The most successful freelancers have certain things that they do on a daily basis to help them. If you want to be a freelancer, you need to start doing them too. There are 8 things all successful freelancers do daily to make sure their business continues to stay afloat.
Before that, just to show my latest earnings screenshot from a top freelancing website I joined, to prove that I do have ‘a little’ experience when it comes to doing freelance work:
It takes a certain type of person to be a successful freelancer. You need to be motivated, determined, and stay organized. Here are the 8 things that I wanted to share with you…
#1 Create A To-Do List: At the start of every workday, successful freelancers will have a to-do list. This is a list of all the things that they need to get done, whether it is working on clients’ projects or completing their projects. However, they will think about the number of working hours and avoid overloading their schedule.
The way you write this list will depend on you and your preferences. Some freelancers will have a diary and they block out a certain number of hours for each task. Others will have a calendar or a notebook that jots down everything that needs to be done. There are even some that use Google Calendar to schedule their day.
#2 Plan Ahead For The Week: Planning ahead is needed to make a freelance business successful. For example, freelance writers will plan their own deadlines to complete any writing project, while freelance photographers will make sure they plan their weeks to get the shots at the perfect times. This also allows them to take time off at regular intervals.
Again, the way to do this will depend on your preferences. Some people prefer paper calendars while others want to do it all on the internet.
#3 Take Regular Breaks Throughout The Day: Breaks often seem counterproductive, but that is certainly not the case. Taking regular breaks gets a person away from the computer or workstation, and gives their brains the time off they need. It can also help their bodies get the stretching and rest needed. These breaks aren’t long. Just 10 to 15 mins every hour or so is all your brain and body need.
Without breaks, procrastination becomes an issue. You will start checking Facebook or randomly browsing the internet instead of doing the tasks at hand. Time is money for a freelancer, you need to learn how to work productively.
#4 Work During Most Productive Hours: Everybody has certain hours when they are most productive. This is not necessarily during 9 to 5. Some freelancers prefer to work during the middle of the night, while others like to get up early. Successful freelancers will work during their most productive hours because they know they will get more done.
At the same time, they need to work around their clients and other needs. For example, some freelancers start working while they are still in a full-time job, so there is no choice but to get up early or go to bed late. Others have to work around their child’s napping and sleeping schedule. This balance act becomes habit for the most successful freelancers.
#5 Marketing Is A Daily Task: To make your business successful, you need to make sure your target audience knows you exist. Freelancers who are successful will always market their business. It could be through SEO, social media, content marketing or even offline advertising. Either way, they are always doing something to attract clients.
However, their marketing doesn’t get in the way of the rest of their day. This is because they find ways to streamline their tasks, and will have a plan in place. Their marketing will have a budget set too to make sure they do not go over this and end up in debt.
#6 Make Changes When Necessary: Just because you like the way you do something doesn’t mean that it is working. When successful freelancers are stuck in a rut or find that a certain way of doing things doesn’t work, they will make changes. However, once they find something is working great, they will keep it that way and do more of it.
The trick here is consistent monitoring your daily tasks, and willing to quit what is not working. While something works perfectly now, successful freelancers will keep an eye out for when it doesn’t work anymore. They have the ability to adapt to change.
#7 Treat It Like A Real Business: Freelancing is viewed as a form of entrepreneurship – schedule the day to your liking and earn money anywhere you want. There are myths that you can work in your pajamas or do everything from the comfort of your home.
Successful freelancers understand that this is certainly NOT the case. They know that this is like a real business and they need to treat it that way.
Most will get up and get a shower and then “go to work”. Their office may be their dining table or a desk in their living room, but it is still their office. It gets them in the mindset to work and is set up to help their business succeed. Some will actually have a business premises that they go to because of their nature of work.
Whatever you need, make sure you actually “go to work” and treat it like a real business. Otherwise, you will find it difficult to keep afloat and see it succeed the way you planned.
#8 Avoid Distractions Or Deal With Them: Distractions happen each day especially for those who work at home. You may have children wanting to play, a spouse who doesn’t understand what you are doing, or friends who want to visit you since you are at home. Successful freelancers know how to avoid them or will at least deal with them promptly.
Some will choose to make it clear that a closed door means you can’t be disturbed. They will ignore calls from friends and stay off social media (except for marketing purposes). Others will have set hours when they work, and make it clear to everyone that they will not answer personal calls except for emergencies only during these working hours.
It is really up to you to set up a system that works for you. There is no wrong or right answer here as everyone deals with or avoids distractions differently. Whatever you do, though, you need to find your way of handling them effectively and efficiently.
If you want to succeed in freelancing, you need to work the way like most successful ones do. This requires you to be willing to change your bad habits and discipline yourself. Successful freelancers do ordinary things every single day and they do it extraordinary well. Take a leaf out of their books and reach the dreams you want to reach.