How to Become a Successful Freelancer: A #CMWorld Chat with Berrak Sarikaya

April 6, 2017 Monina Wagner

Becoming a freelancer can be freeing, but it can also be a little scary.  For some people, freelancing is a choice – a way of becoming their own bosses. For others, it is not a deliberate choice. They may have lost a job or need a side job to sustain cost of living.

So where does one start?

On a recent #CMWorld Twitter chat, we discussed what you should know if you’re looking to freelance. Special guest Berrak Sarikaya shared her insights as a freelancer as well as tips on where to begin. What follows are some of the many highlights of the chat. Looking for more tips? Make sure to check out our Storify recap for more insights.

Build Your Network

A successful freelancing career is built on a solid foundation of contacts. Whether you are cultivating an existing network or making new connections, word-of-mouth referrals can generate new leads.

A good portfolio, along with positive testimonials, can help grow your business. And it’s important to know other freelancers you can turn to for advice.

A4: Let people *know* you’re a #freelancer. #CMWorld

— Berrak Sarikaya (@BerrakBiz) April 4, 2017

A7 Work on networking, participate in local events, improve your #personalbrand, write for your own blog #CMWorld

— Varun Kumar (@DigitalVK) April 4, 2017

@BRAVOMedia1 @CMIContent Yes! Referrals count so much more than just an advertisement! #CMWorld

— HeyOrca! (@HeyOrca) April 4, 2017

Protect Yourself

When an opportunity arises, you must be prepared. Set yourself up for freelance success with an internal infrastructure you can follow. Be clear on how you will handle future clients to keep out of financial, legal, and professional trouble.

A8: Run your business, but don’t be afraid to bring in experts. Accountants, attorneys can help you (and can you help them too?) #cmworld

— Mike Myers (@mikemyers614) April 4, 2017

A8: If you’re working with a client’s standard contract, read it all the way through. Don’t be afraid to negotiate terms. #CMWorld

— Berrak Sarikaya (@BerrakBiz) April 4, 2017

A8: Include late-payment penalty; get deposit (I seek 1/3 fee on engagement; 1/3 on draft delivery; 1/3 on final submission) #CMWorld

— Ann Gynn (@anngynn) April 4, 2017

Sarikaya has written about how she started her freelancing career. You can find that post here. She also referred participants to the Freelancers Union and to the many resources it offers. Do you have tips for those looking to go freelance? Let us know in the comments below.

Did you know we recognize content marketing’s best at a special ceremony at Content Marketing World? Brands and freelancers alike are encouraged to enter the Content Marketing Awards. But hurry – the deadline for submission is April 21, 2017.

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