If you are a freelancer working from home and you haven’t already adopted all of the latest in technological advances in order to make yourself a success, you are missing out on some really life-altering innovations. Sure, just having a laptop and internet access can get you a gig blogging online, but if you want to get serious about your freelance career, you need some serious tools.
Your first tool, however, is always you. You need to be the one thing that is constant in your business, and you need to treat it that way. Your freelance life is a business. If you don’t take your career seriously, neither will your clients.
That means setting hours, returning calls and emails in a timely manner, and just being a professional. Time management is crucial for freelancers. As for the technology that can help you with success, here are 3 important things that you need:
Your Home Office
Yes, you should have a home office. While it can be comfortable to sit in bed in pajamas and work, and there will be days that you do that, it is important to treat your freelance career like any other career. Get up, get dressed and get to your desk.
Your desk should be equipped with a good laptop or desktop computer. A laptop is far more versatile, so if you settle for a desktop on your desk you should have both. You need a printer. A 3-in-one is usually best since it allows you to scan, copy and print.
If you’ll be working away from the desk, not only will you need you internet service provider, but you’ll also want a good wireless router. Take some time to research router and read reviews to find one that is reliable and works at the range you need.
When it comes to an internet provider you’ll want to make sure you have high speed internet. You basically have four options. You can go for standard dial up, which will mean slow everything. You can choose satellite internet, which may go out every time the sun shines or a cloud passes by. You can battle prices with the television companies over their high speed internet.
Or, if you want reliable, high-speed connectivity, look into fiber internet providers like AT&T U-verse. As one of the newer internet options, fiber optics offers fast and reliable internet connections, which is perfect for at-home workers.
Lastly, you need a phone system that works for your business. While a general home phone system is pretty affordable these days, you want something that can travel with you in case you step away from home.
The easiest would be having a smartphone. With a smartphone not only are you connected via a call, but you can also text and check your emails from anywhere you go, as long as you have phone service and 3g or 4g service, or a Wifi connection.
If you have a little more money and a bigger at home business, VoIP may be the right choice for your phone system. It allows you to feel like a professional business even in your own home, you can stay connected from anywhere with a internet system, it’s as reliable as your internet, and if you sign up for the right options you’ll feel like you have your own personal secretary.
If you want your freelance business to be a success, remember that you need to treat it like a business. You may be able to work in your pajamas, but you don’t have to. If you feel more productive in a suit and tie your cat isn’t going to judge you.