Last month I said goodbye to my full time office job to work for my myself as a wedding videographer. I'd been juggling the two jobs for around 10 months but now I'm in full freelance mode. So making the transition from 9-5 to freelance sounds like a dream right, no more commuting and working from the comfort of your own home - what's not to like? Well as any freelance will know it's not all coffee dates and glam offices! I wanted to share with you guys my freelance journey so far and how to make the transition as smooth as possible.
DISCIPLINE & ROUTINE
As a freelancer it's good to have discipline, it's not ideal to be napping all day and watching re runs on Netflix! So with that is mind, having a balanced routine sets you up for the day. I like to make the most of my day and get up early, do pilates, have breakfast before I get stuck in with my work. If you're used to having a 9-5 routine, it's still ok to take a proper lunch break. Define times when you're on and offline, when you stop responding to work emails and if you're going to work weekends. Every freelance journey will be different but don't feel like you have to burn yourself out or work 8 hours a day. You have the freedom to be flexible with your time, create a healthy work routine - it's so important for your sanity!
Working for yourself, there's no one checking up if you've done your admin and sorted out your paperwork. So start getting organised! Every business is different but get a system that works for you. File and keep track of all your expenses and income. File your invoices, client contracts and submit your tax returns on time. Use a calender system to plan deadlines etc. If you're thinking of making the move to working for yourself full time I would recommend having a business plan in place (lots of free templates online) so you're clear on what services you're offering, who your potential clients are and your business goals. You are your own brand manager now!
FINANCES IN ORDER
Before going freelance, it make sense to get your finances in order. You don't know when your next pay check is coming so before you make the leap, make sure you have savings, start budgeting and planning out your monthly in and outgoings. Have a separate account for your business finances, it'll make it easier keeping track of your expenses. Freelancing is unpredictable so plan ahead if there'll be quiet months in your line of work and if there are ways to make extra income? Working in the wedding industry there are seasons when it's busy and seasons when it's quiet. So I have to accept some months are going to be more hectic than others!
BUILDING A NETWORK & BE PART OF THE COMMUNITY
Even if you love your own company, it's nice to reach out to those who understands what you're going through. Get to know other people in your field, because going from working with a lot of colleagues to being by yourself can be lonely! I've made connections with photographers and videographers, this is great to pass on referrals too. I've been active on Facebook, joining Facebook groups specifically for wedding film makers and female videographer groups, who arrange meet ups and share thoughts online. It's nice to be able to chat to other like minded people, like with blogging as well :)
Of course every freelancer journey is different and it won't be for everyone. It's unpredictable and can be a lot of hard work, when you have to wear so many hats. The best thing for me though is the freedom and making my own choices and decisions for my business. It's really liberating! I would love to hear about your freelance journey and how you're bossin' it! How have you found it? Or if you're thinking of making the jump to working for yourself, let me know if you have any questions?
What are your thoughts on working for yourself?