How To Start Freelancing (Complete Beginner’s Guide)
Do you want to get into freelancing but aren’t sure where to begin?
This is the guide for you.
This is an all-in-one guide for beginners on how to get started freelancing. Whether you want to work as a writer, web designer, or developer, this guide will walk you through the process in ten easy steps.
Before you go any further, I’d like to make a few points clear.
Freelancing is a lot more difficult than it appears. Some people believe that anyone with a computer and access to the internet can make money online. However, this is not the case. Continue reading only if you’re ready to put in the effort necessary to achieve your goal of becoming a freelancer and achieving financial independence.
Also, read the suggested links for more information on each section.
Let’s get started.
1. Obtain the Correct Equipment
When you’re desperate, you make terrible choices and decisions. That is why I always advise against starting freelancing to make quick money.
It is important to understand that freelancing is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It necessitates a great deal of effort. In fact, as a freelancer, it took me about four years to establish a consistent income. However, you now have more opportunities than I did back then.
I’m frequently asked by freelancers if there is any work they can do with just a smartphone. The short answer is that there aren’t any. At the very least, not ones that are worthwhile.
The features of smartphone apps are limited. You’ll need a computer to run the software you’ll need to get the job done right and deliver excellent results.
So, before you consider working online, go out and get yourself a laptop or even an old computer.
So, before you consider working online, go get yourself a laptop or even an old computer. Before going any further, make sure to read the article suggestions below.
2. Look for a marketable skill.
The next and most crucial step is to identify a skill that you can offer as a service.
This can be as simple as transcription of a podcast or as complex as developing a mobile app. Whatever it is, finding a skill that you are good at and that has enough demand in the marketplace is the key to success in freelancing.
If you’re good at drawing illustrations or designing product packaging, for example, go to a freelance marketplace like UpWork or Freelancer and see what jobs are available.
If there are enough job listings for the skill you’re good at on those sites, you’ve struck gold.
3. Brush up on your skills
Once you’ve identified a marketable skill, make sure you can sell it as a service. Simply put, you must be exceptionally good at what you do in order to be compensated for it.
Let’s say you want to write for health and wellness blogs as a freelance writer. This is a popular category. You’ve also written about it in high school or college.
That does not, however, imply that you can write blog posts for online audiences. Article writing styles and formatting differ greatly between blogs and online publications. The main goal is to appeal to a broad audience.
As a result, you must now learn how to write blog posts for an online audience. Learn the ins and outs of WordPress. What is the best way to make graphics for articles? And there’s more.
It’s the same for any other type of freelancing skill. You can’t just dive right in without first learning the fundamentals. You must first improve your abilities.
Read books, watch YouTube channels, and follow blogs that are relevant to your skill and industry. Taking online courses is also the most efficient way to learn and improve a skill. Recommendations can be found by clicking on the links below.
It takes time to develop a skill from the ground up. So be patient and continue to learn and practice. It could take weeks, months, or even years to complete. Just keep going.
4. Make Yourself As a Brand
Whether you’ll be a successful freelancer depends on your ability to demonstrate your skills and work. It makes no difference whether you have a college diploma or years of experience. Clients will never hire you if you can’t show them that you’re good at what you do.
You should have articles published on popular blogs if you’re a writer. You should be able to point to a brand and say you designed their logo if you’re a graphic designer. If you work as a web designer, you must be able to send a link to a website that you created.
In a nutshell, get your work out there. If you have to, do some free work first. Contact blogs that allow guest posts. Work on some concept design. Work on improving your reputation, whatever it is.
5. Make Your Own Portfolio
Create a portfolio to keep all of your published/live work in one place as you begin to build your reputation. A portfolio is a website or a webpage that displays all of your work.
If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you can create a portfolio page on a site like Behance to showcase all of your work. When you’re contacting a client, you can simply send them a link to your portfolio so they can check out your skills.
Make sure your portfolio only contains your best work.
6. Part-Time Freelancing is an option to consider.
It is true that freelancing is not for everyone. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the process of marketing yourself, selling your services, and dealing with clients.
Try freelancing part-time if you’re not sure whether it’s the right career path for you. Work on smaller freelance jobs for a couple of hours each day. Also, learn the ins and outs of freelancing.
You can decide whether to freelance full-time or quit your day job when you feel ready to take on larger projects.
7. Find the Most Appropriate Freelance Platform
This step is critical in determining how easily you’ll land jobs and the quality of clients with whom you’ll be able to work.
Most new freelancers make the mistake of looking for the most popular freelance marketplace and joining to get started. UpWork or Freelancer.com, for example.
Millions of freelancers from all over the world already use these sites. They also engage in bidding wars to win jobs as a result of the competition. In order to get the job, they will keep lowering their prices. And it won’t help you get anywhere.
So the best approach, and the approach that worked best for me, is to join a relatively new marketplace. Because there will be fewer freelancers, there will be less competition. It will also improve your chances of landing a job.
8. Charge the Correct Amount
It can be difficult to determine the right price for your services. Because clients will never consider hiring you if you ask for the wrong price.
The best way to figure out the right price in the beginning is to look at popular freelance marketplaces and see what other freelancers in your niche or industry charge. It’s not fair to charge the same rates as experienced freelancers because you’re new.
Instead, you should try to find a middle ground where you can compete on price with the more experienced freelancers while not appearing cheap.
9. Send Your Proposal for the First Time
Writing a proposal to a client requires meticulous attention to detail.
It’s not the same as sending an email or posting on social media. You should give it some serious thought and figure out how to persuade your client to hire you over the other freelancers.
When writing a winning proposal, there are a few tricks and hacks you can use to your advantage. I can’t go into every detail here, so please see the links below for more information.
10. Exceeding Customers’ Expectations
Once you’ve landed a job, the next step is to make sure you complete the project according to the client’s specifications. Or, in this case, I want you to go above and beyond the client’s expectations by overdelivering the job.
Let me give you an illustration. I used to get jobs writing blog articles with a set word count, such as 1000 words, when I first started freelancing. When I delivered the blog post, I wrote it to be around 1100-1200 words long and included a unique header image. Without having to charge extra for it.
My work was always well received by my clients. And they gave it a five-star rating. So find a way to go above and beyond in your work. Also, figure out how to stand out from the crowd. That is the only way to establish a long-term freelance career.
FAQs About Freelancing
These frequently asked questions about freelancing will help you further understand how the industry works.
Is Freelancing a Profession?
Yes! Freelancing can be viewed as a profession. However, it is dependent on the type of work you choose to do. Working as a data entry clerk, for example, cannot be considered a career. At the very least, it’s not a good one. However, if you choose copywriting as a career, you can work as a marketer and even lead marketing teams at startups.
What is the best field for freelancing?
There are numerous areas of freelancing where you can earn higher rates and generate profitable incomes. However, there is no such thing as “the best” in any industry or job. You should not choose a career solely on the basis of its monetary value. Choose the ones in which you excel.
What Types Of Freelance Work Am I Able To Do?
The market for freelancers is quite large. There are hundreds of specializations available, including logo designers, product copywriters, and more. You can work in any field. You can turn your skills into a service and charge for it if you have them. It doesn’t matter if it’s online or offline. That’s what freelancing is all about!
How Do I Get Started As A Freelancer If I Have No Experience?
One of the best things about freelancing is that there are no requirements. To become a freelancer, you don’t need a fancy college degree or years of work experience. All you need is a marketable skill and the commitment to work harder and more efficiently than everyone else.
Is Freelancing Better Than Working For Someone Else?
Freelancing, like any other day job, has advantages and disadvantages. When compared to a typical office job, it has a lot of advantages. Yes, freelancing can be a better option than a traditional job. However, this will largely be determined by your personality type.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Freelancing?
Being your own boss is one of the best aspects of being a freelancer. It’s similar to running a company. You can find clients, work, and complete tasks at your own pace. It can, however, be exhausting. It’s especially difficult if you’re used to following instructions. As if you were working in an office.
Do Freelancers Get Paid?
Yes! Unless you’re a victim of a con artist. Freelancers are always compensated. It’s a common misconception that clients don’t pay on time or avoid paying at all. However, this is not the case. You’ll always get paid on time if you know how to find good clients.
Where Do Freelancers Look for Work?
Freelancers can look for work in a variety of ways. You’ll be relieved to learn that you don’t have to rely on marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer.com all of the time. Instead, look for jobs through job boards, communities, and even email outreach. In a previous chapter, I went over this topic in greater detail.
Why Is Freelancing So Difficult?
It is not easy to work as a freelancer. To succeed as a freelancer, you must work hard and be determined. More importantly, gaining experience and developing skills takes time. Finding a coach and improving your skills through courses and reading books are two good ways to make this process easier.
Where Can I Learn To Freelance?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a special place where you can learn how to freelance. It’s something you’ll have to figure out for yourself. Taking online courses and reading books can help, but becoming a great freelancer ultimately depends on your dedication and ability to learn from your mistakes.
What Are Some Simple Freelance Jobs?
Data entry, transcription, and translation are all simple jobs that you can do as a freelancer. Keep in mind, however, that “easy comes, easy goes.” Those simple jobs aren’t going to last long. If you want to make a living as a freelancer, you’ll have to put in a lot of effort to improve your skills.
What Is Local Freelancing, and How Does It Work?
To work as a freelancer, you don’t always have to sign up for a freelance marketplace online. You can also work for a local company. It counts as freelancing whether you’re designing a website for a local business or a logo. You can find local freelance jobs on a variety of job boards. You can also use the old-fashioned method of cold-calling to apply for jobs.