If you’re looking for a way to escape the 9-5 you might want to consider starting a freelancing business. But whilst freelancing can provide a way out, success is not always guaranteed. Do things the wrong way and you might end up losing a lot of money.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to maximize your odds of succeeding.
Keep reading and we’ll explore how you can start and grow and start a profitable freelance business. If you act on the suggestions in this post, it won’t be long before your freelance business is so successful, you’ll be ready to quit your day job.
Decide What You’re Going to Do
This step can be challenging and you need to take a cold hard look at your skills. Is there any kind of work people have paid you for in the past which isn’t related to your day job? Perhaps design work or something related to web development?
If you don’t have any skills, spend time developing some. Otherwise, you won’t be able to do any form of freelance work. Ideally, you need to pick something you’re comfortable with.
If you’re a creative person then there’s the option of becoming a graphic designer. If you like writing, you can become a writer. If you’re technically minded then you could work as a programmer.
When making this decision try and avoid thinking about money.
You might think that a graphic designer is going to earn less than a programmer. Whilst this is true in some cases, it’s not always the case.
If you become a good graphic designer, you’ll find clients that’ll be more than happy to pay top dollar for your services. The same goes for any other kind of freelancing.
Develop Your Skills
Once you have a keen sense of the kind of freelancing you’d like to do, you then need to develop your skills.
The easiest way to do this is by taking a course of some kind.
There are many online education websites that’ll help you learn the fundamentals of your chosen field. These courses can help bring you up to speed on how you should go about things. Most of these courses don’t cost a lot of money and you’ll be able to get a good education for a lot less than you’d expect.
If you find that you’re unable to pay the fees of a course, that doesn’t mean your dream is over.
Consider taking a look at the contents of the course and the curriculum covered. Then head over to YouTube and see if you can find some videos that cover each of the relevant topics. This can be a fast and cheap way to learn the needed skills. Especially during your commute to your day job, for instance.
Build out Your Portfolio
You don’t want to spend too much time learning. As soon as you have a sense of the basics, you want to think about building out your portfolio.
There are two approaches you can take here.
The first is to create some of your own projects. Suppose you want to become a freelance programmer. You might create some projects that ‘scratch your own itch.’
Creating these projects is a good idea because it gives you the chance to create something new.
It also gives you something you can show to potential clients, which will help showcase your skills. Because the concept is new, it helps highlight that you know how to approach a need and create a relevant solution.
You can also do some low priced or even free work.
For instance, if you’re a graphic designer, you might approach some local businesses and offer to redo their logo or business sign. You can let them know you’re trying to build out your portfolio and they may then consider giving you an opportunity.
Use Solutions to Attract Clients
You then need to think about how you’re going to attract clients. There are generally routes you can take here.
The first is to crawl through freelancing websites and job boards.
If you want to succeed here, you need to make sure you know how to pitch. There are likely a ton of other freelancers pitching the same client. You need to figure out how you’re going to get your pitch to stand out.
The best way you can do this is by addressing the needs of the client and suggesting extra solutions alongside their initial brief. This’ll show the potential client that you’ve taken the time to understand their job description as well as their actual business.
Or, you can go down the route of proactively reaching out to clients yourself.
This option is not as easy, but it can lead to higher paying clients that will often respect you more.
With this approach, you just reach out to potential clients and let them know what they can do better. You can then offer to do the work for them at the end of your email. This soft selling approach can work well if you target the right people.
Manage Your Business Properly
If you’ve never freelanced before, you may find it tough to manage your finances.
The main thing you need to focus on is putting aside money for taxes. The amount you put aside is going to vary depending on the location you’re in. You need to make sure you speak to an accountant to get a decent grasp on what you need to do.
You might find the financial part is easy to manage. You might be struggling with the client side of things though.
If you find it hard to juggle all the requests of your clients, consider investing in a freelance management system. This can help you keep track of various tasks and how certain projects are progressing.
Ready to Start a Freelance Business?
Freelancing is a great way to make a living. But if you want to be successful, you need to stick to a few tried and tested principles.
In this post, we’ve reviewed what it takes to start a successful freelance business. You need to think about the kind of service you’re going to offer. You also want to consider how you’re going to build out your portfolio.
Make sure you stay on top of your business. If it’s just you working in the business, it can be very easy to feel overwhelmed by the day to day tasks. If you find yourself in this position think about investing in a system to help you manage things.
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