Diving into the scary world of freelancing brings several uncertainties.

Will you make enough money? How will you find clients? What happens if you have a slow month?

If you’ve been thinking about becoming a freelancer, then there are some questions you need to ask yourself if you want to create and grow a successful freelance business.

One of the most important things that you can do before you start freelancing is actually research your field. I’m not talking about spending 5 minutes on Google, but I’m also not saying that you need to spend hours on research.

You must be able to find a happy medium of research that will allow you to gain a full understanding of your field.

Devote some time to scoping out your field.

If you can find anybody who’s currently working as a freelancer, offer to take them out for coffee in return for picking their brain.

Nothing’s more invaluable than first-hand perspective.

There are many questions to ask yourself as you research. Here are a few considerations:

  • Where do freelancers in this field find jobs / gigs / clients?
  • What is the typical hourly rate for freelancers in this field?
  • What skills do freelancers in this field need? (hint: look at job postings, and see what skills they list)
  • What materials do freelancers in this field need in order to land clients?
  • What are COMPLEMENTARY skills that help [freelancers in this field] succeed?”

Read the full post at Freelancers Union.