Globally, companies of all sizes are increasingly hiring freelancers. If you’ve chosen freelancing, you’re making a wise decision. Whether it’s for extra income or a full-time career, equip yourself with knowledge, a willingness to learn, and plenty of patience to kickstart your freelancing journey.

How Do You Become a Freelancer?

The freelance market is growing by the day and, if you want to be competitive, you have to prepare accordingly. Follow these five steps to get started.

Step 1: Consider Whether Freelancing is for You

Freelancing comes with its advantages and disadvantages, but overall, it requires a specific mindset. Being your own boss is rewarding if you’re disciplined. Freelancers enjoy the flexibility to set their schedules, yet there’s no paid leave. To succeed, maintain a daily work routine, handle multiple assignments, and consistently seek new projects.

If you’re currently employed full-time, don’t immediately quit. Instead, balance freelancing with your job until you build enough clients and connections to sustain yourself independently. Establishing a solid foundation with steady work and income provides a better environment for growing your freelance business.

Step 2: Find a Platform

Many freelancers use online platforms to secure work, offering a convenient way to connect with clients. While recommendations and social media can help, freelancing websites, with continuous job opportunities, are popular. These platforms often have protective policies for both freelancers and clients, treating each project as a mini contract with defined terms.

Choosing the right platform, aligning with your needs and salary expectations, is crucial for success. Some platforms foster a “race to the bottom,” compromising quality for low pay. In contrast, exclusive platforms like Fiverr focus on high-quality work by admitting top freelancers after rigorous testing. This selective approach connects freelancers with serious clients, ensuring fair compensation for quality services.

Step 3: Build Your Profile

You don’t have to prepare a classical resume as most freelancing websites have a predesigned template you need to fill out with your information, but you shouldn’t treat your freelancing profile as a check box exercise.

Take time to create a substantial profile that will inform potential clients about your education, skills, expertise and experience. You don’t have to write novels to keep it concise. List your skills, experiences, special achievements and explain why you’re the best person for the job.

Step 4: Build Your Portfolio

Your profile may state that you’re an astronaut, but unless you upload your selfie from the international space station, potential clients are unlikely to believe you. So, when you create a profile, make sure to provide a portfolio that illustrates your skills and experience.

If you’re a beginner in your chosen field, take time to create a portfolio with sample works or accept several jobs at a discounted rate in exchange for experience.

Step 6: Find Work

Apply for jobs you’re confident in completing on time with satisfactory results. Building your reputation as a freelancer is crucial, especially initially. Craft tailored cover letters, emphasizing relevant skills and experience. Platforms often reward top-rated freelancers with benefits, so keeping clients satisfied is beneficial.

While some freelancers avoid online marketplaces due to fees, alternative options like Facebook and LinkedIn groups exist. However, be cautious, as these may lack contracts and payment guarantees.

Step 7: Focus on Client Relationships

The most crucial part of freelancing is building and maintaining good relationships with clients. By staying connected and delivering quality work, you increase your chances of getting more jobs in the future. Always meet deadlines, follow instructions, and communicate well. Even though you have flexible hours, be available to address client questions.

To attract new clients, build a strong portfolio, reviews, ratings and maintain a positive reputation by consistently delivering high-quality work. Advertise your services on social media and update your website regularly. Having a trustworthy online presence is crucial for clients to feel comfortable working with you.

Summary

Choosing freelancing is a smart move as more companies seek freelancers globally. Follow these five steps for success: assess your readiness, find a suitable platform, build a compelling profile and portfolio, set reasonable prices, actively seek work, and prioritize client relationships. These steps pave the way for a flourishing freelancing career in a growing market.