Deciding to become a freelancer is just the first step towards getting your new career off the ground. The process is a little more complicated than just setting up shop at home, buying all the equipment you need and getting ready to work. A set up where you are in charge of everything, from looking for prospective clients to determining work hours, will be vastly different from an office environment that provides an organized system. If you have no clue where to begin, here are some helpful ideas for new freelancers:
Determine the niche you want to penetrate.
All that experience that you’ve amassed while working for a big company should not go to waste. It can be utilized to pin down what skills you have that will pave the way towards the type of freelance work you will be looking for. Are you great at sales, do you have a passion for helping customers resolve an issue, can you impart knowledge to other people, do you love creating and writing stories, or are you obsessed with ensuring that the written words are correctly used? The response to these questions will guide you on which direction to take. Read through this article and you may get some worthwhile ideas.
Be realistic with your expectations.
You’ve probably been motivated in part by people who have shared that they became successful at this field and are now reaping the benefits of their efforts. There is nothing wrong with a desire to be the best. However, please do bear in mind that there are thousands of other freelancers who are vying for the same spot that you are looking at. These days, skills and knowledge are not the only tools you need to land that first client and the road to success is not always straight and even. Don’t expect to bid for ten projects and immediately get a response, an invitation for an interview or even a contract. Take a look at what others are doing and check if it will work for you as well. If you’re not getting the response you’re looking for, tweak your process and observe if it will do the trick. While you’re waiting, don’t stop learning and devour every resource you can find on how to achieve your goals. Freelance websites, such as Upwork, provides some great tips on how to land your first freelance job if you’re using their platform.
Get to know other freelancers.
Experience is one of the best teachers. The people who are at the top of this field have gone through the same painful procedure that you are now experiencing. If you take the time to get to know them, they will be eager to share what they’ve learned and help you to avoid making some of the mistakes that they’ve made. Look for forums, Facebook groups, search in Twitter and other sources where you can learn from the masters. These are the people that can assist you in looking for clients, generating ideas, developing your skills, adding value to your work and a whole lot more. You can also get together with other newbies and take comfort in the knowledge that you’re not alone in the challenges that you’re facing.
Know your worth.
You decided to try your hand at earning money online because you believe that there is something you can contribute to the market, that you have what it takes to be successful. This means figuring out what your market value is and getting that message across to prospective clients. Do your homework and determine what is the ongoing rate for the tasks that you want to commit to and how much others are asking for it. Being prepared and confident prior to the actual negotiations with your client will ensure that you’re not underselling your work.
Walk before you leap.
Freelancing is a process that you have to learn and master. Do not expect to be adept in one month at what others have been doing for years. No matter how tempting it is, refrain from making shortcuts in your learning process. Be satisfied with taking baby steps and if you fall, get up and try again until you know how to run. Check out profiles and portfolios of other people who work at home, follow their lead and you will not go astray.
There will be times when motivation will be in short supply, especially when things are not getting to where you want it to be. Ask yourself: Is your desire for success greater than your fear of failure? Let thirst overshadow your fears and act on that dream!