In this article, I have taken the time to compose 10 rules to create for yourself as a freelancer.

As a freelancer, you are not working for or under anyone, and for that reason, you are your own boss.

And working for yourself as a beginner might make you feel insecure, even if it’s a professional you’ve specialized on for years.

Another thing is that you will often feel tired out or lazy because there is no one there to shout you up or order you around to make you active.

Therefore, in order to be your own boss and become successful as a freelancer, you really need to create and stick to certain rules.

And once you are able to do so, you will find out that you have both become your own boss who can shout yourself up or order you around to become very active.

Below are 10 rules to create for yourself as a freelancer.

Read also: How To Convince Your Clients As A Freelancer.

1. Have a schedule that you stick to.

One of the disadvantages of being your own boss is the temptation of doing whatever you want and whenever you want.

But it will do you more good if you have a work schedule already set in place, and above all else stick to it.

Never try to take advantage of the freedom that comes with freelancing and become idle.

You can let your schedule morph from the typical 9-5, or whatever time works best for you. Having a typical schedule is perfectly fine if it’s conducive to help you finish your projects.

And also make sure you put the time for break in your schedule, this is very necessary to avoid over working yourself.

Another thing you have to do is to include your clients in your schedule as well.

Let them know your working hours and when it’s time you will not respond to calls and emails; unless it’s a sort of emergency that will require your assistance.

2. Rise up early as possible everyday.

Freedom always comes with a price, and as a freelancer you might always be tempted to stay in bed for that long in the morning.

Incase a client calls for an emergency and you are not already out from bed, it might take a considerable long time for you to prepare and meet up with the emergency.

3. Always start with the hardest tasks.

It is certain that additional distractions will always come up when you are at work.

And the simplest way to avoid this is to concentrate on the hard tasks and finish them first; so that if the distraction crawls up, you will have been free by then.

With regards to scheduling tasks, never attempt to force yourself to try and accomplish too much in one day.

Pick like 3 non-negotiable tasks, then everything else you’re able to get done will feel like a bonus.

4. Learn how to Say, “No” at times.

Especially when you are getting started, you will always be tempted to say yes to every job opportunity that presents itself.

But what if you already have a bigger job at hand and a small one you might make quick money crawls up?

Never attempt to abandon that big work to pursue the smaller one incase you loose out on even both.

“A bird at hand is worth a thousand in the bush” as some say.

Another thing you have to look out for is when someone tries to give you a job as a third party.

That is to say, the person has already collected the job and wants to use you as the person who will do the job for a certain sum.

As for new clients, if additional meetings is required; make sure you charge them for it. And if someone still wants a meeting when there’s a price tag attached, that might actually send a signal that the meeting can or will be good for your business.

Also learning how to say no will entail saying no to friends who invite you out for lunch or fun on a workday because they know you are “free.”

Also, it’s super fine to indulge occasionally, but don’t make it a habit of going out with people anyhow if you plan on being a freelancer.

5. Always sign a contract before you begin any work.

One thing about freelancing is that you are your own boss, and the only person who is going to care what happens to you.

There is no legal department or HR that will be there to ensure all the i’s and t’s are crossed.

And for that reason, you have to protect yourself.

So make sure you file all the necessary documents and sign a contract that has at least a deposit fee before you begin any work.

Read also: How To Start Freelancing In 2022 (Complete Beginner’s Guide).

6. Be honest with your clients and own up to your mistakes.

There are times you will miss a deadline and stay on a project longer than is would have been.

When issues like this come up always make sure you are honest with your client, instead of waiting until the problem gets out of hand.

No one is above mistakes, and supposing you end up with a client that lacks this understanding, it’s wiser to terminate the contract and probable refund the fees to put yourself on the safe side.

On that note, always make your due dates well ahead of the deadline in order to mitigate this potential issue.

7. Deliver beyond your clients expectation.

The best tpe of marketing that will keep clients coming back for more as well as recommending you to potential clients is delivering a final project beyond the clients expectation.

This will make the clients never willing to hire another freelancer knowing they have one who is more than consistent.

8. Check your analytics.

There is no way you will discover you are growing if you don’t keep track of your progress.

Below are the few things you should keep track of:

  1. Track time and corresponding earnings to determine your rate per hour. Comparing how this rate differs from client to client as your time starts to fill up, will help you to determine which clients might not make sense to keep around if there are more lucrative projects on the line that pays a better rate.
  2. Track earnings (both billed and paid) month over month to determine if you need to hustle for new jobs (although you should always be hustling since client churn is inevitable).
  3. Track your social media growth if you are going to use these mediums to grow your personal brand/drive leads to your website. 

9. Concentrate also on marketing your own brand.

In a bid of trying to please your clients and grow your business, it is very easy to forget your own personal branding efforts.

But if you invest your time and energy into your personal brand, it can really help you to attract high paying clients, make money from affiliate marketing or build an audience for other passive income activities.

And for that reason, ever let your social media, blog or email list be idle for too long.

You need to do some level of marketing and sales to stay relevant in business.

10. Be Discriminating with the Clients You Work with.

If your instinct is saying that something is not right, it sure isn’t.

So you have to be your own boss and learn how to identify and listen to red flags for your own safety.

At the beginning of your relationship, it will be very hard to recognize these things; but you must learn how get out of a bad situation if it is affecting your mental health.

After all that is the beauty of freelancing.

You should avoid working with anyone who does not seem to understand the value you are bringing to their business.

Conclusion.

Be your own boss. It may seem like a pipe dream at first, but you’ll grow into it by creating rules that can be broken after you’ve created a good basic structure.

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Last modified: December 12, 2021

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