Getting Started With Freelancing
Updated: Jun 24, 2021
A freelancer is a self-employed person who renders services to clients without permanent affiliation to those clients. The relationship between the client and the freelancer may develop over time.
You have probably heard of freelancing somewhere before. What you may not have heard is that about 40% of the United States workforce is into freelancing. Interesting right?
It is estimated that Freelancing contributes about one trillion dollars to the economy, which is close to five percent of the GDP. It is estimated that in seven years, over half of the US workforce will be into freelancing. This is supported by the fact that 9 to 5 jobs are gradually going into extinction.
Word to the wise though, do not just jump into freelancing. It is a business that could go very right or horribly wrong depending on what you know about it. That's where we come in! Consider the following before you start your Freelance journey.
Why do you want to freelance?
You need to answer this question before you even think of entering the world of freelance. Many people are often disappointed because they begin freelancing for the wrong reasons. Some common reasons why people start are:
They believe that they can make money very fast.
They think it is an effortless way of making money.
They think they will instantly become a big business owner.
If you start freelancing with any of the ideologies listed, you may end up being disappointed. Freelancing, like any other business, has its rigors. You will not get rich instantaneously or become a big business owner overnight. It is, for sure, not an effortless way of making money. You must understand this and have a focused approach before you can take on Freelancing.
Creating a talent portfolio
Once you have set out your goals, the next step is to create a portfolio or profile. A portfolio is essential, as it is what potential clients will judge you by. There are several vital components to creating an excellent portfolio. They are listed below.
Know your area of specialization
You need to know what you excel at and specialize in it. The world of freelancing is a wide one, and there are several people with years of experience in a particular subject. The competition is high. You cannot afford to rely only on superficial knowledge on different areas.
Some people want to be writers, designers, and engineers at the same time. They may end up having some knowledge about the three, but not in-depth knowledge. If an organization is looking for a writer, there is a higher chance of them calling a freelancer that specializes only in writing, than one that operates in three different areas. Select a field and build yourself in it. You may diversify later. In other words, don't try to be a jack of all trades!
2. Give details on what you can offer
Clients want to know what they are paying for. Explain what you are bringing to the table as explicitly as possible. Do not mince words. Even if there are links to your previous works or sample projects, still take your time to explain why you are the best for the job.
3. Supply previous projects
Your portfolio should contain the projects you have done before. They do not even have to be finished. If you have not done any projects, now may be a good time to start. Take logo designing as an example; take your time to design a high-quality logo. Don’t be lazy with this, as it could define your whole freelancing career. You want to impress your clients before they even officially start communicating with you.
4. Review other works
Another way of impressing your client is to review previous projects the client has paid for. Do not be scared to tell them what you think is wrong with it and how you can improve on it. If you are a website developer, you could review the website of the organization and tell them how you could improve on it. Do not overdo it, though. Keep it simple and related to what you are offering. You do not want to come off as jealous or obsessed.
Where will you find a job?
Creating a portfolio is useless if there is no one to view it. A common mistake people make starting out is assuming that clients will magically come to them but cannot just sit and wait for someone to knock on the door. There are several ways you can find clients, some of which are listed below.
Talk to other freelancers in your field about how and where they got their clients.
Actively visit websites of firms and companies that are in your field of specialization.
Put your works on social media and other relevant spaces.
Visit freelancing platforms.
There are many platforms out there. Do not hesitate to check them out
How will you develop and maintain a healthy relationship?
You should not stop at just getting clients. You need to secure them. Make them want to come back to you for more. The way to do this is by developing a good reputation and relationship with them. Follow these guidelines.
Ensure you stick to the time-frame given.
Always listen to your clients.
Give your best to the project.
Have the best interest of the client.
Stay away from anything suspicious or fishy.
If your relationship with clients is right, you are opening yourself to more job opportunities, as the best form of referral is one given by a client to other people.
Now, this part may be a little tricky. You should aim very high but start low. Do not dig a hole for yourself. Many people enter freelancing and start taking very complexed jobs they can’t handle. Our advice is that you take on jobs you can flawlessly execute. Forget about pricing in the early stage. If you manage to build a good reputation, clients will pay you what you want.
Finally, don no work for free. Seriously, don't. You are setting a wrong precedent and undermining yourself. If you're still on the fence about Freelancing or Working from home check out our latest post.
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