Freelancing has become the best alternative for the traditional jobs that most people are forced to choose at one point or another. We all need to make the ends meet, many of us have higher aspirations and standards, so there’s got to be a solution to what we need without sacrificing 8 standard hours every, single, day.
Well, in today’s post, I’m going to teach you several strategies to start your freelancing journey in the most effective and productive way. Pay attention, take some notes, and make sure that you put this useful information in implementation the moment you commit to begin working.
Treat It Like a Business
Freelancing is very similar to business. Just like businesses sell products and services, freelancers do exactly the same thing, only in a different way. As a freelancer, you have limited time, energy, and resources, therefore you’ll have to carefully strategize your future actions, habits, and decisions.
Choose Your Niche
Like in business, you need to choose a product/service to develop and/or promote. In freelancing, the product is basically the service you’re offering. You can become a:
- Content writer
- SEO writer
- Digital Assistant
- Graphic Designer
- Web Developer
The list could go because there are hundreds and thousands of opportunities. You need to establish what you want to do, what skills you need to develop, and what clients you’ll have to search for.
Create a Professional Website (domain, hosting)
Obviously, a professional website is necessary for a steady growth. Every successful independent contractor is already working on his/her online presence. The website is the first thing you need to consider when starting out your freelance career.
Choose a domain, select a hosting plan, and start learning how to use WordPress– it’s easy and most newbie freelancers can take advantage of it. There are a lot of tutorials on the web on how to start a website, so you should definitely take your time to learn.
Establish Your Target Audience
Who will you be targeting? This is a very important aspect that you can’t neglect. In today’s marketplace, most clients are looking for specialized freelancers. For example, if a health & wellness magazine needs extra content, they’ll look for content writers which are specialized precisely in the health & wellness field.
This means that they know the language and the lingos, they can use a language that would be perfect for the client’s audience, and it also means that the writer’s compensations will be above average.
Therefore, after choosing your niche, you need to establish your specific target audience and guide your marketing efforts in alignment with your audience’s characteristics.
Develop a Strong Online Presence
A strong online presence is absolutely critical in today’s times. Your future clients are already searching for you online, in different places, offering different opportunities. However, for you to be accessible, and to look trustworthy and valuable to your audience, you must consistently promote your personal brand in the online medium.
Get Visible on Social Channels
Start by developing a professional presence on one or two social channels. Ideally, it should be Facebook and LinkedIn. Make it truly professional, which means that you should abide by posting anything that you believe that it won’t be suited in a formal environment.
On your social channels, curate and/or create quality content around your niche. Secondly, you may show case a few samples of your work.
Complete your profile – add pictures, contact information, past work experiences, and everything else until you have it all. Lastly, start being active. Publish, comment, reply, mention, engage.
Build Relationships with Influencers
To improve your personal brand’s reputation, you must first make it visible. Leveraging social media influencers (people/pages with lots of followers/subscribers/likes) is a great strategy that most businesses are using today.
Develop relationships by offering free services or by simply paying for a promotion. If the results are satisfying and your return on investment is positive, you should keep promoting your services with the help of social influencers.
Network, Network, Network
In today’s digital and social environment in which communication is instant, it would be foolish not to network. Simply put, start reaching out your target audience and offer your professional services. You can develop a networking strategy that’ll help you accomplish your specific goals. For example, you may offer a 50% discount for every client who’s willing to order after your first presentation.
Sustain and Improve Your Freelance Career
Freelancing is a long-term journey. Everything’s hard at first, and freelancing is no exception. In fact, I’d say that a freelancing career is not for the weak souls. Building highly valuable skills in a specific niche is one thing. However, preserving your work power, cultivating discipline, and maintaining your consistency are also essential aspects of a thriving freelance career.
Don’t Quit Your Job Too Fast
Don’t quit your job before you’re absolutely sure that your freelancing efforts are enough to sustain the lifestyle you want. When you go freelance, you basically take a risk. You don’t have clients yet, and your skills are barely developed. To minimize the risk, keep working your normal job until you’ve got something better.
Develop Concise Freelancing Goals
What do you want to achieve with your freelancing career? Success is extremely subjective, and each person has its own version of it. Depending on what you want to accomplish from a professional point of view, you need to specifically state your goals. Make them very concise and split them into smaller pieces, called mini-goals. Take each mini-goal on the side and work on it separately until you build the big picture.
Grow Your Standards as You Grow Your Skills
As Mark curs us, HR manager at Assignment Masters suggests, “The difference between successful and mediocre individuals lies in the difference of standards that people have concerning their professional life. Some freelancers would be happy to earn $10a day while others wouldn’t be able to work for less than $50.”
The best thing you can do for yourself and for your long-term future is to adopt a growth mindset. Grow your mindset, shift your attitude, and develop higher and higher standards. To support these new, high standards, you must also consistently grow your skills.
Organize your personal time well and strive to become a disciplined individual. You can’t afford missing important deadlines, meetings, or other requests. Your clients depend on your availability so make sure that you don’t disappoint.
Consistency is the most important aspect of a successful freelance career. Knowledge, skills, passion – they are necessary, indeed. However, without consistent involvement and work, freelancing is not worth pursuing because it’ll never get you where you want.
Persistency, like consistency, is key to a successful progress in the freelance domain. When life gives you a lot of trouble, it’s easy to slip off and become distracted. Distractions will make your freelance work becomes inconsistent and unreliable. A persistent mindset will help you get back on feet and start going again.
Becoming a freelancer is easy. Becoming a successful, recognized, and truly professional individual is another totally different story. My advice would be this. Start gathering knowledge, improve your skills, build connections, be calculated, stay organized, consistent, and persistent, and never look back. I wish you the best of luck!