There are over 59 million freelancers in the United States alone. That’s an incredible number of people, but do not let this figure put you off from getting started as a freelancer.
Why? There is a demand, and companies are looking for freelancers as the workplace transitions from office to home.
Each day for 7 days, complete the tasks in this guide, and by the end of the week, you will be in a much better position to start freelancing.
Here is how to get started as a freelancer in 7 steps.
Step 1 – It starts with you
To build a successful freelance business, it starts with you. It’s essential that you love the work you do. You also have to be good at what you do.
Grab an A3 pad and pencil (or laptop) and write down the answers to these questions. Please be honest with yourself.
- What work do you love to do?
- What are your passions in life?
- What work are you good at?
- What work would be the most rewarding?
Give yourself some time to think about these questions.
As we go through the steps, your responses will help you get started as a freelancer.
Step 2 – Think about your goals
Why do you want to start a freelance business? Is it to escape the office and work remotely? Do you want more time to do the things you love in life? Do you want to spend more time with your family?
Really think about your reasons for starting a freelance business.
What income do you want to generate from freelancing? How many hours do you want to work each week? Having these goals written down will also help you decide how much you want to charge clients for the work you undertake.
Having goals is essential, and if you can visualize what life could be like when you achieve these goals, you will continue to be motivated.
Step 3 – Package your skills
What skills do you have that you can package into service for potential clients? You are a writer but, you also offer search engine optimization as part of a service. Write down all of your skills and look at what you can package together as an attractive proposal.
Why do this? Packaging a service will make it more attractive to the client and help you stand out from your competition.
Step 4 – Look at your target audience
Think about the types of companies that need your service. What companies would you love to work with and have in your portfolio? What are your interests outside of work? Maybe you can work with companies within the industry you are passionate about the most.
My friend, Anna, is an accountant. She has worked for a Fortune 500 company for over a decade. She’s passionate about crafts. So, her focus is freelancing as an accountant with clients within the crafting niche.
One of the biggest mistakes that new freelancers make is working with companies in every industry. My advice is to work within a niche.
You are reducing potential clients but, it is easier to market your business when focusing on a Niche.
Step 5 – Evaluate challenges for your clients
While thinking back to your services and who your target client is, what challenges are they facing that you can help them with?
It is essential to think about this because when you’re marketing your freelance business, this is what you need to focus on.
Continuing with freelancing writing as an example: your client might not have time to write regular content because they are busy providing a service or product to customers.
Your services can save them time, but more importantly, the content you write will help them increase revenue. Double win. Write down the challenges your perfect client is facing and how you can help them.
Step 6 – Showcase your skills
Let’s take a step back.
So far, you’ve highlighted your goals, what skills you can package together, who your perfect clients are and what they are struggling with.
The final two steps are where you have to start to take action.
To a company, you are a random person. They have no idea who you are, what skills you have, and how you help them. Creating a website with a portfolio is one way to showcase your skills to potential clients.
For many, the thought of creating a website is a step too far, but there are other ways you can showcase your skills and attract clients.
Here are a few ideas:
- Write posts on LinkedIn with hashtags to attract your perfect client.
- Create YouTube videos showcasing your skills
- Be a valued member of a community your client is part of
- Write content on your website
- Create a podcast and record weekly episodes helping your clients
When you start freelancing, you have to create content to showcase your skills and attract clients. We will get more into the details on the strategies you can use in a future guide, but for now, know that you will have to take action to kick-start your freelancing business.
Give some thought to how you can showcase your skills, build trust and attract your perfect client.
Step 7 – Research your clients
Knowing where your clients spend their time online will help you decide where to publish content to showcase your skills. Another reason is for the networking opportunities.
Once you become an established freelancer, you will realize that word of mouth is a powerful form of marketing.
Showcasing your skills is one thing, but building relationships and engaging with potential clients is another skill that you have to learn. Networking is powerful because it helps open doors.
Going back to your perfect client, spend some time looking at which social networks they are the most active in.
Once these 7-steps are completed, you will understand what is needed to start your freelance business. Hopefully, this guide has taught you how to get started as a Freelancer.