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4 Steps to Help you Get Started in Freelancing

Man freelancing online

Freelancers are becoming more common in the workforce; the flexible hours and ability to work from the comfort of your own home is a compelling lure. According to Forbes, approximately 57 million Americans were freelancing in 2017 and, if the trend continues, over half of all Americans will be freelancing by 2027.
If you’re considering a career change, check out these four essential steps to getting started in freelancing.

Step 1: Determine the Type of Freelancing You Want to Do

The first step to becoming a freelancer is to know what you want to do, where you want to end up, and who you want to market your services to. The most crucial part of this step is knowing your target market. You need to know your field well enough to know what kind of businesses or clients are going to want to use your services to further their success. In determining this, you will be able to market yourself more effectively to those most-likely to request your work.

It's also important that you decide on your rates before you begin pursuing clients. If you plan to make a career out of your freelance work, you have to charge enough to support yourself and your family. No matter what your rates are, you will have some clients who think you charge too much. It’s important that you stay firm in your decided rate and not let a client haggle you into changing it.

Step 2: Manage Your Online Persona

Once you know what clients you’re going to target, the next phase is to begin marketing yourself online. It’s important that you use your online presence to both promote your abilities and talents, as well as establish a consistent level of professionalism. Make sure you confidently discuss your skills, offer an online portfolio of your work, and list any other important information that clients may need.
It’s also crucial that you think twice about what you post to your social media accounts. Your clients want to know that you are reliable and hard-working - especially if they’re rarely going to meet you in person. If your social media accounts suggest otherwise, it could steer potential clients away. Your online reputation is key to gaining a client’s trust and, in turn, their business.

Step 3: Create a Client Network

This can seem like an intimidating task if you’re just starting out. But in actuality, any of your former employers or coworkers could act as a reference. Building a client network begins with establishing a group of individuals who are willing to vouch for you. This backbone of supporters will act as reassurance to your clients that you are indeed as skilled as you say you are.

Step 4: Get and Stay Organized

If you’re going to be working from home, it’s important that you have a place set aside solely for getting work done. When you establish a separate area for your work, you’re drawing a mental line that tells you “This room is only for work,” which encourages productivity and prevents any distractions that come with being at home. It’s also important that your home office has everything you need to be productive during your work day.