Becoming a professional freelancer is an incredibly rewarding career choice. No other profession, regardless of the industry, allows you to create your job on your terms. Everything from your work hours to your paycheck is completely up to you! When you become a freelancer, you become a business.
So, what does it take to start that business?
As with any startup, there are costs involved, and depending on your industry of choice, the expenses will vary. Whether you need additional education or tools for your trade, you can almost always expect to make some sort of initial investment. Like the saying goes, "you have to spend money to make money!"
Whether you're new to the workforce or low on savings, funding yourself can seem way out of reach. Luckily, it's not!
Today I'm here with our director and financial guru, Casey, and we've put together a list of 3 ways you can effectively come up with the funds to start the career of your dreams!
1. Use a credit card strategically.
Pro's: If you do it right, you can end up getting "free money."
Con's: If you do it wrong, you can increase your chances of accumulating debt.
We put this option first because although it does require the most financial planning, it is also the fastest way to get your funds AND is a great way to establish and build your credit, which is essential to have the further you expect to go in business and life in general!
Here are some of Casey's tips on what to look for when choosing the right card...
A lot of credit cards have cash back bonuses that range from $200 - $300 if you spend a certain amount within the first 2-3 months. For example: The cards we mentioned above...
Cash Magnet® - Get a $150 credit if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
Freedom Unlimited® - Earn a $200 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months
How it applies to you:
Depending on which card you choose and how much you spend, you can have up to half of your IDE purchase covered just for joining!
Many credit cards offer 0% interest in the first 12-14 months and a relatively low, to no yearly fee. The first year is typically waived, but after one year many credit cards will start charging an annual fee.
Cash Magnet® - $0 annual fee & 0% interest for the first 15 months
Freedom Unlimited® - $0 annual fee & 0% interest for the first 15 months
How it applies to you:
If you already applied the tip above, part of IDE is paid for. This tip allows you to pay off the rest of IDE as well as any other purchases you may have made to meet the minimum over the next 15 months without paying any interest!
Important Note: It is super important to be diligent about paying this off before the interest kicks in. If you don't, you will not destroy your credit, but you are defeating the purpose of this plan by unnecessarily adding additional costs to your purchases.
If you don’t qualify for a credit card that has a sweet up front cash bonus, look into a card with a hefty rewards program (The Capital One Venture Card® is a great example.) With a card like this, you consistently earn points that can be converted into trips/cash/amazon credits and more! Accumulating points for large purchases or your monthly expenses can be a beneficial option if you can pay it off quickly.
Disclaimer: We are not condoning the accumulation of debt or frivolous spending habits. If you are not a careful spender or saver, we recommend trying another option.
2. Sell your stuff.
Pro's: Turn stuff you don't wear, want or use into money.
Con's: A generous amount of labor and customer service involved.
This option is unique because it can actually become another business you run if you manage it properly! The biggest benefit of Poshmark and Bonanza (linked above) in comparison to other sites and apps is that you aren't required to meet up with your buyer to complete a sale, which is not only safer right now, it takes a significant amount of labor out of the process.
Fun fact: I have actually made exactly $2,023.50 on Poshmark selling things from both mine and my sister's wardrobes that I definitely thought no one could possibly want and items that I simply wasn't getting any use out of anymore. My secret? Expect nothing and list everything.
Drop a comment below if you want another blog with the details on how to be successful selling on Poshmark too!
If you're not attached to your stuff and you see more value in your freelancing future than you do in your closet, it's time to start listing. Is it cool to have a Gucci wallet in your wardrobe that you never touch because you want to "keep it nice"? Sure. Is it cooler to have $575 in the bank? Totally. (True story.)
3. Start a fundraiser.
Pro's: Easy to do. Low maintenance. Nothing to lose.
Con's: No way to fully guarantee you will meet your goal.
If you have people around waiting for you to make it big, get them involved in your come up! Setting up a fundraiser on sites like GoFundMe or Facebook (linked above) is a quick and easy alternative. The most important thing to do when starting a fundraiser: set a realistic goal.
Don't set yourself up for a struggle to meet your goal by sneaking your bills into your goal amount. Only ask for what you need to start your business and be very clear up front about where the funds are going. Not only are you more likely to get donations that way, people will take you and your business more seriously from the jump.
Important Note: Try your best not to view this option as a handout- you'd be surprised how many generous strangers are out there browsing donation pages and making contributions to small businesses and starving artists right now. If there are people waiting to invest in you, why not set yourself up to receive?
Ready for more? Register for the Immersion Dance Experience HERE to learn in-depth strategies for financing yourself and developing your freelancing career, exclusively for IDE members!