Freelancers aren’t simply creative people who work in whichever field they choose. They aren’t only independent designers, programmers, authors, and bloggers; They’re entrepreneurs.
When you own a business, you’re effectively a one-man show, and you’re responsible for everything that falls under the operations that keeps the show running. They handle everything from financing to marketing to customer service.
If you’re considering becoming a freelancer, here’s what will keep you busy.
Roles Of Freelancers
Freelancers, regardless of their industry, are on their own:
1. Accountant/Finance Manager
Freelancers are in charge of their financial management. They keep their books, file their own taxes, stress over 2 cents they can’t find in their ledger, and suffer the price if they don’t file their taxes on time.
Although most freelancers ignore their taxes and have a poor filing system, you’ll see a lot of them going wild around tax time.
Tip: To avoid difficulties and fines down the road, take the time to look for and invest in a good accounting system or use Refrens platform for generating invoices, creating quotations, expenditure management, and much more.
2. Manager Of Human Resources
While you get to make fun decisions like which clients to take on and which to let go of, you also have to motivate yourself to come to work even if you’re sick. You don’t get paid sick days, after all.
HR is also responsible for dealing with difficult clients and finding freelancers to subcontract your work. You’re the only one who can make a difference.
Tip: You won’t be able to get out of this one. HR concerns will not arise as frequently if you serve your customers well.
3. Manager Of Public Relations
Freelancers are their public relations firms. No one else is going to speak poetically about their job or business. They’re in charge of telling potential clients how great they are, how they assist their clients to succeed through their work, and how easy it is to work with them.
They also deal with the fallout from angry customers and any other issues that arise.
Tip: A freelancer’s favorite PR weapon is social media. Fortunately, if you use social media correctly, getting your PR done should only take a few minutes each day.
4. Marketing Department
If the only jobs would just fall into our laps because we’re skilled at it, but that never happens.
Freelancers must actively and consistently market their businesses to attract clients, not just when they are looking for new work or clients.
No matter how good our job is, if we don’t advertise ourselves, no one will know about it or us. It’s one of those daily tasks that can eat up as much time as the actual work itself.
Tip: Instead of focusing on time-consuming marketing activities, identify a few modest, quick-to-implement marketing methods and implement them regularly. Read our article on A Freelancer’s Marketing Manifesto to know more.
5. Customer Service Team
Did you think your days of conversing with clients, answering their queries, and listening to their concerns were over? Reconsider your position. A freelancer’s priority is to satisfy a client.
Clients will drop you like an open flame if you don’t take their issues seriously.
Tip: Clients are essential to the success of a freelance business. Treat them like gold, go out of your way to ensure that they satisfy with your work, and ask them questions before starting work for more clarity. Hence, reap the rewards of a good client-freelancer relationship.
6. Administration Manager
There are certainly days when you feel more like a secretary than a freelancer if you’ve been freelancing for a while. Meetings, deadlines, and interviews might take up to half a day if you’re not careful.
Your calls and emails will not be screened by anyone. When you add filing and organizing your files to the mix, it’s almost as if you have a second job in addition to freelancing.
Tip: This is why, if they can afford it, many freelancers hire virtual assistants. They may not be able to get you coffee, but they can certainly help you schedule and organize your work!
Alternatively, make sure you file, schedule, and organize everything as it arises.
7. Debt Collector
The hard reality of freelancing is unpaid invoices. Thankfully, if you choose your collaborators carefully, they won’t happen frequently. However, if this occurs, you must be the one to pursue the client for payment.
Tip: Make sure you have a well-written contract in place that spells out the payment terms. Send your bills on time, and if the invoice isn’t paid, impose a late fee. Time-tracking apps can be useful in various situations.
8. Manager Of Quality Control
When business is overflowing and deadlines are close together, freelancers may place a greater emphasis on completing projects on time rather than on the quality of their work.
Because you’re self-employed, you’re the only one who can guarantee the quality of your job.
Tip: Make a note of deadlines a few days before they’re due. This allows you enough time to check over your work and ensure that it is still of high quality. Keep track of your client’s requirements with creative briefs.
9. Salespeople Team
Freelancers do not sell goods or services. They offer services, and they sell their services. They put on their salesperson hat every time they contact potential clients.
This team collaborates with marketing, but it is ultimately this group that seals the deal.
Tip: It is their responsibility to persuade the potential client to hire them. It’s not an easy job but consider the advantages. A new client means more labor and money. It was well worth the effort!
10. Technician in Information Technology
There’s no one you can yell at if your computer crashes or your printer stops working for no apparent reason when you’re a freelancer. Freelancers are responsible for their equipment maintenance.
If the idea scares you, seek assistance with the setup and always preserve a backup.
Tip: Make sure you back up your files regularly and have multiple copies! Have backup plans in place for anything that might go wrong near a deadline. Alternatively, you could also hire a freelancer for IT department support if that’s not your forte.
Finally, don’t be concerned if you aren’t a multi-tasking genius. Moreover, most of us were terrible multi-taskers when we all first started. We all learn on the job, and you will as well. Don’t give up! Just keep going!!