My Freelance Business Plan

I’ve known I wanted to be a freelancer for over 6 years–finally, last month I took the plunge.

How the heck will I make any money?

Well, I’m glad you asked. As a new freelancer, there are people who think I’m crazy, leaving a stable job and a life where I manage to make ends meet every month, for a life that’s unpredictable, where I’ll never know where my next dollar is coming from. But what they don’t know is that I’ve got a plan.

The Big Bold Plan

In most lines of work when you want to start a business, a business plan is the obvious first step. Laying out what you plan to sell, to whom, how and financial projections. Just like in any other type of business, a freelancer needs to think about these questions. While it may be possible to freelance and make enough money to survive without thinking out an income strategy, life will be much easier with one in place.

Writing one doesn’t have to be complicated. Personally, there are three ways I plan to earn income–essentially, three services I will market and perform.

First, since my full time employment was as a writer/editor at a magazine company, I plan to continue pitching and writing for magazines. I left my company on good terms and my previous boss has agreed to give me a regularly paying gig as a monthly columnist.

Second, I’ll be pitching my skills as an editor to a number of ebook writers. I’ve already worked with a few authors and small business owners, helping them craft ebooks as a additional revenue stream for their businesses, and I want to grow my share of this market.

Third, I will continue to work as a freelance copywriter, helping small business owners put their passions into words. This includes writing website copy, brochures, press kits and other tools that help small businesses grow.

Go For the Goal

In order to hold myself accountable and ensure my biggest fears don’t come true and I don’t run my savings account dry with nothing to show for it, I’ve set a number of goals for myself.

I’ve estimated my cost-of-living and created an excel sheet with my savings, how much I plan to pay myself each month, and financial income goals… which all sounds really boring, but I’ve already booked enough work to make my September and October goals and being able to see how things will work out has helped ease my fears of the future.

In order to share with the big wide world that I’m open for business (and to bring in work so I can hit my November-and-beyond goals) I’ve been guest posting at a number of sites, revamping my social media accounts, doing some advertising and doing a hell of a lot of pitching. I’m planning to create an ebook on how to set up a basic wordpress website, since that’s something I get asked about at least twice a week.

Superb Support

Finally, I have a number of people who are helping me making this possible. First, there are my fellow freelancers–people really doing it–who have volunteered their knowledge and experience. They willingly share what they know and offer their advice when asked. Second, I have a number of industry connections who have promised me work and recommendations. Third, I have my family and friends, who are excited to watch me take on this new adventure… and an adventure it will be.

Freelancers, what do you wish you’d done before going full time that I haven’t mentioned here? Do you have a business plan? And for the other newbie’s out there…. Any questions on my plans that might help you in the future? 

[Photo credit: user Lauren Garza]

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