When looking at becoming a Freelancer (yes I dislike that term but it’s understood) you need to make sure that you have a marketable skill. Design, development, photography, writing, all translate easy to a marketable skill. Even if you have that skill there is something way more important to have or you’re not going to make it.
Marketing Savvy! Yup I said marketing which is sort of a four letter word in my dictionary.
I know 2 awesome photographers that have tried and failed to get a business off the ground all because they were bad at the marketing part. I know one marginal programmer with a great business, because he is good at marketing. It certainly doesn’t seem fair that the photographers I know can’t get a business going while a marginal programmer does well but that’s the way the cookie crumbles (name that movie).
I must admit that I’m only okay with the marketing part, at least as far as lead generation goes. Once I’ve talked to someone I normally get the work, but getting people to talk to me I find hard. Almost all of my work comes through referrals now and referrals are golden usually.
If there was one thing I could say to people starting a new business as a freelancer, it would be to take a marketing course and really dedicate yourself to marketing your business.