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Whether you are a lawyer, accountant, marketer, sales executive or any other type of business professional, it can be very rewarding to use your education, training and expertise to earn a living. But to become a professional at what you do, you probably spent a lot of time and money developing your craft. You’ve probably also paid your dues as a full-time employee somewhere, self-financed or as part of a larger company or agency. And if that’s where you are today, you’ve no doubt considered breaking away from the machine and heading out on your own.
Maybe you’re professionally happy where things are, and you don’t want any change. That’s totally okay. But if you’re thinking about jumping off a ship and heading out on your own, you’re not alone. According to statistic“It is expected that by 2027, 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the U.S. and will make up 50.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce.”
The rise of the self-employed professional
The reason why so many business professionals decide to give up 9-to-5 and venture out on their own is complex and varied. But some of the most frequently cited reasons are a desire for greater flexibility, independence and growth potential. For the most part, becoming an independent service provider allows professionals to have more say in where they work, how they work, and when they work. Independent professionals can also choose whether potential projects are a good fit for you or not. They can also learn new skills whenever and however they want.
But one of the biggest benefits of becoming an independent professional is the income potential. As a wage earner, unless you have a great bonus structure, you will receive your agreed salary. It doesn’t matter if you work 40 hours or 80 hours, or if the company is making $1 million or $100 million. Better performance can equate to better job security. However, it rarely means more money.
Not only employees think freelancing is a good idea. A recent Upwork Survey found that as a result of the pandemic, 53% of companies say remote working has increased their willingness to employ gig professionals. And 71% of hiring managers said they plan to maintain or increase their use of freelancers. It therefore appears that the forthcoming supply of self-employed workers will be met with growing demand.
The point of it all is that there’s no better time than the present to chart your course as an independent professional services company. And to get you started, here are the first three steps to take:
Related: The Career Shift From Working To Independent
Step 1: Start Networking and Build Your Brand
The best time to start your journey as an independent professional is when you still have an income. Join professional groups, attend business meetings and conferences, and work to get your name out there. Let people know you’re an expert in your field by writing opinion leadership articles, speaking at events, or guesting on podcasts. At the very least, use LinkedIn to post your thoughts and ideas. And once you get some traction, join networks like the londonbusinessblog.com Leadership Network.
You need to change your mindset and start thinking about yourself as a brand. Make it clear to others who you are and who you are not. Don’t inflate your qualifications, but don’t underestimate them either. Determine where you fit within the industry and niche area of your expertise. Then stay visible to your target group. Express your brand across all communication media – social media accounts, personal website, blogs, news articles, etc.
Related: 5 Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job to Become an londonbusinessblog.com
Step 2: Get your technology in order
You have to invest in technology early. As your practice grows, technology will play a key role in managing and scaling that growth by streamlining workflows and improving your business processes. And with the right platform, you can easily manage time-consuming processes like invoicing, customer communications, team collaboration, scheduling, and marketing. With more time in your day to focus on seamless and professional services, scaling your business becomes much easier.
Digital all-in-one platforms also make it easier to monetize your services in new ways. For example, suppose you are going to become an executive coach or consultant. With the right platform, you can go beyond just offering live sessions with clients. You can also enhance your services by creating pre-recorded sessions and courses, or broaden your live work by hosting classes, boot camps, group sessions, and more.
Related: Now’s the Best Time to Become an londonbusinessblog.com
Step 3: Be prepared to work harder than ever
If you are going out for yourself, the dream of a higher salary, more variety, flexibility and freedom will certainly be the wind that carries you forward. After all, these are some of the main reasons people choose to become self-employed professionals. But with dreams it is also good to stay with reality. And the biggest reality you’re likely to face is the fact that you’ll be working harder than ever before.
That is why it is so important to consciously choose a field and specialty that you absolutely love. You will live and breathe it, day in and day out, for years to come (hopefully). It will all be worth it though. You’re going to do what you love.
As you build your practice by investing in your brand, making good use of technology, and working hard, you’ll be making an investment that will pay off for years to come. The freedom, variety, income and sense of a higher purpose that you have dreamed of will be there. And it all starts with step number one.