Nowadays, people are looking for an opportunity to set them free from the 8 to 5 corporate rat race. One solution for battling the daily commute, dealing with horrible bosses and office politics, and being a slave inside the four walls of the workplace is to become a freelancer. In his blog, we will discuss the step-by-step training to start your career as a freelancer.
Before you begin your journey as a freelancer, ask yourself why you want to do it. Once you know the reason why you want to get into freelancing, it will be easier for you to gauge your level of success as a freelancer.
Define Your Goals
Determining your goal serves as your map that will help you chart your way to success. It’s challenging to make a major leap on your career if you don’t have a guide or reason why you are doing it in the first place.
What is your goal?
Is Will becoming a freelancer give you more time with your family?
Do you want to let go of your current job because the stress is taking a toll on your health?
Or, are you looking for a side gig to give you another source of income?
Regardless of your reason for becoming a freelancer, you need to be clear about it. Successful entrepreneurs agree that they all started with a clear vision, and that helped them every step of the way.
You should set up yearly and quarterly goals and spend time tracking them weekly, noting any stats you can on a spreadsheet.
Determine your niche
What skills do you have that you can offer to your prospects? You can’t sell everything to everyone. You have to pick the skill that you’re most confident in doing and people would be willing to pay for it. Highlight those skills on your Upwork profile. You can also mention your other skills related to your main talent. You will find that clients will often need you for more than one skill.
Now that you know what skill you can offer, it’s time to determine your niche. There are hundreds of industries out there looking for talented freelancers. Once you know your ability, think of what are the industries that will most likely need your service regularly. For example, if you’re a graphic designer, the sectors that will most likely hire you to include ad agencies, multimedia, and web developers.
Once you pinpoint the right businesses, focus on one of them. If your goal is to earn more, target companies that have a high demand for graphic designers because they are more willing to pay you at a higher rate.
Set Your Price Tag
At Freelancer Masterclass, we often discuss how to set your rate properly. I created informative slides to let my students understand what the key elements are that they need to consider when putting a price tag for their service.
The easiest way to determine your hourly rate is to take your yearly goal and subtract 3 zeros from it. For example, if you wanted to make $100,000 this year, you would subtract three zeros and that is your hourly rate, which is $100.
Don’t compare your rate to others. Remember that your rate depends on your expertise and the quality of your work. If you’re a beginner, don’t use the rate of an expert freelancer as a standard when setting your price.
Also, don’t let other people dictate your rate. They don’t know what you can bring to the table. Instead, be confident in the value of service that you can provide to the client. If clients can sense that you are the man for the job, they will still hire you even if your rate is higher than your competitors.
Create a High-Quality Portfolio
Sending Word documents and confusing links of your past projects on your proposals will turn-off many prospects. However, asking them to visit your webpage and see your portfolio can help your chances of getting hired.
Why do you need an online portfolio? Simple because it represents who you are as a professional. The content you publish on your portfolio shows your style, expertise, niche, and the name and number of clients you’ve worked for. Your portfolio website is the best opportunity to explain to your clients what you can do for their business. Just make sure you keep it updated.
People believe what they see, and that applies to your portfolio website as well. If you say you can do this and that, the content on your website will validate your claim. When the prospect sees that what you’re saying matches what they see on your portfolio, they will start to trust you. And when they do that, you’re 50% closer to getting hired.
Your portfolio must show the following characteristics to be effective:
- Clearly state your specialty and show that through your work.
- Leave a call to action and your contact details.
- List of relevant skills, education, and accomplishments.
- Publish testimonials of your previous clients.
- Updated work samples to show your current projects.
Choose Your First Client Carefully
Your first clients can be very important, both on the financial and reputation aspects of your freelancing career.
If your very first clients gave you negative feedback, it could destroy your credibility. What your previous clients say about you can affect other potential clients’ decision to hire you or not.
Before sending proposals, make sure you know what the job entails. Read the job description carefully to see if it fits your skillset. During the interview, ask the prospect about your scope of work.
If the client hired you, give your best when as you complete the project, no matter how big or small it is. Communicate to your client what he can expect from you, update him on your progress often, and complete the project on or before the deadline. Follow the contract you set with your client.
If you need to clarify something, ask politely. Clients prefer working with people who are fun to work with. At the same time, asking questions avoids making irreparable mistakes, which assures smooth completion of the project.
If you are looking forward to making a living out of freelancing, then an extensive Freelancing Training is just the thing you need.