Becoming a successful freelancer requires due diligence before diving in. Several statistics show that a freelancer earns more per work than they did as an employee. So it’s possible to profit in this labor sector.
Plus, the freelance market continues to grow. In 2021, more companies are hiring freelancers with confidence.
To receive consideration for major projects, you need to bring something worthwhile to the table such as your skills, competence, and reliability. A solid reputation bodes well too.
Here we provide the seven-step guide to starting a freelancing career.
1. Evaluate Your Skills
Start your freelancing career by evaluating your skills. Find out what skills you excel at and enjoy completing daily. Then, figure out why your take on those skills is unique.
For example, there is no shortage of writers. But how many writers can:
- Successfully integrate SEO elements?
- Make their content readable for online audiences?
- Write on a variety of topics and make it sing?
Many individuals feel like their skills are more valuable on the open market than as an employee. Several are right. They can. On the open market, those who hire you expect you to prove it.
2. Evaluate the Market
Next, evaluate the market. In 2021, writers can write eBooks, white papers, and website copy. They can also write for blogs, infographics, and email marketing campaigns.
It’s a good idea to evaluate the demand for your skills and the competition. You can compete in a saturated market if you set yourself apart from other freelancers.
Some skill sets command few projects and high pay. Others receive many projects and low pay.
Walk into your freelancing career with a clear picture of the landscape so you can set your expectations accordingly.
3. Define Your Goals and Success
Some freelancers only freelance. They don’t have other sources of income or a 9-5 job. Others freelance on the side. They seek to earn extra income for specific purposes.
If you know why you want to start a freelance career, it helps you remain focused and motivated. Freelancers experience more uncertainty and fluctuations than employees.
Defining success keeps you level-headed during downtimes.
4. Invest in Tools and Space
A freelance career requires the right tools. Every freelancer requires tools for:
- Time management
You also need a dedicated space or home office. That space requires essentials such as a desk, chair, proper lighting, and backdrop for video conferencing. Freelancers also require access to reliable internet service.
In addition, it helps to bookmark services that cater to freelancers. For example, Gigly maintains a database of discounts, health benefits, and legal services for individuals who freelance.
5. Set Your Prices
The more experience and credibility you accrue, the higher prices you can command. If you bring industry experience as an employee to your freelancing career, you can parlay it into a bigger payday per project.
Those who are new to freelancing and don’t have proof of their expertise need to start somewhere on the pay scale. You can research the average pay per project and set your prices accordingly.
However, it’s OK to start lower than the average. Then, increase your prices with every project completed.
6. Market Your Services
Once you set up your tools and space, you’re ready to market your services. Since you know the skills that you can offer, start searching for clients who seek them.
Set up professional social media accounts and keep them professional. Consider signing up on platforms that match freelancers with opportunities too.
If you start with a freelancer platform, you can gauge the demand for your skills, the market conditions, and how your fellow freelancers are fairing. In addition, these platforms take care of the invoicing and payment collection for you, which is well worth the fees.
7. Build Your Portfolio and Resume
Every freelance project you complete helps you build your portfolio. Your portfolio is the tool that allows you to land better-paying projects.
It shows that you’re reliable, can provide quality work, and complete your contracts.
Starting a career as a freelancer is a viable way to earn an income. In 2021, it’s far easier. The technology, software, and internet make working on projects a seamless experience for freelancers and companies.