How to Start Freelancing from Scratch

You probably know this already, but freelancers have a very distinct and different set of skills than employees. At first, trying to teach yourself the ropes while doing actual work intimidates you. But if you’re willing to put in the effort and learn from our experience, you should be able to start freelancing quickly and easily.

Freelancing is one of the best ways to earn money while working in your free time. Every skilled person can become a freelancer if they want. It’s all about finding clients to order your service, finding more projects, and making more money with your own schedule.

So if you’re an employee interested in freelancing, or if you want to start freelancing but are having trouble getting started, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we will teach you how to do freelance work from scratch and succeed as a freelancer.

How to get started

If you love working with people and want to fuse your passion for helping others with a career where you can work from anywhere, this might be the perfect avenue for you. To get started as a freelancer, you’ll need to figure out what skills you have to offer and then find clients who will pay you to do those things.

Here are some of the most common types of freelance skills that can certainly help you pay the bills: writing, graphic design, web development, data science, translation/interpretation, lifestyle coaching, and branding strategy, among others.

Once you’ve chosen the skills that best fit your background and interests, you can start hunting for clients. If you don’t have any previous clients, it’s good to start by building up a portfolio of work samples that demonstrate your abilities. The more impressive your portfolio is, the easier it will be for potential clients to trust that you can deliver quality results on their projects.

It gets overwhelming, considering there seems to be an endless thing to do. So here are the basics that you have to take care of to get there.

Choose a specific market to work on to succeed in freelancing.

Choose a market to help

Contrary to what people think, the skill you think you’re best at is not always what your prospects need. So to cut the endless cycle of meeting incompatible people, choose who you want to work with.

To identify who this group of people are, ask yourself the following:

  • What age group do I vibe most with?
  • Am I comfortable with working in this particular time zone?
  • Does their business resonate with me and with what I believe in?

Asking yourself this question can help you filter people who could come your way. Landing your first client is hard, but working with someone you don’t enjoy working with is harder. So, save yourself the burnout and think of the skill later.

Freelancing requires pieces of evidence. So build a portfolio.

Build your freelancing portfolio

Starting freelancers have a common sentiment, and they always tend to ask, “what now?” They finally have their ideal client in mind, but they still don’t have clients because they don’t have a portfolio. But, they can’t also make a portfolio because they don’t have experience. And the cycle goes on.

Well, there’s something you can do about it. Consider doing the following:

  • If you offer writing services, build a blog site
  • For graphic design, make social media templates
  • While for data entry services, make consumable excel templates

The options are endless. So I’ll break it down for you: you don’t need the experience to build your portfolio. The key is to know your ideal client and make outputs that you know help them. Then, add it to your portfolio. If prospects ask for it, you can show them you can help them precisely the way they need you. 

In freelancing, you have to constantly learn. It never stops.

Learn. Upskill. Repeat.

In freelancing, you always have to upskill. Otherwise, you will have a hard time getting clients and meeting their needs and demands. So what can you possibly do? Well, take online courses!

The thing here is that it may be difficult in itself alone. You may probably get overwhelmed with the number of courses available to the point that you don’t know what to take. Well, start with the niche you would like to focus on. And I’m breaking this out to you: do not pay for courses when you’re still starting out. Not yet.

Here are free courses you can take if you’re starting out in freelancing:

Apart from this, you can also join Facebook groups to learn from experts. Here are some groups you can join with free resources:

Freelancing Takeaways

No matter how much experience you have, it’s never too early to start freelancing. And it’s never too late. It is a satisfying career for anyone who puts the work in. But before you get started, these are some things you should know.

We get it; the numbers are very encouraging. But freelancing is not all about the six digits you earn. It can give you too much pressure as a beginner, but you must take it as an inspiration instead. At the end of the day, mindset matters most in freelancing. Learn to master that early on.

So to recap getting started as a freelancer:

Step #1: Chose a market to help. This helps you set boundaries to only work on projects you really like and enjoy.

Step #2: Build your portfolio. While this is unnecessary for some, building one is highly needed for beginners to not appear like one.

Step #3: Never stop learning. Marketing trends change by the hour, if not by the minute. So as a freelancer, you need to know about them if you want to keep your career sustainable.

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