Save Some Money
Most freelancers actually start out as conventional 9-5 workers. In fact, many of them maintain their full-time jobs in addition to their freelance work for the sake of a stable income, health insurance, or other benefits. If you choose to go freelance full-time, however, you need to be sure to have a comfortable nest egg in the bank. Most experts agree that you should have enough money in your savings to cover six months worth of your basic necessities. If that sounds impossible, then try juggling some freelance work with your regular job for awhile. Save up all of the money you earn from your freelance work and use that as your nest egg.
Start Finding Clients Today
One mistake that freelancers often make is that think they can only start networking and marketing their services after they've gotten started. The truth is that if you're considering becoming a freelancer, now is the time to start networking and marketing. Let people know that you are thinking about going solo and get their reactions. Start building a database of possible job leads. In fact, you may want to line up some work beforehand so you can be sure of having an income initially.
Most potential clients will want to see references and/or samples of your work before they give you a project. You need to have these prepared in advance. Don't wait until someone calls to possibly offer you a project to get your portfolio in order or to line up some qualified references. Have those ready to dispatch as soon as you get off the phone or finish the email.
Find an Accountant
The most difficult part of freelancing can be the handling the financial aspects: tracking invoices, staying on top of bills, figuring your yearly taxes, etc. Unless you are already skilled in accounting, you need to find someone to help you out with this from the beginning. It makes it much simpler for you and for the accountant.
Start a Web Site
Use the Internet to your advantage. Create a professional-looking but simple web site advertising your experience and your services, then place it on the Internet. It's one of the best ways of attracting new clients.
These suggestions will help you start your freelancing career on the right foot, but the most important key to your success will be your perseverance. If you give up easily or don't follow through with things, you may never truly make it as a freelancer. You must be able to take rejection. You must be self-motivated, and you must be persistent. Only then will you be able to experience firsthand all of the benefits of being a modern freelancer.