Freelancing is one of the best ways to make money in today’s world. With so many people struggling to find full-time jobs, freelancers are in high demand. This blog post will take you through 11 steps that will help you get started as a freelance contractor and allow you to enjoy the freedom and benefits it brings.
1. Your First Step
The first step in becoming a freelancer is to figure out what it is that you want to do. There are tons of options, from graphic design and web development, to programming and consulting. Niche down your interests as much as possible and begin brainstorming different skillsets. If you can’t think of anything in particular, consider what you enjoy most in life and how you would like to make money doing it.
2. A Good Portfolio Is Key
Once you think you have settled on a skill, it’s time to show off your skills. Create a website where you can list all of the work that you’ve done and include contact information including your name, email address, and phone number. Make sure to include examples of your work that highlight your skills. You can also include a short bio about yourself with a link to your personal website if you have one.
3. Find Some Clients
The best place to find clients is on freelancing platforms such as Upwork . It’s free to sign up and begin browsing through the available projects. You will be sure to find some that you can apply for even if you are just starting out. If you don’t, then create your own project and list all of the skills that you have on your resume.
4. Getting Paid
Once clients start awarding contracts to you, make sure you protect yourself. For every contract completed, make sure to sign a written agreement that states the terms of payment and any conditions associated with them. Make sure to read all fine print before signing an agreement so there are no surprises later on.
5. Creating Your Own Blog
A big part of freelancing is marketing yourself. By blogging on your own website, you can establish yourself as a leader in your field and provide valuable information to potential clients. If they are looking for somebody with specific skillsets, then you have the upper hand because you can prove that you have them or are willing to learn them quickly.
6. What to Charge
When deciding on what to charge, think of how much clients are willing to pay for your service and then add a 20 – 30% additional fee. This will allow you to negotiate when necessary and still keep in the good graces of potential clients in the future.
7. Keeping in Good Graces
The best way to keep in the good graces of potential clients is by providing them with consistent updates. Give them an honest opinion about their project and offer suggestions for improvement. This will help you establish yourself as a consultant rather than just a contractor or temporary worker.
8. Staying Active
When you are freelancing, it’s easy to get distracted by other projects or lose interest in a job you’ve been working on. In order to stay active, you need to establish work hours and stick with them. Sign up for alerts that let you know when your time is almost up and then get back to work immediately after they expire.
9. Taking a Break
Every once in a while, you will need to take a break from work. Respond to clients within 24 hours of receiving an inquiry, but after that cut off point, don’t worry about checking your email until the next day. People often get upset when somebody doesn’t answer them right away and it can lead to trouble down the road.
10. Communicate Your Needs
When you are first getting started as a freelancer, it’s probably best to go with the clients who are willing to pay up front. It’s easy to communicate your needs when somebody is willing to pay for them up front or through milestones. Once you have more experience, then feel free to take on projects that require payment after completion.
11. Other Ways to Make Money
Another way to make money is by creating products that you can sell on the internet such as eBooks, online courses, and software applications. If you want to go this route, then start building your own platform where clients can learn about what you have available and how much it costs.
How do I start a personal website?
There are many free services out there that let you sign up and begin creating a website right away. You can also purchase your own domain from websites such as GoDaddy to have more control over your site’s appearance.
How do I make sure all my projects are running smoothly?
Keep track of all tasks, due dates, clients, prices, and revenue either in a spreadsheet or another type of digital document. It’s also best to be communicative with each client about your progress or any hiccups that you run into.
What kind of questions should I ask before taking a job?
You can find out about the project, how much it pays, their timeline, your responsibilities, and if they want to use milestones or pay up front. If everything seems like something that you would like to work on, then you can continue with the discussion.
What do I need to know about working for myself?
You need to keep track of your time and spend most of it on work-related tasks. Only take breaks when they are necessary, don’t get distracted by other projects, and always communicate with clients and do what you say you will.
How do I find work on sites like Upwork?
Create an account, write a compelling cover letter, and list some of the skills that you are good at or want to get better at. If there is interest, then you can chat with them and let them know that you will be putting together a proposal.
What should I do if a client wants to pay me after completing the job?
This means they don’t trust you and may not want to work with you again. It’s best to stick with those who are willing to pay up front or through milestones. This will make it easier to keep track of your hours and revenue.
What do I need to know about freelance writing?
The most important aspect is being able to write cleanly and clearly using proper grammar and spelling. Being a good proofreader is also a big plus because you can show future clients that you will take care of their projects.
How much should I charge per project?
It’s usually best to estimate about 20% – 30% higher than what they may offer you, but make sure they are willing to pay that price. If not, then just propose a lower fee until you establish yourself in the future.
What skills should I put on my resume?
Only include those that you are good at or want to be really good at. You can always go back and revise your resume as needed once you gain more experience.
Considering All Of The Facts
So there you have it, those are the 11 steps for getting started as a freelancer. It’s not that hard to do and we would love to hear what you think about them in the comments below! Did we miss anything?