You’ve probably heard about the wonders of freelancing: the ability to monetize your skill, 6-figure salary, freedom to choose clients, and perks of work-from-home arrangements, among other exciting possibilities.
It’s easily accessible too! You can invest in a new device or buy refurbished gadgets and begin your client-hunting journey as soon as possible. But as attractive as these things may sound, successful freelancers also need to start somewhere. There are as many challenges as advantages in this self-paced career track.
Freelancing can feel liberating or limiting. There is no one narrative for anyone who ever tried it. Some went back to a company job, while others considered this a part of their lifestyle for good. If you’re here to experience the latter, you’ll need some tips before starting your journey to self-employment!
First things first—you need to prove to potential clients that you can do what you claim to be competent about. If you are a writer and have written for clients before, you may compile your best works and organize them into different categories to show the range of your expertise.
You can add one to two examples of blog posts, ads, long-form articles, visual guides—and more! Don’t bombard your clients with your least-liked works. Because if you don’t like it enough, why would they?
- Find your platform
A freelancing platform is best for beginners because it helps you grasp the freelancing culture and help you build connections. Upwork and Fiverr are two of the most popular platforms but also the most competitive market. Don’t be limited to these two because there are more platforms like Toptal, Freelancer.com, Flexjobs, and many more.
Just expect that all the client’s payments will not go to you directly. Different platforms charge different percentage fees. The longer you work well with various clients on the platform, the more credibility you can build.
Freelancing platforms typically have different versions of the payment-first policy. The clients will make an initial deposit, and the platform will release the pay when you have completed the project. But if you seek full independence and reach out to clients yourself, you need to be extra cautious.
Unfortunately, you may likely encounter clients who will flake in the middle of the project or refuse to pay even after you’ve done good work for them. Always require at least an initial deposit and have them sign an agreement to secure fair compensation.
When you are starting, you will likely agree to every opportunity. While this is understandable in the first few projects, it will be more strategic for you to focus on a niche.
Think of the industries you enjoy working with. Is it finance, technology, or cosmetics? Let’s say you enjoy working with cosmetic brands. Which particular aspect do you work best? Is it skincare, makeup, or cosmetic procedures?
Once you identify your niche, keep yourself updated about the industry by reading news, blogs, and other forms of media to stay on track with your expertise.
There are many clients as much as there are many freelancers. Your chances of landing a gig will increase when you only seek out those looking for your specialty.
Don’t underestimate every client you work with because everyone is a possible lead. Each client you encounter is already a part of your network, and your work must speak for itself. Keep your clients happy, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.
You may also set up your website and sell yourself on social media. LinkedIn is a great way to start, and you may also find freelance opportunities there.
You will probably not be a freelancing superstar there and then, but you will eventually feel confident about selling your skills and expertise. You’ll do fine if you adhere to your client’s work-from-home expectations.