The only way to build a truly successful freelance business is to treat it as a business.
It’s not a “side hustle” or a “gig.”
If you want to make money and be able to pursue it full-time and make a good salary, you MUST have the entrepreneurial spirit and work ethic and MUST think in terms of “business,” not thinking of it as “something I do sometimes for friends.”
Merriam-Webster defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.”
Business News Daily states, “Most simply defined, an entrepreneur is a person who identifies a need and starts a business to fill that void.”
While we’re on the topic of quotes, one of my favorite quotes about success and entrepreneurship is from Walt Disney because it simply defines how I work and pursue my business.
Freelancing and Entrepreneurship
Freelancing is typically defined as working with multiple clients or companies instead of being permanently employed by a single company.
The biggest argument I see is when people say that freelancing is providing a service and entrepreneurs who start businesses are often providing a product of “solution.”
Here’s the thing: A good and successful freelancer TREATS their freelancing as a business.
In order to crush it and keep crushing it, you have to be entrepreneurial in your thinking and be strategic in your planning, and truly create a business.
Don’t think of it as “Oh, I’m just doing this thing and I enjoy it.” No. You are a businessperson building a successful company.
That is how you succeed. By being business-minded and not treating it as a hobby. It is your passion, yes. But it is also your business. Respect your work and your time and your value enough to treat it professionally.
Here are things I do to make my business as a writer, editor, and book coach successful:
- I am always marketing myself and look for opportunities.
- I spend a lot of time and energy on customer service — a happy customer will return, will refer others to you, and will enjoy working with you.
- I have a website I update regularly with my services.
- I have prices and packages for my services.
- I have processes and tools in place for my business processes, taking payments, invoicing, bookkeeping, and more.
- I have a contract in place with every client.
- I do sales calls regularly and have a tool for people to set up times to speak with me.
What Makes a Business “Successful”?
A business is typically considered successful if it:
- Is profitable
- Fills a void in the market
- Has happy/satisfied customers
- Is sustainable long-term
Sounds pretty simple when it’s broken down like that! Of course, execution is never that easy.
Do you think of freelancing as entrepreneurship? Why or why not?