Leverage your network → most likely the people you already know will be your first “customers” or will refer you to your first customers…so use your friends…tell them what you are working on and what you want to use your skills to freelance for. This is the heart of Word of Mouth Marketing (WOMM) and can result in a TON of business. Don’t under estimate your existing contacts. Of course, don’t forget about building your Rolodex as well.
Build your Network → You may find it counter-intuitive to network with your “competition” or other freelancers in the same field, but this is essential to learning more about how you can succeed in your market. For instance, someone who has been freelancing successfully in your specific field can tell you critical things about where to advertise your skills, where to find potential customers, and perhaps what additional skills you should be learning in order to be a successful freelancer.
Your Fee → the point above directly ties in to you being able to determine the price of your services. By staying connected to fellow freelancers, you will be able to ask/find out what the market is like for your skills and what the going rates are.
Set your schedule → the great part about being a freelancer is that you choose exactly what you want to work on and when you want to work on it. The downside of that is you may say Yes to too many projects…without a boss overseeing your workload, you may take on too much…so be aware of how much time you actually have to devote to each project.
Be prepared for down time → Freelancing can be frustrating. You will only work when someone needs your skill set. So be aware that although your skillset may be incredibly useful, that does not mean you will get work every single day. That means your income will ebb and flow. Remember though, you are one of the few lucky people to actually have down time (remember, most people work in an office ALL DAY) so use this time to do what you want…reward yourself so you can recharge and get back to work when it flows in.