You need some extra cash, you need to work from home and be flexible with your working hours, you want to start something new… There are plenty of reasons why you might want to consider freelancing. But the most important of them is certainly making money. And it can reward you very well if you do all your homework. But where to start? Keep notes and write down the answers to the following questions:
Start by having a quiet look at your CV and skills and scanning on what are your strengths and what you know to do best. There you shall find 2-3 skills you are good at and that you can offer to do for others in exchange for a payment. Can you type fast? Can you translate, can you consult on something? It can be this simple. For example, I am good at writing good CVs, and whenever I apply for a job I often get invited for an interview. Once I have settled, and I am no longer looking for a job I decided to help others land their dream job. I offer my services as a freelance career consultant through a local classifieds’ website, and I am successful at it. It brings a very nice monthly extra-income for me.
You may have other skills, you might have learned yourself or through the work that you too can offer as a freelance: you can manage social networks, you can design ads, you can translate professionally, you can maintain WordPress websites, you can proofread articles, program, etc. Find your skills and offer freelance services.
Now that you have picked the skill/skills you are going to freelance, you need to build a profile and a portfolio of your works. Depending on your specialty this may take the shape of a Resume, a video presentation, a website that visualizes your works. When you go through your CV scanning for skills, we suggest you have a look at the job advertisement for your job position/profession. You may notice in these advertisements that they list the set of required skills, you have taken for granted. And as a consequence, you never thought of putting them in your CV. It can be a self-discovery process.
Now that you have prepared your profile, showcased your work, your skills you need to find clients you can offer your services to.
1. Well, first things first. Start by contacting your established network of connections and letting them know that you are now freelancing and offering such and such services. People that have already worked with you and have first-hand experience on what you can do are the best option to start with. This is also for you to try yourself and to get warmed up and maybe overcome self-confidence and shyness issues.
2. Set up an advertisement in your local online classifieds ads websites. Prepare a short description of your skills and your experience. Try to be creative and stand out with your presentation.
3. Set up a profile in the major Freelancing platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. Have a look at what the others are doing, get inspired but make sure to make your profile the best you can and one that mirrors the level of professionalism you are going to deliver to your clients. While you wait to receive the first requests, you should make your own efforts to market yourself. Promote your profile through social media, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to use some sponsored ads too. If you target them properly, the cost will be minimal, and you will get some offers.
4. Next try to figure out where you can find your potential customers. Are they businesses, individuals, firms? How can you contact them? Almost everyone can be found to have a contact way online. Harvest the web for contacts you are interested and that may be your future clients. Don’t hesitate to drop them a line and offering them your services.
Now let’s talk about how much time and money do you need to get started and how much should you expect to make for putting in these efforts.
You will need from 1 day to a maximum of two weeks to get started. It depends on how ready are you already. If your CV is up to date or not, if you already have a portfolio of works, and how much extra time you have in your hands. This is for when you already work full time. But if you are not actively working, this should not take more than two days. How much can you expect to make? From a couple of hundreds to thousands a month. It all depends on your effort. Financial cost: only if you will use sponsored ads, it may cost you $10-30.
- Start freelancing without quitting your day job. You don’t want to find yourself jobless and broke.
- Don’t stop leveling up, improve and perfect your skills and don’t forget to polish your profile time after time
Just think for a moment: there are people out there doing what you dream to do, just because they had the courage to, even though they might be way less competent than you.
So, just go for it.