The growth of the digital economy has prompted many people to opt for a career in freelancing. Freelancers have the liberty to work from home and according to their own schedules instead of working from 9 to 5. Most people prefer doing freelancing work when they are bored of their usual routine or are looking for an additional source of income. Before we begin an in-depth analysis regarding how you can start your career as a freelancer, let us try and understand what freelancing is.
What is Freelancing
Working independently without any association with a single organization is what freelancing is all about. A freelancer does not commit to a single client. They use their skills, education, and experience to undertake several projects for a number of clients. The clients can be individuals or an organization. A freelancer’s work is not restricted to a particular time slot.
Since it is a contract-based profession, they do not need to follow any office timetable. They can work according to their own convenience. Such a work culture gives them a certain amount of flexibility which is one of the main reasons people choose freelancing as a career. Freelancers are hired on a project basis, and they are paid accordingly. While signing the contract, they mention their fees and the time they will need to complete the project. Sometimes freelancers are also hired on an hourly basis.
How Can You Start Freelancing?
The following five steps will help you start a freelancing career.
1. Identify Your Niche
Before becoming a freelancer, you must be clear about the services you can offer. Initially, money should not be your primary concern. There are several areas where people work as freelancers. Writing, designing, marketing, consulting, and administration are some core areas where freelancing opportunities are typically available.
You can pick any one of these and try to become an expert Your profile must be designed in a way that appeals to your prospective clients. You must possess the skills that can solve the problems faced by your clients. Once you start attending to the needs of clients, your area of expertise will grow eventually.
2. Learn to Set Goals
In order to start freelancing effectively, you must plan a few things. You must have a clear vision regarding everything you wish to achieve in a particular timeframe. For example, determine the amount of money you want to make in a month.
Now you must plan on how to achieve those numbers. If you wish to charge by the hour, then be clear regarding the hours you can devote to your freelancing work. Even though you might not fulfill these goals from the first month, you must keep pushing. You will automatically achieve those numbers as you gain more experience in your respective field.
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3. Market Your Services
You may have all the necessary skills, but sometimes due to poor marketing, you might not land any clients. An experienced freelancer knows the value of marketing. You must invest significant time and resources in building your brand and marketing your service to the target audience. In an organization, the job of marketing is handled by the respective department, but as a freelancer, you must reach out to your target audience yourself.
4. Take Care of Customer Expectations
Freelancing is all about fulfilling your client’s expectations. If your client finds solutions in your work, your freelancing career is bound to grow. On the other hand, if you cannot provide the solutions your clients are looking for, you need to re-evaluate your skills. Clients often have higher expectations, and you must adapt and evolve your skills to match them.
You must be prepared to walk the extra mile in order to leave a mark on your customers. Some would also expect and value an emotional connection with the project. Therefore, to grow as a freelancer, you must learn the art of impressing your client.
5. Learn to be Patient
As a freelancer, your final lesson would have to keep patience. Initially, freelancing can be a sporadic career. You may have many clients one day and be out of work the next. This may be challenging, but you must learn to be patient and forgive yourself. You may not fulfill your goals for the first few months, but you must never give up. You may feel disheartened or depressed due to a lack of clients, but if you can move past those stages and keep developing your skills, you are bound to succeed as a freelancer.
Many people take up freelancing under the assumption that it is easy. However, it takes a lot of dedication and hard work in order to succeed in this field. Additionally, you must have the courage to leave a regular 9 to 5 job with steady pay. But if you follow these five steps, you will have a flourishing career where you will be financially secure and your own boss.
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