How To Successfully Transition From Freelancer to Business Owner
It can be hard to tell where your freelancing career is heading. Do you want to keep doing freelance work for others? Or do you want to transition into a business of your own? It’s not an easy decision, nor is determining which one is right for you. Even if you love your current clients and feel like you’re still in your niche, you might not be making enough money as a freelancer to support yourself. Transitioning from freelancer to business owner is the best option for some freelancers and not others. If you’re ready to take the leap, read on to uncover the details you need to know.
What is the difference between a Freelancer and Business Owner?
Freelancers and business owners have different goals in mind, which can make the difference between success and failure. When you’re a freelancer, you’re contracting your services out to other businesses or individuals. You typically work a W2 job and may freelance on the side as a hobby or for additional income. As a freelancer, you are not responsible for any of the business expenses, taxes, or other responsibilities of a business owner.
A business owner, on the other end, is responsible for every expense and detail of the company. When you’re a business owner, you’re working for yourself. You’re also trying to bring in clients and make a profit, but in both cases, you’re using your portfolio of work to show off who you are and what you do.
Is transitioning for you?
What are the skills needed for each of these roles? While you may have the talent or experience needed to start a freelance business, you may not have what it takes to run a business. If you want to start your own business, you’ll need to have certain skills. What do you need to know to be successful? What are the common pitfalls to avoid? By understanding the skills needed for each role, you can decide if it’s right for you.
When starting a business will you have the funds or knowledge to handle tasks such as accounting, marketing, etc.. Are you comfortable pitching, meeting and talking to clients? How are you with time management and business processes? Do you have sales skills? These are areas you need to review especially if you won’t have the funds to outsources. Many business owners were several or all of the hats in the beginning and this can affect your success.
Tip: If you are currently working and freelancing on the side, this is a great way to build your business while still bringing in a steady income. Once you’ve decided that being a business owner is for you, implement the following areas and then put in your notice to leave. This sets you up for a easier transition by addressing and implementing the tools you’ll need beforehand.
Learn what your Client Wants
Clients buy products and services because they solve a problem or meet a need. When you’re a business owner, you’re trying to figure out what clients want, too. When you’re a freelancer, you’re probably serving a niche for which there’s little demand. As a business owner, you’re trying to figure out what niche you can serve with your expertise.
Choose a Niche
Before you move forward with the transition, you’ll want to choose your niche. Now that you know what your client wants it’s easier to pick a niche. Choosing a niche before you transition keeps you focused while you’re still freelancing. As a freelancer, you’re exploring different niches and trying to find the right fit for you. During the process, you’ll realize that some niches are better than others.
I recommend not only pick a niche that is needed but one that you will love doing. This way it doesn’t feel like work because you are doing what you love. Choosing a niche will help you determine what your specific client want, how to market to them and set S.M.A.R.T goals.
Set Business Goals
Now that you’ve chosen a niche, it’s time to set business goals. Setting measurable and concrete goals for your business will help you to stay focused on the most important tasks. It’s important to set both short- and long-term goals for your business, as well as measurable goals. You can also set goals for your marketing activities like generating leads or increasing social engagement.
Goals are helpful because they keep you focused on the things that matter most to your business. They also help you track your progress, which is important for motivating your team members.
There are many different types of goals you can set for your business. You can aim to reach X of sales by XX/XX/XXXX or get 10,000 social media following by 3rd quarter. Setting goals will help you stay motivated and productive.
Build an Brand
You’ll want to build your brand while you’re still a freelancer as mentioned above. Building your brand while you’re still freelancing will help you transition successfully. When you’re a freelancer, you’re building the brand that will help you transition into your new line of work once the time comes. You’re showing potential clients who you are and what you do.
To build your brand, start by reflecting on your brand values and how you want to be seen by others. What is the message you want your clients to take away from your brand? Be authentic, transparent, and real; provide value through content; be helpful and empathetic; and create a strong connection with your audience to achieve this.
Brand-building doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are actively working on it, you can see results over time. Remember be consistent.
The Who, What and Where of Marketing
When you’re a freelancer, marketing is typically not a main priority. When you own a business, marketing is about attracting new clients, building their brand, keeping their existing clients, and growing their list.
Marketing is a process that helps brands engage with their clients and stakeholders. It is a set of activities that are structured to create an image or awareness about a brand, product or service. It is extremely important knowing your target audience. Creating an ideal client avatar will help you maximize your marketing efforts. The activities involved in marketing are mainly divided into three main categories:
Inbound marketing: Inbound marketing is all about attracting the right kind of clients to your brand by creating content that solves their problems.
Outbound marketing: Outbound marketing is all about reaching out to your target audience through advertising and promotion.
Content marketing: Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing that helps you to create content that is valuable for your clients.
Transitioning from freelancer to business owner is a big leap, but it’s one that can pay off in huge ways. If you’re ready to make the transition, now is the time. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to business owner success.
How Can We Help?
Ready to rebrand? We can help you every step of the way.