2019 – What a year it’s been. From family crisis, to exciting new ventures. Let’s reflect on what the year has brought me and how I have managed being a freelancer.
2019 started out fairly exciting and fresh, with me directing a lot of my talent towards wanting to be more freelance in the businedss of website creating and content creation.
Of course on the outside, it always sound a little more exciting that the reality of it. Going freelance requires a lot of work and I had to learn many hard lessons along the way, which taught me what to do and what not to do if I decide to make this into a permentant thing. Almost like a business I suppose.
It started in late November 2018, when I realised I needed to work out a plan on what I was going to do for work, after I graduated from Uni with my degree in Journalism, which was due for completion in March of 2019.
So, I took to Airtasker and started building myself a strong portfolio doping work for anyone, doing anything (especially in the space of admin, web content, writing and website designer), so people could hire me and even keep me for adhoc work outside of Airtasker.
I did everyting from creatinhg linkedin profiles, facebook profiles, instagram profiles, mailchimp newsletters and email drafts. I even attempted a resume writing task from someone. Like I said, I was grabbing everything in order t5o start building an online presence of what I could provide to clients (if you can call them that – I do anyway).
This work lead me straight through Christmas and New Year and continued at a very busy scale right through to March. I had made new friends, created incredible work for people (I promise I am not being bias), which I was so chuffed at myself for completing, as I forced myself to get out of my comfort zone and throw myself into the deep end.
I even started doing work on a site called Freelancer.com which was amazing, as a lot of the work was Russian and US based, meaning they paid in US dollar. This was not only great money, it was also an incredible way to build my portfolio working for clients overseas. Exciting. Some of which required work from me again later on in the year. Very cool.
Then I received the worst possible news about my degree. I was eligible to graduate (sigh), can you believe it? All the hard work I did and I couldn’t even graduate. Without getting too much into it, basically I am studying via correspondence, the organisation to which I was studying through had enrolled me into two final courses for the semester which weren’t even eligible to go towards my degree. Leaving me falling short of what was required for my GPA (Grade Point Average) and hence I could not graduate.
Worse still, the only courses available for me to complete in order to get my degree, were not all available in the same semester. I mean, could the news get any worse.
After crying, I picked myself back up and realised, there was nothingI could do. If I wasn’t eligable, I was eligable. I would just have to move forward with a resolution and get it done and that’s what I did.
Since then, I have continued to work for a variety of clients whilst still continuing my studies and developing a great relationship moving forward with those clients in order to keep the work flowing.
Here’s what I learned about creating your own freelance business:
- Get yourself an ABN. You don’t have to be a registered business for an ABN, you can register under your name as a sole trader, as you’re freelance. Make sure you don’t register for GST though, unless you feel you will be earning over the threshold amount of $75K a year. You can always register for GST later on, if you end up earning over 75K a year (cudos to you if you do – YAY!)
- If asked to do specific work, do yourself a favour and calculate the time you’ll need to do the work and give a fully quoted price to the client before comitting. If they agree to the price, request 10% upfront payment and then fihnal payment after delivery of the work. This is something I wasn’t doing, but I am doing now.
- Whether you already have or don’t have a PayPal account, do transtition over to a business PayPal account, so you can send invoices through PayPal. This makes the business side of things, where you need to keep a record of invoices, a lot cleaner, as PayPal records everything and you can even calculate GST if you are selling good etc, which is handy. Though I do have some clients who don’t like PayPal, so I also have a template for invoices which can be emailed to them via email.
- Keep a spreasheet (or use an accounting softeware program) to keep track of everything you have spend or everything you have earned from the business. This is only something I started doing recently (wish I did earlier). Basically, if you start keeping a better record of everyuthing you kept for your business, like phone calls, paper for printing, ink, transport to meet with clients – anything really. You can claim it back on tax, as you have an ABN. Yippie!
If you are going Freelance, goodluck and may the force be with you (is it considered copyright if I use that saying in this post?).