Tips for Working Remotely as a Freelancer

7 Sept 2023

Working remotely as a freelancer has become increasingly common in recent years. With the rise of freelancing websites, the gig economy, and more flexibility to work outside of a traditional office, many people are embracing the remote work lifestyle. While there are certainly many perks that come with working from home, setting yourself up for success as a remote freelancer requires some planning and adjustments. Here are some helpful tips to thrive working remotely:

Choose the Right Work Space

When working from home, it's important to create a dedicated work space for yourself rather than trying to work from your couch or bed. Identify an area in your home that you can turn into a home office. Make sure it is a quiet, distraction-free zone. If you live in a smaller space, consider working from a coffee shop a few days a week to get a change of scenery.

Set a Routine

One of the biggest challenges of freelancing remotely is lack of structure. Without co-workers or a boss expecting you at certain times, it’s crucial to implement discipline in your schedule. Determine your own workday hours and stick to them. Start and end your workday at the same time to establish boundaries. Taking breaks is also critical when working alone. Make sure to get up and move throughout the day.

Define Your Goals

As a remote freelancer, it’s easier to lose focus or feel unproductive in comparison to an office setting. Define your goals clearly each week and check in with yourself daily about what you aim to accomplish. Use productivity tools to create structure and track performance. Celebrate when you meet your objectives. Having mini milestones will keep you motivated.

Limit Distractions

One perk of working remotely is the elimination of office disruptions. However, home distractions can also impede your productivity if you’re not careful. Turn off notifications on your computer and phone during work hours. Let family members know when you’re unavailable. Use noise-cancelling headphones and apps that block distracting websites when you need intense focus.

Leverage Productivity Tools

A major key to succeeding as a remote freelancer is utilizing apps and technology that promote productivity, organization, and collaboration. Useful programs include Trello or Asana for project management, Slack or Zoom for communication, time tracking software like Toggl, cloud storage like Dropbox, etc. Find solutions that streamline efficiency and minimize administrative tasks.

Connect with Clients

Building strong client relationships is imperative, especially when you don’t see them face-to-face. Communication is key when working remotely. Over-communicate availability, project timelines, needs, and results. Be transparent about your schedule and working style. Use video conferencing instead of just emails and phone calls when possible. Sending personalized updates and notes also nurtures positive rapports.

Collaborate With Other Freelancers

One downside of remote work is feeling isolated at times. Seek out and connect with other independent professionals in your field. You can exchange ideas, give feedback, coordinate on projects when applicable, and have a support system. Sites like Upwork, LinkedIn, and Meetup can help find freelancing communities.

Break Up Your Day

When working from home, your day can sometimes blend together without natural breaks between meetings and tasks. Be mindful to schedule regular breaks for meals, exercise, errands or other activities. Stepping away briefly helps boost your energy and focus when resuming work. Switching projects or locations during the day can also recharge your motivation.

Prioritize Health

With remote work, it’s easy to be stationary for too long or skip meals in favor of working. Make sure to prioritize your mental and physical health every day, as this fuels productivity. Take standing or stretching breaks between tasks, go for a midday walk, eat nutritious foods at regular times, and know when to step away from the computer. A healthy lifestyle enhances concentration.

Define Boundaries

Working from home allows greater flexibility, but also blurs the lines between professional and personal time. Define boundaries so you don’t burn out. When do you stop monitoring emails or taking meetings? Are weekends completely work-free? Let clients know your availability. Set office hours and stick to them. Log off apps at a specific time. Unplugging is necessary as a remote freelancer.

Build Your Network

As an independent contractor, your network is one of your most valuable assets for securing work. Strategically build connections with other professionals in your industry. Attend conferences or workshops. Reach out to past colleagues and clients. Introduce yourself to companies you want to work with. Sustaining an active network generates referrals and new opportunities.

Develop a Support System

Working alone from home can potentially feel isolating without a team around you. Develop your own “support team” by connecting regularly with other professionals in your niche. Seek out a mentor who can give you advice and feedback. Confide in family and friends when you feel discouraged. Surround yourself with positive influences who understand your freelancing goals.

Stay Visible

Out of sight doesn’t need to mean out of mind, even as a remote freelancer. Find ways to boost your professional visibility through your website, social media, advertising, guest blogging, speaking opportunities, etc. Let the industry know about your brand and specialty. Proactively connecting with potential clients also increases incoming work. Make sure you’re searchable and accessible.

Continue Learning

View remote freelancing as an opportunity for continuous skills development. Learn new programs, systems, techniques and strategies to work smarter. Take online courses on topics that enhance your expertise. Listen to podcasts during routine tasks. Read blogs and books during the workday. Staying sharp and expanding your knowledge amplifies your freelancing skills.

Be Disciplined With Finances

Fluctuating income and lack of employer benefits means you must be diligent about your finances. Set up an emergency savings account, maintain budget diligence, and explore health insurance options like the Affordable Care Act. Set aside money for taxes which you'll owe the following year. Look into retirement savings accounts for independent contractors. Managing money wisely eases stress.

Outsource When Needed

Consider delegating or outsourcing tasks that fall outside your wheelhouse or availability. Virtual assistants, bookkeepers, social media managers, and other skilled freelancers offer affordable services that provide you more time for your actual job duties and clients. Outsourcing relieves some pressure of running every aspect of an independent business.

Stick to Your Rates

Have confidence in the value you provide as a freelancer and resist discounting your rates. Do your research to set competitive yet fair pricing. Politely decline lowball offers. Provide clients cost breakdowns that justify your fees. Highlight how your skills warrant your prices. Discuss raises over time or for additional responsibilities. Know your worth as a remote freelancer.

Keep Yourself Motivated

Working independently requires self-motivation on a daily basis. Notice when your enthusiasm dips and make adjustments. Listen to uplifting podcasts on your commute or during mundane tasks. Reward yourself when achieving milestones. Recognize why you pursued freelancing in the first place. Staying driven, even through challenges, leads to fulfillment in your work.

In summary, thriving as a remote freelancer requires purposefully setting up an optimal home workspace, implementing routines and structure, actively building your network, leveraging productivity tools, prioritizing wellness, sticking to your rates, and staying self-motivated. With the right strategies, you can achieve fantastic flexibility and fulfillment in your independent career working from anywhere.

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You routine can help build yoh better
Some helpful tips to make your work more productive when you work remotely
Very interesting article, thanks
The reminder to stay visible as a remote freelancer really stood out to me. When you don't see your clients face-to-face, it's easy to feel out of sight and out of mind if you don't intentionally maintain your professional presence. Proactively updating your website and profiles, guest posting, advertising, sending personalized communications and so forth helps keep you top of mind with current and potential clients. I appreciate this advice, as maintaining and building visibility is something I need to be more mindful of, especially while working from home. Great suggestions for continually getting your name and brand out there.
Working remotely as a freelancer can offer flexibility and independence, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Here are some tips to help you thrive in a remote freelance career: Set Up a Dedicated Workspace: Create a comfortable and organized workspace that is free from distractions. Having a designated area for work can help you stay focused and separate work from personal life. Establish a Routine: Stick to a daily schedule that includes set working hours. This will help you maintain discipline and create a sense of structure in your day. Prioritize Time Management: Use time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique or time blocking to stay productive and manage your workload effectively. Communicate Clearly: Maintain clear and regular communication with your clients. Provide updates on your progress, ask questions when needed, and be proactive in addressing any issues or concerns.
Thanks for the article as a freelancer like me, it helped a lot