagine being their own boss as their ideal setup. I know the logistics can be tricky to work out, however. So, I basically just thought I’d write about it! I am, in no way, an expert or a consultant, but you guys asked, and this is how I, personally, turned my passion into a job.
Start at the beginning
It’s the most wonderful place to start! Everybody has to start somewhere, no matter the passion. If you’re an illustrator, start creating a portfolio. As an aspiring blogger, start recording the guest blogs you have done for people. Maybe you’re an aspiring photographer? Save your images and organise them properly. I hate to be cheesy about things but a dream doesn’t work unless you do. You hear people say all the time how they wish they could do this but I don’t see them taking those necessary steps to get there. Just go to your day job but keep some time aside for the passion projects.
I was writing blog posts in high school for myself, writing articles for newspapers in sixth form, writing blogs for multiple clients in university and then got a blogger job post-uni. What I do now as a job, I did on the side for a long time and that’s what has given me enough experience to get clients to trust me!
Decide how much you’re worth
You can’t make a passion a job unless you’re making money. My biggest motivation, at the end of the day, is my lifestyle. I have to keep a roof over my head, in an expensive part of London. There are three pets to feed. I can’t be doing something just because I enjoy it and neither can you. Take a look at what you do, what skills are involved, how much time has to go into it and then tally it all up and stick on a price tag. As a general rule, mark what you’re making down because, when over a certain threshold, you will have to report your side earnings. That’s when the fun begins.
Source clients and customers
This is what I most get asked about. People just want the answer handed to them on a plate, but some people don’t realise that they are undermining freelancers everywhere by asking this. Being freelance is misunderstood. Everybody thinks they can do your job, regardless of what it is, just because you’re doing it from home. Just understand that freelancers are skilled at different things, offer different services and so the process of gaining clients is different for everyone. Some advertise their skills, others network to pick them up. I basically just knew people, through having done it for so long on the side. Then, I also applied to an agency that are exceptional at getting clients, and they pass the work out to their freelancing staff. It’s important to have work coming in from different places for stability. Just make sure you have enough work to make it full-time!
When to go full-time
Only you know what you need to survive. As a general rule, especially if you live in a city, I would say don’t quit your day job until you’re earning an average office salary. I know it can be tempting to go for it but you have to be realistic. At least with that as a salary, you’re going to be able to do the basics.
Ideally, and at least for me, I wanted to make a fair bit above that just because you can’t ignore the fact that freelance is not stable. Clients come, clients go. You need to have enough to save for rainy days. You need enough to live your best life even when you’re still awaiting payments! Measure your incomings and outgoings and be realistic about what you, personally, need to earn. Of course, how I did it was very straightforward. I began to earn more doing this than I earned in my actual day job, so I knew then that it was time!
The hard stuff
Matching your earnings pretty much means matching your hours. Working two jobs can be an absolute nightmare! I was tired all the time and it was quite a stressful time! You might be juggling a lot of plates but you really need to keep all of them up and spinning because to drop one could cost you your career, in either job! I don’t want to make this blog post negative but I also don’t want to make it sound so straightforward that you get the wrong idea! Work hard but watch your health! Give your best.
The boring stuff
When you’re your own boss, you have some paperwork to do! Speaking only on behalf of the UK, you need to register with HMRC as being self-employed and then save your UTR number because you’ll need it to pay tax every year! Then, you need to record pretty much everything and how you do it is up to you. I, personally, save everything in a spreadsheet that covers how much money I received each month, where that money came from, then calculate potential tax for that figure and then save that away. It’s also important to save for your pension and maybe maternity! I know it’s the boring stuff, but it’s all important!
So, then you’re set! You’ve got prices, you’ve got clients, you’ve got your figures straight and you just need to keep doing your thing! I hope that this was helpful! Lot of bloggers start their own business but don’t talk about the business side of things but I think that everybody should know that it’s a viable option. I don’t really think there’s much more to say about being freelance but, of course, if you want more, let me know!