Start a Freelancing Life

Most of your problems may well be in your head. If you don’t get your mind state right, then you won’t be able to start afresh with a freelancing lifestyle business.

Sure, on the surface you need tech tools, systems, processes, and business strategy. But you can easily sabotage all you do if you don’t look after your mind state and body health.

The faster you can realise that everything is not freelancing and clients—everything is your whole life and positivity—the faster you can really get started.

Having a calm mind, stretching your body, controlled breathing, and time balance will actually help you deal with the stresses of pitching and client support—and dealing with record keeping, CRMs, websites and more!

So, what should you focus on when ready to start? First, a personal brand.

What is a Personal Brand?

You may be already at one with the brand you want—but personal brand is important.

“A personal brand is just you and your thing in pretty clothing”

Even though you may have selected a nice business name, you need to show yourself to the world through a ‘personal brand’. This is because in freelancing, the client is dealing with you directly and will only come to you once they trust you. They might even get to know you through networking, a hobby you pursue, old workplace, or alumni group.

A simple personal brand comprises:

  • A colour or set of colours that run through your marketing material, clothing, and sometimes even hair colour!
  • A set of values you portray and live by
  • Your superpower front and centre: this is your best skill
  • Your authentic voice and spirit in your writing or other content (blog, videos, lives)

This is why an immodest look at your key strengths and values will help you in forming a cohesive look and voice in your business.

Practical Freelancing Things

A practical look at your business foundations now… in Australia, you must have an ABN to invoice, but you only need a recorded business name if you have a non-surname business.

Invoicing and record-keeping is important right from the start.

While an Excel spreadsheet is fine for assessing costs and cashflow – after years of mucking about I found there is a lot of benefit in setting up your books in a shareable system, like Quickbooks Simple, Xero Lite (through your accountant), etc. The cost is low; about $15 a month.

You should see Quickbooks ‘Management Reports’ – all done for the year in 10 seconds! It will make you wonder why you ever bothered doing it manually.

If your tax needs are higher level, like GST/BAS accounting, Government sometimes offer free tax consultant webinars on record keeping, while your local accountant is usually able to give business structure and set-up advice at a reasonable fee. It could save a lot of money if you don’t actually need a company or trust at this stage. 

Technology and Marketing

Struggle through if you want, but your freelancer peers may be able to help set up your web hosting, SSL, plugins, new brand look in several sizes, and more. This will really help you fast start and not delay for months, wondering.

You can allow this hosting support through the collaborator section inside your web hosting.  

This is with Siteground, and I’m sure others have their way.

If you really hate technology and can’t see yourself getting regular support, consider easy website systems like SquareSpace or Rocketspark. These types are really great because they do offer managed website builders, still a learning curve for buillding, but with great training or support. There are freelancers who can help with web site designs on these platforms too.

A managed website means you don’t look after the core, the plugins, the theme updates. You choose a template you like and start modifying it with your own imagery, fonts, and words.

“News Corp closes over 100 titles…” with more job cuts to follow…

“Bauer Media axes 70 staff… with 60 more to go this week.” (Just weeks after closing Pacific Magazines and letting go of 100 staff).

What Can You Do to Get Work?

There is a new portal for experienced journalists, freelance writers, and freelance photographers. It’s called Australian Freelancer

It was started by freelance copywriter and book editor, Jennifer Lancaster. So, why did she start it?

“Since times are tough, I wanted to help the talented freelancers of Australia; to match particular gigs to known patrons. This way, nobody gets to lose. Our clients and contacts get fantastic services at a budget-friendly price, and Freelancers get to list at the fee they deserve, without wasting time up front.”

Another great thing is: it is totally free to list a basic micro gig. So, there is no risk to get started. Then, the job payment is taken care of by the site escrow and Paypal connection (all secured). The platform job success commission of 7% is an industry low — most platforms like Upwork and PeoplePerHour charge 10%. 

You can feature or make a Premium listing and include a video and links for just $20. Mind you, this is all in Australian dollars. What a fresh change for us!  

So get your Gig on… at

Why Will Aussie Business Prefer AF?

For patrons of the site, they can sign up to email ‘news’ and get $15 site credit to buy a new gig. Most gigs will be affordable for micro or small business, from just $50 in fact.

But the real value is not in dollar terms. Dealing with service supporters who know your country, who can speak your language, and are happily building a strong reputation in Australia is the best idea. It saves lots of time and confusion.

By looking through offerings rather than putting technical jobs out to bid, it also saves on time spent recruiting and trolling through inexperienced providers profiles from a myriad of countries. 

Australian Freelancers will be vetted as having an ABN, LinkedIn profile and experience in the market served. 

So go take a look! Most freelance gig categories will have listings by 1 July 2020.