It is okay to consider a freelancing career even if you have no prior experience. The fact that freelancing is very lucrative is enough reason for you to give it a try. However, many aspiring freelancers are always concerned how and where to begin. This shouldn’t be a problem at all because if you follow the guidelines outlined here, then you stand a better chance to kick-start your career on a higher note. The following are some of the important elements you should have in mind.
How to start freelancing?
Know you skills and choose a path
It is very important that you consider your skill set and choose a definite path, especially when you want to go full-time as a freelancer. This is one thing that will make you have an edge from the word go. As a word of advice, do not try everything at the same time. If you do so, you will not become as productive as you so wish. In other words, you can choose whether you want to be a marketer, web designer, writer, or something that will help you make some money. This is one way to start charting your path in the murky waters of freelancing.
This is second to none in regard to starting your freelance career with nothing substantial to show of. Just like any other career, you have to start somewhere and proceed thereon. You should aim at creating a formidable brand during the first few days. It is with a reputable company or brand that you will find it easier to compete with those who have been in the industry for pretty long. In this case, be specific and work in one industry. For instance, as a designer, your target should be start ups and as a writer focus on a niche that you are comfortable with.
Testimonial and portfolio building
The fact that people will look at your portfolio before hiring necessitates that you consider building this part of your career in the first few days, weeks, or months. It should be quite professional and at the same time, aim at sourcing for testimonials. You can begin by doing a few tasks that don’t pay so much before you start commanding higher rates. Remember, most clients do not look at your qualifications but will want to find out what you are capable of doing. If you can add value to their business and increase the bottom line, you will soon get many clients that you will have to decline some offers.
Marketing & networking
It goes without saying that marketing is an integral part of freelancing career that you cannot overlook. As such, you must learn some marketing techniques that will get the word out there about what you are offering. It is equally important to connect with people within the industry you operate. At the same time, ensure that you have contacts of potential clients with you. You can start cold pitching as soon as you hit the road, too. However, follow all the due process for your pitches to be accepted lest you are spammed by companies you are trying to reach.
Low paying jobs
This can be quite unsettling for the newbie who know what he/she wants with freelancing. If you want to break even fast, then doing low paying jobs won’t hurt at all. It all depends on your goals and objective as a freelancer. It takes experience to gain experience, and the low paying jobs can be a good start before you go ahead and command higher rates. Nevertheless, be careful so that you are not caught up within this bracket. In fact, some clients will want to take advantage of your skills by consistently paying peanuts for professional work.
Samples and more training
It is vital for you to have samples of what you can do, and also keep on improving on existing skills. There are many clients out there who are unruly and want to pay pennies, while others are serious and pay top dollar for high quality work. In order to be safe as a new freelancer, do your very best to have some samples with you. In the case of skills, do not hesitate to purchase products that will give you insight in your industry. Importantly, learn new skills that will enhance your productivity levels.
Get return clients
There is a cut-throat competition in freelancing irrespective of the industry. As a matter of fact, this is one thing you should have in mind if you are thinking of starting a freelancing career. Therefore, from the beginning, aim at getting return or direct clients who will help you have a stable income and avoid serious hiccups in your career.
In a nutshell, you can start freelancing without necessarily having prior experience. How fast you break even will depend on hard work and focus. Of course, having a strategy in place will always give you an upper hand.