"Your life must be so chill!” “You can work whenever you want!” “Why are you at home don’t you have to go to office to work?”
If you found yourself aggressively nodding in agreement to these digs that you frequently receive then hey there, freelancer! It’s time to start referring to yourself as a solopreneur.
Because more often than not, freelancing (a major part of which goes into explaining to people what is it that you exactly do) feels something very similar to a kick in the groin. So think of it this way.
When you choose to work as a freelancer, you are starting your own company. This is a form of capital investment. And since you are undertaking that monetary risk of starting your own venture, you should certainly earn more than a salaried employee, right? Something similar to what an entrepreneur makes?
But we’re all aware that that is never the case.
So here’s the perfect solution – calling yourself a solopreneur.
A solopreneur in a nutshell is a business owner who works and runs their business alone. This term is inclusive of all that integral jargon that the term freelancer almost misses out on.
- Solopreneurship entails the economic risk factor that is key to the definition of an entrepreneur.
- The popular notion of the term freelancer is that it shies away from everything monetary and marketing.
- There is a disheartening misconception in the conventional sphere of corporate functioning that freelancers work for free.
- And since there are several freelancers out there who have aced the marketing game and the economics for themselves – the term solopreneur is simply more inclusive and more rewarding.
Image is everything
When talking to several baker moms about their home-run businesses and how the fact that running a business single handedly qualifies them as a solopreneur; the popular response was “No, no, it’s nothing that major, we’re not that money-minded.”
These are people who have been running solo businesses with a set pattern of social media marketing for a considerable time now. It is because of the lack of popularity of the term solopreneur that hinders the image of one’s work altogether.
Calling oneself a solopreneur comprises of simply strengthening the entrepreneurial spirit that was always characteristic of freelancers.
A host of freelancers are acing the networking game. Constantly acquainting themselves with the recent developments in social media marketing. Making their presence and their work noticed through various forms of marketing techniques. And the baggage associated with the ‘freelancer’ nomenclature is something that popularly ignores all of these integrations.
Recent studies show that solopreneurs are exceptionally skilled at marketing and delegating. They are also able to earn higher wages than their ‘freelancer’ or ‘self-employed’ counterparts. A major reason for this hike in stature is drawn from the confidence of an entrepreneurial mindset.
Branding yourself as a solopreneur
The idea of a brand is more often than not synonymous with big industry players like Apple, or Coca-Cola or Google. But now that you’re a solopreneur, you are a brand too and pitching yourself that way is incredibly important.
83% of freelancers and solopreneurs invest in marketing and branding, even if it may be on the minimal side of finances. And with treating yourself as a solopreneur, brand building is an innate prerequisite that is a lot more reachable than it would for a freelancer.
With the usage of the term solopreneur and by branding yourself as one, clients have a stronger willingness to shell out your quoted price without much dallying. Why you ask?
Personal brands connect faster
While a focused and heavily marketed company brand has its wide reach and recall benefits it pales in comparison to a personal one. Human connect better with other humans. The degree of recall that an emotional memory conjured up by an old friend or a person whom you connected with can have is immense. And a personalised branding can have this strong recall effect in the minds of your clients too.
Personal brands can evolve and adapt more easily
It is easier for personal brands to be more focused and dedicated to their product in their approach. This parochial nature implies an easier and quicker shift in approach whenever the times call for it. As a solopreneur selling yourself, it is easier to alter your strategy to sustain it for any recent developments in your realm of functioning. It is much easier to connect with a person who has varying opinions as the times change as opposed to corporate brands with equivocal messages.
Investing in your personal brand helps increase the value of your most prized asset
Building a personal brand gives you the license to spend time and money on developing your best self. Having zeroed down on your voice, message and look; personal brand development is all about bettering yourself and presenting that bettered image. It is a constant requirement to work on yourself, hone your skills, and articulate your knowledge. The more skills you acquire the more doors you open for yourself. Personal branding also helps overcoming social fears like ‘putting yourself out there’ and brings you to better opportunities.
Personal branding is flexible
The opportunity to constantly update your brand in accordance with your newly found skill sets is perhaps one of the biggest advantages of solopreneurship branding. You gradually gain authority in your area of expertise. This in turn helps you capitalize on potential opportunities – ones that you may not be able to foresee without indulging yourself to this web of marketing.
Personal brands don’t need anyone – but you
The biggest feature and advantage of solopreneurship –the absolute freedom to choose your direction. This freedom can also reflect in your personal branding as you choose to invest in it the way you deem right. Your solopreneurship branding is your own and it is your decision that counts in what face you choose to show the world.
Financing as a solopreneur
One of the most fatal mistakes that freelancers make is to exclude the costs that they incur during the process of working in the overall payment of the work they have undertaken.
Including things like the Internet connection, research, commute, printing ink, reels or other material, stationary, etc. into personal costs can tip the balance of payments in the client’s favour.
As a solopreneur, these costs can be well accounted for.
As a solopreneur you are your own marketing agency. And your own administrative assistant, accountant, hiring manager, project manager, sales person, web designer and more. As a freelancer, talking about money can be very complicated, frustrating and personal. But as a solopreneur it is important to take the upper hand and gain agency over your own finances.
Keep the professional away from the personal
Especially if you are starting out. The first step in gaining control of your finances is to clearly demarcate personal costs from professional ones. As a solopreneur running your own business from the comfort of wherever it is that you find comfortable, mixing the two costs can be very easy. But it’s time to move on from those freelancer days. To do this, you may have to look at your lifestyle.
Don’t allow your personal finances to override the benefits of being your own boss
If you feel that you had a great revenue month but your bank account does not reflect it, ask yourself how much was it that you took out of the business to cover personal expenses? It becomes easy to borrow from the business to cover the personal if the two are not kept separate. This is also a great opportunity to evaluate your personal expenses and reduce unnecessary expenditure on clothing, eating out, monthly subscriptions, rent in an expensive locality when you don’t have to particularly commute anywhere, etc.
Pay yourself first
You’re working alone, for your own brand and you don’t particularly have anyone looking out for your financial needs. Which is why you have to.
Taking care of yourself and your family should be your priority. Giving yourself a salary and paying yourself first is just a marker that lets you know that you are moving in the right direction.
As a solopreneur, you also have the liberty of up scaling yourself. Hiring people for certain tasks, outsourcing work, utilising technological experts, outsourcing design or technology, etc. is all something that you can look into as a solopreneur and actually have those costs included in your payment scheme.
Get your taxation sorted out
As a freelancer, chances are that your clients paid you after deducting the taxes. But as a solopreneur, you are responsible for calculating and paying this tax on your own. Currently the self-employer tax rate in India is 10% and as a solopreneur you can take charge of this percentage rather than have your client deduct it from you.
This will also imply that as a solopreneur you are no longer subjected to the tax deduction from your client or any other external employer company but to be paid in full for your services.
It’s time to upskill yourself. Change that freelancer tag into an earning one by calling yourself a solopreneur.