What is freelancing and why is it in high demand? Freelancing is essentially exchanging services or skills with other businesses or individuals for money. Let’s discuss the Master Tips On How To Start A Freelance Career. Freelancers are generally not employees but rather independent contractors or self-employed individuals who mainly work from the comfort of their homes.
As a freelancer, you’ll be contacted by businesses or individuals to provide a specific service in demand. In exchange, you will receive payment for your services outside of your present employment.
The majority of freelancers do this work by choice rather than necessity – freelancing can both become a full-time job or supplement your income as a part-time job.
There are many benefits for both you, the freelancer, and individuals or businesses for hiring freelance workers. Businesses can benefit from additional expertise for projects without hiring a full-time employee. Hiring contractors saves businesses on taxes and bulky salary demand by the employee.
Individuals can benefit from being a freelancer because it’s a low-overhead way to start a business and a minimal barrier to entry. There are many perks to being a freelancer, including working remotely, having a flexible schedule, and being self-employed.
Read How To Make Money As A Freelancer HERE
Freelancing can be a great side hustle, part-time gig or full-time job. You can usually charge more per hour than employers pay for the same work, and enjoy a much better work-life balance. The problem is knowing where to start. To make those early days easier to navigate, we’ve put together a freelancer’s guide, laying out all the main steps, so you know you’re on the right track.
1. Set Your Goal Target
Why are you considering freelancing? Is it to make some extra income on the side? Do you want it to become a full-time gig? Or is it simply a stepping stone to another goal? Before you get started, it’s important to know the answer. Knowing which direction you’re going to take is really important before you take the plunge into freelancing.
Before you go quitting your day job, you’ll need to get your freelance income up to a healthy amount. This probably means you won’t have much free time on your hands for a while, so you’ll need to be really good at time management. Doing this means you can walk away from your full-time salary without worrying about paying bills. It can be a slow process, so you’ll need to have patience.
2. Research And Find A Niche
This is probably the best advice I can give to someone starting out freelancing – find your niche and become an expert in it. The more you know about a specific industry, the more unique your skillset is, making it much easier to attract work.
Unless you’re really determined to work in a specific sector, you’re probably best to look beyond popular areas for freelancing like travel and entertainment. The finance, business, and insurance industries value freelancers with experience and are often far more lucrative.
Once you get your foot in the door, it becomes much easier to attract similar clients through referrals and a good reputation.
3. Look For Work
Strategy is one thing, but looking for freelance work can be tough, especially when you’re just getting started. My advice is to be patient but persistent. Set aside an hour or so each day to reach out to clients looking for freelancers. LinkedIn is usually pretty good, as is Facebook, and sites like Indeed and Jora sometimes have freelance roles as well. You can also reach out to businesses directly. Let them know why you’d be a good fit and send some examples of past work that you think apply to their business. Don’t just stick to the client side – marketing agencies are worth getting in with as well. They often use freelancers and work can be a little more varied.
For Nigerians, I wouldn’t personally recommend using sites like Fiver or Upwork because the pay is usually channeled to PayPal which does not work in Nigeria. If you’re struggling to find work, it might be a good starting point, purely to build up a portfolio, but many are not looking for quality, which is what you’ll need to build a good reputation.
4. Set A Rate For Your Services
Don’t sell yourself short or too low. Set your price based on the value you can bring, not on what others are charging. And never settle on a really low figure. Your time is more valuable than a little money.
With freelance writing, some clients prefer to pay by the word. This might be a little off-putting at first but it can actually be a really good way to make even more money if you’re a fast writer. The problem is, that it can often compromise quality a little. In general, I’d recommend charging a set hourly rate regardless of what work you do. Once the client recognizes that you’re a fast, reliable freelancer, they’ll be more than happy to return to you for future work. At a certain point, money becomes a secondary concern; quality and trust are more important to the majority of businesses.
5. Create A Portfolio Website
A responsive portfolio website helps you start better if you want to build a successful freelance business, you’ll need a strong online presence. A portfolio website makes it easy for potential clients to find you and see exactly what services you can provide. WordPress (CMS), Hostgator web hosting, and Astra theme are good and major tools you need to create a website and require minimum effort.
6. Display Your Work Strenght
Your portfolio website is a great place to showcase your previous work. It might seem a little time-consuming, especially if you have plenty of work, but updating it regularly with new content is a really easy way for clients to see the kind of work and results you’re delivering elsewhere. If you don’t have much work yet, create content for your website that’s tailored toward the kind of client and industry you would like to do work for. In the long run, it won’t be a waste of time either. That content will be a great resource for ideas and inspiration when you actually start getting paid work. You can also get a professional website set up easily by Bethovic Digita Agency with a less budget. Click HERE to get started
7. Advertise your skills
Advertise your skills on major business directory websites in Nigeria for global visibility. We recommend you advertise your selected skills on Redforest Nigeria’s business channels. Websites listed below: