How to start Freelancing for beginners
The Ultimate guide to become a freelancer in 2023
5 min read
Relax, you won’t be reading about how to negotiate prices as a freelancer or how to get the best price for your service because we know all of it seems useless if you’re struggling to get your first client.
To begin with, why’re you thinking to start freelancing? If your answer is:
Of course. But, you should know these cherry-on-the-cake benefits of freelancing too:
1. Helps gain interpersonal skills: The freelance journey, starting from looking for new ways to get your hands on work to dealing with clients, teaches you a lot of skills other than the skill you’re earning bucks for. You hone yourself to become a better person in any future job or business. This is because now you’ve seen the industry a little closer and you know how to communicate and manage things effectively.
2. A star to your portfolio: Imagine you've worked as a freelancer in digital marketing as a teenager. Now, when you look for a full-time job in digital marketing or related fields after some years, the prior work experience in your resume surely gives you an edge.
3. Multiple options: In freelancing, you get to explore a wide array of domains to find out what interests you the most. Even in one particular niche, there is so much to learn which breaks the monotonous routine of doing the same thing every day. you can also customize your work schedule your way as a freelancer.
Now that you are consumed by a burning desire to be a freelancer, here are some tips and tricks:
1. Learn a specialized skill: You know how important this is if you've fallen for the trap of typing and data entry jobs on some 'really trusted websites.'
Jokes apart, you will have to hone yourself in a particular skill to begin the game. It is a gradual process but keep on trying different niches and researching about the in-demand freelance skills (whether a popular one or not). Explore all the options that interests you but being a 'Jack of all trades, master of none' does not work in freelancing.
So, choose one skill you feel passionate about and make sure you approach it in an industry-oriented way and strive to become the best at it constantly. Google and YouTube can form the base but going for a certified course can help you gain knowledge and make up for a stunning portfolio as well.
2. Start applying on freelance platforms: The most obvious way you will start your freelancing career will be by applying for work on freelancing websites like Freelancer, Upwork or Indeed. This can help, but...
There has been an exponential rise in freelancers and people seeking their first clients since the lockdown. So, the traffic on these popular platforms is already very high and thus they are now more fruitful to those who have had a long presence.
But, the good part is that the lockdown period has also witnessed a rise in the number of such platforms on the web. Start looking for some not-so-popular marketplaces like People per hour or skill enhancement platforms like Onclass to highlight yourself and your skills.
3. Build your own brand: Why does the teacher approach a few students directly if she wants participants for a speech competition? Because she knows they speak well and thus will not prefer selecting students from the whole lot again, isn't it? Similarly, when companies know that you are, say a good content writer, there are chances they will approach you directly when they have that position opening.
So, how do you become a familiar name in your domain? Simple, keep posting frequently on LinkedIn. LinkedIn's popularity has been growing rapidly and many have grown thousands of followers to become popular names in their niche. So, if you're into UI/UX, keep sharing information, opinions, techniques or maybe posts asking the audience which UI looks better. This also helps you become a part of a community and grow a network.
4. Create your website: As a freelancer, you will need to establish your work portfolio and showcase your best work samples. You can refer to this blog on how to create a website for free.
For e.g, if you are a content writer, you can start blogging on Hashnode or Medium. Designers can build a portfolio on Behance. You should also have an individual website to showcase your previous work and offer your freelance services. Don't hesitate to take up an unpaid internship initially to assemble some work samples. These sites or your own individual website serve as proof of your work and abilities.
5. Do your research and be creative: People don't buy products or services. They buy solutions to their problems.
Any client will take a chance on you only when you can convince them that the skill you are bringing to the table is going to be profitable for them. To start freelancing as a beginner, you will need to research what your target audience is and what service you can offer them to scale up their growth. To stand apart from the crowd, deliver a creative pitch to convince them that you can act like L'oreal : a solution to problems, ROFL.
For e.g: A normal pitch would be something like:
I am an SEO content writer. I can write in different styles, as required. I have previously worked as a content writing freelancer in a company similar like yours. The details are shared in my resume. I can write blogs, articles and e-mail content creatively.
I assure you of sincerity on my part. Waiting for your reply.
A winning pitch would be like this:
I am an SEO content writer with an experienced background. I came across your start-up and am glad to tell you that I am deeply interested in the vision you're working for. I have worked in a similar start-up previously as a freelance writer and was appreciated for my versatile writing skills and creativity. I have expertise in blog writing, article writing and e-mail marketing. I also have a lot of other ideas to share which can help make this company's impact far-reaching. Will be up for a meet as per your availability.
Looking forward to working together!
Keep polishing your skills to remain up-to-date and don't forget to ask for referrals from the clients you work with.