Freelancing work is one of the best life-saving jobs out there. Before starting a freelancing job, you need to get a clear picture of the type of freelance job you will venture into. The moment you have a clear picture of how you will spend your limited time will decide how successful you are at freelancing.
1. Define Your Goals and Objectives.
It is going to be very challenging for you to achieve where you want to go if you do not have goals that are simply measurable and clearly defined.
- Is freelancing a way to supplement your income while still working full-time?
- Do you desire to become a full-time freelancer due to the lifestyle merits of being your own boss?
- Or, are you planning to use freelancing as a stepping stone on your way to accomplishing a goal that is completely unrelated to this line of work?
Irrespective of what your final aim is, you must be very definite about it. When it comes to successfully launching a firm, all of the world’s top entrepreneurs agree on this.
Consider why you’re thinking about beginning a freelance business in the first place. Do you want to?
- Interested in working as a freelance writer?
- What about a self-employed designer?
- Perhaps a self-employed software engineer?
Make sure this choice is the best one for you in terms of reaching your long-term objectives.
Once you know where you want to go with freelancing, you can begin setting short-term goals and standards that will help you achieve your long-term goals.
April Greer presents on the Millo blog one of my favorite perspectives on the necessity of goal-setting in your freelance business, as well as how to set meaningful goals that drive you ahead.
Assume your long-term objective is to become a completely self-employed freelancer. You’ll be able to establish your own hours, choose who you want to work with and make all of the decisions in your company. The next question is how to get there.
You know full well that you’ll need to increase your freelance revenue to a level that permits you to eventually leave your day job without worrying about where your next payment will come from. Because I quit my regular job too soon when I first started my poultry business and ended up living with my parents for a few months, I now have a rule that I must earn at least 80% of what my regular job pays me before I can even think about quitting to work full-time on my side business.
Starting with your freelance income goal, which you should set based on your monthly bills, risk perception, and clear expectation for how long your savings will last, you can now do a rough estimate of how many clients you’ll need (and what you’ll have to charge them) before you can give up your day job and freelance full-time.
2. Determine a Marketable Niche
Assuming that you specialize in graphic design or at least have been using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in your spare time.
Clearly, regardless of what you do, there will be many competitors in your field prepared to charge considerably lower rates than you. People from all over the world, whose living expenses are lower than yours, are always eager to accept lower-paying jobs. Get rid of the notion of competing on price as a freelancer right now.
For freelance work-from-home projects, it’s not worth racing other people to the bottom, especially since sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and other freelance employment sites offer endless possibilities for low-priced freelancers to choose from. Unless you absolutely need to, I do not encourage listing your services on either of those sites.
You’re actively seeking out an industry and sort of client that values quality by making the effort to identify a successful niche for your freelance business (just as you would if you were to start a blog). When you’re in a market where quality is valued, you’ll have to rethink how you sell your services. Instead of competing on price, you’ll be competing on value.
Successful freelancers compete on the basis of value rather than price.
You can focus solely on infographic design for startup blogs or eBook writing for enterprise tech firms, rather than taking on any graphic design project that comes your way.
Choose a topic that you’re passionate about and work on becoming the best designer in that niche—this is how you’ll find the perfect side hustle subject. You’re ready to start your own freelance business and find your ideal clients once you’ve developed your talents to the point where you can confidently charge a premium for them.
Your freelance business can grow in whatever direction you want once you’ve established yourself as an expert in your field. Rather than worrying about how you’ll get from level 0 to level 100, focus on one small step at a time when it comes to freelancing. With your side hustle, success breeds success.
3. Determine Your Ideal Clients
For your freelance business, finding the right clients is just as important as locating a profitable niche, When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, it’s okay to approach client acquisition in a more scattershot manner. After working with a few of these clients, you’ll have a much clearer idea of whether or not you want to actively pursue other clients in the same niche.
Since I started my freelance business, I’ve narrowed down my ideal clients to just two types of businesses. influencers in the business world who have built strong personal brands and high-growth technology startups.
For the most part, my freelance business has been focused on working with clients who fit my style and who have a history of recommending me to others. I’m establishing myself as a leader in my field.
Many customers will be disappointed with your decision, which is obviously upsetting at first. It’s a process that will help you get better results in the long run by clarifying your target clients. The momentum will really pick up once you have a few clients who are willing to speak up for you. When Caroline Beaton first began her freelancing career, she used this strategic plan to good effect.
In order to compete on value rather than price, you need to make sure that everything you do in the early stages of your freelance business points back to your ability to produce the best results for your clients. In the words of Paul Jarvis, one of my favorite freelancers, “Make your clients so happy and successful that they become your sales force.” I’d like to follow in his footsteps.
Note: Customers can become your sales force if you make them happy and successful.
Ultimately, you want to establish yourself as the go-to source for a particular type of client (s). If you’re successful in this, you’ll be on your way to organic business growth.
A sharp (well-selected) niche will make it easier for potential clients to see that you’re the right person to assist them with their projects. This is, more than anything else, the point when you can charge premium rates without anyone batting an eye at the initial prices you offer.
When starting a freelance business, you should ask yourself the following three questions to help you identify your ideal clients:
- Which companies will benefit from my services?
- In order to meet my financial goals, which companies can afford the prices I’ll have to charge?
- What can I learn about the demographics and interests of the people who run these businesses? Are there any ways I can get to know them on an intimate level?
- It will be easier to craft a cold email that connects with these clients and offers immediate value when you have all of this information at your fingertips.
Due to my personal attraction to startups, my target clients, smaller startup teams, and founders with personal brands can instantly relate to me and will naturally adapt my blogging strategy and content marketing strategy. My work is directly applicable to their business, so they have a lot more confidence that I can achieve the same results for them as well.
4. Create a Professional Portfolio Website
Laurence Bradford, an expert in freelance portfolio building, was brought in because I believe strongly in the power of a strong online presence to help you launch a successful business as a freelancer. The following page also contains a comprehensive checklist on how to start a blog (and make money from it).
The first step is to determine why a portfolio website is even essential. For freelancers, it’s mostly the first impression a prospective customer has of them and how they’ve worked with previous clients (or companies) in the past. It’s important to clearly explain the services that you offer and who they are intended for. Then there’s the matter of persuading potential clients that you’re the best person to work with them on this type of project in the first place.
Your freelance portfolio needs to do the following for it to be effective at selling your services:
The best way to convey your competence is to give some examples of your work.
Provide your contact details as well as a clear view of your character.
Emphasize your relevant experience, training, and education.
When you’re just starting out, it’s okay to post remarks from coworkers or former supervisors.
Keep a steady flow of information about your progress and new clients, as well as examples of your work that have been updated.
You can learn a lot from other freelancers in your niche about how to condition yourself, develop your value propositions, and start your own business as you build your online portfolio.
5. Establish the Appropriate Prices for Your Products and Services
When it comes to pricing your freelance work, I’ve talked a lot about the importance of setting a reasonable starting point. I’ve even designed an infographic to help you understand how much you should charge as a freelancer per hour.
When it comes to figuring out what your expected hourly rate should be in your industry, the Bonsai freelance rate explorer is the best tool available for determining whether or not your rates are going to meet your income targets and cost thresholds. To help ensure you’re charging enough to support your desired lifestyle, there are a lot of useful tools available. But I think you should start coming up with your pricing strategy in a very different way.
Do not price yourself on the basis of what your competitors are charging; instead, price yourself based on the value you offer.
Note: You should charge what you are worth, not what your competitors charge.
Never give permission to anyone else to dictate the terms by which you define your value. Starting a freelancing business isn’t about making money off the backs of others.
Digital marketing consultant Neil Patel does. Before learning how to earn money passively from blogging, as Neil does, digital marketing consultant Neil Patel chronicles many of the lessons that he learned while running an SEO freelance business on his blog. One of the most important lessons I learned was that the more you charge, the fewer complaints you get from your customers. Because he did a lot of research, he has narrowed his target market to people with a lot of extra money. He knows that these people will be more likely to buy your services.
On the other hand, smaller clients typically don’t have as much money to play with, and as a result, they aren’t able to withstand as much in the way of losses when projects don’t deliver big returns.
In the end, there is no price that is too high. With careful research and planning, you’ll be able to offer exactly what your clients need at a price they can afford, regardless of how high or low you set your prices. Meaning
As long as you’re providing enough value, you can’t charge too much. Your value will cover the charges.
As a freelance writer, it’s part of my job to write well-researched blog posts for my clients.
For the most part, the articles are between 1,500 and 2,500 words long and optimized for high rankings in organic search results. It’s impossible to compete with the value provided to clients by going beyond the simple act of writing a headline and an article to include strategic distribution and traffic generation after the information is published. The prices start at $500 per post (plus distribution) and quickly rise depending on new considerations and add-ons.
Note: Do not undervalue what you do for your clients, but do not overcharge for your services.
It’s just a matter of convincing your client that you’re the right person to help them with their projects. If they’ve already made up their mind that you’re the best person for the job, price is no longer a factor. What they’re doing is a business venture, and they’re going to do whatever it takes to succeed.
It’s important to remember that you won’t be the perfect fit for every client and that just because you know all the industry slang and jargon doesn’t mean you’re an expert in your field, so it won’t serve as discouragement when the time comes.
“If a client is already convinced that you’re the best person for the job, price is no longer an issue.”
Include Prospective Customers in Your Content
It’s not always easy to find the best remote jobs by searching the Internet. And if no one knows you exist, you’ll have a hard time building a name for yourself in your field.
That is why, in every piece of material I publish for my site, I regularly highlight the brands, companies, and individuals with whom I hope to work one day. It is never too early to start creating goodwill and getting your name in front of the relevant people at your target companies, even if you aren’t quite ready to take on new clients or even qualified to go after such large deals at this point in time.
Consider the information you’ll be producing on your website in the following weeks, and keep a running list of companies you’d like to highlight as often as feasible. Take a couple of minutes after you’ve published something that references them to contact them and let them know.
By the way, if you’re having difficulties organizing your content, you can browse our free blog planner bundle and kick things up a notch right now.
It’s impossible not to say how important this step was in helping me start a freelance business and quickly build my own brand.
Almost every time this is done, the person emailed gives thanks immediately, and they usually share it on their company’s social media platforms and don’t forget about it.
It’s great to push yourself outside of your comfort zone every now and then, and the majority of the time, it will look like sending an ice-cold email to someone you’ve never met in person.
These are the key components of an effective cold email, as well as my own layout.
- Find out who would be the best person to contact.
- Make sure your subject line is appropriate for the recipient.
- Keep your request brief.
- Make the most of your advantages.
- A call-to-action should always be provided.