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Treat Your Freelancing Career as a True Business

Remember when you had a nine-to-five job that was killing you? It messed with your internal circadian biological clock. It exhausted you, depressed you, and made you irritable most of the time. You had no time to exercise, unwind, or enjoy your family life.

It even forced you to ask heartbreaking questions about the meaning of life.

Working on a laptop
Now you face a different set of challenges. You have more freedom than structure, and less money and more month. But these obstacles are not formidable. Let’s discuss three tools you can use to create structure and three techniques you can use to bring in the money.

3 Tools for Freelancers

  1. Protect Your System

While there is a lot of freeware available, some things are worth paying for. Data protection and virus protection software is on the top of the list. On the surface, free antivirus products have similar features to commercial antivirus products. They both have similar antivirus detection features and similar ways to block malware.

However, with paid antivirus products, you get bonus features. In fact, the whole programs functions like an entire security suite. You’ll get phishing filters, spam features, anti-theft tracking, and an excellent firewall.

  1. Get focused

One of the biggest issues faced by freelancers is getting tasks done on time. Many things can distract you. Mood swings. Commenting on Facebook or Quora. Dealing with telephone interruptions. You may also take too long on one project which takes away time from another project.

The solution to getting focused is to do it in bursts. In traditional jobs, you learn how to be a marathoner. You hang in there — despite constant distractions — until you complete a project. As a freelancer, you will get better results if you’re more like a sprinter. You work best in short, measurable bursts.

By using the Pomodoro Technique, you work in 25 minute periods and take five minutes of rest. You segment all your tasks and get them done one after another.

A program like the Focus Booster uses the Pomodoro Technique. It gives you the added benefit of creating reports to measure productivity and progress.

  1. Stay Organized

Good freelancers are excellent project managers. Whether you work alone or outsource some of your work, you need to get good at it. You must learn how to create causal relationships for all your tasks.

If you have a lot of clients, this can become overwhelming. Software programs like Casual transform tasks into visual charts to map out all your processes. Defining your workflow will go a long way in helping your business thrive.

3 Techniques for Freelancers

  1. Think like your customers.

Do you want to get into your customers’ heads? If you know what they’re thinking it could improve your marketing. You could see your sales pitch through their eyes. You could get insight about buying signals. You could address their true desires.

A successful business is successful for one primary reason: they understand their customers. They understand their goals and desires. They understand their fears and frustrations. They know their characteristics and buying habit.

  1. Prefer Content Marketing over Advertising

Content marketing is the most effective thing you can do to build your brand. Write blog posts. Make YouTube videos. Contribute guest posts. Make your own infographics for Pinterest. Tasks like these allow people to get to know, like, and trust you. They establish your authority in your niche.

It’s time and labor intensive, but it works much better than traditional advertising.

Content marketing works because advertising is dying.

One way to appreciate the value of content marketing is to look at what came before. This was advertising. Advertising still works. But there is now so much of it that people are often blind to stunning graphics and deaf to eloquent promises.

When you think about it, most advertising fails most of the time. That said, a lot of money is still spent on it. Even ingenious campaigns fail after a time. While there are a few successes, you’re throwing away your money most of the time.

It’s a little like using an aircraft carrier to go fishing. Success is statistical, based on the tiny percentage that responds.

What happens to most direct mail and online sales letters? People trash or delete them. You’re better off creating content with an almost infinite shelf life on the Internet.

  1. Practice Stress Management Techniques

Stress management techniques can be simple. Take long walks in nature, meditate, contemplate, or get a regular massage.

As an entrepreneur you are under quite a bit of stress. If you don’t learn to manage it, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • ·  Insomnia, which creates fatigue.
  • ·  Eating more comfort food, which leads to weight gain
  • ·  Irritated by minor things, which triggers relationship conflicts.

Stress affects your central nervous system. It impacts your digestive system. And it compromises your immune system. Chronic stress causes premature aging and most major illnesses.

Look Back at How Far You’ve Come

Remember the long commute, and feeling overworked and underpaid. Think back on how you used to have that gnawing feeling that there had to be a better way. Now you’ve found it, and it was hiding in plain sight. Your side hustle turned into a business and you became your own boss.  Now get good at structuring your time better and bringing in the money.

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