Freelancing is one of the career trends in the 21st century. According to recent findings, the number of freelancers has increased by 45% within the last five years. If you are interested in starting a freelancing career, you will find this article helpful because I will be sharing with you how to become a freelancer.
Unlike in the past, it’s a bit challenging to start a freelancing career these days. With several people interested in selling their skills online, newbies in the freelancing niche need to be strategic. Otherwise, it won’t be easy to make it in the gig economy.
How to Become a Freelancer – Important Factors to Consider Before Joining the Gig Economy
As heartbreaking this may sound, freelancing is not for everybody. So, before you join the gig economy, here are some important factors you should consider;
#1. Define Your Purpose
Before you join the gig economy, it’s important to define your purpose. Ask yourself this question “Why do I want to become a freelancer”? Of course, there are no specific answers to this question.
Everybody has their motivations. And defining your purpose gives you a clearer reason to become a freelancer.
#2. The Unique Skill You Have to Offer
Your unique skills are what make you outstanding in your niche as a freelancer. In other words, the better your skills, the higher your chances of success.
So, it’s important to identify your strengths and decide on the services to render. For instance, if you love writing, you can hone your skills to become a copywriter or SEO writer, etc.
Ordinarily, freelancing is very competitive. And one of the best tips on becoming a freelancer is to hone your skills to become outstanding.
Don’t forget that whatever services you are offering, several other experts are offering the same. But if your skills are exceptional, you will always stand out from the crowd.
#3. Business Plan
The mistake most freelancing newbies make is not having a business plan. You may think you don’t need a formal business plan to start a freelancing career. But having a planned structure is one of the best tips on how to become a freelancer.
Irrespective of the strategy you are deploying without a business plan, your freelancing career may not survive in the long run.
#4. Have a Backup Plan
As amazing and promising as the gig economy seems, it can be unpredictable and turbulent sometimes. This is because your success as a freelancer depends largely on your workflow and client load.
Even some of the most successful freelancers sometimes experience downtime. So, your back up plan will help you out when things are slow in your freelancing career. It gives you the next course of action when there’s turbulence, or you find it difficult to get clients.
#5. How to Get Clients
One of the most important tips on how to become a freelancer is to consider where to source your clients. Don’t forget; there are thousands of people already doing exceptionally great in whatever you are offering. Therefore, you should have an idea on how to get clients before you enter the gig economy.
One of the reasons newbies fail in freelancing is because they aren’t strategic in their approach. Let me be sincere here; it’s not easy to stand out during your early days in freelancing.
But if you are consistent with an unbreakable entrepreneurial spirit, you can easily get new clients. There are different ways you can source for clients as a freelancer; here are some of them;
Read Also: 21 Smart Ways to Make Money Online
How to Source for Freelancing Clients
Social Media Platforms
You can easily source your freelancing clients on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. It’s easy. All you have to do is to establish yourself as an authority in the niche you are operating.
For instance, if you are a writer, you can be publishing great content across your social media platforms. And let your audience know that you can also ghostwrite for them. Over time, you will build a large following, and start getting jobs from them.
Build Your Website and Promote It
One of the best ways to establish yourself is by building your website. Of course, this could be expensive for a newbie freelancer, but it’s an investment that’s worthy of your money.
Once you build a website, the next step is to promote it massively. Preferably, do keyword research and use AdWords to promote the website using paid ads.
With this approach, you will start earning from your freelancing career within the first few months. However, it’s a bit expensive and works better for experienced freelancers.
Sign Up on Freelancing Platforms
The easiest way to join the gig economy is to sign up on a freelancing platform. It requires little or no money to start freelancing through a reputable platform. All you need is your work tools ( a good laptop, smartphone), and a steady internet connection.
One of the best tips on how to become a freelancer is discipline. Don’t allow anybody to deceive you; freelancing is not a get rich quick scheme. It requires hard work, discipline, consistency, and perseverance.
Of course, you can’t deny the fact that it’s overwhelmingly exciting to be your own boss. The freedom, independence, and flexibility that comes with it are amazing.
But you must discipline yourself and approach your freelancing career with structure and stability. Otherwise, you won’t be successful as a freelancer.
#7. Ability to Meet Deadlines is Important
Even if you know how to become a freelancer already, you still need to learn about deadlines. Meeting deadlines is as important as the skills you are selling.
The ability to meet deadlines constantly helps to increase trust. So, as you plan to join the gig economy, try to discipline yourself on meeting deadlines. It’s the easiest way to win your clients’ trust.
Check out: 21 Smart Skills Every Jambite Should Learn
Benefits of Becoming a Freelancer
The benefits of joining the gig economy are endless. Sadly, there are several people out there who are passionate about freelancing, yet don’t know how to become freelancers.
Most people are becoming freelancers, not because of the financial benefits involved. But because of its simplicity, flexibility, and ease. Without further ado, here are some of the benefits of becoming a freelancer.
There’s nothing I love about freelancing than its flexibility. It gives you control over your work life.
Imagine waking up in the morning and resume work from the comfort of your bed. Sounds great, isn’t it? Well, that’s what you get when you become a freelancer.
If you have the flexibility of location. You can decide to work from your bedroom, sitting room, in a restaurant, etc. You can even work while on vacation.
Let me tell you the truth. No client cares about your location in the gig economy. It doesn’t matter whether you are from a third world nation; all your clients want to see is the quality of your delivery.
You Can Choose Your Clients and Projects
In freelancing, there are no restrictions. You can decide on the client to work with and the projects to work on. That’s what makes it unique.
Remember, you don’t have anybody bossing you around as a freelancer. Even though your clients are your boss, they still have their boundaries.
And you can easily turn down a project or client without making them feel bad.
More Earning Opportunities
There are no geographical barriers to freelancing. So, you can always have access to clients beyond your country. With this, you can work for top brands in other parts of the world without leaving your country’s shores.
Furthermore, the earning opportunities in freelancing are endless. But you need to start by building a reputation for yourself. Ensure that you always underpromise your clients and over-deliver.
Unlike a regular full-time job, freelancing gives you multifaceted exposure. In freelancing, your exposure begins when you start researching how to become a freelancer.
So, as you advance your freelancing career, you will nurture your interpersonal skills. It also gives you ideas on how to handle different situations.
Don’t forget, in the gig economy; you will be working with several people simultaneously. And these people are from different backgrounds. Dealing with them over time gives you a lot of exposure.
A Chance to Hone Your Skills Better
Do you know that most freelancers are better than full-time workers? Of course, they are better because of their exposure to highly difficult tasks every day.
For instance, if you are a freelance writer, you will write on several topics and across different industries. But a full-time writer for a company will only write about a particular industry.
I know of several great entrepreneurs that started as freelancers. And over the years, they honed their skills and became experts in their fields. Interestingly, it’s easier to improve your skills when you are in the gig economy.
How to Become a Freelancer: Freelancing Tips For Beginners
Certainly, becoming a freelancer is great. And it can be frustrating if you are a beginner. I don’t mean to scare you. But as you are reading this article right now, someone just gave up on freelancing.
It’s frustrating, competitive, etc. However, if you persevere, you will smile at night. If you are a newbie who wants to learn how to become a freelancer, here are some tips for you;
Don’t Accept Jobs You Aren’t Confidence About.
As a rule, never accept a job that you aren’t confident about. It’s the easiest way to ruin your reputation as a freelancer. Once you doubt your skills about a particular job, don’t do it. Only accept jobs that you know you can do.
Don’t Focus on Selling Yourself to Your Clients.
Most newbie freelancers make this mistake a lot. Ensure that every proposal you send focuses on helping your client rather than selling. If you use this approach, you will get offers from 90 percent of the proposals you send.
Take Every Jobs Seriously Including the Big Ones
Most big clients in freelancing start with small jobs. Once you consistently deliver high-quality jobs and meet agreed deadlines, you will start getting big jobs.
Furthermore, the reviews you get from completely small jobs successfully could help you get bigger jobs. So, in freelancing, every client is important, treat them with respect even if they are paying little.
Avoid Problematic Clients
Naturally, some clients are problematic and tend to give you issues if you accept their job.
So, try to avoid clients that ask for so much and pay little. They have such a high standard, yet they pay a chicken feed. And they will always end up requesting a refund or leave a negative review for you.
3 Best Freelancing Platforms For Beginners
If you are new to freelancing, you will need a platform to operate. So, here are the three best freelancing platforms for beginners;
Fiverr is one of the best freelancing platforms for beginners. It’s a freelancing marketplace that can help you kick start your freelancing career.
Irrespective of the skills you want to sell, there’s a client on Fiverr waiting to patronize you. It’s entirely free to register on this platform, but it charges freelancers 20% commission for every dollar they earn through the platform. For instance, if you earn 5 dollars, the platform will get a one-dollar commission.
Upwork is another amazing freelancing platform that beginners can start their freelancing careers. It’s a cloud-based freelancing platform and the largest job finder pool in the world.
Unlike Fiverr, it’s not easy to register a freelancing account on Upwork. But if you are really interested in opening an Upwork account, indicate in the comment box, I will send you a guide.
Freelancer.com is another great platform to start your freelancing career. It’s relatively easy to start. There are several clients on the platform searching for people with top-notch skills like yours.
Freelancing is arguably the easiest side hustle you can do. But you need to be committed and consistent. Otherwise, you can’t sustain it in the long run.