How to Start Freelancing (Part 2)
In our previous blog, we talked about the first part of How to Get Started with Freelancing. We have talked about the first 5 five steps for you to start freelancing even if you don’t have any experience previously or if you’re a complete newbie. We have talked about:
- Getting the right equipment.
- Marketing your skills.
- Polishing your skills.
- Building a reputation; and,
- Creating your portfolio and how to go from there.
Let us continue and discuss the next 5 steps on How to Start Freelancing:
Try a part-time freelancing job
Step 6, you need to “try a part-time freelancing job” or get experience. Freelancing is not everyone’s cup of tea. The process of marketing yourself or selling your service; and dealing with clients can be overwhelming if you’re doing it all at the same time.
If you’re not sure whether freelancing is for you, you might need to test the water first. You can check if this career path is for you by doing a part-time job or doing a simple fixed project. You can spend a couple of hours every day working on smaller freelancing gigs and learn the ways of freelancing. You are getting experience and becoming more familiar with how to collect, communicate to clients, be on top of your tasks, meet deadlines, with the whole work-life balance.
When you feel like you’re ready to tackle more significant projects, you can weigh it over and evaluate yourself if you are prepared to go full time and leave your day job or the corporate world. Going and transitioning into a freelancing career might need to take one step at a time. Getting a part-time freelancing gig or a small one-time freelancing project-based gig may help you identify if this is a cup of tea you want to press through later on.
Find the right freelancing platform
Step 7 is “finding the right freelancing platform.” If you are starting with your freelance career, it cannot be easy finding jobs. Nonetheless, know that there are the best freelancing websites for beginners for you to get started. There is a Surge Digital Agency, Upwork, and online jobs. But also know that there are websites specific to particular niches. There are websites dedicated to gigs or project-based like fiverr.com, onlinejobs.com is more for virtual assistants, Upwork is more for freelancing-based virtual assistants. There are also dedicated websites for copywriters, article writers, SEO strategists, real estate, and virtual assistants.
There are different agencies as well, you will need to identify your niche, polish your skills and then, identify the right freelancing platform for you.
The freelancing websites are perfect opportunities for newbies in the freelancing world because these websites or freelancing platforms already have something going on. They have everything prepared for you. So, it’s not a little bit tricky on how to get started. These websites are the perfect way to attract more clients to your services and gain referrals as you grow your career even more. As you’re doing projects and these websites, you will be given feedback; there will be different testimonials. You can even ask for testimonials via email, and the client testimonials or feedback can also be an avenue in your portfolio.
Charging the right price
Step 8 is knowing how to “charge the right price.” Figuring out the right price for your services can be challenging. This is why you need to be specific. If you’re going to give the wrong information on your pricing, if it’s too low, clients may think that you don’t have the skill or the expertise. If it’s too high, they may feel that you are too proud of yourself. So, you need to back up your expertise with your portfolio and start in the freelancing industry.
The best way to figure out the right price to start with is to go back to popular freelance marketplaces and see what other freelancers in your niche or industry are charging. As a newbie, it’s not fair to set the same prices as the experienced freelancers offering a competitive price. There should be a balance between not making yourself look cheap and not making yourself too expensive as well, especially if you’re starting.
If you don’t have the training, you might want to charge lower, like $4. If you have the training and it’s from a reputable online freelancing agency, you can charge the client higher. And if you are more experienced and have more certification and authority, you can even go better than $10 per hour.
Sending your first proposal
Step 9 is “sending your first proposal.” Writing a proposal to a client needs to be done carefully. It is not like writing a regular email or writing a social media post. It would help if you were serious about figuring out how to persuade your client to give you the job instead of the other competitions. There are tips and hacks on sending out a proposal, ensuring that you are providing solutions. You are identifying the problem, and you are sending a proposal. A proposal is not sending an application letter but a solution to the problem. That is why it is called a “proposal,” you need to check and identify the pain points that the clients are communicating in the job post in this one. Afterward, you can prepare for a solution and send out the steps for you to be more valuable in providing a solution to those pain points. So send your first proposal by personalizing it, identifying the pain points, and sending solutions to provide value to the client.
Freelancing Tip of the Week
This week’s Freelancing Tip of the Week is “to keep a balance of skill and attitude.” Many freelancers would come into the freelancing world with all the skills, but they don’t have the attitude to sustain it. It means that when there are issues, they disappear and make excuses. If they are lazy, they lie about what is the actual condition. They would appear nice, but towards the back end, they are struggling. And they don’t know how to communicate. So that’s a lack of work ethic. It’s a lack of excellence in your attitude. There are also freelancers who would come into the freelancing world with the right attitude but lack skills. They are probably prompt with communication, have work ethics, are pro clients, and are giving their best when it comes to their work output. That’s a great attitude for a freelancer, however, if you don’t have a competitive skill, you can be let go as well.
Clients need ROI or return of their investment. If they are paying you at the end of the month, and they are not generating income from investing in you, despite that you are so good of an asset to the company and just on top of your work ethics, but without the right skill that would bring in earning to the business with the virtual assistance you are providing, it will not end happily between you and the client. It is important to keep a balance of skills that will be competitive and will bring ROI to the clients with the right attitude to sustain long-term relationships in your freelancing career.
Deliver beyond expectations
Step 10, “deliver beyond expectations.” Once you have landed a job, the next step is to ensure that you deliver projects or outputs of your work just as the clients have asked. You can go above and beyond what the client expected without charging extra. It’s perfect to go beyond expectation and even be willing to go the extra mile.
You are there to replace that task that the client is doing. You need to be running that exact niche, that expertise as if you are the business owner. You need to own the business, so the client will no longer be micromanaging and will not worry about the outputs, gain income, and generate many leads. Whatever your goals and objectives are, find a way to do work beyond expectations and learn to stand out from the crowd. That is the only way to build a lasting career as a freelancer.