Freelancing survival guide

There are lots of advantages to freelancing - you can decide what work you'll take on and when you'll do it, you can set your own prices and you can be your own boss. However, as with most things, freelancing has its down sides. Here is a freelancing survival guide to help you cope with the negatives...

Freelancing survival guide

Plan for the hard times - A little optimism can get you through tough times. But with freelancing, it's always a good idea to think ahead and prepare in case things take a turn for the worse. Sometimes, freelance work is easy come, easy go, and if work dries up it's important that you have a little nest egg to see you through the tough times.

Remember you're not alone - Even if you may be home alone working on a project, try not to feel isolated. It's likely that you'll have contacts within the company or organisation that you are working for - so use them if you need support. Freelancer forums and community sites are another great way of connecting with others and finding the answer to work related problems.

Keep your financial affairs in order - As a freelancer, you'll probably be required to submit a yearly tax return. This process can be a lot simpler if you keep simple but organised records throughout the year. Designate a folder for filing invoices, receipts and other financial records. You can use these to file a tax return online - a process that can take just a few hours if you've been organised.

Market your skills to the best of your ability - An important part of your freelancing survival guide is learning how to market your skills and sell your services to customers. Whether you rely on word of mouth, advertising or referrals, it's likely that your sales pitch could be improved to win more (and higher paying) work.

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