As a freelance worker, you should leave no room in your schedule for passivity and idleness. Part of the time, you should be actively soliciting projects or pitching your services to your target clientele.
That's why I'm a firm believer that once you've spent a year or two in the freelancing business and have established a regular cash flow, you must set aside a portion of your income on a few materials that can help you advertise your services and increase your number of clients.
Here are just several of the essentials on which you must spend as a freelance worker:
(1.) A business card
This is especially helpful when you attend networking events where potential clients may inquire about what you do. Have several of these tucked snugly inside your wallet should someone ask for your contact information.
You don't have to spend a fortune on your business card. Just make sure that you have it printed on high-quality card stock. Forget fancy designs and stick to a conservative color scheme and template.
(2.) A professional-looking letterhead
While communicating with your clients through email will save you plenty of time, there are instances when you have to resort to snail mail for several reasons: billing, proper documentation and filing, issues with confidentiality, etc.
Also, there are clients who may have forked out the amount you charged as a flat rate and down payment, but when you ask them to pay the remaining balance upon dispatching the complete work, some of them might try to negotiate with you to give them a longer deadline.
No matter what your clients say about not being able to pay on time, you must see to it that there are no fees left unpaid. Keep in mind that you are every bit like the professionals who are in a company's payroll, and you deserve to be remunerated for all your hard work and effort.
(3.) Your own brochure
As a freelancer, you may not be able to catch the attention of huge advertising agencies, but with a little bit of creativity, you can make your own press kit or write your own press release.
Most computers these days have a built-in publishing software, and a brochure is usually adequate to inform possible clients of your services. You may provide your price quote, or entice potential clients by mentioning "promos" (i.e. discount rates, or anything that you offer for half the price compared to your competitor).
Stay tuned, because in my next post, I'll cite the two remaining essentials that you should acquire to sustain your freelance business.