Freelancing is no longer considered a hobby or a passion project. For 1.57 billion freelancers globally, having a freelance career has become their primary source of income–a ticket to earning more money and better quality of life.
However, it takes a special person to pursue freelancing as their full-time career, let alone succeed. According to a Forbes article, about 80% of traditional employees want to become freelancers. Still, their concerns about income volatility, loss of benefits, and fear of loneliness keep them from becoming one.
If you’re up for the challenge, we’re here to help. This blog post explores the top freelancing tips you can use to jumpstart your career as a freelancer. We’ll share valuable insights and advice to help you build a solid client base, stay motivated, and succeed in the industry.
How to Start your Freelance Career Without Experience
Starting a freelance career can be daunting, especially if you have not gained prior experience. But with the right approach, anyone can start freelancing and build a successful career. Here are some freelancing tips to help you get started.
1. Pick a niche
Choosing a niche is an essential step to building successful freelance work. You need to identify and specialize in your areas of expertise or passions to stand out from the crowd and attract clients looking for specific skills.
When choosing a niche, you don’t have to restrict yourself to a particular job category. It can also pertain to focusing on one industry. For example, you can be a social media manager for B2B Tech clients or a freelance copywriter for beauty brands.
What’s important is you consider your strengths, interests, and market demand while selecting a niche. By positioning yourself as an expert in a particular area, you can differentiate yourself from competitors and establish a reputation as a go-to person for that niche. This can lead to more business opportunities and higher rates for your services.
2. Have a clear goal.
Setting a clear goal is crucial to succeeding in any career, including freelancing. Define your short-term and long-term goals and create a plan to achieve them. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your freelancing career and how to get there.
3. Create a good profile and portfolio
Your profile and portfolio are your marketing tools and should reflect your skills, experience, and achievements. Clients are more likely to hire you if they can see examples of your work and understand what you can offer.
Create a professional profile highlighting your strengths and build a portfolio showcasing your best work. Include testimonials from previous clients, as this can help establish credibility.
4. Promote yourself and your services
One essential freelancing tip for beginners is to promote yourself across multiple channels–from social media to freelancing sites.
Marketing is essential to building a successful freelance career. You need to promote yourself and your freelance services to attract clients. Use social media platforms, online marketplaces, and other marketing tools to promote your services. Participate in online communities and discussions to establish yourself as an expert.
5. Build rapport with clients
Building a good relationship with clients is essential to establishing long-term relationships. Communication is key here, so ensure you respond promptly to messages and deliver high-quality work on time.
Treat your clients respectfully and be willing to go the extra mile to meet their needs. Building a good reputation can help you attract new clients and secure repeat business.
6. Expand your network
Attend events, join online communities, and connect with other freelancers and professionals in your field. This will help you build relationships, learn new skills, and get more freelance jobs.
Another way to expand your network is to contact former clients and colleagues and ask for referrals. Word-of-mouth recommendations are a powerful marketing tool that can help you build a strong reputation and attract new clients.
7. Optimize your workflow
As a freelancer, time is one of your most valuable resources. Optimizing your workflow is essential to maximizing your productivity and efficiency while saving time.
Using productivity apps can help you optimize your time by automating repetitive tasks, managing your working hours, and organizing your work. Using these apps allows you to free up more time for your creative work and focus on delivering high-quality output that your clients love.
On top of that, productivity apps can help you stay organized and reduce the risk of missing deadlines or forgetting important tasks.
Consider investing in time-management tools, invoicing software, and project management apps to help streamline your workflow. This will help you focus on your core tasks, save time and deliver work faster.
Upskilling means learning new skills or improving existing ones to stay competitive in the job market. It allows you to expand your services and offer your clients a more comprehensive range of skills. By learning new skills, you can provide better and more services and cater to the needs of a broader range of clients, making you a more attractive option in the market.
It’s crucial to continuously upskill and learn new processes to deliver more value to customers. Technology and industries are constantly evolving, and clients want to work with professionals who are up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
Freelancing Tips and Advice for Beginners
Freelancing can be a fulfilling career choice, but it can also be challenging. To help you succeed in this field, here are additional freelancing tips to help you advance.
- Identify your skills and interest: Identifying your skills can help you determine what services you can offer as a freelancer and what type of clients you want to work with. If you still need to identify your area of specialization, check out some of the highest-paying freelancing jobs here.
- Build a portfolio: A portfolio is a collection of your best work and can help showcase your skills and expertise to potential clients. It’s essential to keep your portfolio up-to-date and tailor it to your niche.
- Network and market yourself: Networking is crucial to a successful freelance career. You can use online platforms and social media and attend events to connect with other freelancers and potential clients. You can also ask your clients to refer you to their peers.
- Set clear terms and boundaries: Set clear terms and boundaries with your clients from the beginning. This includes project scope, deadlines, and payment terms. This will help you ensure a smooth working relationship with your client.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help: As a freelancer, it’s easy to feel isolated, but you shouldn’t hesitate to ask for help or advice when needed. You can join online communities or reach out to fellow freelancers for support.
- Build a strong client base: Building a strong client base is essential to your success as a freelancer. You can do this by providing excellent service, meeting deadlines, and building good client relationships.
- Upsell and diversify your freelance business: Once you have established yourself, you can upsell your services and offer new ones to diversify your income streams.
- Ensure time management and productivity: Ensure you’re not getting more clients than you can accommodate. Plan your schedule for the day or week, create a to-do list, and use time management methods such as the Pomodoro technique to help you stay productive.
- Manage your finances: Managing your finances is crucial to your success as a freelancer. You should keep track of your income and expenses and save for taxes and emergencies. Thankfully, there’s the Beppo app to help with that.
- Stay motivated and avoid burnout: Freelancing can be stressful, so staying motivated and avoiding burnout is essential. You can do this by setting realistic goals, taking breaks, and practicing self-care. Prioritizing work-life balance will go a long way in helping you become successful in your freelance journey.
Few Things That May Be Part of Your Freelancing Experience
If you’re planning to start your freelancing career, there are things you need to consider. As much as freelancing is a rewarding experience, it comes with disadvantages too. Here are the common challenges and some freelancing tips to overcome them.
Through freelancing, you can set your price and work on your schedule, allowing you to take on projects that fit your values and personal and professional goals. This flexibility can be especially beneficial for those looking to learn new skills or take on challenging projects.
Freelancers can choose to work on projects that stretch their abilities and help them develop new skills without worrying about the constraints of a traditional job. However, some people become less motivated when there’s too much freedom and no external control.
Having a flexible schedule means working at your own pace and time, which can be problematic for those who need help sticking to a schedule. At the same time, having the flexibility to choose your tasks may not bode well if you are picky.
That said, being a freelancer requires you to be self-motivated. You need to constantly push yourself to deliver your clients’ needs while enjoying the freedom to work at your most convenient time.
As a freelancer, you have taken on the responsibility of managing your career. You are the one who must find freelancing clients, set pricing packages, negotiate project-based or hourly rates, and ensure that your work meets your client’s expectations.
Unlike a traditional job, there is no boss to guide you or provide you with direction. It is up to you to set goals and develop a plan to achieve them.
Ultimately, freelancing is a personal responsibility because you are the only one who can determine the direction of your career. You must take ownership of your work, be willing to take risks, and make difficult decisions.
While this can be challenging, it can also be gratifying. This is because you have the freedom to choose your path and build a meaningful and fulfilling career.
When you decide to start freelancing, you enter a world of uncertainty. Unlike a traditional job, a steady paycheck or a set schedule is not guaranteed. You may have periods where you are inundated with work, followed by long stretches with no clients.
This uncertainty can be stressful and challenging to manage. You may constantly worry about where your next job will come from or how you will pay your bills if you don’t find work soon. You may also find it challenging to plan for the future, as you never know your workload from one week to the next.
When you choose to pursue a career in freelancing, you will undoubtedly encounter a lot of uncertainty. There are no guarantees of a steady income, a predictable workload, or a clear career path. However, despite these uncertainties, freelancing offers many benefits–from increasing your earning potential to having a sense of fulfillment for doing what you love.
There are ways to overcome uncertainties, which will help you thrive in your career. One of the best ways to do this is by diversifying your client base. Relying on one or two clients can be risky. If they decide to stop working with you, you could be left without any income.
To avoid this situation, try to have multiple clients at any given time. This will help to spread out the risk and ensure that you always have work coming in.
Being a freelancer means you’ll mostly be working alone. While this can be liberating, it can also be incredibly isolating. You may miss the camaraderie and social interaction of working in an office environment.
Aside from that, freelancing can be a solitary pursuit. You are responsible for your work, and there is no one to bounce ideas off or provide feedback. This can be challenging, especially if you are used to working in a team.
The lack of social interaction can also affect your mental health. You may find yourself feeling lonely or disconnected from the world around you. This can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and even burnout.
To combat this loneliness, finding ways to connect with others is crucial. This may mean joining online communities or attending networking events. Consider co-working spaces or working from coffee shops or other public places where you can be around others.
5. High work standards
In freelancing, clients often expect a high standard of work from freelancers.
First, clients who hire freelancers are looking for specific results or outcomes. They often have a clear idea of what they want and expect from the project and rely on the freelancer to deliver the desired results. As a result, freelancers are often held to high-quality standards that meet the client’s expectations.
On top of that, freelancers are often competing with other gig workers for projects. That said, you must demonstrate your skills and expertise through high-quality work to stand out in a crowded marketplace. You must consistently produce work that meets or exceeds clients’ expectations to build a strong reputation and secure future work.
While the high work standards in freelancing can be challenging, there are several strategies that freelancers can use to help manage these expectations. A great freelancing tip is to clarify your client’s expectations and establish clear guidelines for the scope, timeline, and deliverables of the work to avoid misunderstandings.
Starting a career in freelancing can offer various benefits, including flexibility, earning potential, and a sense of independence and control. If you want to pursue your passions on your terms, freelancing may be the perfect fit for you.
To support your freelancing journey, it’s always best to utilize tools to make your job easier. On the financial side of the freelance business, the most crucial freelancing tip is to use apps like Beppo to help you take control of your finances–from tax filing to budget management.
Beppo is an all-in-one financial management solution that helps Filipino freelancers track their income, send client invoices, track, file, and pay taxes, and so much more. The bonus is you get to meet other freelancers by joining its in-app community.