Tips to thrive as a freelancer in Singapore, Money News
Freelancing is a great way to make a living while having a flexible schedule and lots of industry involvement. Freelancers can also choose where to work.
This flexibility allows people to work on multiple projects at the same time or to add a freelance job to their main job as extra income. However, being a freelancer doesn’t guarantee you will be successful. Check out some of our tips on how to be successful as a freelancer.
Choose your niche
Before you go looking for a job, you need to find out where your expertise lies. It helps to build from something you’ve worked on before or are very interested in. First, make a list of the skills you have and choose a few that are complementary to each other.
For example, if you choose to do web development, related skills can be computer graphics and web design. Three things to keep in mind are:
- You like to practice the skills that you would like to offer as a freelancer. There’s no point doing something you don’t like.
- They are experienced and competent in this ability. You are expected to have the skills you have chosen.
- You can find customers interested in paying for your services. Many people will try to pay less than the regular price for their work, or asked you to do so for free as a favor. Always know the value of your work and look for customers willing to pay.
Lean in and build your personal network
One of the best ways to start working as a freelancer is to get referrals from previous clients and your personal network. Referrals act as testimonials for potential customers and can help get your name out there.
This will help you build a network and lead to even more referrals in the future. There’s no shame in asking for a referral. Remember, the worst a customer can say is no.
Another way to find work is to create a website that advertises your services through content marketing or search engine optimization (SEO). You can attract potential customers after you have created a platform that shows your work and skills.
The third way to get customers is to manually access platforms like MyCareers and UpWork. Signing up on one of these freelance platforms and creating a profile can help you find jobs related to your area of expertise, which makes the process a lot easier.
These platforms also allow you to compare yourself to other freelancers doing similar work, thus evaluating the prices and services offered across the industry.
Determine your fee
Establishing a fee structure is one of the more complicated tasks of becoming a freelancer. Many freelancers add up their personal expenses, such as mortgage and grocery expenses, to calculate their fee. However, this method can leave you out of work. Your fees are not related to your expenses.
Many freelancers get nervous and suffer from fraud syndrome while others over-load without realizing that others are charging much less for the same job.
The easiest way to determine your fee is to look at others who are offering the same service and pay yourself an appropriate amount.
However, if you are leaving a full-time job, there is another method that can help.
Sumeet Goel, founder of HighPoint Associates, a consulting firm with independent advisors, recommends dividing your full-time annual pay by 250 (number of billable days after sick leave, vacation, etc.) and adding 30 percent.
Take this number and compare it to the industry averages and the rates you got from your network and adjust when you feel fit.
In addition, many freelance jobs are seasonal, so you’ll need to change your tariffs or be more detailed about your tariffs throughout the year. For example, photographers charge certain hourly rates, but during the wedding season it makes sense to increase the hourly rate.
The other way to set prices is to have wedding photography as a separate category under your fees. This way all wedding jobs are covered all year round.
Remember to save money during dry spells as freelance work is not guaranteed. It is best to be prepared when you are going through a period when your trade is not in high demand.
As recommended by CreativesAtWork co-founder and chief businesswoman Jayce Than, you should save 6 months on living expenses by the end of 6 months. “You will know if freelancing is for you at all.”
A great way to ensure that you are spending efficiently is to use the cashback and rewards you get with credit cards towards your daily expenses. Here are some of the best cards on offer in Singapore.
Establishment using an accountant and contractual issues
As a freelancer, you are now considered self-employed. This brings with it some complications than a normal job.
Many may assume that the best way to get started is to register as a business. However, if you operate your business under your full name in Singapore, there is no legal obligation to register the business. If you want to save money, it may be wise not to register.
Some freelancers may choose to register the company as it adds credibility to their work and opens up other opportunities such as government tenders.
You should also get your first contract with a lawyer. Once you know the pros and cons of your contract and know how to create a contract, you can edit customer contracts independently.