10 Ways to Start Freelancing
With the number of new digital professions globalization has brought to us, we cannot deny that the freelance economy is now under a bright spotlight. Today, 56.7 million Americans professionals are freelancers. And the numbers keep increasing.
The freelance business has become a competitive and tight market for professionals who want to venture into the world of remote working.
If you are one of these pros who want to start a career in freelancing, here are the 10 ways you can do to start freelancing awesomely:
1. Define your goals in freelancing
Just because freelancing is a trend these days, does not mean you need to go with it.
Ask yourself first about your reasons why you are freelancing:
- Are you tired of the daily traffic jams commuting to and from your regular 9 AM to 6 PM office work?
- Do you need an additional source of income aside from your day job?
- Do you need a more flexible work schedule?
- Do you want to become a full-time freelancer and be your own boss someday?
Your journey to this business will only be worth the risk if you have certain your reasons and goals in taking it.
Plan your freelancing journey by defining your reasons why you want to go with it, and then set realistic short and long-term goals matching with those reasons.
This way, you can avoid getting blind by the trend and can focus on your plans accordingly.
2. Identify your target market
If you are a freelance graphic designer, your target market can be organizations doing digital creative businesses.
If you are a freelance writer, your target market can be the agencies that need interesting content for their websites.
Determine the businesses that will find your services useful and check if they are open in getting your service.
Identify their demographics so you can better relate to them in a more personal way.
3. Know where to find your clients
Upon identifying your target market, identify where you can find and reach them out.
When you ask other freelancers where to find clients for your freelance work, they will surely advise you to try Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal.
These are freelance job sites with a vast market of low-priced freelancers. Securing an opportunity through these sites will be hard if you’re new to their platform, and to the freelance industry in general.
Avoid following that advice, Instead, ask your family, relatives, friends, or colleagues from your previous school or employers if they know people or businesses who are looking for the service you are offering.
Making personal connections is a better way of getting clients so you can present your business more intimately.
Do not just look for a one-time client, look for someone who can see you as a go-to service provider in the future.
4. Prepare your savings
Just because you have a regular and a freelance job, does not mean you can immediately buy a luxury watch.
Freelancing is an unstable business unless you get regular clients.
If you are planning to start in this industry, it is recommended that you save up money equivalent to your 3-6 months salary.
You will need this certain amount of savings more if you are planning to switch from a regular office worker to a full-time freelancer.
This way, you will not get short on your living expenses during off-peak seasons.
5. Start small
Starting small is the ideal set-up for beginner freelancers. You can’t just jump straight as a full-time one.
Building a network of client takes as much time as you build more professional experience.
Start your freelancing career with one small project at a time.
6. Know your worth
Set the right amount for your services. Some will advise you to work for free in exchange for exposure and experience. Do not mind them.
Giving free lunches to businesses does nothing better than paid ones.
Start at cheaper prices, though. The amount of your service will eventually increase.
Be honest about your strengths and experiences so the client will know what to expect from you. Charge your clients according to the value and quality of what you can give them.
Avoid overcharging or undercharging your clients.
7. Build a high-quality portfolio or reel
Presenting your portfolio website to your prospect clients will give them an impression and idea on your work style and quality.
Make sure your portfolio contains your best works highlighting your top skills and accomplishments and is regularly updated with your latest projects.
Include also your contact information and other details about yourself that may be appealing to your potential clients.
8. Build a reputable network
A sustainable and stable freelance career needs a quality professional relationship with your satisfied clients. These clients can refer you to their colleagues, too.
Be dependable, compassionate, trustworthy, and honest with your network. Word-of-mouth referrals are always the best way of getting new clients to add to your network.
9. Know the art of self-pitching
Learn how to pitch yourself, together with your skills and experiences. Regardless of how good you are in your craft, if you do not know how to communicate well people, freelancing may be hard for you.
Once you find potential clients, present your proposals to them professionally and interestingly.
Highlight your strengths and relevant works to demonstrate your expertise.
10. Do the business outside your regular job’s time
Do one job at a time. It is important not to mix your freelance jobs with your day job, especially when you are at the company’s working hours and premises.
Working on your freelance business while you are working on your day job may be against your company policies.
A good freelance career needs strong commitment. It may take years before you get a stable career in this industry but with a proper head start, you sure will get the groove of it.
Make sure you get a social life too no matter how hectic your job is!