How to be a freelancer

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How to be a freelancer
By: Halee Andrews
July 9. 2017

Is the 9 to 5 pace just not right for you?  Yeah.  It’s not for me either.  That’s why I’ve put together this guide to help those who would like to eventually quit their day jobs to pursue a career in freelancing.  Freelancing is a great opportunity to get creative and get paid for it.  All you need is a computer, reliable internet, a phone.  You also need to be knowledgeable about something, such as writing or customer service.  Let’s get started.

Create a website or blog

One of the biggest mistakes that freelancers make today is not having their own space on the web.  Having a website or blog helps your credibility as a freelancer and increases your chances of getting hired.   Almost all clients will ask you for samples to see what you’re capable of.  Having a website will give you the opportunity to show off your very best work.  It’s also important to include an “about me” page so that clients can get a feel for who they are working with.  This allows you to give some background information about what makes you the best person for the job and allows you to talk about your qualifications.  Make sure that clients can find your contact information easily.  Need help creating a website?

Market Yourself

Publishing a website doesn’t bring customers to your door right away.  You have to get out there and market yourself.  Create social media profiles, create a blog that is related to your services, and get some business cards printed.  Stay active on your social media profiles by creating engaging content.  Connecting with others and putting in effort to reach out will pay off in the long run.  Learn more about marketing yourself here.

Join a freelancing website to find work

Don’t want to wait for clients to come to you?  Reach out to them! There are several websites out there where clients are searching for freelancers.  Upwork.com and freelancer.com are two of the best on the web.  I have worked for both and have earned a couple of great clients that gave me steady work.  However, these days, the competition is tough.  To better your chances of getting hired, get together some samples and create a profile that will get you noticed.  Most jobs want you to create a cover letter, so having one on hand to easily copy and paste will save you a lot of time.

Advertise

A great way to bring customers to you is to create an advertising campaign.  This can easily be done with Google Ads and Facebook Ads.  It costs a little money, but you can set extremely low budgets if you don’t have a lot of cash on hand.  Advertising is essential to success, so try to invest as much as you can when possible.

Etiquette

If you land jobs, don’t forget to be good to your clients.  They are how you are going to earn money, so be sure you do all you can to retain their business as well as to give them a reason to recommend you to others.  One thing that I always do for clients is keep them updated daily about what I am working on.  I don’t like to keep my clients hanging and wondering if I’m there for them.  Keep in touch daily and let them know that they are a priority and reassure them that everything is going great.  Another nice thing you can do for clients is send out yearly “thank you” cards letting them know that you appreciate their business.  Even if you’ve only worked for them once, it is still a great idea to send the card out anyways.  This way, there will be a good chance they will remember you when they need more work done.  Sending out a monthly e-newsletter to current and previous clients is also a great idea to stay in touch, but be sure you have their permission first.

Don’t give up

Freelancing isn’t as easy or glamorous as it seems.  Getting clients and getting paid what you’re worth is hard.  However, it is not impossible.  If you work hard, market yourself, connect with others, and treat you clients well, you will be successful.  It just takes time to build a client base and for word of mouth to travel.  Rome wasn’t built in a day, so stay positive and give your business at least six months to start generating an income.

Possible freelancing careers:

Content writer
E-book author
Marketing specialist
Website designer
Customer service specialist
Transcription
Translation services
Teaching
Podcast Host
Programmer
Legal services
Virtual assistant
Social media specialist
Editor/proofreader

Connect: Share your freelancing tips with us by commenting below!

 

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