If you’re interested in learning how to start your own freelance business, you’ve come to the right place.
Freelancing can be a very rewarding career path, not only because you have the ability to work on something you’re passionate about, but because it offers benefits such as time freedom, flexibility and geographical freedom.
Which is the reason most people step into this space.
But where do you start?
In this article, I will discuss five steps that will help you get your freelance business off the ground.
So let’s dive in.
1) Choosing Your Niche
The first step you’ll need to take is to choose the niche that you want to focus on and start building your business around.
In order to do this, write down a list of topics that you are skilled in and have great knowledge of.
Perhaps you’re excellent at communication, writing, reading, web design, building websites, and so on.
Here’s a list of different freelance business ideas to help you.
Once you’ve figured out your skillset and what you’re good at, it’s important to really decide on whether you’ll have a passion for working on this full-time.
If you’re good at web design, but you can’t stand doing it, you’ll never have the drive to get your business off the ground when things get tough.
The final part of choosing your niche is figuring out what kind of service you’d want to provide to clients.
Let’s say you want to become a freelance web designer, what packages would you offer? what turnaround time? what makes you unique?
2) Picking A Freelance Platform
When you’re looking to start your own freelance business it’s important to have a plan to acquire your first customers.
I’d suggest picking a freelance platform initially to get yourself off the ground and start bringing in revenue.
This means being on a platform like this gives you access to companies and clients almost instantly.
Sure you’ll have to give up a percentage of your revenue, but the benefits of using a freelance platform are the ability to utilize its giant customer database.
When starting out you don’t want to worry about marketing right away, you just need to focus on getting a few customers/clients under your belt and bringing in some money.
3) Competitor Research
Once you’ve chosen your niche and platform, it’s time to research your competitors to make sure your business is at least as good as theirs, if not better!
On platforms such as Fiverr, simply type into the search bar the gig that your business revolves around and you’ll see pages of competitors come up.
Have a look at:
- Their pricing models and upsells
- Their reviews
- How quickly they deliver their services (Speed is important to a lot of clients)
- Their gig, description and images
Then work out a way you can beat them.
Remember, it’s not all down to just being cheaper, have a look at providing a better quality of work or service.
Here are a few ways you can stand out on Fiverr to land your first client.
4) Building Up A Portfolio
If you’re just starting out, as we’ve already discussed getting your first couple of clients can be tough.
Nobody wants to hire somebody with no reviews or ratings and this is where a portfolio comes in useful.
A portfolio is simply a collection of your previous work which you can show to prospective clients to increase your chances of being hired.
If you don’t have any work to show, don’t panic.
Create a list of businesses or potential clients that you know you can help with your skills and offer them the deal of a lifetime!
Being honest at this point is key, but saying something along the lines of:
“I’m launching my own freelance business as a (Fill in the blank), I’ve been an expert in this area for some time.
I feel like I could certainly help you with your (Fill in the blank), which will bring you more customers etc.
Right now, I don’t have a portfolio of work, nor do I have any customer reviews.
So I’d be more than happy to provide this service to you for free, in order to get an honest review and the ability to showcase my work.
Would you be up for working together?”
Wording an email or message like this explains what’s in it for you, but more importantly, it shows you care about their business and that you honestly believe you can help them.
For them it’s a win-win, for you, you’ll start to get your business off the ground and it’ll boost your confidence.
Once you start to fill out your portfolio with a couple of free or low-paying clients, you’ll be ready to start charging prices that show your worth.
5) Marketing Plan
As much as platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork are a great way to get your business off the ground, you probably don’t want to stay on these platforms forever.
They’ll take a large cut of each project you do and it’s never good to build your business relying on a third party.
Ultimately this means you need to come up with some sort of marketing plan to acquire customers on your own.
There are two methods in which you can do this, paid marketing or organic (free) marketing.
Paid marketing is essentially launching targetted adverts to potential clients in your niche, offering up some sort of value or pitch.
The pros of paid marketing are the fact it’s instant, the second you launch your advert you’ll be able to put your offer in front of potential clients.
The cons are the cost and the amount of testing you’ll need to do in order to create the winning adverts.
Organic marketing is a more tedious and time-consuming process, however by far the most profitable.
This could be posting on social media, creating a blog, creating a Youtube channel, or just personally reaching out to businesses.
The biggest benefit of organic marketing is that you won’t have any cost going into it, it’s purely your time.
But this can also be the con, the fact that you’ll need to spend a lot of time trying to drum up potential clients.
Sure you could look at outsourcing, but this will eat into your profit margins.
So there you have it, those are my top five steps on how to get your freelance business off the ground.
It’s important to remember that you are starting a business and it’s going to require a lot of hard work.
As with any business, you’re going to have ups and downs and persistence is key.
Remember why you started, keep positive and understand that your mindset and how you approach your work are everything.
I hope this article has helped and if you have any questions feel free to reach out or leave a comment below.
Best of luck starting your freelance business!