How to Start Freelancing with No Experience
After pandemic we were forced to work from home. But many others lost their regular 9 to 5 job.
People who lost their jobs wanted to start something new on their own. There were many options for them but the best one was starting a freelance career from the comfort of their homes.
Freelancing allowed them to not only work from the comfort of their homes but also earn a decent income at par with any regular 9 to 5 job.
Today millions of people around the world are working as a freelancer. You can do the same.
If you want to become a freelancer then I would recommend you to read the following article.
Here we go…
Identify Your Skills
The key to success when it comes freelancing is finding a right skill that you are good at. Whether you want to be a freelance writer or a programmer, you have to be confident about your skill.
I was a freelance writer and also a freelance digital marketer. I had both these skills but I was surer about my writing skills than marketing skills.
There are freelancers who have expertise in many fields like writing, editing, designing etc. However if you are a beginner with no experience then I would recommend you to identify just one skill for the time being. Later you can broader your horizon and try other skills.
Try to Polish and Hone Your Skills
Once you have identified a skill, you must be confident enough to offer it as a service. To get that confidence you need to hone your skills further.
For example, if you are a freelance writer then you have to learn how to write for a blog or a website. Most of the time freelance writers generate content for blogs run by independent bloggers and affiliate marketers. Their niche could be diverse, from finance to technology, from parenting to gardening and from marketing to health & wellness etc.
You are not writing for a newspaper or a big publishing house, you are neither a columnist nor a serious writer. As a beginner you will write simple 1000 – 12,000 words long articles for blogs and websites. Your audience is primarily young demographics between 18 and 35 years.
Polish your skills according to your audience.
Create a Comprehensive Online Portfolio
If you want to work as a freelancer, you must first build a strong and convincing online portfolio. You can build your portfolio on sites like Fiverr or Upwork.
Upwork alone has over 3000 different types of skill-based freelancing jobs, while Fiverr has over 3 million different types of jobs. According to data published in one of the blogs on SureJob, India has only 15 million freelancers, compared to 53 million in the United States, which means that there is high demand for freelancers in India, and all over the world. What you need is an excellent online presence to reach a larger target audience.
I started my freelance writing career on Fiverr. Your portfolio must be comprehensive, well organized and neatly laid out. Tell them everything about yourself, don’t try to hide anything. Try to connect with your clients at a personal level. You can showcase some of your earlier work. Don’t miss anything. Just be honest!
For a beginner who has very limited experience, creating a portfolio is going to be very challenging. Because you don’t have any work to showcase. Experienced freelancers can showcase their work to their clients but you can’t. Keep this in mind!
Build Your Reputation and Authority Online
A new freelancer has to prove his/her worth to their clients. It really doesn’t matter if you have a college degree or not, if you can’t prove that you are skilled at what you do, they are never going to hire you.
One way to build your reputation is by showing your prior work to clients. If you are a writer then show your blog posts, if you are a coder then share your coding experience and if you are a graphic designer show your logo designs.
Another way is to leverage the power of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube etc.
You can bring new clients to your portfolio on Fiverr via these social media platforms. Do some networking to spread a word about you. Personal branding is one of the most important aspects of freelancing.
Choose a Right Freelancing Platform
As I mentioned earlier the two most popular platforms for freelancers are Upwork and Fiverr. I started my freelance writing career on Fiverr and then migrated to Upwork.
However, a beginner should always look for other alternatives also. Popular freelancing sites are already filled with millions of freelancers from around the world. Competition is very tough and it’s most likely that a newcomer’s profile might not get noticed by the clients.
So try other platforms where you could be easily discovered by clients.
Moreover, if you are a graphic designer or a marketer or a programmer then you should look for platforms that are specifically designed to cater freelancers from these particular niches.
Once you have created your profile on an appropriate platform you should start sending proposals. You have to be very diligent while writing proposals. It is not a causal email or a social media post. You have to convince your client that you are the deserving freelancer and not all others out there.
Once you are accepted for the work, deliver beyond the expectations for your client. If they asked you to write 1000 words long article, make it 1200+ words, add images and info graphics, try to make your content great.
Your client is going to love it and reward you with more work.
Negotiate a Right Price
Once you have established yourself as a freelancer, you will be in a position to negotiate price on your terms. If your work is good and you are meeting the deadline, your clients will be willing to pay you on your terms.
You can charge slightly more than what other freelancers in your niche are charging. Your price will depend a lot on the quality of your work. If you are able to solve a problem the way your client wants then they will shower you with money.
Especially coders and programmers can charge anything if they can fix a bad code or remove virus from the client’s website.
Scale it Up
Finally you have to scale it up and get more work. In order to get more clients you can become a paid member.
For premium members the freelancing platform will help you by highlighting your profile to the clients. Your profile will get preferential treatment over other freelancers. This will help you to beat competition and get more clients.
You can also use social media platforms to further amplify your online presence.
I hope after reading this article you will get a fair idea how you can start a freelancing career even if you are a beginner.
You just have to identify your skill and market it online. There is no dearth of clients on the internet. Don’t worry about the money!
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