Published: March 8, 2022
The competition is fierce when it comes to starting a freelancing career. But don’t let that discourage you! This guide will give you all the tools you need to start freelancing today despite the stiff competition out there.
But before we get into the details of this guide, let’s first discuss what freelancing actually is.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is essentially working for yourself. You are your own boss and decide how much work you want to take on.
This type of work can be done remotely, which is a major perk of freelancing. You can also work from anywhere you want as long as you have an internet connection.
When you’re doing remote freelance jobs, you have the advantage of choosing your own hours. You can also take time off whenever you want (just make sure you keep your clients updated on your availability).
The freelance life can be very rewarding, both monetarily and mentally. But it’s not all rainbows and unicorns. There are some downsides to freelancing, which we’ll discuss later in this guide.
But first, let’s talk about how to get started with freelancing.
Starting a Freelance Career in Easy to Follow Steps
To be successful as a freelancer, it is important to have a clear plan of action. Here are the steps you need to take to start your freelance career:
Identify Your Skills and Strengths
As a freelancer, it’s crucial to know what you’re good at. What skills do you have that people might be interested in? Once you’ve identified your skills and strengths, you can start marketing yourself as a freelance specialist in that area.
The most in-demand freelance skills right now include copywriting, SEO, social media marketing, web development, and graphic design. So if you have any of these skills, make sure to market yourself as a specialist in these areas.
Invest in the Right Equipment
When starting to freelance, the first things you’ll need are the right tools and equipment to find and do your job.
Here are some of the essential tools and equipment you will need:
- A good quality laptop (or desktop)
- A reliable internet connection
- A phone or a headset
- Good quality freelancer software for your chosen profession (e.g., Photoshop for graphic design, InDesign for layout work, etc.)
Start Building a Portfolio of Your Work
One of the most critical things you need to do when starting freelance work is to build a portfolio of your work. It will show potential clients what you’re capable of and help you get more work in the future.
A portfolio can be in the form of a website, and you can even find a good website builder for free. It could also be an online portfolio on social media platforms like LinkedIn or even a PDF document. Make sure to showcase your best work and highlight your skills and strengths.
Build a Network of Contacts
When working as a freelancer, it’s important to build a network of contacts. These are people who can help you find work, give you advice, and recommend you to their clients.
The best way to build a network of contacts is by attending industry events and meetups, connecting with people on social media, and joining relevant online forums and groups.
Find a Good Freelance Platform
This step is crucial for any freelancer starting out. A good freelance platform will connect you with potential clients and help you find work. So, you have to ensure that you’re using a good freelance platform worth your time.
Some of the most popular freelance platforms include Upwork to become a freelancer. There’s also Fiverr and Freelancer, and more. But while there are a lot of opportunities you can find on these platforms, it can also be quite competitive.
If you’re just a beginner freelancer, it might be a better idea to start on a smaller platform or even create your own website where you can showcase your work.
Create a Solid Pricing Strategy
Having a solid pricing strategy in place is significant when starting a freelance business. It will help you stay competitive and ensure that you’re making a good profit from your work.
A good way to price your services is to think about the market rate for the service you’re providing. You can then add a bit of margin on top to ensure that you’re making a healthy profit.
Don’t underprice your services, as this can devalue your work and make it difficult to make a good living from freelancing. But at the same time, don’t overprice your services, as this can put clients off and make it difficult to find work.
Send an Outstanding Proposal
Once you’ve identified a potential client, it’s time to send them a proposal. It’s your opportunity to sell yourself and your services to the client, especially when you’re just starting to freelance.
Make sure to send a well-crafted proposal that outlines who you are, what you can offer, how much it will cost, and how long it will take. And most importantly, make sure to personalize the proposal to fit the client’s needs.
If you can send a well-crafted proposal that shows how you can help clients meet their needs, then you stand a good chance of winning the job.
Build a Good Relationship With the Client
So, you’ve landed a job. Congratulations! If you start freelancing today, you must also start building a good relationship with the client today and ensure that they’re happy with your work.
Make sure to keep in touch with the client on a regular basis, update them on your progress, and always deliver on your promises.
If you can provide high-quality work and maintain a good relationship with the client, then you’ll be more likely to get repeat work and referrals from them in the future.
Keep Developing Your Skills
As a freelancer, you have to constantly learn and develop your skills to stay competitive and offer high-quality work to your clients.
There are many ways you can continue building your skills:
- Subscribe to online courses and learn new skills
- Attend industry events and meetups to learn from other professionals
- Read books and articles on freelancing for beginners and related topics
- Join online forums and groups where you can share your knowledge and learn from others
- Practice your skills regularly, so you stay sharp and up to date
The more you learn and develop your skills, the better you’ll serve your clients and make money freelancing.
Common Challenges That Freelancers Face and How to Overcome Them
Freelancing is a rewarding but challenging career. But with a bit of perseverance and hard work, you can overcome any challenge that comes your way.
Here are some of the most common challenges that freelancers face and how to overcome them:
Not Having Enough Work
Not having enough work sometimes happens, especially when you’re just starting a freelance career. But even those who have been freelancing for a while already find this one of the most common challenges that freelancers face.
The best way to overcome this is to be proactive and market yourself to potential clients. You can also look for alternate sources of income such as writing for blogs, teaching online courses, or starting other online businesses, like online selling.
Not Being Able to Find Quality Clients
One way to beat this challenge is to focus on building a good reputation and delivering high-quality work to your clients.
You can also network with other professionals and attend industry events to meet potential clients. You can even take advantage of this network when starting a freelance social media business.
Not Being Able to Find Good Rates
One of the best things to do to overcome this challenge is to research the market rates for the services you’re providing and then add a bit of margin on top.
You can also offer lower rates to attract new clients, but make sure you’re still making a profit on the work you’re doing.
Not Being Able to Manage Your Time Effectively
Time management is key in defeating this challenge. Create a schedule and stick to it. You can also use tools, such as Hubstaff or Google Calendar to help you keep track of your time.
Freelancing Tips to Succeed
If, despite the challenges mentioned above, you still decide to push through with freelancing, realizing that the pros outweigh the cons, here are some tips for making sure you’re successful in this career:
Stay Focused and Motivated
As previously mentioned, freelancing can be challenging, so staying focused and motivated throughout your career is of utmost importance. Make sure to set goals for yourself and track your progress towards these goals.
Build a Good Network of Professionals
Networking is key to success as a freelancer. The more people you know in your industry, the more opportunities you’ll have to find work. So, keep building your network, and ensure that it’s a good one.
Stay Up to Date With Changes in Your Industry
The freelance landscape is constantly changing, so staying up to date with the latest changes and trends is important, especially if you intend to make money freelancing. Some examples of the changes you may encounter are the rise of online courses, the growth of remote work, and the increasing popularity of freelancing platforms.
Set Your Rates Appropriately
One of the most important things to remember as a freelancer is to set your rates appropriately. Don’t charge too much or too little, and make sure you’re making a profit on the work you’re doing.
Stay Organized and Efficient
Organization and time management skills are essential for freelancers. Make sure to have a system in place for tracking your work, billing clients, and managing your finances.
Be Prepared to Work Hard
How to start freelancing and being there already are both fulfilling and challenging. But with a bit of hard work and perseverance, you can be successful in this career.
Remember to focus on your strengths and stay positive through the ups and downs of freelancing.
Freelancing can be a great career choice, but it’s important to remember that it’s not always easy. There will be challenges along the way, but you can be successful as a freelancer with perseverance and a positive attitude.
Good luck on your job hunt!
Which work is best for a beginner freelancer?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as a beginner freelancer’s best type of work will vary depending on their skills and experience.
However, some good options for beginner freelancers include writing, web development, and graphic design.
Where do I start freelance writing?
There are many ways to get started in freelance writing. You can start by pitching story ideas to online publications, writing for blogs, or creating your own blog.
You can also look for freelance writing jobs on job boards or websites like Upwork or Freelancer. You can also create your own website to showcase your writing portfolio.
Are there students starting freelancing, too?
Yes, there are students starting freelancing at a young age. It can be a great way to gain experience and build a portfolio early in your career. It’s also a great way to make some extra money while you’re still in school.