• Ashley Dawson

How to Create an LLC

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

During the pandemic many things have gone stagnant, but there's one thing that should never stop growing: your career. While a lot of the world has remained on lockdown, many creatives and artists have started using this time to get crafty about how and where they make their money, and I'm here to teach you how to do it, too. Something as simple as a self-made LLC, or freelancing business, can help put money in your pocket and power your inner empress. Here are nine steps to help guide you through the process of becoming your own boss at a worthy side hustle:

Unsplash Credit: @dollargill

  1. The Title

The first things you'll want to do for yourself is choose a catchy title and category. Categories are everything, and the category of freelance work you choose will determine the creatives you network with and the jobs you get. Writing, photography, copy editing, ghost writing, blogging, styling, and artistic jobs like being a makeup artist are great careers to build your own schedule around. After you've landed on your passion, choose a catchy persona or title for your new brand.

2. Branding and Social Media

The next important step, after you've built out your professional skillset, of course, is to choose which social media platforms you want to engage your business in. Many photographers choose Instagram for its image-focused media, while a lot of writers and editors take to Twitter. It all depends on what category of work you're freelancing in and what platform (or platforms) will house the best audience for your content. Once you've established these pages, choose color schemes, profile pictures, and start posting content that relates to your work.

3. Create a Content Calendar

Now, after you've established some solid social media pages, make sure you're developing content ahead of time to fill the space. Grab a standard year calendar planner from TJ Maxx or Marshall's (or whatever discount store is in your area), and lay out your posts for the month. This can be images you've taken, articles you've written, or anything that you've accomplished that you think best showcases your strengths. These days so many jobs come from platforms like Instagram, so make sure to show off your best!

4. Start to Network

This is a big one. Research other freelancers in your area by using popular hashtags on social media, and start to link up with others doing what you do. You'll be surprised by how willing others are to share their tips and tricks, and how easy it is to collaborate with other creators. Start to follow them, and they'll follow you back! A bigger audience will yield more job opportunities.

5. Build a Website

So now you have a good ground on social media and it's time to build a website. Get started for free on sites like Wix and Wordpress (it's actually a small yearly fee to upgrade to a membership, and these sites come with their own domains included). Make sure that your site is user friendly and appealing, and include a menu of options that people can search through to see your work. Also make sure to add a contact and booking page - so you can get those clients seen!

6. Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

Now, this is something that everyone dreads when they're a freelancer. But have no fear! The first thing you want to do is get yourself a CPA or someone knowledgable on the tax scene. They can help you know when to pay, how much to pay, and how to go about paying your yearly (or quarterly) taxes. Also make sure to set aside roughly thirty percent of all the money you make as you go throughout the year, so that the tax payout at the end doesn't shock you. I recommend starting a side bank account where you put thirty percent of all jobs away for later tax payment.

7. Set up an LLC

This is also a super simple step that a CPA or tax expert can help you on. Make sure you have someone who can walk you through the steps properly and set up your LLC the right way.

8. Invoicing

Now, this is another tricky billing step that most beginner freelancers don't think about. So you've completed the job - now what? Well, most clients want a paper trail for invoicing that they can look back on at the end of their year, too, so it's important to include that when requesting payment. I tend to send my invoices at the end of the month, after services have been rendered, and I use an easy application called Honey Books to do it. It's fast, simple, straightforward, and easy!

9. Set a Schedule for Yourself

This is quite easily the most important step to take as a freelancer. All of the websites and skills in the book can't help keep you organized and on track, so you have to make sure you're on top of your schedule! Use scheduling and priority apps like Asana and Trello to keep your ideas and projects moving along, and make sure to always keep a planner of your day-to-day and to-do lists. Nothing can supplement good organization and habits, so always make sure to give yourself a working schedule and a space outside of your home (or inside, but separate from your living area), to work in.

And there you have it! Nine sure fire ways to your own LLC overnight. Remember that with every setback in life comes a silver lining, and utilizing this "downtime" to get yourself organized and on track to your biggest dreams will pay out in the long-run.

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