For a lot of freelancers, the first and most important step is to decide to start your personal journey to the market. Your first day sitting at your own desk - or the kitchen table or even on the sofa with your laptop - feels like the beginning of a liberating adventure. However, it's not an adventure that leaves a lot of room for self-doubts and idleness. If you want to survive as a freelancer, you know you have to work hard to remain visible on the market. But while you know that the only way to move a traditional career is through roles with increased responsibilities, the idea of moving your freelancing career forward can be confusing. Can you go even more independent than you already are?
The answer is yes. You can protect your independence and make it a core factor of your professional growth. And to do so, the only solution is to transform your freelancing lifestyle into an enterprise. You have to start a business.
You need to establish your company
What does it mean to start a company? As a freelancer, it means a dramatic change in taxes and structure. You'll find that a limited company doesn't follow the same tax regulations than a self-employed individual. More importantly, once you've gone through your limited company formation, you can use the new structure as a financial opportunity for growth. If your company has employees, you can even put yourself on the payroll so that you don't need to worry about self-assessment taxes anymore. Aside from tax advantages, an LTD company can appeal to a different kind of customers. Large companies are more likely to want to work with an established business, for instance.
Get your business out there
In this digital age, having a brand name isn't enough to exist. You need a brand message that engages with your audience. Ultimately, clients who worked with you when you were a freelancer already know and understand your values and ethics. However, your business now needs to make an impact on the market. This means that you have to communicate to your audience and your team the differentiating position of the company. Why should people want to work with you? You can't rely on words of mouth only. You have to shout about the things you can do better than your competitors and build your communication strategy.
Build a compelling portfolio
Can you use the testimonials of clients who knew you as a freelancer? While it's not recommended, during the early stages of the company, you can emphasise your experience and positive results through effective customer feedbacks. It's a good idea to mention as well what you've done for your customers how you've improved their day-to-day lives. When showcasing your work, do make sure that you receive explicit authorisation from all customers; as you could get into troubles for sharing data that are confidential. A video testimonial brings the best of both worlds as you can present engaging feedback and a work display at the same time.
Brilliant video testimonial example
Ultimately, if you're planning to grow your freelancing career, you will gain in creating a company. Aside from financial and marketing advantages, you can use your company to approach businesses that wouldn't otherwise work with you.