Having a skill, something you enjoy doing, is a great first step towards becoming a freelancer. An online freelancer is a type of online business where a person can freelance their skills to individuals and businesses. Freelancing, in general is very common in a number of fields. However, an online freelancer runs their entire business online without necessarily having to meet clients face-to-face. Because of this, online freelancing is more popular than ever. And, there are a number of different online freelancing businesses a person can run. However, before you jump into the world of online freelancing, you prepare yourself.
It takes a lot of time to get yourself out there as a notable talent. You can write articles that relate to your industry online. You can start networking online within forums or freelancer platforms. Just keep your job for a little while and keep letting someone else pay you. Here are a few steps you can take that will allow you to feel confident in your new venture of becoming an online freelancer.
Build Up Your Brand
Before you start your online freelancing business, you will want to think about what you’re going to name your company. This takes some consideration, as the name can say a lot. What is going to be your selling feature so people will be hooked in immediately? It may take you some time to consider what your value is to certain companies.
All of this takes thought, and it may take doing some real work to see what is valuable and what is not. When you know what your personal brand offering is, you can tell people what they are. You need to have your clear, fundamental information in an easy to understand sentence. This is your introduction for everyone you touch online.
Determine Your Online Marketing Strategy
If you’ve never had your own business before, you’re going to want to look into how social media can work for you. It takes awhile to get followers, but they are an important part to your success sometimes. You need to do things a little differently when you’re using Facebook for business. Think about creating usernames that promote your business. Set up channels of people you want to be associated with. You’ll want to be regular on your blogs and posts. Why not start ahead of time so you have time to take in all that new work that will be coming your way?
LinkedIn is a well-known professional social network. Not many people know how to utilize it, though. You should have a really decent summary and a good bio photo. It might seem intimidating to update your profile in the event your boss sees you’ve changed your descriptions. Be more discreet about it and start building up on the things you’ve achieved. You can paint the picture of your career and connect with people that you could be working with later.
Define Your Ideal Client
As your business grows, your ideal client might change but in the beginning, you’ll want to have it in mind who you want to reach. This, as well as market research, may be one of the most important activities of any online business. Are you going to be a Business-to-Business (B2B) business that focuses on certain businesses? Will you be selling cupcakes to individuals? Who is your ideal client? How old are they? What are their views? What makes them passionate? Understand this and you can communicate to them. Business will boom when you master this art.
Some of these steps might seem easy and not time-consuming but actually, they all deserve your attention. They do take time and effort in order to be successful. Take your time while you’re still at your job and really plan for the future of a successful venture. There are tests you can take online that prove your ability to offer the service you’re providing. You can start working for very little, but giving someone a lot of value. This gives proof to clients in the future that you can deliver what you say you will. There are so many things that you can do to prepare for your success. Things you won’t be able to focus on once the ball starts rolling.
Think of it as a brick-and-mortar business where you have everything ready so once the doors open, it looks like a perfectly well-run business. You wouldn’t want to be painting the walls the first day the doors open. You also wouldn’t want a half built website that says it’s under construction when you officially start offering your services or products. Metaphorically, there are floors, desks, décor, and everything that a business needs to be viable.
Develop Your Pricing Strategy
You’re going to need to monetize what your product or service is worth. This should be fun but it might take some serious research. This will probably change often, but for the beginning of your freelancing career, figure out how much you believe you’re worth.
You’ll need to be realistic on how much money you need to pay for your life too. You can ask for feedback from the people you’re networking with. You can ask in forums, and look at what other similar services or products are valued at.
It will be good to begin networking early. You won’t have too much pressure when you start way ahead of time. You may just find that you run into people in social situations that are an opportunity. As you’ll always have your breakout freelance career in the back of your head, you’ll be paying attention to these opportunities.
Let people know what you’re up to and what you’re hoping to accomplish. There are special events you can attend as well. Breakfast events where you can do introduction speeches about your business. Nerve-racking yes, but good practice.
Be Patient, Hopeful, but Also Realistic
Sometimes people who go to freelance will start to freak out. It doesn’t feel safe to go out on your own and believe in yourself. There is a lot of reward when you stick with it despite the fear and lack of confidence. It’s important to be realistic in how long it will take for you to start making decent money.
These things take time, and we’re not used to t18hat in this modern age of technology. You may make some mistakes along the way, but continue working towards your dreams. Understand what keeps you motivated and find ways to be disciplined. Figure out how you’re going to find your target audience-paying clients. Figure out these things before you begin, and you’ll feel a lot less stressed out.
This article was first published in 2019 but has been updated and expanded