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Everybody has the odd expectation that every freelancer works from their bed in their best pajamas. Media have made the unfair PJs cliché popular, creating a world in which freelancers have a relaxed and somewhat lazy approach to life. It’s fair to say that for anybody who’s considering starting an independent career, it will take a lot of time and effort to convince your audience that you’re a professional and respectable expert.
However, you are your biggest enemy. In a world where freelancing equals PJs work and invisible flexibility, the first person you need to convince that you mean business is yourself. Indeed, the image of freelancing, as advertised by the media, might be compelling at first, but it lacks guidance in terms of how to make the most of your time. When you don’t know anything about how to organize your day and plan your work routine as a solo expert, it’s easy to fall in the trap of the media and believe that working from home makes you lazy. But you need to learn to take yourself seriously first if you want others to follow.
You need a network which believes in you
If you’re not the most self-confident individual, you are likely to struggle at first to establish yourself as an expert. When you are on your own, it can be daunting to approach the market and introduce yourself as the new professional in town. But you can smooth out self-esteem obstacles by surrounding yourself with people who believe in your skills. Every home-based business needs a reliable network that serves any of the following purposes: advising, cheering, and exchanging. If you happen to find a mentor, you can benefit from their wisdom for guidance. Your close friends and relatives can keep you motivated. Finally, your local business network is the perfect place to share and exchange skills and strategies.
You need a real workplace
Let’s get real; just because the media claim that freelancers work from their bedroom doesn’t mean you have to use your bed as a primary workplace. You need to create for yourself a workstation that encourages you to stay productive. Create a quiet clutter-free nook at home where you can keep your laptop and a desk. Remember to add a few plants for good measure; they boost your concentration by 15%! If home isn’t the place to work, what’s stopping you from using desk share services? There are plenty of cozy office spaces that rent out desks with all the facilities you need.
Your brand becomes your identity
Companies use their unique brand and business culture to define who they are. Solo experts, on the other hand, find it a little more complicated to hide behind a logo. However, determining what your brand is will greatly affect how others perceive your expertise. In a world where there is no shortage of talented creative, your personal brand is a powerful differentiator that conveys your business personality. Creating a brand stops you from being that freelancer in a PJs and lets you become a respectable professional.
If you’ve worked all of your life in an office environment, taking your first step as an independent professional can be daunting. But you need to build the necessary structure to be taken seriously, firstly by yourself and then by the market.