3 Business Tips Every Freelancer Should Know
April 8, 2021
Freelancing has become a significant source of income for over 50 million people in the U.S. The number of freelancers in the U.S. is expected to grow to 87 million by 2027 per Statista, and for good reason. In addition to being your own boss and making your own hours, freelancers get to make additional income doing things they enjoy and/or are good at!
At BandPay, we’re obsessed with leveling the playing field for all freelancers so here’s our list of 3 tips that every freelancer should know to drive business success.
PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS – As a freelancers or contractor, you provide a specific skill or service that gets you paid e.g. graphic design, music production, general contractor etc. But it’s important to remember that as a freelancer, you are also an entrepreneur and whether you like it or not, you’ve also taken on the additional responsibility of developing your business. While services like fiverr and Upwork can be great resources to have your work discovered, they are also crowded marketplaces where you’ll be competing against many other freelancers with similar skills. On top of that, these marketplaces are saturated with freelancers who charge much lower rates for their services due to the cost of labor in another country.
We recommend all freelancers start with their existing network to get the word out about their business and find their first (and probably most loyal) customers. Using BandPay’s Project Link, freelancers can easily share a single link anywhere on the web (e.g. social media, email, and even text messages) to let your network know what services you are providing and ask them to work with you. Your project Link is also an integrated project request form that effortlessly allows potential customers to submit their projects to you for review and negotiation. A Project Link can be embedded into email signatures, digital advertising, or sent via a text message. The number of freelancing projects on your plate can change quickly from tons to “I need more business!”. The more consistent you are with promoting your services, the more project load will be going forward and you won’t have to scramble to pay the bills when work is slow.
STAY ORGANIZED – Running your own business is hard – you’ll have a ton of balls in the air at any given time, and like all freelancers, you’ll have limited resources and team members to help you out. The trick with freelancing is to leverage the best technology and tools to stay organized and prioritize your work. You’ll also want to automate parts of your business that don’t count against your hourly rate such as drafting agreements and chasing down payments.
With BandPay, you can effortlessly form an agreement based on the milestones, deadlines, and budgets you agree to with the customer. Once a simple project request form is filled out, the agreement is sent automatically to both parties. BandPay has a built-in dispute resolution service that helps you work through any issues with the client. BandPay is a huge time saver and helps you stay organized with reminders about upcoming deliverables to boot! BandPay’s built-in approval process allows you to work with the client easily and also incorporates instant chat functionality for anyone you’re working with.
Staying organized for taxes is another key consideration. At the end of the year, BandPay sends you a single 1099 tax form for all of your freelance work. The app also stores all your project records and allows you to easily track all money coming in and going out of your business. BandPay is as easy as online banking with the added benefit of tools to promote your business, automated agreements, and payment processing.
*PRO TIP*: Be sure to incorporate your freelancer business as an LLC so you are eligible to write off the maximum amount of business expenses. Legal Zoom provides this service affordably and can walk you through each step of the process.
ALWAYS GET PAID FOR YOUR WORK – Like any business, you need money to live, buy the tools you need, and to reinvest in marketing your business. It’s tempting for us to discount or offer our services for free to friends and family. However, if they are really your friend they should be happy to pay you a fair rate for your work. The exception to this rule would be when you barter with a fellow freelancer for work. Leveraging your skills to pay for other services might be a good way to get some additional value for your time.
BandPay allows the customer to fund projects with any bank account or credit card. We collect funds upfront from the client to hold securely – a great way for you to know the customer is committed to the project before you begin work. Since BandPay collects the project money up front, they guarantee you get paid once the work is complete. It’s an amazing feeling to have the peace of mind that you no longer have to chase down payments from your clients. BandPay is a Stripe Verified partner and also works effortlessly with Plaid to connect any bank accounts. It’s like having your own accounts receivable department at your fingertips via an app.
Running a freelance business is not easy but it can be extremely rewarding to those who put in the work. We hope you find these tips helpful and wish you tons of success as you grow your freelancer business!
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