Have you ever thought about becoming a freelancer? The freedom of being your own boss, choosing the jobs you like and creating your own schedule is very attractive. If you are a hospitality professional, there are a lot of opportunities for freelancers all around the world. A bit of courage, preparation and some useful information might help you become an in-demand hospitality freelancer. Read our helpful tips to find out more.
1. Prepare in advance
The most common reason for failure in self-employment is an impulsive and hasty start. If you want to make it work, start preparing for freelancing before you quit your current job or finish studies. Take some time to create your own brand, network with other specialists, do some research and make a business plan. The beginning of your freelance career may not have a fast start, but it will definitely last longer if you organize everything properly.
2. Your identity is your brand
Your brand should reflect your purposes and goals – think about what makes you special and how it can help you market your services. Showing your personality may allow you to set the connection with clients and win their trust. It is especially important for the jobs of travel consultant, tourism blogger and hotel reviewer, as they may require you to have a strong brand and be an opinion leader.
3. Create a portfolio
A well-designed portfolio is a must-have for any freelancer as it shows prospective clients what you are capable of. Gather information from your previous work or samples that represent your skills. If you do not have a lot of experience, you could offer your services for free in order to generate some samples. Whether you cook some incredible dishes, organize events or plan cruises, choose a portfolio format that can show your work in the best possible light.
4. Make a plan
Creating a personal business plan is an important step for any freelancer. Self-employed workers often have to balance between two or even three projects. A plan will help you combine the tasks successfully. Think about your goals, financial requirements, working hours and your limits. Do research to find out the current rates and set your own prices. Decide how much you would like to earn a month and how many clients you need to achieve this goal.
5. Build a client base
Most of your first clients will come from referrals and people who know you. The first thing to do is to inform all the people around you about your decision to become a freelancer. Post your portfolio on relevant websites for freelancers to let people know that you are available. Use platforms like LinkedIn and Upwork to find offers. Visit job-related events and conferences to make new connections. Networking is the main tool in building a client base. The power of word of mouth might surprise you.
6. Get finances under control
When you work for a company, there are specialists who take care of insurance, taxes, invoices and other financial details. When you’re a freelancer, you have to handle everything by yourself. You might either learn how to do it or use the help of an accountant. If you travel a lot working in different hotels or restaurants, meeting an accountant in real life might be difficult. However, there are websites that offer online services of reliable accountants.
7. Believe in yourself
If you want to be self-employed, you have to believe you can do it. Freelancing starts with desire, faith and enthusiasm, not with quitting a job. Your clients will not trust you if they don’t feel you can handle the tasks they’re giving you. Find a mentor or influencer to get some inspiration, or network with more advanced, successful freelancers and learn from them.
Becoming a freelancer might be scary but a clear plan of action can make it real. Whether you want to become a hospitality blogger, job consultant, a chef, a travel planner or any other freelance specialist in the hospitality industry, the tips above will be vital. Additionally, you can check the following infographic and learn the key steps of how to become a freelancer as well as get inspired by some of Les Roches alumni entrepreneurs on Made in Les Roches.