What is Freelancing & How to get started: FREELANCING GUIDE 101
Freelancing is offering a skill in exchange for payment, a particular skill that a client or business needs your help to solve their problem.
Freelancers are referred to as independent workers, self employed or contract workers.
So, many of us have questions about freelancing: How to get started? How do I find my first client?
How to get started?
Define your Goals
Without clearly defined goals, you’re going to have a very difficult time getting to where you want to be.
Consider if, Do you just want to earn extra income? Do you eventually want to become a full time freelancer? Or, are you looking to use freelancing as a stepping stone to achieving a different goal entirely?
Regardless, of what you are looking for, your ultimate goal should be abundantly clear.
Select your Niche
Don’t stop yourself by the preconception that you don’t have the necessary skills and experience- we’re not all graphic designers or developers. However, your secondary skills can help you develop your own freelancing business or create more freelance opportunities.
Take the time to understand what you want to become- Freelance Writer? Freelance Designer? Freelance Developer?
Make sure this decision is the right move in your progression towards achieving a bigger picture.
Identify the Right Clients
Just as important as finding the right niche, is attracting the right type of clients. Potential clients could be found everywhere- from google to social media to freelance marketplace platforms. If you have done a good branding, you know whom to pitch.
To start, you need to know who your ideal clients are. You may not get them right away but you have to have a clear idea in mind of who you are trying to target if you have done your branding correctly.
The easiest way to find your first gig is through a marketplace platform like Workafy. You need clients when you first start off you can’t afford to be choosy, so why not go where there are heaps of potential clients at one place.
So this point answers where to find your first client.
Build your Brand, make your Social Media Presence
If you want to succeed in the plan of freelancing, you will need a strong brand that sets you apart from the competition. Your brand is your identity (i.e your website, blog and social media accounts). It should clearly communicate your uniqueness. Build your social media presence by creating content depending on the medium that you want to work in, the work which will impress your target clients.
There is no better way to sell your services than to already show your clients that you can create what they need.
Create Portfolio & Collect Testimonials
Many prospective clients are not concerned with qualifications, they simply want to see what you have done in the past and judge whether its right fit for them. If you are good at what you do and can demonstrate your skills through a portfolio and a positive client testimonial, you have every chance of success.
Building a portfolio is one of the important aspects that catches the attention of the prospective client. Learn how to create an online portfolio, click here.
When you first start out, your main concern should be gaining experience. Making money, although it may be a pressing need, should be your secondary concern. More experience and expertise will bring more money. You have to put in work and time to make upto that goal. When you are new to freelancing don’t pretend to have skills you don’t possess or you’ll dig yourself in hole. Be straight up honest about your skills. If you represent yourself honestly, and explain that your low rate is reflective of your lack of experience, they’ll know exactly what they are getting and what to expect from you. Initially start off as low and once you build more connections and feedback you can raise your prices gradually.
Learning soft skills
Equally important is learning all the business soft-skills that make you a reliable professional asset to your clients. No matter how skilled you are at your craft, if you want to turn your skills into starting freelancing business, you need to be able to communicate your strengths in order to convert leads into potential clients.