The question I get the most from friends and readers is ‘how to become a freelancer’. I will give a lot of tips and practical info about that along the way but wanted to start with a quick outline of what the first and more important steps are.
It is your right to work from home (or wherever 😉 ) with whom you like and whenever you feel like it. It is a matter of planning and good time management so… breathe! I will help you become a freelancer – if you are up for the job.
2. Decide what you want to do!
Content writing, marketing, data entry, programming, design – they all are viable options. Think about your skills and interests. Find your passion and don’t hesitate to pursue it! There are plenty of freelance websites where you can create your profile and start…
3. Complete your profile!
If you decide to start from websites with freelance job posts, then your profile is your freelance resume. You most probably won’t send your resume or CV to anyone. But many people will visit your profiles so make sure they are complete. Don’t create 100 profiles on 100 websites – it’s no good to have too many profiles which are inactive, choose 2-3 websites which suit you and where you will try to succeed.
4. Make sure you can get paid!
For many countries, direct bank deposit is an option but still – having an account on PayPal and Skrill (MoneyBookers) is a cheaper payment method. I am not familiar with the ACH option for US residents or for Payoneer option for Pakistan, India and such – so I won’t talk about them. But if you go with PayPal and Skrill (MoneyBookers), be sure to verify your debit or credit card with those services in advance. So that when your first earnings arrive in your freelance profile, you are ready to withdraw them to your bank account 😉
5. Be proactive!
Nobody will give you work because you need it – remember this! You need to be proactive – always. And when I say ‘proactive ‘ I mean proactive both when looking for work and when improving your skills. Read, learn, and practice! Whether you are a content writer, designer, programmer, marketing expert, or something else – always find new ways to better yourself. I will try and help you be a better freelance consultant. So if you’re curious and eager to learn, subscribe to my RSS feed or opt-in for email newsletter to get updated.
Susan Cooper/findingourwaynow.com says
This is a very timely post. I have always wondered what it would entailed to become a freelance writer or anything for that matter. You have really given some great food for thought. Thank you for that. (form BHB/LinkedIn) 🙂
Doreen Pendgracs says
Being a freelance writer is pretty tough in today’s market. Rates have gone down and too many places expect you to write for free or “exposure.” Tell them that in some climates, you can die from exposure. Good luck!
Hey, ladies! thanks for your comments – much appreciated!
@Susan – i am glad I have given you food for thought. Stay tuned for more – i plan to blog once per week on freelance related topics (i have plenty of tips to share – i am freelancing 4 years now :-D)
@Doreen – you made my day, ‘die from exposure’ – why i never thought of that?! I can only imagine what would be the client’s face when he or she hears me saying it… LOL
Jamie G says
Thanks for the tips. Great info .
Tommy Tan (@MKTdojo) says
I always wanted to be a freelancer on the side to make a few extra buck but it doesn’t seem to work. The freelance market is really competitive and there are a lot of efficient and smart people.
Hey, Tommy! Thanks for your comment. Every market is really competitive nowadays… this shouldn’t be a reason to give up though, right? 😀 I truly believe there are clients for everyone – and we should better ourselves every chance we get. Opt-in for my RSS feed – maybe my blog posts will help you become a better freelancer and/or marketer 😉
I’ve been doing freelance for about ten years now. There is always more to learn – about my profession (web design/development), about marketing, about finding the new client. I enjoy parts of it, but it is competitive.
Yes, that is one of the things i love about freelancing – endless learning.
Most of the time, you are better than anyone else on a regular job simply because the market makes you constantly improve yourself (regardless profession); and in the same time – you always feel there’s so much more to learn and you are not nearly as good as you want and feel you should be – LOL. Thanks for stopping by, Leora!
Great article! I am trying to figure out where else I can “go” with my blog and your advice really helps. Especially number 5- being proactive! I need to work on that!!
thanks for your comment, Karen!
Yes, being proactive is key for many, especially freelancers. Probably down the road i’ll share my insights about ‘where’ to promote a freelancer’s blog or site so stay tuned 😀
Freelancing is indeed competitive, but I’ve gradually been betting more editing jobs. My primary focus is writing a novel. At times it stings to know I don’t have a steady income, but a person can’t have everything, otherwise the book would never get written.
Yes, steady income is something a freelancer not always has… planning and strategy sometimes fix it, sometimes doesn’t. Important thing is that novel will get written, right? Thanks for stopping by, Jeri!
Debra Yearwood says
Great advice, particularly the part about breathing. I have to admit that I get a panicky when I think about going independent, but can also appreciate the freedom that it allows. I know few folks who are just taking the plunge and I think they will find this useful.
Thanks for your comment, Debra! Breathing was a lesson i learnt the hard way but it has been working for me ever since. There’s nothing that breathing cannot help me handle 😉 Thanks in advance for spreading the word about my blog among your friends!
It is amazing what people can do when they break apart from a company and start working freelance! I am only in college and sell my art freelance, but that is nothing like what you do. You’re amazing and fearless, cheers to you!!!
Thanks for your comment, Morgan, and for the vote of confidence 😉 But i gotta say – managing to sell your art freelance while in college – this sounds tougher than what i do 😉 Wish you good luck and hope to see you around!