#003: How to Start Freelancing (Part 1)

How To Start Freelancing (Part 1)

There are very important avenues for you to start freelancing as a beginner even if you don’t have any experience previously or if you’re a complete newbie

  1. Get the right equipment.
  2. Market your skills.
  3. Polish your skills.
  4. Build a reputation; and, 
  5. Creating your portfolio and going from there.

Are you thinking about getting started with freelancing but don’t know where to start? What are the setups? And how can you make yourself hireable and marketable in the marketplace? This guide is for you on how you can start freelancing as a beginner.

Get the right equipment

The number 1 tip when it comes to starting your freelancing career is “getting the right equipment.” You need to be able to have access to a computer and the internet. Without access to a computer and internet, you won’t be able to give reliable service to your customers. So it’s very important that you have the right equipment.

When it comes to giving excellent jobs and providing excellent freelancing, you need to have the right equipment. This means you need a computer to run software that is required for doing work properly and delivering great results with sustainable internet and a backup internet. 

Smartphones and their apps on the other end are not included, because of their limited features. You can also get started with a laptop or an old computer as long as it’s running smoothly and you’re able to deliver the needs on time before the deadline and with quality and excellence.

Market your skills

Number 2, when it comes to How to Start Freelancing is having a “marketable skill”. The next and most important step is to find a skill you can offer as a service. When it comes to being a virtual assistant, you need to have a skill that you can render when providing freelancing services to any brand or any business owner. Skill is very important for you to be a freelancer. 

The key to winning freelancing is to find a skill that you’re good at and has enough demand in the marketplace. There should be a balance between really being familiar with the things that you’re doing and the demand. Some freelancers are comfortable with data entry or transcription. There are a lot of freelancers who are struggling when it comes to how they can be paid more. Some have skills that they can start with, however, there’s no market in that certain skill. 

It is specified that the skill needs to be marketable and it needs to also be in demand when it comes to the client’s needs for a sustainable freelancing career. If you’re an expert on that skill, you can demand higher hourly rates or higher salaries. So, a marketable skill is really important in order for you to get started.

How can you go ahead and get marketable skills?

  1. You can train yourself. There are a lot of resources that may be in Google or YouTube. You can visit our Surge Digital Agency or FVA Business Consultancy, YouTube channels, Facebook pages, or blogs. There are a lot of other resources when it comes to learning marketable skills. 
  2. It must be based on a curriculum where there’s somebody to assist you, Portfolios submission, and samples that later can be presented to clients. 
  3. Get trained by an agency or by an online freelancing academy.

This is the beauty that we’re providing when it comes to those who would like to work as a freelancer or a virtual assistant in the Surge Digital Agency because we provide training from scratch to success. And with that training comes portfolios that you’re going to create. And a coach or a trainer will provide personalized feedback. And then, you can also learn with your learning groups, with your classmates, with your freelancing FVA family community. Other freelancers might be helping you. It’s a beautiful freelancing community. So that’s the beauty that you can get when you are into a paid course or a paid academy. Other academies are also providing not just guidance but real opportunities. For example, for Surge Digital Agency, there’s even an after-course opportunity waiting for you, like free apprenticeships, in-house hiring. There are also referrals to other hiring agencies. There are also avenues to earn in-depth courses and other courses. Even be a part of the affiliate market. Being a part of the trainers or coaches or becoming a franchisee. There are many avenues where you can go forward. But it starts with a marketable skill.

Now again, the 2 avenues where you can get the skill are:

  1. Doing it alone. There are a lot of resources everywhere on the internet. Thank God we’re in the information age, and data is really all over the place.
  2. Going and enrolling into paid training.

Polish your skills

Number 3, you need to “polish up your skills.” Once you find a marketable skill, you should make sure that you can offer it as a service and need to be good at it. So when you’re giving your service, you can be paid high as well. You need to learn the basics but work into the process as well. To become an expert, you need to polish it. Don’t just start or be stuck with the basics. You need to be able to build your authority and your expertise. It would be best if you keep polishing your skills. It may be with different apprenticeships. It may be with your friend’s website or opportunities around you. There might be a friend’s page that needs optimization. There might be graphics design needs in one of your friend’s businesses. Whatever your chosen skill or your chosen niche is, you need to polish that. You need to become an expert when it comes to that certain freelancing skill. 

Taking online courses, of course, is an effective avenue to properly learn and polish your skills and develop that skill from scratch. Online courses are one of the most effective ways to learn and polish up the skill properly. While you are learning, you can also apply. 

Developing a skill from scratch to success takes time. So be patient and keep learning. Keep practicing. It may take a few weeks. It could take you weeks, months, or years; just focus on it. Before you know it, you’re already an expert. And you’re already building authority in that certain expertise. And, you will become the go-to person when they need that certain ability, niche, or that certain freelancing skill.

Before I’m going to move forward into steps number 4 and number 5, allow me to share a personal experience because, of course, that’s something that I would like to do here in our podcast episodes. I want to make myself available to learn and gain insight to do better in your freelancing journey. 

Now when it comes to polishing skills, I don’t know if you’re familiar with this but I’m not that confident in being in videos or audios or speaking in large crowds online. I have a few experiences years before when I was still single in front of the crowd when I was in the mission field. I’m also a teacher by profession, but that’s about it. I was only talking to a limited number of people. Probably, the biggest number of people in one setting is 500, but it’s not something like this – like anybody can be watching me all over the world. Anybody can be listening right now all over the world. You may be listening from the Philippines, from Pakistan, from the United States, from different continents around the world. I don’t have any confidence when it comes to talking to a larger crowd. 

It started probably way back in 2018, 2017, I was just comfortable doing it to a small crowd. I did live coaching sessions with my freelancing course students. I did not look good. Back then, I was comfortable with just a small crowd, maybe 30 people, 50 people, a hundred people, or at worst around 300 people. It was very limited. I did not venture into video marketing, podcasting until 2019 because it took me two years to be confident enough to make myself available to a larger crowd. This did not happen overnight. There’s no shortcut to success. And I had to get a lot of confidence built-in. I had to get a lot of feedback from my husband because he’s a VJ/DJ, in the past. I had to learn how to communicate properly. I had to practice in the mirror on how I’m going to talk. I needed to go from one situation to the other. I even needed to have braces and make myself a little bit comfortable when it comes to the video. When I started, you can look at the videos that I had in the past, both of my front teeth were like “one seat apart”. I wasn’t that confident, because I felt like I looked awful. 

I also had an accent. I felt like I had a thick Bisaya or Filipino accent and that my English was all over the place. But you know what, I just did it, and did it and did it again. And the more I’m doing it; I was polishing it. 

I looked at the video again and identified what are the things that I need to improve. I improved my audio, my framing, my lights, and I invested in my video. I learned to clear and organize my thoughts. I improved myself over months and years. 

I want you to be confident. That wherever you’re at right now, you can dream as big of a dream. Go big, as big as the sun, reach the stars and the moon. So, go and dream big, but don’t forget to polish your skills and work yourself in the same process that I did, even if it’s not perfect, even if it I look ugly, even if I feel like I’m not good enough, even if I received different comments from my husband, “do this and do that,” I still went through and polished my skills. 

This brought me to where I am now. Think of the ways on how you can also change the world through what you’re able to polish a skill. It might be your client. It might be the client’s business. It might be your families and your community. As long as you’re dedicated and polishing that skill, you are going to reach for your dreams. As long as you’re dedicated and committed to polishing up your skill, you’re going to reach the stars and realize your dreams.

For our Freelancing Tip of the Week, think of high-paying skills to realize time freedom. Go for high-paying skills that will be your key in realizing time freedom. Time freedom is the highest currency right now because it’s something money can’t buy. 

Build your reputation

Proving your skills and work will determine whether you’re successful as a freelancer or not. It doesn’t matter if you have a college degree or years of experience. But if you can’t prove to any client in a business, any brand that you are skilled in what you do, nobody will hire you. You probably will jump from one new client to the other because you don’t have a reputation. It’s not going to be long-term. 

You can do some free work at first. Reach out to blogs that will accept guest posts. If you’re a blogger, you can do some concept design for free. Whatever niche you have chosen or service you’re going to render to your clients, get that experience and build that reputation. 

Create your Portfolio and Go from There

One avenue for you to do that is step number 5, which is “creating a portfolio.” Start building your application, be sure that you’re creating a portfolio that will bring all of your published and live work in one place. A portfolio can be a website, and I would highly recommend that you do it on a website or a web page. And it’s just all in one link. Maybe it’s just going to be www.surge.digital.agency. And when people check that website, all of your showcases, all of who you are, your experiences and certifications, services and the niches and your life work as a freelancer are showcased in that particular website or webpage. When you’re reaching out to a client, you can give the link to your portfolio, and they can check out your skills and other information. So make sure that when you have that webpage or website as a basis for your portfolio, it is client-friendly, and it’s going to spell “excellence.”

Key Takeaways 

There’s no shortcut to success. But I hope that these 3 avenues will help you become more successful as you start freelancing:

  1. Visibility
  2. Relevance
  3. Consistency

Make sure that you are visible. Everybody’s seeing and knowing who you are and the services that you’re providing. 

Be relevant. You need to be relevant to your marketplace so that you can be on-demand. You need to be relevant to the content that you’re providing. You need to be relevant with your partnerships. 

Be consistent. No matter what it takes, don’t be posting or doing something this week, and then you disappear completely. 

Make sure that you stay consistent, even if it’s just an inch a day, as long as you’re progressing. So you can focus on progress and not perfection.

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