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6 Steps On How To Become A Successful Freelancer

How to Become A Successful Freelancer

In this pandemic when everything is going digital, freelancing has now become more popular than ever. Companies are increasingly hiring freelancers for remote work.

The global Freelance Platforms market size is projected to reach US$ 9192.9 million by 2026. Only on Fiverr, a non-traditional freelance marketplace, a freelancing job is sold every 4 seconds.

As a result of an abundance of possibilities to get work, freelance businesses are likely to grow faster. Freelancing is growing as an independent economical fringe, making for over 35% of the total working population in the US.

So, are you considering freelancing, but unsure of how to become a freelancer? Here are 6 steps to help you get started in a freelancing business.

1. Know Your Goals for Freelancing 

To become a successful freelancer, you need to know your goals. If you don’t know your destination, it is hard to choose a path. 

To set your goals as a freelancer, ask yourself WHY to become a freelancer or start a freelancing business. The answer to this can motivate you throughout the journey.

  • Do you want to replace your current job with freelancing?
  • Want to create more income with a side business?
  • How much income do you want to generate with your freelancing business?

A clear set of goals will be the cornerstone of your success as a freelancer. It will help you to decide how much effort and time you want to put into it. The question of why to become a freelancer is preceding to how to become a freelancer.

2. Define Your Skillset 

The second step to becoming a freelancer is pinpointing your skillset. Your skills are what will help you generate income with freelancing. It is most important to identify the skills that you have built over time. 

If you have a job, your job description can help you determine your skillset. Create a list of tasks you have been paid for.

Your job description doesn’t include all you can do. As a full-time employee of a company, you do various tasks. Like if you are a content writer, there is a high chance you may have experience in on-page SEO. Multiple gigs can be created for related services.

Choose what you love to do. If you draw in your free time, do it while earning. Maybe you are a passionate photographer, do it for clients, and get paid. 

Some of the in-demand and most paid skills to start a freelancing business include creative writing, graphic designing, web development, search engine optimization (SEO). You can also find a ton of freelancing services on freelancing sites like Upwork, Fiverr. 

3. Showcase Your Skills With a Portfolio

Gaining the trust of a client is the key to winning them. To make it easy for clients to hire you, provide them with value. Portfolios inform potential clients if you are a good match for their project and secure their trust. 

A portfolio includes all your past work related to your services. It tells your new clients that you have experience in the field; You have helped businesses like them in the past. 

Create your portfolio the right way to make it stand out among others. Add only the most relevant work. If you want to win projects of web development, there is no point to add logo design samples. 

But what to include in your portfolio if you have not done any work in the past? Well, you need to put effort into your goals. 

Go to the freelancing site. Read the project descriptions related to your skill. Understand it and complete the project. You will not get paid for it, but it will help you to create a strong portfolio. 

Another way to build a portfolio is to offer free work at a low rate. You can start with Fiverr, which offers $5 jobs. It will give you hands-on experience of how to deal with clients. 

4. Define Your Target Clients 

When you have a service to offer, know your targeted audience. You can’t offer your service to everyone. 

When starting, you may want to work with small businesses or non-profit organizations to have experience. But as you grow as a freelancer and gain more experience, you will want to work with famous brands. 

Consider who other freelancers are targeting. You may know a freelancer with your chosen skills. Have a look at his profiles. It will show you what you need to learn more to stand out as an expert. 

For example, if you are a content writer, you may know another fellow content writer. You both have the same goal. See what companies or individuals he/she has worked with along the way. 

At what level has he reached now? This search can help you to set your prices as a new freelancer. It will inspire you as well.

To know more about how he decides to work with a client, get in touch with him/her. During this process, keep your eyes open for niches that other freelancers may have overlooked. Few people are reaching out to a target market that you may be able to tap into. 

The idea here isn’t to copy what other freelancers are doing but to use them as inspiration.

5. Clients Acquisition

You have your skill and potential clients. Now is the time to win your first project. To earn money through freelancing, you need a potential client. 

Finding clients can be accomplished through a variety of techniques. Initially, try some techniques. Later, you can stick to the one that is easy and most rewarding for you. 

Reach Out to Clients Directly

The best form of freelancing is approaching your potential clients directly. Someone has a problem, and you provide them with a solution; they pay you. It is only between an employer and an employee.

Both parties agree on a price. The client pays the amount and you, as a freelancer, get all of it. There are no platforms or referrals involved in between. 

This method helps you to develop a long-term relationship. Many freelancers work with a client again and again. These relations are the most valuable because you both know and trust each other. The client likes and values work. 

Leverage Freelancing Websites Jobs 

If you are confused about how to become a freelancer, sign up on a freelancing site, and half your work to start a freelancing business is done.

Freelancing websites are built to bring paying projects to as many freelancers as possible. These sites are the easiest way to land projects as a new freelancer.

These freelancing sites prevent the interest of freelancers and clients. They work as a two-sided marketplace to connect hiring customers and valuable talent. They actively add new projects to their sites. 

Popular traditional freelancing websites are Upwork, Guru.com, and Freelancer.com. All these sites give you a few free bids when you start. But then you have to upgrade your profile.

Fiverr is an overall popular non-traditional freelancing website. It lets freelancers create multiple gigs at a time. Clients buy your gig if they like it. So you don’t have to bid on projects all the time. 

Here are other lesser-known but equally powerful websites to check out as a freelancer: Toptal.com, SimplyHired.com, 99designs, Contena, Solidgigs.

6. Market Yourself As A Freelancer

As a freelancer, marketing yourself is the most pressing question. You can use multiple platforms to build connections and to get in front of your targeted clients. 

Use Linkedin to make connections. Linkedin is a business-oriented social media site. A platform where you talk about your skills and business. By connecting with other freelancers, you will get refreshed answers to how to become a freelancer.

As a freelancer, make connections with companies, businesses, and prominent placeholders within your industry. So you may get to know about all their job offerings. 

Sometimes your friends and relatives don’t know what you do to make a living. Generally, when you are just starting your freelancing business. You may feel embarrassed until you have a successful freelancing business. Be confident!

Someone in your close relationship may be worried about the branding of their business. Have a conversation with them. Leave your business card with them so they can reach you. 

Use social media to promote your freelancing business. Create a Fb page and get in front of millions of people. Of course, all of them are not targeted clients, but they can be your advocates. 

Post visual content and related quotes. To build a personalized relationship, share your story of starting a freelance business. Talk about how to become a freelancer. Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc are other ways to engage your audience. 

Now that you’ve learned it all about freelancing, we’ll answer a million-dollar question for you – as a bonus!

How Can I Start Freelancing With No Experience?

To start freelancing, you don’t need years of experience, but a skill. Offer your skill as a service. Reach out to businesses or individuals who are struggling with your chosen skill. Provide them with a solution and create value for their business.

Recap

We have covered what you need to make a strong base for your freelancing business. Let’s recap the steps we have learned: 

  • Identifying your goals for freelancing: A successful freelance career starts with setting goals and objectives. As you exceed in your freelancing career, a clear goal will be a big motivator for you.
  • Building your skillset: For a freelancer, his/her skill is the most important asset. You need to have a deep knowledge of what problems you are going to solve and how. 
  • Portfolio creation to display your abilities: Claims make no difference in attracting new clients. You have to show them your value. Making client negotiations easier with a portfolio is key. 
  • Defining your target clients: Not everyone will value your work. Or sometimes, you may find it hard to grow with someone. Choose the right boss for you. 
  • Know how to engage with your clients: Explore all the ways you can interact with your potential clients. It will help you to put your efforts in the right place. 
  • Self-promotion as a freelancer: You can’t expect people to hire you if they don’t know about you. The use of self-marketing will come in handy here.

You are ready to become a freelancer!

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Written by Sehar Tabassum

Sehar Tabassum, a passionate freelance writer who adds value to his clients; business with words. Experienced in writing content related to business, tech, and lifestyle. Get more from business with a content writer!

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