So you have an idea… and even more important, you have a DREAM to be location independent and work on your own rules. BUT… How to do that? Freelancing is one of the best ways to get into online income. Here’s more on how to start freelancing with a step-by-step guide to building your empire!
Table of Contents
What should you know before starting freelancing…
There are tons of resources out there that will tell you all about the right ways how to start freelancing.
But actually starting and doing is the only way to go!
The vision of “why”…
Before getting into freelancing, it’s important to understand your vision and your own reasons for doing this. It will keep you motivated and sane in moments of crisis.
- Why do you want to become a freelancer?
- HOW do you see yourself in 5 or 10 years?
- Is freelancing really HOW you can reach your vision? Or is it just a skill that can help you?
Freelancing is a great way to choose for those who are dreamers and doers. Typical freelancer has TONS of ideas, but even more – passion. Passion for making them happen! At the same time, a typical freelancer has easy going personality and wise mind. This person knows what he or she wants and how to get there!
Do you have your vision set? Do you want to be free from your 9-to-5 office job? Or spend more time with your family and friends? Maybe you want your word to be well known? Whatever that is – it is YOUR VISION. And you have to cherish it because we’re taking it to the next step…
The idea of “how”…
For your vision to happen, you actually have to have an action plan.
An idea about HOW are you going to make that vision to happen! Have you already created your roadmap? Do you know each next step you’re going to take?
The idea is important. It gives you a plan on how to get things done.
You can do whatever you set your mind on. Even if at first seems like something huge and impossible. Everything IS possible!
Therefore build your idea:
- Are you going to become freelancer by practicing more your own projects?
- Will you look for new clients outside your workplace?
- Are you willing to just make that jump and do it?
Whatever is your idea of how you will make that vision to happen – DO IT! And let’s learn to do it further on…
A step by step strategy to start freelancing
You might not know what’s waiting for you around the next corner, where will your passion take you, what options will find you and what will be your response to life challenges. But you have to be sure about how you want your business to happen. Things change, we all know that, but good freelancer will thrive only with dedication.
STEP #1: Outline your ideas
So you have some ideas, right? For example, you are willing to become a freelance web developer. Therefore you should learn to code if you haven’t yet, or most likely – polish up your knowledge if you already have one. Then you will want to code. For your private clients, startups, big corporations? For huge projects or small? Start out slow or fast? And what’s next in your vision? Will it be your own company? One man show?
Outline your ideas whatever they are! And it doesn’t matter how far are they going. Each idea matters! Later on, you will have something to hold on to.
STEP #2: Create a schedule to stick with
Once again – things CAN change and you can change your schedule or ideas along the way, but it is super important to know the exact direction you’re going and a path you’re taking.
Create YOUR schedule. What works best for your vision and your abilities? Don’t create it how it should be or how everyone else would like to see it.
- Will you first want to create your own website or find some demo clients?
- Do you need to brand your business now or can you do it later?
- Which social media might be the best for you to find clients?
- Are you planning to get the ball rolling within a month or a year?!
It doesn’t matter how long is your plan and how far in the future you see yourself. You have to get clear about these things before starting.
STEP #3: Start, step by step
You have it all, your vision, your idea, your outline AND your actual plan and schedule. Are you ready to start? You should be! And start just one step at a time.
Many new freelancers are rushing it. And rushing it way too fast. You CAN hope that you will make $2000 your first freelancing month, but you have to be honest with yourself – most likely it won’t happen.
Stay positive, but keep a realistic view, so you don’t feel drained before the real deal starts.
Follow your plan, re-read it each morning to set your goals straight, remind yourself WHY you started it and see that vision in front of your eyes, because that’s you, right there! It takes just one step at a time…
The more time you spend on one task that’s on your list, more confident you will feel when moving forward. If you’re willing to take on client job, build community, create an online product and be present in Facebook groups all at once, you will crash harder than you can imagine. One person can take on A LOT, but there’s downslide in each ride and you have to have some energy reserves when that time comes!
Here are some ideas on how to get started as a freelancer:
- Work on your own project or two, as a side hustle of your 9-to-5 business. This way, you can build your portfolio without wasting much of your own time and without the feeling of rushing into things. If you don’t have a full-time job or have other responsibilities, combine your path to freelancing with them.
- When you have a portfolio, search for your first clients online. Offer them a discount but don’t sell yourself cheap. Read more about finding freelance clients on social media. You can also use websites like Upwork to get the ball rolling.
- Then, eventually, grow your portfolio, maybe start a website and expand your business. Grow your rates, work more, maybe leave your 9-to-5 or take another kind of leap. This is where you have to follow your own chosen vision & written path.
Start small, stay consistent
Previously mentioned step-by-step approach is great not only because it will keep you sane, but also because it will let you be consistent! And consistency is what brings the best results to literally ANY freelancing business there is.
Creating content regularly is a great way to build a reputation and drive traffic to your site. You should think about consistency instead of thinking about numbers and fast results!
The best thing you can do to start freelancing is simply establishing a goal. Whether it’s writing two blog posts a week, sending out the stated number of pitch emails, or maybe it’s to post a design for your portfolio. Whatever is your choice – set it straight and stick with it!
Grow + improve your skillset
After consistency comes growth, future plans and business improvements.
Whenever you have done something for a while already, it asks to be polished up at least a bit. Whether we’re talking about your knowledge, your tools, inspiration or anything other related to your business.
Don’t forget to learn new things once in a while. Read some books and get to know your field better, maybe even offer new services or products.
And there’s no shame in admitting that you’re growing, learning something new and aiming for more. Only those who grow will succeed.
Like Salvador Dali once said, “Have no fear of perfection, you will never reach it!“. The same goes for learning. Don’t be afraid to learn too much, you will never know enough.
Also, growth is a great way to establish new goals. That’s one of the freelancer perks: you can create your own goals, reach out to them and they will never be too big or too far, because, hey, everything IS possible.