So, you want to become a freelancer? Freelancing is an excellent way to pursue a hobby or earn money. It can be a side hustle or your primary career.
Whether you want to move to full-time freelancing or pursue it on the side, here’s what you must know to be a huge success.
Freelancing is a growing trend, with a significant portion of the global workforce. In the US, there are over 73 million them, and their annual earnings have grown to $1.5 trillion, according to the University of Cincinnati. The average hourly rate for freelancers worldwide is $215. Over half of them have postgraduate education, and 70.4 million Americans did freelance work in 2022.
Get the right equipment
Investing in good equipment is essential to start or take your freelancing career to the next level.
For starters, purchase a good computer like a Mac. Macs are user-friendly, and their software and hardware are optimized to offer speedy performance. Additionally, you must make bootable USB on Mac with macOS installation files so you can reinstall macOS if your computer ever runs into issues. Finally, you can create a bootable USB using an external drive like a USB flash drive with at least 14GB of free space.
Also, you must invest in a mobile Wi-Fi hub if you find yourself working out of coffee shops, hotels, airports, and other remote locations. Having a 5-way USB-C hub if you want to work on multiple devices with your Mac.
You can even get noise-canceling headphones to host or join audio or video meetings. These headphones will keep noisy distractions at bay and not disrupt your meeting.
Choose your niche
Once you have invested in the right equipment and set up your freelancing workspace, the next step is to choose your niche.
A niche is a segment of a broader market with similar problems or needs that your business can serve. Limit your focus to a smaller group, and you can create focused marketing materials and offer specialized services.
If your freelance business caters to a smaller niche, it will help create a value proposition for your business and enhance credibility within the specific sector. Moreover, you will be able to better address the pain points of your prospects.
Create and build a strong brand
Now it is time to create and build a strong brand that will help grow your freelance business. It is your brand that will create a lasting first impression and tell your prospects who you are and what you are offering.
You can start by designing a website and coming up with a unique brand name. Then, create a freelancer profile on one of the freelancing platforms and ask for testimonials from your customers.
Create a portfolio
In the freelancing world, you don’t need to tiptoe around the red tape of the corporate world. But your prospects want to know what you have done and if your offerings align with their requirements. To get their attention and improve your chances for success, you must create a detailed portfolio with all your past work.
You must use the portfolio to showcase your skills and quality of work. You can even include positive client testimonials. However, the problem arises when you have to create a portfolio without having prior experience.
Therefore, when starting out, do not be afraid of doing pro-bono work for the right clients. First, you must demonstrate that you are worth big money, and then you will get high-paying clients. Also, offering your services at no cost is an introduction of your brand into the freelancing world.
Work on your pitching skills
An essential part of getting new business is honing your pitching skills. If you lack pitching skills, your freelance career will not get off the ground.
It would be best if you were not continually nervous about pitching your offerings to your prospects. It might be difficult in the beginning, and you may get rejected. But it would be best if you did not give up.
You must improve your pitching skills by following other freelancers, and the effort will be worth it in the end.
Focus on networking
Most freelancers are young people. There must be a trend. What happens is that the networking landscape has changed. You don’t have to participate in events, although highly recommended. You stay home and communicate online. Here are some interesting numbers on the age of freelancers worldwide:
Instead of thinking of other freelancers as your competition, you can treat them as potential allies. Many tips and job leads come through a close network of freelancers.
Invest in your networking skills and connect with others in the same niche. Work with them to achieve new heights of success.
Invest in honing your skills continually
Freelancers are typically hired for their knowledge and skills. Hence, it would be best to constantly focus on honing your soft and hard skills to help you create more opportunities for your business.
There are several ways to invest in professional development. For instance, you can gain more knowledge about your industry, enroll in an online course, find a mentor, test new strategies, watch webinar presentations, attend workshops or conferences, spend time overcoming weaknesses, etc.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there are challenges along the way. Here is data offered by Zippia on the issues freelancers encounter:
|Difficulty saving money due to unpredictable income||71%|
|Difficulty saving money due to emergencies & high costs||41%|
|Living paycheck to paycheck||59%|
|Using personal savings for business expenses||63%|
|Clients not paying for services at least once||44%|
|Concern about the impact of automation||55%|
With these recommendations and tips, you can start your freelancing career and take your business to the next level.
Always focus on delivering excellent work to maintain a stellar reputation. High-quality results will always keep your freelancing offerings in the spotlight.