At this point, it is worth highlighting a few realities. It’s doubtful that you will make money overnight. You must be an action-taker, patient, and want to work smart to succeed.
Research your Niche
One of the mistakes new freelancers make is trying to provide a service to every industry under the sun. When starting, it’s essential to focus on a specific niche to build a reputation before widening your search to other industries.
Let me give you an example:
You are a Virtual Assistant and have a passion for music. Therefore, focus your freelancing services on the music industry. You have to complete client work to a high standard, so it helps to work in an industry you know and are passionate about.
Think about how you could save your clients time and money. Have a look at what services other Virtual Assistants are offering, and make a note of your skills that would make you stand out amongst the others.
Standing out is going to be necessary for a new freelancer. You have to remember that your competition is global. You are competing against people who charge considerably less because of the cost of living in their country.
Create your One-page Business Plan
Many business coaches suggest you create a complete business plan, including the operations plan, market and competition analysis. This information is essential, but when starting, your need to focus on taking action.
Starting with a one-page plan is the best way to build your business and keep adding to it as time progresses. Ensure you include details of the niche you’re focusing on and your services.
Then, focus on your perfect client. What type of business do they run? Are you focusing on companies or entrepreneurs? Where are these clients based? Where do they hang out online, e.g., Linkedin, Facebook, etc?
Ask yourself these critical questions and note your responses:
- Why do they need you?
- What value will you bring to their business?
- How are you going to help their business?
- What are the challenges that you can assist them with?
- How will you make their life easier, save them money and time?
Never forget your clients’ needs and the value you add to their business. Your client should always be in your mind when creating your freelance business.
Build a Website (or Portfolio)
The next task is to think about your business name. In particular, will you go with a business or personal brand?
As a freelancer, it might be advantageous to go the personal route since your clients will only communicate with you. That said, if you plan to hire additional freelancers and create an agency-type business, you might want to opt for a business brand.
With all brand names, make sure there aren’t any trademarks against them. Check if companies use the same name and search to ensure the appropriate domain and social profiles are also available.
How you build your website is a huge area to be covered in future articles. There are solutions like Squarespace and WordPress, depending on your level of technical skills.
The main advantage of having a website is directing potential clients there to find out more information about you and your business.
When you build your client base, you can include case studies and testimonials on the website, but for now, keep it simple. It’s also an excellent place to have a portfolio of the work you’ve completed for other clients or showcase your skills.
Create your Skills into Packages
Next, consider bundling your skills into a service package that adds value and attracts clients’ attention.
Here’s an example:
You’re a freelance writer and specialize in writing about health and fitness. You’re also a graphic designer, so create a package including a 1,000-word article, and design a social media graphic to promote your writing.
This adds much value to clients because they must ask someone in-house to design the graphic or hire someone. By packing the writing and design together, you are creating a valuable service.
Think about your skills and how to package them together and charge a higher, more appropriate rate.
Create Content to Share your Skills
Trust plays a huge part in hiring a freelancer, so proving you have the experience and skills to carry out the work is essential. Create videos on YouTube, and write content on your website to showcase your skills. Build an app, share code snippets, or create a design portfolio if you are a developer or designer.
Try creating one piece of content weekly to showcase your skills and have a solid call to action so potential clients can learn more about your services.
Over time, the focus should be on becoming an authority in the niche you specialize in – get quotes in newspapers, interviews on TV, speak at conferences, and be the go-to person that businesses choose.
It takes time and will not happen overnight, not even in 90 days, but creating content will speed up the progress.
Network with Potential Clients
Networking is huge. Can I say that again? Networking is HUGE.
Building trust through networking is a great way of securing new freelance clients. Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are good places to get involved in discussions led by your target clients.
Answering clients’ questions, especially if it helps them, is a great way to prove your knowledge and build rapport.
Don’t jump in straight away and promote your freelance business. Do it gradually when you’ve helped them or answered questions. It’s not a strategy that works overnight, it takes time, but it works.
Networking is effective online and offline, so use platforms like Facebook Events to see what’s happening near where you live. Also, sites like Meetup and LinkedIn are helpful for networking events.
Get out there and socialize with other business owners to open up the gates to new opportunities, don’t wait for people to come to you.
Search for Freelancing Opportunities
Freelance opportunities are everywhere. Search sites like weworkremotely.com, remoteok.io, and other remote job boards for short-term projects. Upwork and People Per Hour are two of the many freelance platforms online, but read my guide on mistakes freelancers make for advice on using these platforms.
Use Social media to your advantage by searching Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook for freelance opportunities because they are out there. Ask friends and family if they know any businesses looking for freelancers.
Within the niche you have selected to work within, find out if there are any communities, blogs, and networking events you can participate in and offer lots of value to showcase your skills to the audience.
Patience and Determination Required
To become a freelancer, you will need patience, determination, and not be afraid of approaching people and putting yourself out there.
Remember that clients will not come to you, but following the advice in this guide will help you learn how to become a successful freelancer in 90 days.