Freelancing is popular right now. Everyone seems to want to be part of it and a lot of people are looking to start their own freelancing business. Well, whether you want to start your own business or to earn an additional income from the internet to pay your bills, freelance can be the right solution.
More and more people are shifting their working lifestyle from the traditional way of working to the latest fad, freelancing and work anywhere and anytime they want. A study from the University of Phoenix revealed that as high as 63% of people in their 20’s either owns their own business or want to start one in the near future. This clearly shows that the working world is shifting.
And if you want to start your own freelance business but you have no idea how to do it, do not worry.
Below are the steps that can guide you to successfully build an income stream through freelancing.
1. Identify Your Goals
Starting a freelance business is the same as starting any business, you need to have a clear and specific goal. Without a clearly defined target, it is difficult to understand how your business will look like in the future.
Setting goals for your business are important because it shows that you are truly committed to it. In this case, you can start with your freelance income target. You can always start small to build momentum and confidence, and then grow bigger from there.
2. Find Your Niche
The second step you need to take is to define your niche. What freelance business do you want to venture into? If you are a graphic designer or you have some skills in Photoshop or Illustrator, you can start selling your skills by helping people to design a header, a logo or edit a stunning picture.
The will be plenty of competitors in your niche, but that shows that your niche is profitable. So never focus on the competition in your niche, instead, focus on creating value for your clients. There are a lot of low-priced freelancers across the world and you simply cannot compete with all of them. What you can do to is to identify your niche and focus on building your skills and creating more values to your clients.
3. Understand Your Market
Knowing your clients is important because it will determine the business strategy you are going to implement. If you are targeting low-paying clients, there are plenty in Fiverr, but if you want to command premium prices for your service, you need a bigger platform such as Upwork.
Understanding your market is crucial because you will want to know what your clients want and so then you can come up with a better plan of attack to attract them. For example, if you are a writer, what topics can you write better? Are you into the finance industry or the personal development industry? Do you prefer to write long-form articles or the shorter ones? When you understand your market, you will know how you can deliver the best results to your clients and grow your business bigger.
4. Showcase Your Portfolio
If you start from zero, do not worry because every master was once a beginner. The competition may be tough, but it does not mean that you cannot make it in the freelancing world. Before you start, you must showcase your portfolio. If you do not have any testimonial to show, create samples and publish them on your website or blog to show your clients.
Here is an easy trick to get a testimonial from clients. You offer your work and service for free in exchange for a real testimonial. If you are a writer, write for someone for free, and tell them that if they like it, give you a testimonial. You can do the same if you are a graphic designer too.
5. Look for Your First Client
When it comes to getting your first client, never be too desperate. You must make sure you can deliver what you have promised. On the other hand, do not feel inferior because you have zero experience. Carefully choose your first client because if you deliver a great job, your confidence will soar.
At the same time, try not to be over picky. The key is to choose a work scope that you are able to deliver and perform at your best. It is alright even if you screw up as that will be a great experience for you. And remember, you don’t have to spend the entire day to make a decision whether to accept a job. Just do it and experience the process.
6. Creating Your Online Presence
Once you have successfully found your first client, do not stop and continue to work on for the next one. This is the step where most people give up. Your clients will never come to you automatically unless you are hot and in demand. When you have grown your brand into the authority figure in the industry, people will come to you.
In the beginning, you must create your online presence and spread the word. Consistently look for new clients, and more importantly, retain good clients who can give you long-term work. Leverage on other platforms such as Upwork, Guru, Freelancer, and more.
7. Growing Your Business
Building a profitable freelance business takes time. You need to grow your presence and build your brand in the industry just like every other business. You have to think long-term and be more visionary to create a better plan for growth.
When you are profitable and you have more work request than you can handle, it is time for you to hire other talents and grow your business to the next level. Earning a 6 or 7 figure income from your freelancing is not a dream anymore. In fact, many freelancers have earned 6 figures and above each year, some of them include Ilise Benun of marketing-mentor.com, Preston Lee of millo.co, and Tom Ross of designcuts.com.
When you have the desire, determination, a solid plan and are willing to work hard, you can grow your freelance business and make it your biggest income stream ever.