How a Freelancer Should Treat Their Business as a Business – Not as Just a Hobby or Side Hustle

If you treat your business like a business it will pay you like a business. But, if you treat your business like a hobby it will cost you like a hobby.

The main reason any freelancer does not get ahead in their business is that they treat it like a hobby or a “side hustle”. Let’s discuss how you can treat your freelancing business more seriously.

Market Yourself

You could be the best freelance graphics designer in the world but nobody will hire you if they don’t know you and what you are capable of.

People who treat freelancing like a hobby normally expect clients to come to them, which is very rare if not impossible.

Oftentimes, especially in the beginning, it takes more time to market yourself than to work on projects. So learning to market yourself like a business is vital to reach clients that will pay good money.

Payment and Invoicing

What most freelancers do is they want their project price to be their take-home price and skip all the processing/transaction fees and invoicing.

For this, they accept payments via peer-to-peer payments like Venmo or some similar means. Not only does this scream that you just treat freelancing as a hobby, but these methods also are not designed for business transactions, and if you use these for business transactions you can get into trouble.

This goes hand-in-hand with having an invoicing structure set in place that not only sends professional invoices but also reminders and late fee integrations. There are many tools available online that can help you with this sort of invoicing and payments altogether (Dubsado for example). This will also be of great help when you are doing your taxes as you have records of where your money is coming from.

Separate Your Business and Personal Finances

Most people who treat freelancing as just a hobby use their personal accounts for both business and personal transactions.

The problem with having your freelance transactions on the same account you pay for your mortgage or debt is that it is not easy to gauge how well you are doing as a freelancer and if you are actually getting the most of your time in terms of payments.

Schedule Work With Milestones

It is always best to set up manageable goals by breaking them up into milestones that you can easily communicate with your client. Be sure to let your client know when milestones are done before the deadline.

Treat Business as a Business

In general, if you are hoping to earn a reliable income, maybe replace your job in time, or just take your side hustle to the next phase/level, it’s vital that you run your freelancing work as an actual business – because that is what it is, if it’s going to work!

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