Are you tired of the 9-5 grind and looking for a way to make money from the comfort of your own home? Freelancing might be the perfect solution for you. With the ability to work on your own terms, set your own rates, and choose your own clients, freelancing can provide the flexibility and financial freedom you’ve been searching for.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of becoming a successful freelancer and show you how to turn your skills and expertise into a profitable business. Get ready to take the first step towards a new career and financial independence with freelancing. This is how to make money freelancing online in seven easy steps.
Step 1: Define Your Freelancing Goals
Beginning a new freelancing business without a clear goal is akin to embarking on a journey without a compass. To achieve your desired endpoint, you must first understand what it is you wish to achieve. Setting objectives for your freelance enterprise is essential to remaining focused. Below are a few types of goals you might want to consider:
Financial Goals: Have you established a monthly or yearly earnings target? Are you intending to pursue freelancing as a full-time or part-time endeavor?
Time Goals: What kind of workload are you aiming for? How many hours per week do you wish to work?
Lifestyle Goals: Do you prefer working from home? Are you looking to take more vacations with your family?
Passion Goals: Do you have a particular project type that you’d enjoy working on that would fulfill you?
When creating your freelancing plan, it’s tempting to go all-in and invest 100% of your time and energy. However, it’s best for most novice freelancers not to quit their day job immediately. Building up a client base takes time, and putting financial pressure on yourself could lead to accepting less-than-desirable assignments. Becoming a successful freelancer takes time, and starting as a side gig is perfectly normal.
Now that you have a clear idea of your long-term freelancing goals, it’s time to consider what services to offer your clients.
Step 2: Determine Your Service Offerings
You may already have an idea of what services you’ll provide as a freelancer, which is fantastic! Some industries are ideally suited for freelancing. However, if you’re new to the game and unsure about what services to offer, this section will help you gain clarity.
Begin by considering what you do well. It may appear straightforward, but some abilities that seem obvious to you may be significant pain points for others. You may be excellent at organizing data, designing logos, or writing engaging articles. Perhaps you speak two languages or have a talent for editing YouTube videos. Consider what kind of work you enjoy doing and what excites you.
Next, do some research on what’s already available. Look for the job you want to do on freelance platforms like Upwork and Guru. This way, you can see what packages and services individuals are providing worldwide.
When you find a listing similar to what you want to offer, search for reviews from past clients. This demonstrates that actual individuals have purchased this service previously. Authentic reviews act as evidence of the concept that someone will pay for this type of work. It’s all about finding that sweet spot between what you know how to do, what you want to do, and what people are willing to pay for. Finally, consider ways to specialize even further. The more specific you get, the better.
When most people hire freelancers, they’re looking for something very particular. If you can provide that specific thing, they’re more likely to choose you over a competitor. For instance, an ebook with generic Thanksgiving recipes is not specific, but a “Vegan Italian Thanksgiving” recipe book by Pasta-Based is super niche.
If you’re looking for vegan Thanksgiving recipes, which one would you choose? I’d go for that yummy butternut squash risotto! The same holds true for freelancers.
If someone is searching for a freelance writer to assist with sales copy, they’re more likely to choose a sales copywriting specialist over a general writer. Specializing enables you to provide more advanced services in one specific area, resulting in less competition, higher rates, and more authority.
Step 3: Discover Your Ideal Client
It’s time to consider the kind of clients you want to work with as a freelancer. Do you prefer working with individuals, small businesses, large corporations, or exciting startups?
Think about the problems they face, what they want to delegate, and where they spend their time online so that you can tailor your marketing to reach them.
The beauty of freelancing is that you have the freedom to choose your clients and projects, so why not pick something you enjoy?
According to a survey, 64% of freelancers say that they selected this career path because they get to work on exciting and meaningful projects, and you should too.
Step 4: Create your packages and pricing.
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to set your own pricing. There are three common ways to structure pricing:.
Hourly rates: These gigs involve setting a price for each hour of work, which is tracked and billed to the client once the task is completed. A Payoneer study in 2020 revealed that freelancers charge an average of $21 per hour. However, the rate may vary depending on your location, type of service, and experience level.
It is worth noting that, while hourly rates are easy to understand, they are not the best option for scaling your business. Over time, you may become more proficient in the services you provide, which makes it more reasonable to consider a project-based model.
Project-based:To work on a project-based basis means that you and the client agree on a fixed price for a specific project, regardless of how long it takes you to complete it. For instance, if you are a website designer, you might charge $3,000 for building a new website for a client. When creating project packages, it’s crucial to be transparent about the number of revisions and the schedule to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Retainer: Retainer packages are suitable for most freelancers as they offer regular income. With a retainer, your client pays you a recurring fee for your services on an ongoing basis.
Retainers save time for both parties since you don’t have to keep onboarding and offboarding. Instead, you can learn their system and provide consistent work that caters to their preferences, rather than meeting new clients every few weeks.
Moreover, you can utilize platforms such as WordPress and Squarespace to develop your freelance website for a small monthly charge. Both platforms offer stunning templates that are easy to use, even if you lack technical knowledge.
Ensure that your website has the following key components:
An About page: This is where you can introduce yourself to potential clients.
A Services page: Outline your services and packages in detail.
Portfolio pieces: Display your best work to give future clients a clear idea of what to expect.
Testimonials: Including reviews from past clients adds legitimacy to your work. There are various ways to request testimonials.
Contact information: Make it easy for prospects to reach out to you.
This makes it easy for potential clients to learn about her brand and see her work in one convenient location.
During the setup stage, it’s important to think about how you’ll organize the backend of your business. Using project management tools can help you manage multiple clients and administrative tasks effectively. You won’t be paid for the time you spend on invoicing, onboarding, or bookkeeping, so it’s crucial to have a solid system in place to streamline these activities and minimize unpaid work. Once you have set up your portfolio website and backend processes, you’ll be ready to start taking on clients.
Step 6: Find clients you enjoy
When starting out as a freelancer, it may take some effort to find clients. However, with the vast array of interconnectedness that exists today, there are many avenues available to find potential clients in need of your services. Some of the ways to find your first freelance clients are:
Use social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram to promote your services. Many freelancers use social media to advertise their businesses, making it an excellent place to find leads.
Use your personal network.
Utilize your personal network, as you never know who in your circle might need a new website or virtual assistant.
Write a blog.
Start a blog and write articles that will attract your target audience. By incorporating SEO best practices, your blog will appear higher in search engine results. This is a great way to show your expertise and promote your services. You can also write guest posts for other websites in your industry to reach a larger audience and establish credibility.
Explore job boards.
Explore job boards such as FlexJobs, We Work Remotely, and RemoteCo to find freelance job listings. Use filters to search for freelance or contract opportunities.
Ask for referrals.
Referrals are a valuable source of new clients, and many successful freelancers build their businesses through word-of-mouth recommendations.
As you grow your client base, it is essential to set boundaries and avoid becoming overbooked. Set working hours for yourself, and stick to them. If you are at capacity, it’s okay to decline new offers. Remember, freelancing should provide you with more freedom, not less. Taking time off when you need a break is crucial to avoiding exhaustion and burnout.
Step 7: Scale your business.
The seventh step to take after establishing your freelance business is to think about scaling it. To scale a business means to set it up so that it can grow without limitations. As a freelancer, your time is your biggest constraint, so it’s essential to avoid trading hours for dollars.
To scale your freelancing business for the long term, you can continue your education by taking online courses, attending industry conferences, and deepening your knowledge in your niche. By doing so, you can provide more advanced services and increase your prices.
Additionally, creating and selling online courses and digital products can supplement your freelance earnings with passive income and allow you to share your knowledge with people who may not be able to afford your services.
For example, if you’re a freelance social media manager, you can create an online course for beginners on Instagram and sell Instagram post templates as a digital product. Advancing your skills and diversifying your income can help you scale your freelancing business in the future.