5 pieces of advice to begin as a freelance
Marie is an Occupational Therapist (OT), she worked 5 years in France and is currently freelancing as an OT in Japan. For Expatilt, she gives us 5 tips to begin a freelance activity.
1) Be patient and motivated
Starting a freelance activity takes time and effort. You have to be patient before the community knows you. Stay motivated and don’t get discouraged can be difficult, but it is the only way to develop your project and activity.
2) Be available and flexible
When you work as a freelance, it is important to be available for your clients. Your schedules must consider their availability so be flexible (time and place). It means working in early mornings, lunch times, evenings... and sometimes during the weekends.
3) Be proactive
Working as a freelance does not mean that you have to work alone! Exchange with other colleagues, share experiences... it will keep yourself motivated! Make new contacts, learn about new trends in your sector... you will improve your skills for your clients. You have to develop your professional and social network to work in good conditions.
4) Develop your professional network
You have to communicate, to network, to meet other professionals of your sector. Talk about your profession, specificity... Making yourself know and developing your notoriety is the most important thing to do when you freelance. Multiply the efforts to be visible to the community. The word of mouth from your clients is your best asset to find new clients and be known from other professionals.
5) Anticipate the shortfall
Before beginning your activity, you should budget the shortfalls in order to start your activity in good conditions. Make a provisional budget for the next 3 years, so that you can test the viability of your project and act/plan accordingly.