Business traditionalists believe freelancing is strange and uncertain, but young talents understand the benefits of being your own boss. If you are thinking about launching a freelance career, rest assured you are not alone as nearly 60 million people already contribute to the US gig economy. According to some reports, freelancers could even make up a staggering 80% of the global workforce by 2030. While it all sounds great and promising, the big question is how to build your own career as a freelancer.
You have to create a sustainable plan before taking any steps, but we prepared seven practical tips to help you make a smooth transition to the freelance business. Let’s take a look!
1. Choose the Right Niche and Stick to It
The first rule of freelancing is to choose only one niche and stick to it long-term. Although it seems natural, many beginner-level freelancers actually make a mistake and go too wide in their search for the first clients. This is not good for two specific reasons:
- You can hardly ever become an expert in more than one field of work
- You will not be able to build relationships, grow the network of business acquaintances, and make a great career in a single niche
Therefore, the point is to do what you really do well and keep the same career course in the long run.
2. Create a Professional Website
As a freelancer, you need to build a personal brand in order to impress potential clients and attract new gigs. A good-looking website is the first step in this process, so you ought to design one and make it look credible and trustworthy.
First of all, the design has to be simple but beautiful. Every piece of the textual content must scream authority. Secondly, I recommend adding a few pages like a Contact, About Me, and Experience Page. And thirdly, it is vital to showcase your knowledge and skills by adding a professional portfolio.
3. Build Your Social Media Presence
Social recruiting has turned into a major trend recently, but it is also an easy way to build your self-brand. In such circumstances, we strongly recommend creating accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. This is where most business people hang out online, so you should frequently publish a lot of quality content and grow your reputation slowly but steadily.
4. Think about the Pricing Policy
When you begin negotiating deals with your first clients, do you know how much to charge? A pricing policy is always a delicate issue because you want to make the most of your work without chasing away clients with hefty price tags.
The vast majority of freelancers decide to start slowly and raise prices gradually. If you don’t have any prearranged deals already, perhaps you should embrace the same pricing policy.
Another option is to do a part-time job aside until you earn enough projects to become a full-time freelancer. That way, you can make ends meet while waiting for an avalanche of clients.
5. Check Freelancing Platforms
If you are not sure where to begin, the easiest solution is to sign up and create a profile on one or more freelancing platforms. These are online marketplaces where millions of employers and freelancers meet to arrange gigs and do business transparently.
Although you cannot expect to earn a lot of money out there in the first month or two, it will give you that much-needed boost and help you improve visibility in the freelance universe. The good thing about platforms like Upwork is that everyone can see your success score and portfolio, so the most talented freelancers can stand out rather quickly.
6. Look for Clients Locally
Online freelancing is the simplest way into the game, but you will probably find much more profitable projects offline. This is exactly why we recommend every freelancer to search for potential clients locally as well.
Who can you address?
There are no limits here since you can contact former employers, clients, colleagues, or even your friends, peers, and family members. If you have a large network of professional contacts, you will probably find fresh job opportunities soon.
Another trick you can try is to run targeted advertising campaigns to promote your services online. The only thing that matters is to limit your ads to local searches as it will help nearby businesses to find out about you and your professional expertise.
7. Set Up a Payment System
The last tip is to set up a payment system on time. If you want to work remotely, send invoices, and receive payments, then you’ll need a platform such as PayPal or Stripe to function normally. And as your freelance career keeps growing, you can start thinking about more advanced financial management solutions.
Freelancing is gradually becoming the primary career choice for talented professionals from all over the world, but it doesn’t make the job any less difficult or time-consuming. On the contrary, it will take you some time to push through the crowd and become a notable freelancing figure. We showed you seven easy ways to build your own career as a freelancer, so do your best to follow these tips and make a profitable and long-term freelancing business.