How to start a Freelancing Career
Either for the time-management freedom or for the stress-free environment, some people abandon their cubicles and go for freelancing jobs. You aren’t bossed around, you can make up your own schedule and you see how much money you really make – freelancing seems the right option for many reasons.
The infographic below should give you the general idea of the steps that must be taken in order to start your freelancing career:
Is Freelancing The Right Choice For You?
If you always feel like your skills and abilities were restricted by the big company’s policies, you’ll be glad to find out that freelancers have more freedom to apply their expertise. According to Slash Workers, 61% of freelance workers have 2 to 3 talents, so they have a wider choice of job industries to apply themselves in (often simultaneously). Working from home boosts productivity by 13%.
The pay is great. If you have the right skills, freelance coders and software developers make $1,000 an hour from home. In addition, 68% of Slash Workers responders state that the quality of life has improved now that they have switched to freelancing.
The freelancing industry is expanding rapidly. Judging by the Freelancer.com Annual Report, 10.6 million of job postings were received by them in 2016. The outcome of client-freelancer cooperation was estimated at $3 billion.
Starting a Freelancing Career
Step 1. Create a Personal Brand
Freelancing movement is big enough to create its own union. There are 57.3 million people in the Freelancers Unions. That’s 36% of US workers. Clearly, the competition is high. In order to pursue a freelancing career, one has to create a marketable professional image. Draw up a resume and an online portfolio to target the clients with.
Think of the skills to put in the resume. Freelancers have to be on the edge of things. Be sure to either learn or refresh your AI, Social Media Marketing and Brand Strategy skills. These were the most demanded skills in 2017. Knowledge and expertise in Robotics, Blockchain, and Augmented reality will be highly desired in the future as well.
Demonstrate your skills in the blog or a personal website to showcase your projects. Promote your professional portfolio on social media accounts and job-searching platforms.
Step 2. Map Out a Plan
Set clear goals you would like to reach taking up or switching to freelancing. Calculate the hours you’ll be able to operate. Set monetary goals to better track the progress. Define the number of projects you’ll be able to execute monthly. This strategy will be useful when you seek out clients for you to achieve your financial aspiration.
Step 3. Placing Yourself in the Market
Define what market niche you’re going to occupy. Think of the trade or service you’re going to sell. Assess the competition and define (or find) what features will give you the edge.
Here are some examples by Freelancing Hacks of where you could apply your skills at. Experienced freelance copywriters make $250 per hour on average. Software developers (from junior to senior) can score from $119,000 to $150,000 annually. Certain freelance graphic designers, who have jumped at the chance and now contribute to UpWork and PeoplePerHour, make at least $85 per hour.
Specify the field of your service. You want to appeal to as many potential clients offering a wider choice of facilities. But you don’t want to disappoint clients with your inability to deliver. The more accurate you will be while demonstrating your tasks and duties, the sooner you’ll hear from prospective clients.
Step 4. Winning the Customers
Every successful business presents some value to customers. Define what your value is. It will either be a service to cover the customers’ needs or an innovation that will lead to creating a totally new service value.
In order to get the word about your business going, start talking it up even before you launch it. Launching dedicated social media accounts and a website will be useful. Create a buzz among your support network (starting with friends and family).
When it comes to targeting customers all means are worthy. This means participating in the fairs, attending meetings and conferences with fellow entrepreneurs.
When unsure about your own project to develop, participate in start-ups with other young businessmen. This way you will be able to use the existing clientele.
If you have provided service to some people before, ask them to post their testimonials on your page and motivate them to refer their acquaintances to you.
Step 5. Take Care of the Financial Processes
Before you can sell your skills or benefits, set a price for them. Make an invoice template where the clients will view the price range. Consider creating an accounting plan to avoid financial traps. Also, don’t forget about the taxes.
You don’t have to hire an accountant, but you must learn to manage your financial records. It is obligatory since you must see how much money you bring in and where it goes. Online applications, like AND CO from Fiverr can help deal with finances when just starting off with freelancing.
Step 6. Push Yourself Forward
Different generations of clients may be different in their preferences and buying patterns but they all have one thing in common: they like a personal connection with the seller. So, in order to get their attention, you have to show that you’re an expert in your trade.
To do this, blog about your experience and share insights from the industry. Post guest posts on other people’s blogs to raise awareness about your brand. Motivate clients’ discussion about your service by writing a tutorial for them or establishing a workshop. Engage in conversations with clients and find new ways to meet their needs.
Step 7. Have Faith in Yourself
It takes some courage to quit that 9-to-5 job and start on your own. Never lose focus of that motivation and inspiration that made you take up freelancing. If you question your abilities, this is a good thing, because you go into freelancing with a clear head. Take a look at people who inspired your decision and once again find that spark that inspired you to try your hand in a freelancing career. Eventually, if you don’t believe in yourself, who will?
The Future of Freelancing
Nasdaq states that by 2020 43% of the US workforce will be freelancers, and by 2027 freelancers will present the majority. Nearly half of the freelancers today are ready to commit to their freelancers’ careers forever.
So, with the facts, statistic, and strategies above, you already have a 7-step game plan to create your own freelance career. The rest is up to you.
Ann Mosley is a writer at Resume Writing Lab. She believes that some research and the right mindset can help anyone build a successful career.