Home Business How To Start a Career As a Freelancer: Step-by-step Guide

How To Start a Career As a Freelancer: Step-by-step Guide

start a career as a freelancer

Starting a career as a freelancer is a great thing, in fact, it is one the best thing you can start nowadays.

Unlike before the use of freelancers has increased and we can look to see the gap.

The hope of freelancers has been regained over the years, as it is now one of the methods most businesses use to hire staff.

This gives lots of people like you and me to start a freelancing career and then earn from it as a side hustle until you are able to stand using it as a full-time career afterward.

The freelancing career is a good and easy thing to start, it doesn’t require you to have a big office space or lots of money to start.

You only need the basic equipment and tools you’ll work with and these are your laptop and phone and if you require other things later on.

These businesses are always needing freelancers who have skills, for example, marketers, developers, writers, and graphic designers to do certain work for them remotely.

To back this up you may get fixed to the business payroll if you perform extraordinarily and that’s some income for you.

It won’t hard for you as a freelancer to get hired because we have more freelance job websites that can help make your dream job come true.

These freelance job websites have made it easier for you to match up with businesses using your skills and preference.

There are lots of benefits associated with a freelancing career, it can help you secure long years of work and income if you do well.

To help you start a career as a freelancer I have to take my time to write this article you are reading with in-depth research that will help build your freelancing career in no time.

Here is a list of steps to start a career as a freelancer

These steps with teach you the important parts you need to know before you start a career as a freelancer. The best part of the whole story is that you read on to the end and be able to step into the career.


1. Set Your Goals First

To start a career as a freelancer you must set your own goals first, take time to see work will work and won’t work. You need to set up goals for yourself, this will guide you through the whole process until you start making money.

Some of these questions should be:

  • Do you want to take the freelancing job as a side income or as a full-time job?
  • Are you willing to put in all your effort and skills into the freelancing career even if it doesn’t make you money at first?
  • Do you have a dream of becoming your own boss or you are taking it as a full-time career?

It doesn’t matter what your goals are, all you have to do is make them crystal clear before you even start the freelancing career.

This is a huge step to take before you make any decision to start a career as a freelancer, it’s just like start any other business. And I am sure you will agree with me if I say anything that brings in income is a business, right?

Make sure you take your time to make a decision and also understand why you are starting the career.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I want to do? (a freelance designer, a freelance developer, or a freelance writer)
  • What do I aim to generate from this freelancing career?
  • What amount of my time am I going to dedicate?

As you ask yourself these questions you must try to keep up so you will guide by making use of them as the guidelines.

When you move on to try these steps out make sure you track your progress and see how well you’ve improved since you set out on the career journey.

Preparing your goals must be a priority for you before starting your career as a freelancer, try to evaluate the risk involved with you leaving your full-time job to start a career as a freelancer.

See the meaning of why you should make any decision and also try to examine what the outcome would be before taking the big step.

It’s not the right thing for you to set out without a proper plan and already planned goals, it will only lead you nowhere.

When you have the plan and your goals set, you will be able to act and tackle problems as they may come in the journey even when you feel to stop the goals will keep you moving.

With plans, you will be able to decide if you still want to leave your full-time job in order to start a career as a freelancer, and you will know how to make a decision whether you have a source to earn while focusing on the freelancing career.

Starting with your plan, you will be able to come up with a list of how you want to charge your client (how much you plan to charge them for your service) and the numbers of clients you will be needing for you to achieve your goals.

Although this will change later on when you start having clients with higher expectations but you still need to start from somewhere as you are just starting.


2. Go for a Profitable Niche

To start a career as a freelancer depends on your skills and also your area of expertise which eventually will help decide your chosen niche in the meantime.

There are lots of factors to consider before making a move to choose a niche you’ll focus on, and some of these factors should not be left unchecked as they may bring undesired after-effects.

Let’s start from the pricing section, just as I said under the segment of setting your goals.

Things will definitely get tricky as lots of professionals or should I say your competitors in your industry will start charging lower than the regular price you want to stick with.

Although this isn’t always their fault, most of the time it’s because they are with lower costs of living than you are.

This is one of the reasons why they think it’s a normal routine to charge less distance from the standard price.

One thing you must keep away from is competing with people on price as a freelancer, choose your own path your own pricing as long as you offer the best service that deserves such price.

These existing freelance jobs site like Upwork, Fiverr, and others are known for their low-priced jobs created for freelancers.

It might not be the best option to start with them if you are planning not to compete on price.

The only solution to your problem will be for you to start evaluating the best and profitable niche for you to work in.

It’s only when you value your skills by finding a profitable niche to take up your freelancing career you will be able to meet potential clients who will have value for your skills and service rendered.

All you need to focus on is providing and competing on quality not price, then will you be able to see things clearly and see changes in pricing.

You should know by now that some pro freelancers do take upon work offered by a client and earn more than all other freelancers earn on the same work detail.

And that’s called value and show of quality in service rendered rather than accepting every word that comes in your way, it’s not all work that worth the effort.

Your interest should focus on a well-chosen industry by creating a ground for yourself, when you build over time will breakthrough.

And when the time comes that you’ve been known for your quality services rendered then you can professionally switch to charge a premium for any receding work contract.

This will mark the beginning of an era of building an empire for your freelancing career which makes you hit big over the time to come.

And at that rate, you will start making progress toward the bigger fishes that are set your way, but you must be careful so as not to be greedy enough to catch a fish bigger than your net.

Your reputation and step-by-step progress really do matter as you’ll get there with patience and hard work.


3. Know the type of clients you’ll be targeting

This step is an important part of the ways to start your freelancing career, as it is just as important as finding yourself a profitable niche.

It’s never wrong to desire the type of clients you wish to work with within your freelancing career, it won’t be good with you not choosing initially.

It may feel somehow when you are just starting because you haven’t tried them before, but if you don’t try you won’t be able to know if it works or not.

After you choose your type of clients, make sure you target and work with them for a while and then review the experience so far with your expectations and it if matches your expectations you may continue but if it doesn’t you may change your targets, it’s never too late.

Start by targeting other clients with another specific aim till you find the best type of clients for you.

To reach that goal of having the perfect type of clients to target, you must try as much as possible to narrow down on focus and the type of clients that will help will achieve the goal.

One of the reasons for you to give it a thought before focusing on your type of clients is that the type of clients you work with will define your standard and also lead you to another with the same quality.

The decision of choosing your target clients might be difficult when starting at first but proper thought with analysis will help you get through.

All you need to begin with your decision is by narrowing down on the type of clients you’ll like to work best with, it will help you make the best decision and unlock new opportunities as time goes on.

You may feel that you are taking less work and throwing away work opportunities but believe me you are doing it for a good cause which will bring laughter to your mouth at the end.

Starting with your target clients and performing well will give you the kind of motivation you need to go on to the next step in success.

Your focus on competing on value and not price will broaden as your dedication and bond grow with the highest service value you give to clients you’ve with over time.

Your priority is to create a career that won’t go dark after some time, since you are trying to be authoritative in your career as well as in your chosen industry.

Then will you be able to attract the focus of clients that will value your work to the best of their intentions?

To make this value thing work for you in your freelancing career you must make sure you narrow down your niche, with this you will be able to find and attract clients that are in need of a specific service you render including the value of finding such a refined service.

To make this value thing work for you in your freelancing career you must make sure you narrow down your niche, with this you will be able to find and attract clients that are in need of a specific service you render including the value of finding such a refined service.

To work with finding the type of clients you’d want to work with you need to ask yourself some questions as seen below:

  • What kind of services with bring in my desired business?
  • Which businesses will find the services I render useful?
  • What should be my focus to find businesses that’ll pay for the price I offer to achieve my goal?
  • Which business has a high interest in the business I offer or how I offer them?

When you answer all the above questions you will be able to find solutions and answer to building your freelancing career bigger and better. This means you will be able to know what your offer should include and what they’ll be expecting from you.

When you keep targeting specific clients will pave a way for you to meet up with high-value personal brands that would have reasons to hire you for your valuable service.

More so, your specific services will give your clients-to-be the assurance that you will do better work when they hire you.


4. Come Up with the Best Price for Your Services

One of the steps you’ll take in the freelancing career is setting the right prices for your services.

The only thing that will decide if you will be living the life you plan or not is your price, it also determines whether you’ll be in the business for a long time.

You must try to go by the right price to be able to meet up your income goals and to be efficient at providing the best of your service yet.

The level of your progress will also be decided by the current price charge, you must find a befitting price so your client would not find a reason to be suspicious about your charges.

Your service’s value is also compared using your price, if you charge too low, they’ll find a reason for them to think you are not going to offer them the value you’ve mentioned.

You’ll be able to get access to lots of tools that will help you find the accurate price for your services but you yourself should set a range base on your service value.

One piece of advice, never charge based on what your competitors are charging but based on the value your services delivers to your clients.

If you want to be successful in the freelancing career you need to name your own price by your own value not what clients decide for you.

You are the one offering your services for money, let them know that if they want a valuable service then they should consider giving the same price for your service.

The reason for this is that you target clients that know your value and are willing to pay for such a valuable service.

They won’t be worried about your price if they know what they’ll be getting for the right price since they believe in investing right.

Bigger clients have big budgets they know will give them outstanding value for money and that’s why they’ll invest in your service without complaining.

Your price is never too high as long as you provide value that worth it. Clients may start coming with their own price telling you your price is on the high side.

Your response will determine what your worth is, start by pitching them your services and showing them what type of service, you will be rendering to them for their price then you let them decide.

To gain the attention of your clients make sure they never get any of the values they get from you from another freelancer.

Be sure to give them values other freelancers won’t offer and once they have the taste of the value in your services, they’ll keep asking for more despite your price.

Begin by deciding the price you set based on your services from the requirements and add-ons your clients need from you.

While doing this don’t go overcharging above the value of services and also don’t even think about undervaluing the value of the services you render to your clients.

Reason before bringing your price on the table and make sure you convince them enough that you are the right person for the work.

Give them enough reason to not doubt you over your chosen price for the service and show them why you are different from other freelancers that offer the same service for less price.

If they find your words and services’ value convincing, they will have no option but to go with you with your price willingly because this is business.

You won’t be able to convince every client that comes your way, you will need to let go of some clients to keep your reputation.


5. Set Up a Quality Portfolio Website

One of the ways to progress your freelancing career is by creating an online space for your freelancing career.

Having your online presence serves as a piece of solid evidence to support your freelancing business totally. It also serves as the right way to get into your client’s heart to not be able to doubt if you will perform well.

When you have a website set up to support your freelancing career you will be able to help yourself find high-value clients who are looking for values over price.

There are lots of benefits you stand a chance to enjoy when you have your portfolio website set up online.

The first one is that your website stands as a show for your work, your style, and the reviews of your past potential clients or past companies you have worked with within your freelance career.

Make sure your portfolio has all it needs to showcase the services you render or how much you can start with for that particular service.

Use a page know as “About Me” to explain why you are the perfect person for that type of work – and the amount of effort you will invest in doing the right job.

The portfolio website you are creating for your freelancer career should contain the following in order to convince your client:

  • First, start by displaying your previous work for clients.
  • Showcase your skills which are related, accomplishments, and Education level.
  • Set aside a page or place below the landing page a contact me widget to let clients reach out to you.
  • Show testimonials section for new clients to see the past clients and how much they’ve enjoyed your services rendered.
  • Now it’s the right time for you to start updating your website page with recent updates and trending skills.

Do not be a lone wolf as my friend at BloggingParadise would say “Being a lone wolf will only make you hungry and experience a hard time alone without getting what you need”

Start by finding other freelancers in your industry and get some advice from them on how they manage to succeed with all the odds.

Then you will be able to use that advice to help set up a better landing page that will intrigue clients.

First, you will have to hire a website designer that will deliver your portfolio website with all the qualities that will convince clients in mind.

I am a website designer and I am up for Hire.

Secondly, you start by collecting your reviews on the portfolio website alongside your services.

Lastly, start driving traffic to your portfolio website as much as possible, with that you’ll be able to gain clients.


6. Make your portfolio website display the value of services you render

The main purpose of your portfolio website is to display the value of your service to the clients that are viewing your page for evidence.

Your portfolio website should serve as a source to find all the information about you (your services and the value you render).

Having a website is not enough, but making recent changes to your website is better.

Start by publishing new content based on trending information in your industry, support those content with infographics and attractive images or videos using your industry format as the judge.

The usefulness of those content is to help open your clients’ eyes to the bigger opportunities that lie within your industry.

Take note of your clients’ scope and their needs, once you get the understanding of your clients and then work on creating content that matters.

You have a better way to sell your services, if you have successfully known what your client desire you will start working around to make sure you cover all about the projects and how excellent you can produce a relevant service for your clients.

That will boost the chance of having your client-to-be inspired to get you hired conveniently for the work.

All you need or should do is start using your skills as content you pass to your clients.

Let’s start by showing examples:

If you are a freelance graphic designer, you just have to start creating a gallery showcasing your skills. This will give your clients the experience of the service you’ll render when they hire you.

Even as a website designer you can create a beautiful landing page with intuitive UI that will make your clients have a great experience with your website look and feel. With that, your clients will be able to determine you’ll give them the best.

In a nutshell, your website will be part of the ways clients will be able to decide whether you are fit for the work in question.


7. Carefully select your main clients

Being a freelancer means that you will have a limited amount of time to get new clients and you will also have a short period of time to work effectively.

For you to render your services effectively as possible, you must minimize the number of clients you take at the moment.

When you serve the current clients well enough, you will be able to secure more with reviews from works you’ve done successfully.

Your first client will determine how other clients will come your way; it will also determine what type of clients you’ll meet in your freelancing career.

The way you present the limited number of clients you take will determine how your clients will decide how much effort you’ll put into their work and how it will help fulfill their business purpose.

Another way that limiting the number of clients you take can help you is that it helps you channel all that effort to the existing clients’ work.


8. Shout out to your Valued Clients in your Content

As I said above your content needs to include informational points about your services you render and how unique you are in the current industry.

It is always hard in the beginning when you start as a freelancer, this is because that there are ready-made freelancers available to be hired by top-tier clients.

This may allow no one to know about you or your freelancing career at first, but by mentioning your potential clients in your content and even brand or companies you want to work with.

Even if you have the intention of working with those brands or companies you still have to put them in your content so as to make a path for yourself whenever you wish to expand your freelancing business in that area.

It is even a great opportunity in case your content gets to people that are ready to partner with you for greater achievements.

To make things much easier for you when writing your content, select those companies and brands that you wish to include in your content.

Look for angles to write about them better, gather all you know about them then start by picking out good points showing how relevant they are in the industry you are writing on.

Right after you publish that content, you’ll need to get the word out to the brand or companies you’ve mentioned in your content letting them know of your content.

Look for the best way to reach out to them, and then message them using that means conveniently.

The best means of contact that has always been working for people is email outreach. There are various means of contact and email is one of the catchy ones.

It might feel awkward for the first time you are reaching out to brands or companies, but it’s worth taking that step that can change your career for good.

Below are the main tips you can use to create a meaningful email template:

  • Do your research first about the best contact option.
  • Create a perfect subject for your pitch.
  • Make your message short and meaningful.
  • Input a well-written call to action words.
  • Now round up with a catchy paragraph.

With the above, you’ll be able to create a perfect pitch your ready won’t find anything but perfect to read.


9. Know how to pitch well

For you to take your freelancing business to another level after you start a career as a freelancer you will need to start learning how to pitch yourself first.

It’s going to be a worthy thing to start doing at an early stage.

This is because if you don’t pitch yourself even if though you are skilled at what do you, you won’t be able to show potential how good you’ll render the service they want.

The pitching needs you to be communicative by channeling those important outreaches into action-taking conversations with your clients.

You need to decide and plan your own strategies; these will be your constant strategies to convert new clients for your freelancing career.

With this, you’ll be able to finalize which of them you’ve tried so far worked better for you through the process.


10. Don’t sabotage your current income source with a freelance career

By now you should know it’s important to keep your current source of income steady and active.

The freelance business isn’t something you can run into anyhow; you need to know how and when to start the business.

It doesn’t fetch you instant money as soon as you get started, it takes some time before you start to make something from this business.

In the meantime, you must stick to your current income source so as to keep things smooth.

Here are some of the things you should avoid doing:

  • Do not work on your freelancing business while you are supposed to maintain your current source of income.
  • Try as much as possible to keep to the rules and regulation of your day job
  • Do not make use of the resources meant for your day job in your freelancing career
  • Lastly, do not think freelance business is the short path to success but must think it’s a step-by-step process

Your main goal should be how to spend part of your free time on your part-time freelance career until you’ve finally turned it into a full-time career.

Conclusion

It’s a great thing to start a business worth relying on, the one that gives you free time and makes you your own boss.

The freelance business will give you access to these if done the right way.

Things should go from one step to another, using the above tips you will be able to start a career as a freelancer and earn a good income.

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