Steps to Start Freelancing in 2022

a month ago   •   13 min read

By Zekeriya Mulbay

"Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough." – Elon Musk

Success stories on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook make us feel, "Why can't do it?". If you are one of them, this article is for you.

According to a study by the University of Phoenix, more than 63% of adults in their 20s want to run their own a business.

Flexibility, independence, and exposure all come along with freelancing, and that's enough to thrive in this business. The freedom of freelancing has more than that of a 9-5 job.

Moreover, freelancing lets you have your whims and fancies, which everyone likes to abet.

You'll be astounded to know that 50% of the age group between 18 to 22 are entailed in freelancing. People from all corners of the world indulge in freelancing.

Moreover, freelance marketplaces are crowded with dime-a-dozen talent. There are more than 50+ skills you can choose from and start your freelancing journey.


What is Freelancing in a Nutshell?

Freelancing is for those who are ready to dedicate their time and efforts. It is an online business that individuals run.

Depending on your field, it won't cost you an arm or leg, and it only requires Wi-Fi and a laptop to start your freelance journey.

More than 86% of freelancers are working from home, so you can, too. There are more male freelancers than women. Ukraine, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh are the countries with the most freelancers after the US.

There are demanding freelance marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, and Freelancer.com.

Are your speculations on how to start freelancing? No worries. We've got you covered.

In the next phase, we'll guide you through the steps and freelancer guide for beginners so that you can become the mover and shaker of your life.

Without further ado, let's dive into it.


Is Freelancing Right for You?

Who doesn't want to resign from that 9 to 5 job and live a hectic-free life? Everyone does. As mentioned, freelancing is all about dedication and courage.

The freelance expedition has a lot of topsy-turvy moments. So, you should commit to yourself, "Are you ready to deal with it?"

Moreover, there will be naysayers that will become an obstacle in your way, but all you need is discipline. It requires a solid commitment to the business. Freelancing will allow you to pursue other opportunities and deal with several projects at once.

The mindset of being your boss and self-employment will make you thrive more in this business.


Set Up Your Goals

A business without goals and benchmarks is a broken ship. If you have set primary and long-term plans for your business, accomplishing them will make you confident and boost your courage.

Let's hear what sort of plans a beginner freelancer should have.

  • Landing your first job/client in the shortest time.
  • Yearly or monthly revenue of your business.
  • Creating a professional portfolio of your services.
  • Working hours. Your study and working hours shouldn't crash if you are a student.

Ask yourself, "Why do you want to pursue freelancing?" Is it full-time side hustling or temporarily earning? Freelancing teaches you how to work for yourself.

You need to think step by step and act accordingly to your plans. That is why most entrepreneurs prepare a plan for better business progress.

In hindsight, you'll soon set up a freelance business if you stick to your plans and goals.


Find a Profitable Niche that Suits You

Before starting, you must find a profitable niche. The niche that benefits you in a long term.

If you have a good grip on the English language or are a native English speaker, you can opt for content writing or copywriting. Once you succeed, you can demand king ransom packages.

Moreover, social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram have a pool of clients. You can consult with them instead of relying only on freelance marketplaces.

Graphic designing, copywriting, programming, and social media marketing are some of the highest-paying gigs today.

It takes time to build a grounded business; rather than giving up, you should keep thriving along the way. Furthermore, you'll be able to scale your freelance business if you keep clinging to it.

Let's check what the profitable niches for beginner freelancers

  • Content Writing/Blogging.
  • WordPress
  • Web Development & Designing.
  • Graphic Designing.
  • E-Book Writing.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Social Media Management.

There are a lot more if you scavenge it a bit.


Freelancing Platforms to Find Work

As beginner freelancers, we all have queries like how to create a freelance business. Your business won't begin to sprout up without a proper platform. So, it's indispensable for you to find a freelance marketplace.

Before stepping into any of the sites, you should check reviews of the marketplace. As we mentioned, sites like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, and Flex Jobs. For more information check out our blog!

Moreover, every freelancer marketplace has its own rules and policies. Make sure you read them first and find yourself comfortable with all the terms.

Starting a freelance business on any platform is not a one-day story; it could take months or even years.


Create your Freelancer Profile

After choosing a desirable platform where you can offer your service, the next step is to create a profile. The profile is the first impression to clients, especially potential ones.

Most freelance marketplaces have direct links with Google email addresses (i.e., Upwork, Fiverr, etc.) so create your profile with a Google account.

Moreover, indicate your education, experience, and field of expertise on your profile overview.

In addition, add a decent and smiling profile picture to your freelancer profile. The profile picture showcase who you are and why they should trust your service.

Keep in mind that freelance marketplaces have a fee structure. It's better to read the terms and conditions of each site before proceeding.


Reasonable Prices

Replicating other people's packages won't get you anywhere. As a beginner, you should demand according to your work and expertise. It would help if you scrutinized your quality of work.

Although you don't need to charge less, set it reasonably, and make your plan how you will charge at a primary stage. Don't settle for nuts.

However, as a beginner freelancer, charging less would be beneficial for the growth of your business. You can offer clients packages and give them some percent discounts. It will help you get more clients and good reviews on your profile.

In addition, don't offer low tickets on a valuable task. For example, $10 per 1000 words seems fine and more reasonable than offering $2.

All freelancing platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, etc., have a 10% to 20% fee for freelancers. So, make sure you keep that in mind before setting your rates. If you find a client from social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), it doesn't have any fee charge, unless it is an international client.


Portfolio and Samples

A portfolio plays a vital role in your freelance journey. Without samples or portfolios, potential clients don't hire.

If you have expertise in the blogging niche, you can write some well-structured articles on site such as Medium or just use google docs. You can use WordPress websites, a greater option for a freelancer writer.

Moreover, Behance is a popular site for graphic designers. You can use this site as a portfolio if you are expertise is in logo designing or any other niche related to designing.

Furthermore, if you are high on budget, you can set up your domain and website, which will look more dazzling. Or there are many sites you can use to create free portfolio websites. (i.e., wix.com)

A solid portfolio speaks directly to your clients. It makes your client trust you and your service. In this way, they'll be more comfortable hiring you.

We have a few crucial tips for you, which will be helpful for you in creating an attractive portfolio.

  1. Write an impressive intro about you, including experience, benefits of hiring you, and any educational background.
  2. Present your work accurately and in a detailed manner.
  3. Upload the best sample in your portfolio, not the gawky ones.
  4. Update your portfolio occasionally.

Without a professional-looking portfolio, it would be challenging for you to work as a freelancer.


Your First Client

It's time to hunt your first client. It would be better if you don't directly jump into demanding freelance marketplaces. You can seek local clients on-site through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. These sites will help you gain experience, increase communication skills, and know-how in business

Moreover, if you can get good reviews and maintain a long-term relationship with your clients, a pile of work will be at your doorstep.

Approach job proposals with a decent-looking cover letter. Mention client pain points and tell them why you are the perfect candidate for this job.

Choose long-term work instead of short-term.

Hunt for those clients who are willing to provide long-term opportunities and not pay peanuts for their projects. You'll interact with numerous clients who ask you to do their work for almost free.

It's a painstaking task when seeking a reliable client. As a beginner, you are vulnerable to scams and fraud.

Let's check out the elements before choosing your ideal client.

  • The minimum budget of the client. If it's acceptable, go for it.
  • The project of the client. It matters a lot. If you don't have any experience in what the client has mentioned, don't apply.
  • The client is more engaged in the project, not just you.
  • The client requirements and what they are expecting from the individuals.

Prioritize Your First Client

Landing your first client isn't a piece of cake, but once you land your first client. It's time to over-deliver him.

Suppose you are a writer and get a job writing a blog post of 2000 words. What would you do to over-deliver client expectations?

You can deliver beyond client expectations by writing more than 2000 words, exquisite headlines, eye-catching sub-headings, no plagiarism, and eradicating minor grammar mistakes.

The client will be impressed and give you a good review and a 5-star rating. It will help you get more clients and spread your business.

We have fewer tips on how to be a successful freelancer and reach your client goals.

  • Communicate with your clients regularly and discuss different milestones.
  • Consistently deliver the work on time; it would be better to submit it before.
  • Update them with your work.
  • Promise a long-term relationship and that you won't grift from them.
  • Licitly work on their projects, and don't use any kind of shortcuts or Illegal tools.

Strengthen Your Brand

We mentioned the core elements of the guide to going freelance. Prioritizing your clients will help you upscale your business.

As mentioned above, social media has a broader audience and clients. That is why 71% of short- to medium sized businesses promote their brand on social media sites.

Promote your brand and service on different sites, hire employees, outsource your work, and build awareness. Individuals do not handle businesses; sooner or later, you'll require a team.

You can approach freelancers worldwide and connect with them. Build a team, promote your business, and help clients reach their maximum goals.

You can create a blog on your services, monetize it, and make a load of money in a shorter period.


Ask for Testimonials

If you have successfully landed your first client and have been working with them for quite a while, you should then ask for reviews.

Reviews are indispensable for the growth of your business. It will help you secure more potential clients on different marketplaces.

Good client testimonials impact your business's credibility, reliability, and trustworthiness.

However, potential clients won't even come near if you have bad reviews on your profile, the sites such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Guru, where freelancers are mostly hired based on their testimonials and reviews.

Here are some crucial tips to get good reviews from clients.

  • Be confident, and don't sound desperate.
  • Communicate with your client about the project and clear your queries.
  • Don't act like a gawky.
  • Complete the provided task on time.
  • Be humble, professional, and comprehensive.

Moreover, you can publish your testimonials on social media, portfolio websites, or just send them via your cover letter. In addition, it would help the client recommend you further.


Don't Clash Your Daily Life with Freelancing

If you have a daily gym, studies, or any other activity apart from freelancing, don't make it clash with your working hours, as we mentioned above. That is why work balance is indispensable for a successful entrepreneur.

You need to freshen your mind and keep it healthy. If you aren't mentally prepared, you'll lack and deliver gawky work to your clients. Which often leads to unsatisfying reviews.

Most successful people in business make a daily plan and try to accomplish it.

Start tracking your daily schedule and plan. Once you have a couple of projects in the box, try outsourcing or managing them yourself.

"If you don't know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else."Lawrence J. Peter


Pros and Cons of Freelancing

Pros

  • Flexibility and self-development
  • Schedule your time
  • Not costly at all after procuring the basic needs of your work
  • Creativity and Productivity
  • Passive Income if you are not a full-time freelancer

Cons

  • No weekends. Especially at the beginning. You are the employee and employer by yourself.
  • Taxes could be bothersome depending on your country
  • Freelancing sometimes becomes topsy-turvy if you don’t follow a well-built plan

How to Be Successful in freelancing?

We have mentioned how to freelance in the above paragraphs; let's check how you can succeed in the freelancing world.

Freelancing nowadays is becoming competitive. Most beginners feel to give up at some stage of this journey.

Everyone has their orthodoxy and plans in the business. As we are already acquainted with how lucrative freelancing has become these days.

Almost 1.2 trillion USD was contributed to the US economy in 2020 by 59 million freelancers. It is nearly 36% of the US workforce.

We have collected some vital tips on setting yourself up as a freelancer and getting your own space in this business.

Extend your Network

Business is all about a great team and networking. Try making connections with other freelancers and adapting their style of working. Don't be afraid to ask them questions about how'd they work and manage staff.

LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., have a pool of freelancers looking to meet new freelancers. Try searching according to your skillset and niche. It would help you get more clients and have a chance to enhance your skills.

Practice and Polish your Skills

It's not about just watching YouTube videos and not practicing your ideal skillset. Try implementing new ideas and polish your skill.

Perhaps, you are a graphic designer. You need at least practice twice a week to become eminent. Or, if you are a writer, try writing more than a thousand words daily. It makes your writing more fluent and perfect.

Did you know? Stephen King used to write 2,000 words daily, making him one of the greatest writers.

Dedication

Working as a freelancer will encounter many challenges. But it's all about being dedicated to your work.

You won't be receiving good reviews every time. There will be a time when clients aren't satisfied with your service and drop a bad review, which is a drawback. However, you should keep polishing your skills and pushing yourself.

"The secret of life is to fall seven times and to get up eight times." — Paulo Coelho

Improve Your Communication Skills

It's better to have good communication skills in your freelance journey; otherwise, it would become an obstacle.

It will help you understand client goals, demands, and plans. It allows you to pitch yourself more accurately. It is one of the most vital skills a freelancer must-have.

It doesn't matter whether you are dealing with a local or international client; communication skills are necessary everywhere. It will boost your business and increase conversion rates.

Bad communication skills will make your client drop you off and hire someone else. With skills, you should also have decent communication skills, which is crucial in freelancing and in some stages of life.

In addition, you should try to practice your English. It would make you sound more professional while conversing with your clients.

Add A Little Bit of Spice

You can easily demand extras if you have additional skills to offer your clients. Suppose you are a content writer or blogger; you can learn SEO tactics, WordPress, and Canva.

In this way, you can overcome your client's expectations, and would be advantageous in getting good client testimonials.

Pitching Yourself is Vital

To make your business grow on a higher level, you should know how to pitch yourself. It would help have a standard and meet with the best organizations.

Let's see how you can pitch yourself better.

  • Improve your service and show your best samples.
  • Apply with an excellent cover letter that directly speaks to the client.
  • Have better communication skills.
  • Strong looking portfolio of your skillset.

There are freelancer tutorials available on YouTube. You should try checking them out, too!


Questions to Answer

How to Set Up a Business As a Freelancer?

Freelancing itself is a business. In a nutshell, it's all about pitching, getting more clients, and delivering excellent work to your clients.

Although, freelancers have many ways to start their own businesses. Suppose you are a blogger and have a good team behind your back. You can create an agency and find clients looking to hire an agency for a whole blogging site. You can demand a lump sum for the whole blogging website, which is lucrative.

Moreover, if you have the bulk of work available, you can outsource them to local freelancers and have your commission.

Furthermore, you can sell your E-Books and courses to random people on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. There were 191 million E-books sold in 2020 in the USA, according to Statista. E-Books are beneficial when your clients are on weekends and you don't have anything to sell except courses and books.

If your website is getting volume, you can advertise other brands on your website and promote their business. It is much more likely affiliate marketing, a demanding niche to work on.

In addition, you can open a software house only if you have enough backup money for your employees.

How to Write a Business Plan for a Freelancer?

There are some elements of a business plan for freelancers. Let's hear them.

  • Your company name and purpose.
  • What service your company provides?
  • What audience are you targeting?
  • Practical Marketing goals and how would you compete with other brands?
  • A financial business plan includes expenses of electricity bills and internet connection. It should also be added to the plan.

Your business will outgrow others if you have a proper plan and marketing strategy.

How to Advertise Your Freelance Business?

As we mentioned, there are social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn. You can make a post about your business in different groups. Moreover, make a page and boost your standing with Facebook ad marketing.

Furthermore, there are different mentors on Instagram; you can ask them to do a paid promotion of your brand or service.

How to Freelance on The Sites?

Freelancing on freelance marketplaces isn't easy as you might think. You need to be active most of the time, reply to messages on time, maintain a healthy relationship with clients, and be responsive.

It takes courage, patience, and hard work to elicit good testimonials from clients and become sedulous on the platform.

Why is Freelancing Better?

With freelancing, you have your own space and time. You can work anytime, which is suitable for you, unlike the 9 to 5 job.

Freedom, passive income, and self-management are all offered by freelancing. You can work on different activities and improve your lifestyle; it rejuvenates your life.

Freelancing doesn't require any high technical skills. It nurtures your skills and makes you learn how to deal with business stuff and pressure. Moreover, freelancing won't cost you anything except an internet connection and a device to work on.


Conclusion

Are you fed up waking up at 8 am and picking up your bag for another hectic day at your office? Then find another way to make money. Pursue your dreams today with freelancing.

Freelancing is great; by working on it today, you can make significant changes to your life. We discussed why you should freelance and the step-by-step process. Also the pros and cons of freelancing

Let's see what we mentioned briefly.

  • What is freelancing?
  • Suitability of freelancing.
  • Goals in freelancing.
  • Profitable niche to work on.
  • Suitable packages to offer.
  • Portfolio and website management.
  • Primary clients and why you should prioritize them.
  • Building up your brand.
  • Getting reviews.
  • Importance of daily life.

We discussed how to be successful in freelancing and vital tips for working, including extending your network, polishing your skills, courage, and dedication, adding additional skills, and pitching yourself.

Suppose you want to learn more about freelancing marketplaces, templates, and many other pieces of stuff. You can roam around our website and find everything related to freelancing.

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