How To Be A Freelancer: 5 Tips To Get You Started
Freelancing is truly the job of dreams – I mean, who wouldn’t like being their own boss, working at their own time, and setting designated days off for yourself to go out and party with friends or simply just chill out at home with a cup of tea and your favourite TV show? Not only are you working in your domain, but if you’re good at what you do and have some marketing skills as well, you could rake in even more income than you would as someone else’s employee. So, where do you begin? We’re not going to lie – in the beginning, starting as a freelancer can be intimidating. However, with these simple steps and a little guidance, you’ll be on your way to freelancing freedom in no time!
Pull Together A Sick Portfolio
Like any other job, you’re going to need some sort of CV or Resume to get you started. In the freelancing world, your CV is your Portfolio. Prospective clients or employers will want to see your work before investing their time and money in you. After all, since you’re riding solo, you don’t have the name of a company to back you up. This is why your portfolio needs to be meticulous – to gain their trust as a freelancer. Gather links to projects you have completed for current and former employers, create PDF files of your print work, or even show off work you’ve done free of charge for nonprofit and community groups. Every little bit will go a long way in gaining the trust of your potential clients.
Plan Your Services
Do you specialise in graphic design, or is your top skill content writing? It is always good to have a think about what you excel at in order to decide what services you’ll offer. Not too experienced in Social Media marketing? No worries. The great thing about being a freelancer is that you can plan your services around exactly what you do best, regardless what that may be. Always advertise your strong points, and remember to never over promise and under-perform.
Set Your Rates And Stick To Them
When you first join the world of freelancing, you may be tempted to be modest and just accept what your first few clients offer you in payment. Look – we completely understand how you may be slightly lacking in confidence and this understandable. However, such practice is highly unsustainable. Do a little research into the rates for your field of work and always price yourself within that range, based on the value you can provide and what you need to sustain your business.
Calculating your base hourly helps you learn what you need to charge in order to make a living. Have a look at The Freelancer blog at Contently to find out more. Although you may think your prices are steep, always keep in mind that you are not only charging for billable time, but also for marketing, accounting time and expenses that most regular employees don’t have.
Build Yourself A Website
In order for anyone to find you, you’re gonna need a website. Period. Your ideal site will look great on mobile phones as well as desktops, include your portfolio, samples of your work, and provide contact details so that people can contact you directly. Seed your site copy/meta tags with key search terms that clients will use to find you, and constantly and consistently update your website to maintain a solid search engine result position.
Testimonials Are Key
Ask previous employers, colleagues and clients to write you testimonials on LinkedIn or on the testimonial section of your website. As a freelancer, the most effective testimonials that will be key in helping you will include a photo and name, so always remember to request permission to use those things. A majority of people will be happy to help you with this, so start connecting as soon as you can.
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