How to Work From Home With These 7 Practical Ideas

The relentless march of technological progress is making it possible for more people than ever to take control of their schedules by working from home. For many, this means a more flexible schedule under their existing employment, but for others, it means breaking free of the nine-to-five paradigm entirely.

As with most freedoms in life, many additional responsibilities come with working from home. Taking a leap like that is understandably frightening, which is why I’ve put together these seven actionable ideas to help you on your journey.

1. Surround Yourself With Positivity

There is something to be said for surrounding yourself with people who do not bring negativity into your life, but this tip refers more to the positivity they can do for your career.

Networking is important in many fields, and as a freelancer working from home, you should look to make good use of this tool. You don’t have to be the most outgoing person on the planet-you don’t even need to attend events-but you should look to surround yourself with the right people. Doing so will ensure your chances of being in the right place at the right time are much greater.

2. Become Multi-Skilled

While many of us will specialize in a particular field, it pays to broaden our horizons. Working for yourself means you will have to provide the complete package when you go hunting for clients.

For the most part, your specialty will be enough, but you might be surprised at how often being able to offer additional services will net you work that might otherwise have gone to someone else.

Of course, you shouldn’t take a scatter-brained approach to the skills you learn. Think about what will benefit your client. If you are writing ad copy, being able to provide voice-over work would be a useful additional skill in your field. Being able to repair motorcycles may also be a useful skill, but it’s not likely to come up when dealing with ad copy.

3. Become a Brand

Treating yourself like a brand will ensure that you are on a track to success. Brands constantly have to make decisions regarding whether a particular association or project aligns with their image, and that is because their branding reinforces their market presence. This can mean turning down work because it is not appropriate for your brand, which can be a little scary when you’re first starting out and are worried about getting enough work.

By ensuring you stay “on brand”, customers will know what to expect from you. Essentially, I’m just talking about your reputation, but branding is a little more involved, as you must consider things like whether a potential organization might be a bad association for you.

4. Market Yourself Effectively

Another aspect of working for yourself is that you will have to become your own marketing department, which is often one of the scariest aspects of going it alone. Fortunately, there is a great deal of work you can do in this area that doesn’t involve making sales pitches for potential clients.

LinkedIn is a great tool in this regard. Furthermore, a well-put-together LinkedIn profile will make it much easier to do some of the networking I talked about earlier. Social media can also be an excellent tool for marketing yourself and don’t be afraid to call any real-life contacts you might have established in your former nine-to-five life.

5. Understand Your Worth

When first starting out working from home, it’s very tempting to undervalue yourself, especially if you have no reputation to take with you from your old work life. You need to “get on the board”, so to speak, and offering your services for free or extremely discounted rates can get you some work early on.

This can work, but it is not the most forward-thinking approach. For one thing, it starts you out on a bad precedent. Once you have established a relationship with a client, charging them more will be seen as a negative change. Another problem is that under-valuing yourself is not as effective in the long run.

Sure, you might start earning more quickly, but it will take much longer to start landing the kind of work that pays well than it would if you focus on your branding and associate with the right people.

6. Don’t Over-Commit

While it can be a little difficult to get the ball rolling initially, many successful freelancers soon find themselves in the position of having too much on their plate to keep up. When you find yourself approaching this stage, you will need to master the art of saying “no”.

Granted turning work down feels counterintuitive, and you may even lose clients over it, so be sure to think carefully about whom you say no to. That being said, if you over-extend yourself and start missing deadlines or delivering subpar work, it will seriously damage your brand, and that will be much worse in the long run than losing a client or two because you had too much work on.

7. Be Yourself!

Always remember that you are not a huge corporation… or even a small one. When you step out into the workplace on your own, you will be at a disadvantage in many areas. The key to success is not to compete with companies, but to provide something they don’t.

Many clients prefer the personal touch, and would rather come to a freelancer with whom they can speak directly and form a working relationship. Play to your strengths, and that means not trying to be something you’re not.

Final Thoughts

It is important to remember that you can’t win them all. You will be forced to make decisions that will result in some clients going elsewhere, but that is an unavoidable reality of business. The trick is to do what you do as best you can and focus on the customers that want that, not the ones that don’t.

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How to Work From Home With These 7 Practical Ideas

by | Dec 13, 2023

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