7 Easy Steps On How To Start Freelancing
Are you a freelancer or thinking about becoming one? Here are 7 easy steps on how to start freelancing. Also, if you are already a freelance, this article can help you advance your career and ease your learning path.
1. Set up Your Goals
Before you begin freelancing, you need to set up your business goals. Both short term and long term ones. Answer the question below:
Is freelancing a hobby, or do you want to turn it into a full time job?
The answer to this question will define your future actions as you attempt to balance your full-time and freelance work. But you can also work hard to get rid of your old job and pursue a full time freelance career.
This will be your long-term goal. To set up your short term goals, answer the following questions:
- What will your specialty be?
- What types of services will you provide?
- What monthly salary do you wish to achieve in order to quit your full-time work (if applicable)?
2. Find your Niche
Whether you’re a graphic designer, content writer, or anything else, it’s recommended that you concentrate on one area of work:
For example, if you’re a content writer, don’t try to cover everything. Rather, focus on one or two similar niches that you are the best at and highlight that. Over time, you can expand your niches.
Do your research and ensure which niches are the most in demand. As you are getting your experience, you can cover more niches and expand your business. This applies to all other jobs, including designers, developers, etc.
3. Find your Audience
You’ll need to find a target audience now that you have a freelancing service to offer. Start creating your avatar by determining the persona who will benefit from your services.
Matching three factors yields ideal clients:
- What clients need?
- What do you have to offer (service or product type)?
- Where customers communicate their needs?
Where to find these clients?
- Your current network
- Communities of freelancers
- Social networks like LinkedIn or Twitter
- Freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Fiverr
4. Prepare your Portfolio
The best way to attract clients is by providing them with your previous work to showcase your abilities and profession. You can do that in two ways:
- Build your own website
- Make a portfolio
The portfolio is the more common one and easier. However, having a website is much more professional but more difficult to build.
As a freelancer, your portfolio promotes the caliber of your work by highlighting your successes and previous work. This is your chance to demonstrate your abilities and the worth of your knowledge rather than merely telling them about it.
When it comes to building your own website, the best thing to do is to buy a domain with your name. This will look very professional. Even if you have no experience with building websites, you use WordPress and do it since it is one of the simplest programs out there. Don’t forget to optimize your website for search engines. Include the most popular industry-related keywords to improve your Google positioning and make it simpler for customers to find you.
5. Set up Your Rate
Setting your freelancing fees might be difficult, but it becomes much easier when you identify the important elements that assist in defining your ideal (and practical) pricing:
- Prior experience
- Level of education
- Your current location
- Supply and demand for your skills
- Average freelancing hourly rates in your industry
- Project complexity
- Level of urgency
Take all these things into consideration. Someone from the USA with the same education level will have a higher rate than someone from India. All of these elements play a crucial role in your price.
However, don’t let doubts regarding your price structure stop you from starting your freelance career. Your rates are not fixed. You have the option to change them as you wish when the time passes by and you gain more experience. Start with a price that you are comfortable with and avoid overthinking it.
6. Expand Your Network
Join freelance platforms to start your freelancing career.
You can go through general freelance job platforms and those aimed at developers, designers, virtual assistants, writers, translators, etc. One of them is:
- FlexJobs – general
- Upwork – general
- CareerBuilder – general
- GitHub Jobs – development
- ProBlogger Job Board – writing
- If You Could Jobs – design
You can also start looking for clients by communities in your industry. Join a forum for your industry, provide your thoughts on current topics and concerns, and participate in conversations. You can also join groups on social media related to your industry such as Facebook groups and communities. Aside from that, don’t be afraid to participate in webinars and different industry events.
7. Build a Trustful Relationship with Clients
Even if it might seem obvious, building a good relationship with clients is crucial for freelancers. Successful freelancers build client connections rather than viewing the job as a one-time event.
This can result in high retention rates and good customer recommendations. Here are some important things to remember while building a relationship with your clients:
Produce outstanding results: Client happiness requires high-quality work. To have a chance to create a long-term connection with the customer, you must give value and address the client’s problem.
Communicate with the customer: Effective client communication builds a better business connection and encourages clients to continue working with you on future projects.
Build trust by being consistent: By regularly finishing your job on schedule and delivering precise deliverables, you can establish confidence and demonstrate to your customers that they can rely on you in the future.
Find methods to provide value: By taking the initiative, developing new ideas, and accepting extra tasks, you demonstrate your potential worth to the client and open up new avenues for collaboration.
Freelancing is not as scary as you might think. And getting started is even easier when you have a guide next to you. By following these 7 easy steps on how to start freelancing, you will embark on your journey of being your boss. Whether you want this as your side job or full time work, it will facilitate the whole process from setting your business goals to landing your first client.