Glad you have decided to become a freelancer.
I was doing a full-time job as a Social Media Manager before I started freelancing. I straight away quit my day job to focus on my freelance work, and I know it was risky.
I would be lying if I say it was all too simple.
No, It wasn’t.
In fact, I had to try to figure out how to make things work.
In this article, I will be sharing how you can start a freelance business yourself very quickly.
Let’s dive in.
Start with why you want to start freelancing
- To create a side income?
- Replace your full time job?
- How much do you want to earn by doing it?
- Do you just want to become a freelancer because of the benefits of being your own boss?
Before you start your freelancing, you need to get very clear on why you need to start freelancing. Once you have your goals in mind, how you utilize your limited amount of time will define your level of success with freelancing.
10 Steps to Start a Freelance Business While Working Full-Time in 2021
1. Define Your Goals
Setting your goals are very important because it will motivate you to work harder and helps you to improve your skills. So, you will keep growing as a professional.
Without simply defined, clearly measurable goals, you’re going to have a very hard time getting to where you want to go.
Start freelancing part-time or as a side hustle:
Freelancing as a side hustle is a great place to start. Because as a beginner, you don’t need to take pressure to generate more income immediately.
You’ll get more time to think about what you want to do further and what type of work you do and the clients you do it for.
How much time you have:
It also depends on how much time you have. How much time will you spend networking because freelancing is often built from relationships, and those relationships take time to build.
2. Find a Profitable Niche
The next and most important, step is to find yourself a profitable niche.
Don’t choose a skill in which people are successful so you have to do it.
Be a Specialist. Stick to an area of expertise and focus on that for best results, to be a niche or specialist freelancer.
Your different skills are your greatest asset. Identify the different skills you’ve polished over the years that other people may not have. This is why they will pay you.
Let’s say; You are an agency owner and you need a good copy for your Google ad campaign that convinces people to buy, would you rather choose someone who is a generalist or a copywriting expert? Well, I’ll choose the specialist every time.
Consider starting freelancing with skills from previous jobs, hobbies, or self-taught skills.
3. Level up your skills
Once you decide on your skills, practice your skills by doing types of projects that you want to finally be paid to work on.
Suppose, you want to be a freelance writer for travel and lifestyle blogs. This category is very huge and has good demand. You have some writing experience about it in your school days.
But this whole thing is different from that. Essays and articles have different writing formats and styles. Like you need to learn how to use WordPress, how to make graphics for your article, etc.
You can’t just jump right in without even trying to learn the basics.
That’s why You need to polish up your skills first.
Also Read: The 10 Best Digital Marketing Blogs
4. Build your online presence
Not having an online presence is a BIG mistake!
Your online presence can work for you in various ways, whether that’s to attract more clients you really want to work with, connect yourself as an authority in your industry, or scale up your work.
And you don’t need to spend money or a massive amount of time in marketing yourself but you have to be consistent and connect with the right people.
Start with your profile, mentions your most necessary skills, and give people a reason to contact you.
After you’ve worked with a few clients and have a better idea of why they hired you, you can go back and update your profile with the new information.
5. Create your portfolio
Sometimes you got projects easily from friends or family, but clients need a reason to trust you most of the time.
It doesn’t matter if you have a degree or years of experience, If you can’t show clients that you’re skilled at what you do, they will never hire you.
Your portfolio is your most important tool for getting new clients.
How to display your portfolio?
There are a lot of free sites to make an amazing portfolio like Dribble, Instagram, or Behance. But if you like, you can also create your own website or blog for your samples.
Having a website and not being dependent on a third party like social media, will be a huge benefit in the long run.
What to include in your portfolio?
If you are a content writer like me, you can create a portfolio page on a site to show off all your blogs and articles.
Keep in mind that if you’re requiring to pursue a specific type of work, and you need to make sure that’s exactly what you highlight in your portfolio.
6. Identify Your Target Clients
When I first started Social Media Marketing as a freelancer, I worked for anyone who was willing to pay me. and this drove me to work on projects for clients who didn’t get the value of the work I was doing.
To identify your target client, start by listing the characteristics or qualities of the person you would ideally want to work with. It’s not as difficult as you might think.
Don’t overthink this. Open up a blank document or notebook and start writing.
For me, an ideal client is smart, experienced, communicate properly, and understands the value of what I’m offering
Focus on the business value you can provide to your client.
7. Charge The Right Price
Figuring the right price for your services is a challenging part and it’s important to think how you plan on charging clients.
- Will you be hourly?
- Will you charge a flat fee?
- Will you use project quotes?
Once you decided your pricing structure, start figuring out how much your services are going to cost.
Keep in mind, There’s no such thing as prices that are too high.
Finding the right price for your services will probably take some time. You should keep trying until you get it right.
8. Perfect Your Pitching
Pitching is such an important part of freelancing.
If you want to start freelancing, you need to learn how to pitch yourself!
It’s not just about creating new and attractive proposals, your progress depends on how you’re selecting new works, how you put your value premises, and how much research you do before the time.
If you really want to start your freelancing business and winning new clients, you need to be ready to communicate those strengths and convert your conversations into paying clients.
Here are the example;
Hi [name of client],
I’m a freelancer and a great follower of your business. I noticed you newly expanded your product line into the consumer market. Congratulations.
I know this because I was interested in purchasing your [product name] myself, but got a bit lost in the special information on your website.
I have experience in writing case studies in your industry and some of my recent and relevant clips are [Name of clip], [Name of clip], and [Name of clip]. My website and further details are here.
If this idea is of interest, I would be delighted to discuss it with you to scope out a brief and likely fee. I look forward to hearing from you. My phone number is [your number] and I am based in [city name]
Are there any other tactics I didn’t cover that you’ve used to make big profits in your freelancing career? Share with me in the comments, I’m eager to hear them!