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A Comprehensive Guide on How to Start a Freelancing Career: Everything You Need to Know

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How to Start a Freelancing Career

The freelancing industry has enjoyed impressive growth in recent years. Becoming a freelancer enables most individuals to start earning an income from the comfort of their home, not to mention the freedom to schedule their timetables. A freelancer can offer their services on a full-time or part-time basis depending on their schedule. Here is a comprehensive guide to help you start a successful career as a freelancer. Recent statistics have shown that more than 54 million Americans are opting to start freelance careers and businesses as opposed to venturing into regular traditional jobs. Companies have also begun hiring employees on a freelance basis due to the many perks derived from this art of employment including no healthcare, lower employee-related expenses, fewer taxes, less office space, etc. The standard of living has exponentially increased. This has led to a majority of the working class looking for more feasible and realistic ways to attain a side business while still keeping their day jobs or ditching the corporate world altogether and starting a career as a freelancer.  So how can one go about starting a lucrative side hustle and gradually making it your full-time career?

1. Identify the purpose of becoming a freelancer and establish goals

Similar to any other big venture you dive in, deciding to become a freelancer takes a lot of planning and dedication. The first thing you need to do is set and define your goals. Perhaps you are looking for a way to earn extra money for a short duration of time, or you want to ease yourself into the freelancing world while still maintaining your daytime job as a safety net. Ask yourself:
  • Am I looking to earn extra income on the side?
  • Do I eventually want to become a full-time freelancer and be my boss?
  • Am I using freelancing as a stepping stone to achieve a different goal entirely?
You need to make your ultimate goals clear. Take the time to understand why you are considering becoming a freelancer – be it a writer, programmer, blogger, etc. Only after you have defined your goals will you be able to make your freelance business a success. After you have been able to identify this, you can then go ahead and set some goals. What is the criteria involved in setting the right, attainable, and measurable goals?
  • Be specific
Goals need to be accurate and measurable to be able to achieve them without cutting corners. The best way to measure your set goals is to have a healthy mix of short-term, long-term, and ongoing milestones and check them off as you go along. It is easy to get discouraged if you only set long-term goals. At the same time, setting short-term goals is not enough to sustain a business. The best way to set these goals is by understanding the following categories:
  • Income level – Everyone has a standard of living that they would like to continue to pursue. You need income to be able to sustain that lifestyle. Ask yourself what “successful” means to you in terms of money. From here, set attainable milestones and work towards achieving each milestone per its deadline. Start with your freelance income target based on your living expenses and risk tolerance. Remember to remain realistic with your expectations. If your primary purpose is to become a full-time freelancer, then you must be realistic about how long your savings can sustain you. You will also need to draw up an estimate of how many clients you will need per month and what you will charge them. All this should be done before leaving your day job. 
  • Clients -You cannot grow your business without new clients. Some of your goals need to focus on how you will go about acquiring new clients.
  • Organization – You do not want to become a freelancer who is always behind and has to keep pushing back deadlines. Whether it’s on client projects or your administration, a last-minute rush and high-stress working environment can break your new business. You need to set some goals to quantify precisely how you are going to stay organized, how you will allocate your working hours, and how to decide who you want to work with. 
  • Set business policies – It might seem redundant to set a goal that is geared towards preventing you from doing something you already know is not a good idea. But ask yourself how many times you have indulged in something you know you shouldn’t have. It’s crucial to set a goal that locks you into never letting good business practices slide.
  • Give back – If you are looking for support from a community, then you must support your community as well. Allot at least one thing related to doing something good for a cause, an individual, an organization, or a non-profit that you believe in.
  • Write down your goals
Using the criteria mentioned above, sit down, put your pen to paper, and develop your freelancing goals. 
  • Push yourself
Also, jot down some goals that you might consider to be a bit far-fetched and out of your reach. Not all your goals should be easy. If this were the case, you’d never push yourself hard enough to explore your full potential. Get out of your comfort zone and take the step-by-step actions you need to fulfill that thing you have been postponing for the longest time. It might be starting a blog, writing an eBook, learning how to program, etc. 

2. Select your niche

A freelance niche refers to a section of the market that buys freelance services. Finding your niche is the act of narrowing down the segment of the service(s) that you offer down to a very particular target. There are hundreds of different types of freelancing jobs available. The problem is, with the majority of the working class looking to venture into freelancing, the platforms to find clients who will pay well for your services are diminishing. There are two ways to niche your services:
  • Vertical segment
This type focuses on a particular sector of an industry. When you niche yourself into a vertical segment, you are telling your potential clients that you offer a broad range of services to a specific industry. For example: “online marketing services for real estate business.” In this example, you are not focusing on one specific skill such as web design, writing, or editing. Instead, you are using your marketing expertise to help the real estate business generate more leads and increase sales.
  • Horizontal segment
A horizontal segment focuses on a particular service meaning you are offering a single service to a wide range of industries. For example: “writing services.” This type of service niche appeals to a wide range of industries that are interested in hiring quality writers. The problem with horizontal segmentation is the competition. There are three essential factors to consider when selecting your niche:
  • Your skills – What are your strengths? What are the areas of work that you get the most commendations for? For example, if you are a writer, are you particularly skilled in content writing, editing, ghostwriting, academic writing, or copywriting? Identifying this will give you a solid idea of where your expertise lies.
  • Your passion – What types of work/projects give you the most satisfaction and make you lose track of time? What projects drain your enthusiasm and energy? Identifying your passion within your generalist area will help you narrow down to your preferred niche. A big part of becoming successful in the freelance business is to enjoy what you do. This will in turn lead you to produce quality work and build your reputation. Satisfied clients you can use as referrals make up a big part of a successful freelance business.
  • Market viability – Is there any evidence that people are in need and are willing to pay for the services you are planning to offer? One simple and quick way to find this out is to use relevant keywords related to your niche and search for jobs posted on freelance sites such as,, or among others. Do you see many job postings with decent pay?
The intersection of your passion, expertise, and market viability should be your niche. Even when freelancing on the side while still working, you must get out of the mindset that what you are doing is a hobby rather than a business. There is nothing wrong with making money while doing what you love simultaneously. If you want to stand out as a freelancer, you need to specialize as it will heighten your skill-set and help grow your business faster. Keep in mind that there is always someone who will charge less than you for the same quality of work. People’s lifestyles are different, and as such, the price rate for the same service tends to tip in favor of the clients and not the freelancers. Instead of competing with everyone else for the same skill set, set yourself apart by focusing primarily on a preferred segment and perfecting it. Choose something that genuinely interests you and work towards being the best at it. Once you have built your skills to an expert level and made yourself invaluable within that niche, you can confidently charge higher and premium prices.

3. Set your prices

You need to set prices for your services beforehand. Figuring out how to establish your freelancing prices can be tough, especially if you are just starting. Many of us opt to start freelancing because of the flexible schedules and the creative freedom. However, the business cannot be sustained if it’s not profitable. The shift from earning a predictable income to setting your rates can be difficult when there’s no guideline as to what you can and should make. So how do you choose your price rate? You do not want to offer your services at low rates nor do you want to set them too high and alienate potential clients especially when starting. If you place your prices too low, you risk:
  • Undervaluing the quality of your work
  • Damaging your credibility as an expert in your field
  • Hurting the reputation of your industry
However, if you price your rates too high, you could:
  • Have a hard time attracting your ideal clients who are not within your budget
  • Have a hard time retaining and converting one-time clients into long-term clients
So how do you find the balance? There are a few things that come into play when determining how to set freelance rates.
  • Factor in your freelance business expenses
A freelancer selling their services online has a unique opportunity to cut costs in pursuit of profitability. When you start working with a client, you are investing your money and time into them. It is essential to estimate how much of each investment goes into every project. This will help you quote the project. For example; you might cite a week-long project at $1,500 but discover that you have not met your basic needs after you factor in the operating costs, overhead costs, outsourced services, etc. Now include the time invested in your clients. Every client is different, but you still need to factor in the time spent on phone calls, emails, video chats, etc. before you send a quote and proposal.
  • Know the average rates of your industry
If you Google “average hourly rate for [your industry],” you will find surveys that have already been done highlighting how much a freelancer earns on average depending on their years of practice and skill level. Another way to search for average rates is by comparing the Google search results with the pricing of your competitors. If their prices are higher, is it because they have a stronger portfolio, they offer more services, or do they have more years of experience? This will help you gauge where your rates should lie.
  • Understand your expertise
Your earning potential is significantly affected by your work experience. However, the pricing you set now does not determine what you will earn, say a year down the line. Your earning potential will increase as you add new skills to your expertise, increase your rating and reputation in your field, build on your existing skills, and as you gain experience.
  • Project-based rates or hourly rates
Freelancers can price their services on hourly rates, project-based rates, or opt for a mixture of both. Each price structure has its pros and cons. Benefits of freelance project-based rates
  • You can charge different rates to different clients
  • There’s more incentive to increase your productivity
  • You will be more focused on the quality of the final project and less on amount of hours
  • You get to price your final service based on value
  • It’s easier to work with a client’s budget without having to worry about hours
Disadvantages of freelance project-based rates
  • You will be quoting a higher amount which might push some potential clients away
  • The high amount may feel like a big investment upfront for clients
  • You might not get paid for the extra hours you put into the project beyond what you had estimated
Benefits of freelance hourly rates
  • It’s a good way to test your relationship with a new client before taking on larger projects from them
  • You get paid for extra hours
  • The rate will seem relatively small to clients as opposed to project-based rates
  • It’s ideal for clients who do not have any set project goals or a timeline
Disadvantages of freelance hourly rates
  • It’s harder to scope what a client is willing to pay for projects
  • Your earning potential is limited
  • It can be harder to predict work and block off time in your calendar
Now that you have decided which price rating works best for you, it is time to start crunching the numbers. Consider these three freelance pricing factors:
  1. How much do you want to earn this year?
It’s imperative to determine what your business and income goals are and reflect this in your pricing. 
  1. How much do you want to work?
As a freelancer, you have the freedom to set your hours and decide when you want to work as long as you meet the client’s deadlines. Some people are willing to work over 40 hours a month while others are looking to spend less than 20 hours per month. The hours put in per month also affect pricing.
  1. 3. Base your prices on income goals and work hours
After determining how many hours you’d like to work per month and your income goals, it’s time to calculate how many hours go into each project. The number of hours per project will help you scope how many projects you can comfortably take on per month. Hours per month divided by hours per project equals projects per month. Next, multiply the average price per project by the number of projects per month. It will help you get a rough estimate of your monthly earnings. If the monthly earnings don’t match your income goals, increase the number of hours and pricing until you find a rate that works for you. Set this as your freelance rate for your services.
  1. What do I do if a client wants to negotiate my rates?
If a client comes back with a lower rate than you had proposed, ask yourself whether you are willing to negotiate. Stand firm on your pricing if your gut instinct says no. However, if you are eager to hear the client’s counteroffer, ask yourself:
  • Will you be able to add that project to your portfolio proudly?
  • Does that company or brand give you a certain level of credibility in your field?
  • Is it a brand or company that you have always wanted to work with?
  • Have you worked with that client before? If yes, did you have a positive working relationship?
Keep in mind that you will not be able to bag all the potential clients that reach out to you. You will stumble upon clients who want you to reduce your rates on a small scale or even by half. The decision to do so solely depends on you and how far you are willing to go to land a new client.

4. Identify your target clients

One of the toughest things about freelancing is getting clients. In the beginning, it might feel like you are spending most of your time client-hunting. You do not have to spend money on advertising campaigns to get clients. Below are some cheap and easy strategies one can use to grow their client database:
  • Word of mouth
People tend to trust personal recommendations more than a resume, a LinkedIn profile, a blog, or a portfolio. When someone recommends you to a person they know, it means more than a CV would. People who own their businesses or work for a company know other people who do too. All these connections might require a customer support team, a virtual assistant, a project manager, an app, a new website, a new logo, and content material, the list is endless. Start by doing work for your friends, a family member, etc.
  • Have an updated portfolio
Having a website might bring a few people in, but that does not guarantee that they will hire your services. To attain potential customers, you need to market yourself by using searchable portfolio sites such as:
Note: Do not just create a nice portfolio to showcase your work only; promote it too. 
  • Use social media sites
Platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. offer a free and easy way for freelancers to get new clients. You will need to be active in your social media accounts and interact with your potential customers through these sites. Start following relevant groups and become active in them. You might be pleasantly surprised when you land a new client without having to pitch to them. 
  • Network and Co-work
Networking can be done in person or through online platforms. Attend conferences and local meet-ups and make sure you bring some business cards with you. In-person contact is always more memorable than virtual attendance. Attend events that are relevant to your interests; or better yet, attend events that are relevant to the interests of your potential clients. Instead of merely attending events, why not speak at them? The best conferences to speak at are those with audience members who may need your services. Of course, you have to start small, but you can build up your credibility as a fantastic speaker. It’s even possible to get paid to speak at events. This will help you promote your brand, attain new clients, and get paid while doing it. If you are not able to physically attend conferences to network, you can now participate in such events virtually. For example, online creative business owners can use whereas 1 Day Business Breakthrough is excellent for internet business folks. Aside from online activities, there are tons of industry-specific forums you can be involved in including:
  • Relevant Facebook pages
  • LinkedIn groups
  • Quora
  • GrowthHackers, and so much more
Co-working is another form of in-person networking. A co-working space can be a large room or building that is used by groups of freelance entrepreneurs and small business owners. This is a great place to make friends and network with others who might need your services.  

5. Design a high-quality website

The first thing a potential client will do is research your company to gather more information. Many new business owners tend to cut corners when it comes to creating their websites. Some individuals use poorly lit images, unprofessional content, unfriendly page interface, etc. It is rare to find a startup that does not want to increase traffic to their website. However, many new entrepreneurs are baffled when they realize people are not clicking on their sites to view their services. The answer is simple; many potential clients will move on to another website if they feel your site is hard to navigate, looks cheaply designed, or it contains uninformative content. Your website should be sleek, include useful information, and great graphics, and have high-quality images that highlight what’s being offered. Your site should include a freelance portfolio to sell your services effectively. The collection should:
  • Highlight your skills, education, and accomplishments
  • Display sample works and communicate your specialty
  • Display testimonials
  • List your contact information
  • Be regularly updated 
You want your website to demonstrate your expertise. One of the best ways to achieve this is by periodically publishing new content, videos, and samples that will impress your target clients. Once you have a clear understanding of what your clients need, go out and create examples based on these findings. There’s no other straightforward way to market your skills than by showing potential customers that you can create what they need.  4 Tips to make your website stand out in the search results It’s very rare to find someone who does not want to increase traffic to their website. Well, building links and improving your domain rating is one way to go about it. Link building is hard, but it’s not the only way to increase traffic in Google’s search results. Here are four tips that will improve organic traffic using Google.
  • Create a Blogging Section
Blogging is one more indicator of Google and other search engines that your site is active, and they should be checking in frequently to discover new content.  When used thoughtfully and strategically, blogging can help drive traffic to a website. Every time you write a blog post, it’s one more indexed page on your site – this means that it’s one more opportunity for your site to show up in search engines and drive traffic to your website in an organic search.  By writing an informative post, you’re creating content that people can share on social media networks – Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. This will eventually help expose your business to a broader audience.  Your blog content also helps your social media presence stay active. Keep in mind that each post is a new opportunity to generate new leads. People will be more in tune with your posts and are likely to ask personal questions when you create content that provides valuable information and guidance. You’ll establish a personal connection with readers by giving them a platform where they can ask questions free of charge at the end of each article in the comment section. This connection will help convert that traffic into leads and establish you as an authority in your customer’s eyes. This is particularly handy for both sales and service professionals. 
  • One Page Site or Multiple Page Site
When it comes to selecting a single-page or multiple-page design, the most important thing to consider is what your goals are as a business and in online marketing. One-page sites are more popular nowadays and are a perfect fit for anyone looking to design a website that acts more as an online leaflet than anything else. Instead of looking for new content to fill a multiple-page design, include all informative information that potential customers need on one page.  If you intend to use your site for more in-depth online marketing or for covering a broader number of keywords that people might be searching for, a multiple page design is ideal. This design is also a good option for anyone who wants to create a more detailed site including detailed product descriptions, blog posts, etc. 
  • Include FAQ Page in Top Menu
A FAQ page executed correctly can be useful to your site. FAQ helps:
  • Relieve some burden on customer support by publicly answering common questions
  • Improve SEO and site navigation
  • Earn trust by demonstrating your expertise in your field
Many visitors do not have time to scroll through your entire website. Most people want to find a solution to their query fast. Showing an FAQ at the top menu can lead to potential customers bookmarking your site since they know it’s a reliable source for quick responses. This will increase the probability of them returning later when they are ready to hire your services. 
  • How Responsive is your website?
Page loading time is an essential part of any website’s user experience. Website visitors tend to care more about page load speed than all those visual designs and functions we want to add to our sites. Statistics have shown that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes more than 2 seconds to load. A 1-second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions. As of 2016, mobile traffic now exceeds laptop/PC on online shopping time with 60% of internet traffic coming from mobile phone devices. Nearly two-thirds of the US population has a mobile device with internet access, and they use these phones to conduct the majority of their online searches. Potential clients are more likely to return to a mobile-friendly site and leave a website if it’s not mobile-friendly. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly by now, you’re losing business. As you’ve seen, these are some of how one can generate more organic traffic without having any prior technical SEO knowledge. Just follow these four tips along with making Google your friend and watch as your site’s traffic begins to increase. Hopefully, your client list will increase with the site’s traffic as well. 

6. Create a blog section

A blog provides you with an easy-to-use platform where you can promote your business. Starting a blog also provides a more natural way to share your ideas and expertise with the outside world and market your services. A few years back, starting blogs required immense coding skills; however, creating blogs in 2018 is easier than ever. Here are some additional guidelines to enable you to start your blog effortlessly: Step 1: Choose the correct platform for your blog website Many people opt to use WordPress as it is good for starters who are creating their first website. This platform has considerable scalability and works pretty well with low and medium-traffic websites. The other two options that lag behind WordPress are Joomla and Drupal. WordPress is easy to install and has an active community. It’s also ideal for anyone who is not technologically advanced – you will have access to plug-ins that are relatively straightforward and intuitive to use. Why WordPress?
  • It’s free – you will only need a domain name and web host
  • Its support forum is beneficial
  • It offers 45k+ free plugins to help your account run more efficiently
  • There are 5k+ free and paid WordPress themes available
Step 2: Choose a Domain name Before you download WordPress, we would recommend that you first choose a domain name. Why is a domain name valuable?
  • It affects your ranking in search engines
  • It defines your brand
  • It’s the first impression your site visitors will see
How can I choose a suitable domain name? Perhaps you have given it some thought and already have a name picked. However, if you are having some difficulties starting, you should: Choose a domain name that is unique and stands out from your competitors. Choose something witty and memorable. Keep the name short. According to research, the top 100 websites have approximately six characters in their domain name. Choose something that is easy to pronounce and type. Having a domain name that comprises too many vowels will lead to mistypes. Choose something that different people will be able to pronounce with no difficulties. In summary, choose a name that is short, brand-able, memorable, catchy, easy to type, includes keywords, and is niche-specific. Step 3: Sign up with a Web Host and Install WordPress Web hosting is a platform that stores all your files, images, and content that your blog will contain and displays to visitors. This service keeps your blog content accessible to anyone. NOTE: You will not be able to set up a blog or use your domain name if you do not have a web host. There are many web hosting services available – some cheap, others more costly. Select a hosting service that is reliable, secure, and easy to manage. Some two great hosting companies include and Why should you use them?
  • You will get a free domain name
  • They have a one-click WordPress installation
  • They have 24/7 support
  • They offer a money-back guarantee
Step 4: Set up your blog section
  • Sign up with or
  • Choose the best hosting page. We would recommend that you use a starter package as it offers plenty of speed, storage, performance, and functionality to your first website. You can always upgrade your hosting plan as your site grows.
  • Next, choose a domain name. Remember to double-check your name to avoid any typos
  • Enter your personal information and credit card details and finally complete the payment
  • Go back to the administration panel and look for the option “Install WordPress.”
  • Click and proceed with the installation
  • Now, select whether you want your webpage with or without “www” at the beginning of your web name. i.e., do you prefer or
  • Now tick all necessary conditions under the license agreement and click install
  • Once the installation is complete, you will see a button that says “Your installation is complete” and another “View Credentials.”
  • Click on View Credentials to get your login credentials
  • And that’s it! Now you can log in to your webpage by clicking the link that says
Step 5: Log into your new blog Now that you have installed your WordPress page and jotted down your admin access, username, and password; let us now show you how to customize to your personal preference. Go to Type in the username and password. From the menu settings, you will be able to customize your site’s appearance.  Tips for Beginners Setting up your blog is straightforward. Once you follow the given instructions, you are likely to take less than 30 minutes for the set-up process. However, it’ll take longer for those who have not yet decided on the domain name and the blog’s theme. Q: Just how much time does blogging take?  Well, depending on your writing skills, creating quality content that your potential readers will want to read can take approximately 48 to 72 hours. It’ll depend on what you want to write – do you prefer to write longer or shorter articles? Are you planning on including videos or images? Such questions will determine the amount of time you will spend blogging. Overall, it’s up to you to figure out how much content, type of material, and how seriously you want to pursue this. Q: Does blogging cost any money?  You can opt to create a free blog or choose one that has affordable charges. So how do you decide? As mentioned earlier, it will depend on how serious you want your blog to be. Free blogs are available, but they come with limitations. We would recommend that you pay for a couple of things such as: Domain name: This will cost you approximately $10/year. An example of a domain name is Web hosting: This usually costs approximately $4 – $15/ month or more. NOTE: You will need to cough up a few bucks to acquire a domain name and web hosting to get more traffic and better SEO. Q: Will blogging make me money?  Yes. Some successful bloggers make more than $50,000 / month. Blogging provides you with endless ways of earning money, passive income, and marketing your freelance services. Some people use these platforms to sell items, review products, etc. 

7. Build an online community

A community provides a platform where you can interact with like-minded individuals and share information regarding your similar interests. Online communities for businesses are becoming increasingly popular with every entrepreneur trying to build a vibrant online community for their business. Studies have shown that businesses with active communities primarily focused on their products and customers, enjoy higher customer loyalty and brand credibility. But how do you start and maintain a community for your business? Here, we have gathered eight tips that will show you how to build an online community for your business. These steps are relatively simple but implementing them will require effort and consistency from your end. Here are our top 8 tips for building a robust online community.
  • Create value
Create value that focuses on your customers and their experiences. This is what will attract people to your business and your community. Foundational and community-building are two content types that will help in the process.  Foundational building is generally all the static stuff on your websites such as your “About Me” page and “Services” page. Most foundational pages focus on self-advertising or promotion. If you want to be successful, then your foundational content should circle the needs of your customers. Listen to them, observe their needs, and finally figure out how your services/ products address these issues. Create foundational content that is geared towards solving your client’s problems as opposed to merely talking about yourself. Community-building content should indirectly promote your brand and establish trust. For this to happen, you need to prove that you are an expert in that niche. Focus on customer needs – do not just assume but ask them directly. You can even do email surveys, make phone calls, or create an event where you can meet one-on-one and discuss issues that they have. Take this feedback and apply it to your content. Use Pre-outreach as well.  Before creating your content, sit down and think about whom you can talk to, interview, and survey. This way, you’ll get valuable feedback that will help make your site more insightful, purposeful, and successful.
  • Keep your content consistent
First off, you need to post quality content that is informative, entertaining, and inspirational. The material should not revolve around you – it should primarily focus on the community. Before creating content, think about your vision. What is the objective/vision for your entire business? What makes your company unique? To stand out, find that differentiating factor that will put you above your competitors. Determine what your unique selling proposition is. It’s best to do an analysis of your competitors and come up with a proposal that makes your business special. Find a way to stick out – in a positive way. Perhaps your competitors do not have consistency with their content – why not try doing videos, creating short posts, or even doing a ‘tip-of-the-day’ forum? It’s great when your audience knows what to expect from you for that week. For example, ‘This week we shall focus primarily on XYZ.” Your audience will automatically know what they are tuning in for and are more inclined to log in for daily updates.
  • Allow for sharing
How can you make your content shareable? A few things that can make a post, video, etc. sharable are coming up with a catchy headline. Exciting titles tend to receive higher clicks. Another significant component is adding the right plugins to enable one-click sharing. Your audience is more inclined to share content when the sharing option is easy to find and just as easy to use. Make your site shareable through favored sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Be active on social media
To build a thriving community, you’ll need to participate in Social Media sites in your niche actively. Start by sharing content from others and sharing yours as well. Be engaging and interact with relevant people. Ask questions and answer any questions from your community – this will help build one-on-one connections in your niche.
  • Show you care
When someone leaves a comment, you should respond or at least show thanks by ‘liking’ that comment. It’s easy to respond to comments when you are starting up, but as more people join the bandwagon, it might be challenging to reply to every comment. However, it only takes a few seconds per post to acknowledge their opinion and show that you care.
  • Give credit where credit is due
A healthy community requires everyone to join in. Instead of only focusing on your business, why not focus on other people in your niche as well? Show a little love, and it’ll come back to you. Perhaps you read an informative and interesting post, why not tag that person and give them a thumbs-up for a job well done? If you do mention someone in a post, do not forget to tell them about it. E.g., “I recently stumbled upon NAME OF PERSON’s website where he/she was talking about XYZ.” It’s polite to send them a quick “Thanks” note with a link to your blog post attached. This way, you’ve helped promote them. Do not ask for any favors in return; tell them that you appreciate their content.
  • Incorporate other peoples work into your community
Why not allow for guest posting in your community? People love being involved so why not create a platform where others can post relevant articles or videos? This is a great way to bring new people in and strengthen your community.
  • Learn, Learn, Learn
You can’t stand out and be successful without providing the best customer experience. You’ve got to keep learning and growing as the trends change. Think of ways to bring people together in your niche. Perhaps have a Live Event where you can be a keynote speaker educating and inspiring your audience. This will enable physical interaction with your community – you can also welcome guest speakers from your niche. Speak for free and who knows; you might get a guest speaker request and become a paid speaker. 

8. Learn how to pitch 

You are likely going to have a hard time making a name for yourself in the beginning. Pitching is a skill that will be handy for years to come. No matter how qualified you are, you need to be able to effectively communicate your strengths and convert your communications with individuals into paying clients. Here are a few basics to implement for your pitch to be successful:
  • Sell your strengths
  • Use visual graphics, images, and video aids in the layout of your proposal
  • Anticipate beforehand and answer any questions that might come up
  • Show you have done your homework by creating a strong entrance pitch email
  • Use relevant work samples and past projects to demonstrate your expertise
Your pitch can make or break your freelancing career. Pitching determines whether you can convert potential clients into long-term customers. We will cover this in-depth in the latter modules.

9. Set up financial processes

Before you attain a lot of clients, ensure that you are entirely prepared for it. You need to create a template for invoices, set prices, and keep in mind how much you need to set aside for taxes. In short, design an excellent accounting plan. It’s easier to keep your finances in check from the start as opposed to messing things up and then beginning to keep records. This haphazardness might end up costing you.  The one investment freelancers neglect the most – the first impression Many individuals seem to neglect one of the most important investments when it comes to selling their startup to the world. As the saying goes, “The first impression is primal.” Most of us are working on a tight budget when starting a freelancing business. It is not uncommon to find an entrepreneur looking for ways to cut back on their spending. One of the most neglected investments is sadly the first impression – namely the overall design of your brand. What are first impressions? How many times have you seen an entrepreneur/ freelancer cut back on how much they spend on their business cards, their logo, or even their website’s interface? Most individuals start up and promise themselves that they will “upgrade” these poorly executed designs when the money starts coming in. This is a bad idea.  Consider this, what motivates you to click on a webpage or be interested in a particular service/product from an unknown startup? Is it not the first impression? Is it not how well designed their logo, website, etc. are executed? Would you be more inclined to request a service from a startup that has cheap and imperfect business cards or would you instead opt for services from an individual who has a sleek and sophisticated-looking website? These might seem like straightforward and unimportant aspects to take into consideration to an entrepreneur seeing that they are more worried about staying afloat and breaking through ASAP.  However, research has shown that more customers are inclined to click or call a specific freelance business and request for their services based on their brand’s overall design. In the freelancing industry, the overall design is the best way for a new company to separate itself from all the clutter and attract the attention of its target market.
  • Business Cards
We understand that you are trying to cut down on expenses, but your business card is the first hint a potential client has about your brand. Many people might opt for cheaper options that will save them a few bucks; this is a huge mistake. You want a card that oozes professionalism and class. Granted you’ll have to spend a bit more than you’d perhaps budgeted for, but it’ll all be worth it once people see how invested you are in your new startup. A well-designed, subtle, yet eye-catching design will attract more people and urge them to research what services you offer.
  • Logo
How long you take to come up with a creative and exciting logo tends to show in the results. A logo and ingenuity behind designing it will reflect whether you are serious about your new business or not. Ever stumbled on a logo that made no sense nor did it have any connection to services offered? Would you be willing to hire the services of that company? Take the time to come up with a unique yet exciting logo that is well-designed and executed. It will be a gateway to more clients becoming curious about your brand.
  • Website
By writing informative content, people are more inclined to peruse your webpage and sometimes even share your site on social media networks – Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc. with fellow friends they think will benefit from your services/products. This will eventually help expose your business to a broader audience, and hopefully, get you a few new clients. Therefore, your social media pages need to reflect the same level of professionalism. Final Thoughts There are a lot of strategies one can use to start a freelancing business. However, the process only begins when you believe in yourself and are willing to put in the work. There are ups and downs involved with freelancing, but this happens in every part of life.  Make sure you are mentally prepared for a freelancing career before you decide to quit your job and undertake this practice full-time. If you deliver quality work for a variety of clients as a freelancer, they will undoubtedly become repeat customers. Once you have sufficient projects coming in, it will make sense to take the next step and plunge full-time into freelancing or form a company, hire employees, and start your career as an entrepreneur.  Starting a freelancing career is possibly one of the best things you can do for yourself. You will have more time to spend with your loved ones, you will be able to set your working hours, you will be your own boss, and you will be the determinant of how much you earn. Take a chance today!

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