We live in an era where freelancing earns an individual more money than 9-5 jobs. It is for this reason that more and more people are considering freelancing as a career option as well. I myself subscribed to Cox Ultimate Internet a year ago when I kick-started my freelancing career. The availability of the Internet at all times is a must for this job. Hence, the mention.
Here’s how you can start your career as a freelancer as well.
Throw Light on Your Goals
Everyone has a goal in life. And before you start your career as a freelancer, you need to sit and think about what your goal in life is. Most probably you already know. There are chances that you don’t. And that’s perfectly fine. In case you aren’t aware of your goals already, make sure that you come up with the ones that are measurable.
Part of defining your goals is asking yourself the following questions:
- Am I opting for freelancing to just make an extra income?
- Do I want to become a full-time freelancer eventually?
- Do I want to be my own boss?
- Am I opting for freelancing to help me achieve a different goal in life?
It is essential that you decide before plunging into the freelancing career that why do you want to opt for it. Because it will affect your ultimate goals in life.
Look for a Profitable Niche
Everyone wants to freelance to earn money, regardless of their goal. It is not charity work. Hence, you should look for a profitable niche. As for advice, I would ask you to not list your skillset on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. Although these sites help you find work, you will have to compromise on the amount that you get paid for your work.
This statement should not come as a surprise to you. Let me explain why. These sites have people who are willing to do the same job as you comparatively at a lower rate. This is because these people have a much lower living cost than you. But this should not be a reason why you undercharge for your work. Therefore, do not choose these sites. Because people looking to get a job done will obviously want to hire someone who is asking for less money.
The best practice is to look for a profitable niche and start working on it yourself. Make connections, gather contacts and launch yourself as a competitive person who should not be undervalued.
Identification of Target Clients
Just as important it is for you to look for a profitable niche, it is equally essential to identify your target clients as well. You can call it your target market/audience. Who is it that you will sell your skillset to? Making a couple of assumptions on whom you want to work with will be beneficial for you. Once you have shortlisted a couple of companies, you can approach them.
After you win a project or two with your clients, you will be very clear in your mind whether you want to continue working with these types of clients or not. Your client type can be any number from 1 to whatever you like. However, in my opinion, the more focused you are, the better.
Setting Strategic Prices
An integral part of starting your business as a freelancer is setting up strategic prices for the services that you offer. While working on these, you will have to keep in mind not ask for a price that is too high along with not undervaluing yourself. You can conduct thorough research to have an idea of what rates are prevailing in your specific industry.
There are many tools available online that can help you to figure out the hourly rate. I recommend checking with 2-3 different tools so that you get a clear idea.
Building a High-Quality Portfolio Website
Once you are clear about your goals, your industry, audience, and the hourly rate, it is then time to market yourself and your skillset. For that, you must create a high-quality portfolio website. You can make one yourself or ask a developer to do it for you.
Some of the essentials that should make it to your website include:
- Communication of your skillset
- Displaying examples of your work
- Highlighting your accomplishments
- Updating your website on a regular basis
As a website developer, I remember highlighting the importance of constantly upgrading the website to my clients. I developed a website for a guy who was selling Cox cable plans and other cable TV services and my work received appreciation. This encouraged me to kickstart my own freelancing business and I built my own website. And here I am today, a successful developer.