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How to Start Freelancing as a Beginner

With remote jobs still on the rise since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, freelancing has grown more popular as a job.Working from the comfort of your home and working with a skill that you’re good at and enjoy is always the preferable choice. The beginning can seem daunting and overwhelming at first, so this article provides some steps on how to start freelancing and provide a solid base for continuing in this field of work. 

Setting Your Goals

Before you begin freelancing, you must think of your intended goals for it. With freelancing, like with any job, you must be motivated to do exceptional work for your clients nearly every day. The first step to staying motivated is to think of why you’re doing it. Ask yourself questions such as, “Is this for extra income on the side or as my primary job?” or “How much do I want to earn from this?”. 

During this time, you also want to consider what skills you want to start your freelancing work. Freelancing is built entirely on selling your skills as services to your clients. If you struggle with deciding on a skill, think about what you do have that others don’t and would pay you to do. Others can be skills that got you hired or that you gained during previous job experiences. Examples of this can include writing, graphic design, website building, customer service, and many others. It can help to write out any skills you have in a list that you can easily refer back to later when building your profile.

Stepping into Freelancing

Now that you have your goals and a set of skills in mind, it’s time to start freelancing. As a beginner, freelancing can be a great start as a side job for remote work if you plan to go full-time into it eventually.

There isn’t as much stress to trying to find clients to start earning income. It also benefits from setting you up with client relationships for the long-term that may take a while to form. You don’t have to jump into full-time freelancing right away or if ever. If you do, keep in mind that you’ll need to calculate how much you need to earn to cover your living expenses and the taxes that come with it. 

Creating Your Profile

This remote work all starts with creating your freelancing profile. Your profile is your first impression to your potential clients when you sell your services to them. 

Remember the list of skills you made earlier? Building a profile is where it comes in handy. From your list of skills, you want to find a few you want to turn into the primary services you’ll provide as a freelancer. For example, you can provide a service such as content writing or copywriting with a skill in writing. These are essential to include when creating your profile. 

When clients search for a freelancer, they often search for one that provides a solution to their needs. To truly sell your services to your clients to convince them to hire you, you need to frame them as a solution. Based on the previous example, you can write this as, “I can help you write better blog content to get more visitors,” or “I can help you write better emails.” 

 

Alongside including what services you provide in your profile, you want to have things such as:

  • A quick introduction on who you are
  • Your educational background
  • Your experience in the services you provide

When creating your profile, you can also see examples from other top-rated freelancers’ profiles, such as on Upwork or Fiverr. Not to necessarily copy how they write it, but to make sure you are hitting all the points you should include in a profile. 

Building a Portfolio

A portfolio not only shows proof of your skills but provides a visual example for a client to look at and build trust in you. In your portfolio, you should include samples that relate to the services you are providing. For example, if you provide graphic design, include several logos or covers you have made. 

It doesn’t all need to be samples from paid work, especially as a beginner to freelancing. You can provide examples of free work you’ve done for yourself or someone else in the past. When putting together your portfolio, be sure not to include too many samples, as less is more for these portfolios. Instead, try to have some of your best work for each of the services you provide. 

If you don’t have any relevant samples you can put into your portfolio, you need to start building some. Building your samples can include creating something for yourself or someone else. 

Getting Your First Client

With your profile and portfolio set up for freelancing, it’s time to start thinking of ways to get your first clients. As a beginner, you typically want to start your work through an excellent freelancing site. Freelancing sites such as Upwork are largely popular and can help supply you with a feed full of job offerings from various clients. Working through these sites makes it easier to find clients, offers payment protection, and easier to set up your portfolio and profile. You can also view other freelancer profiles and use them to compare to what you charge for your services. 

As you continue to grow in your freelancing experience, you have the option to offer your freelance work directly from a website you build. Despite the extra work this might involve, you will have relationships with past clients. Freelancing from your personal website also benefits from keeping the entire payment for your work, as most freelancing platforms charge a service fee on what you get paid. 

Continuing Your Work

As you continue freelancing, you must keep your profile and portfolio updated. It’s also crucial to keep in mind that as your experience grows, so should the pay. For example, if you started at ten dollars per hour of work when you first started years ago, it could be time to increase your salary depending on how much your quality and consistency of work has improved. 

When your experience in freelancing grows, so does your history and relationship with past clients. Make sure you leave a good, lasting impression to continue building and growing your work.

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