What does social media marketing, blog writing, video game developing, and contract law have in common? The fact that you can freelance your skills and sell your services online! There are many different skills that you can easily sell online, with different categories in each skill, and different experience levels wanted. If you love to write, you can get hired to write for blogs, assist with books, or fix up resumes. If your passion is IT, get your foot in the door working with database management. Maybe you are a law school student looking to make some extra cash? There are people looking for legal services online, that may not require to you be complete with your schooling!
How to Start Freelancing
So you want to sell your services online, but don’t know where to begin? First, you need to understand what it is that you are trying to sell and what will be expected of you as a freelancer. What is your skill and what categories are you willing to work with? For example, a freelance writing gig could mean assisting with a 1,000 page fiction in the sci-fi genre, writing business and marketing materials for a start-up in the medical field, or writing 500 word blog posts for a fashion website. While some people will be comfortable doing all three, most would not. Looking at the types of projects you would enjoy and feel comfortable doing will tell you what categories you would want to classify your skills in or what types of jobs you may want to apply for.
Types of Freelancing Jobs
There are many types of services to sell online, too many to list all of them here. A few that may be highly considered are listed below.
- Accounting and Consulting: Accounting, Financial Planning, Human Resources, Management Consulting
- Administrative Support: Data Entry, Personal/Virtual Assistance, Project Management, Transcription, Web Research
- Customer Service: Customer Service, Technical Support
- Data Science and Analytics: A/B Testing, Data Extraction/ETL, Data Mining and Management, Data Visualization, Machine Learning, Quantitative Analysis
- Design and Creative: Art and Illustration, Audio and Music Production, Branding, Gaming and AR/VR, Graphics and Design, Performing Arts, Photography, Product Design, Video and Animation, and Voice Talent
- Engineering and Architecture: 3D Modeling and CAD, Chemical Engineering, Contract Manufacturing, Interior Design, Physical Sciences, Architecture, Civil and Structural Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
- IT and Networking: Database Management, ERP/CRM Software, Information Security, Network and System Administration
- Legal: Contract Law, Intellectual Property Law, Corporate Law, Paralegal Services
- Sales and Marketing: Display Advertising, Email and Marketing Automation, Lead Generation, Market and Customer Research, Marketing Strategy, Public Relations, SEM, SEO, SMM
- Translation: General Translation, Legal Translation, Medical Translation, Technical Translation
- Web, Mobile, and Software Dev: Desktop Software Development, Ecommerce Development, Game Development, Mobile Development, Product Management, QA and Testing, Scripts and Utilities, Web Development, Web and Mobile Design
- Writing: Content and Copywriting, Creative Writing, Editing and Proofreading, Grant Writing, Resumes and Cover Letters, Technical Writing
Where to Start Freelancing and Selling Your Services
Upwork.com and Freelancer.com are similar sites that allow freelancers to market themselves and sell their services online. The sites are both free to use and set up, with their cut coming out of subscriptions and fees. Basically, you will create an account and set up your profile, verifying all of your information, adding all of your educational and professional achievements, and supplying some samples of your work. (This isn’t all required, but you are more likely to get jobs with a complete and professional profile.) This will be your on-site portfolio.
Once you are done here, you begin browsing jobs. Find a few jobs you are interested in and apply for them. Hopefully, you will get some messages about the work and will be awarded the project. Once you start winning projects, you will make a specified amount per hour or for the project. Upwork.com or Freelancer.com will then take a percentage of the earnings before they are paid out to you.
Fiverr.com works a little different, with freelancers posting their services and inviting those in need of services to reach out. Users still set up an account and profile with educational and professional achievements. You will also include samples of your work for potential clients.
All three of these websites are great ways for freelancers to sell their skills online, as a supplement to their full-time career or in hopes of making their freelancing work their full-time career. While the sites do take a share of any profits, they are definitely beneficial to beginners that do not have a broad range of opportunities. There are also ways to minimize fees, by working with clients consistently and providing quality work.
Tips For New Freelancers
- Market yourself and your content by creating well thought out, professional profiles and websites. Provide quality work samples on your profiles that give potential clients a good look at the type of service they are going to receive. They are going to expect work equivalent to your samples, so make sure you share the best that you have.
- Research legal and monetary options early, rather than waiting until it is too late. Make sure you find the best option for yourself and your work and file all applications and documents necessary. Freelancing could be just something on the side or a full-time career. Take that into consideration when making decisions!
- Charge a fair price. This could go both ways. You don’t want to undercharge clients, or you will be losing out on money that you deserve for the hard work and services that you are providing. Overcharging, on the other hand, could cause you to lose out on valuable deals with potential long-term clients.
- Ask your clients for ratings and referrals. Most clients, if you provide quality work, won’t mind giving you a review on your profile. They may also start referring you to other businesses that they have connections with.
- Set realistic expectations and stay on top of your due dates. When starting your freelancing, you want to make sure to set realistic expectations. It may be easy to agree to a short turnaround time, but you don’t want this to interfere with your quality. You also want to avoid being late at all costs, even if it means not accepting a new project so that you have time to finish a current one.
- Also, since you will most likely be working from home, check out our entire list of tips to stay successful when working from home!