Business

How to Start Working as a Freelancer

If you’re reading this, it’s because you have made, or are about to make, one of the most important decisions of your life. Being a freelancer represents a way of working that’s very different from the conventional way, though you can still obtain excellent results. This lifestyle, as such, is perfect for those who want to work remotely, taking advantage of digital tools that allow for the globalization of services offered.

In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you should consider before and during the process of creating your digital business. We’ll show you the steps to follow to become a successful freelancer. For now, what you can be sure of is that, by working as a freelancer, you’ll acquire freedom in both personal and economic terms. You’ll become a more organized and dedicated person, you’ll work with what you are passionate about, and you’ll be able to start your own business, doing things at your own pace. If you want to know more about the advantages of working as a freelancer, we have another article in which we go deeper into it.

Are you ready to start? Here we go!

Freelancing: Getting Ready to Start

First of all, we will tell you how to prepare yourself to start working as a freelancer. This process is not the same for everyone, but we will cover the most important points to help you organize your ideas before putting them into practice.

What Services Will You Offer?

The first step is to carefully analyze what functions you can perform as services offered under the freelancer mode. Of all your skills, which could you use to get clients and work as a freelancer? Since you’ll spend a lot of time on this activity, it’s advisable to choose something you’re passionate about, an area in which you have experience and in which you can deliver good quality work. You might also consider developing some new skills or researching industries that have caught your attention.

The most popular work that is done under the freelancer modality is usually work related to graphic design, digital marketing and advertising, as well as virtual language classes, or activities related to text production and web page development, among others. Ideally, your work area should be related to your studies in some way. This will increase your chances of positioning yourself as an expert in a given subject, and there will be more clients willing to hire you. So, what skills do you consider to be the most adequate for building your service portfolio? Analyze them, define them and standardize your procedures.

Create Your Portfolio or Service Portfolio

A digital portfolio (or service portfolio) is a sample of your experience and the work you’ve done in your niche market. To put it together, you’ll need to gather photographs, texts or works you have done. Try to select the works that you are proud of or that have met your clients’ expectations. If you don’t have any work experience yet, you can use good-quality university work, volunteer work or collaborative work that you have participated in.

The service portfolio certifies your experience and serves as a sample of your skills. To create yours, we recommend using the Behance platform, which allows you to create your portfolio online and link it to some of the work platforms we’ll talk about later. It’s very easy to use. Just create your account in Behance and upload your projects with the online editor. Although it is mostly used by designers or advertisers (because it has a very visual approach), it’s very popular among freelancers in different areas.

If you’re a web programmer, you may find a profile on other platforms more useful, such as Github, for example. If your skills are related to writing, the best thing to do would be to create a blog.

Do you already have all of the above? Well, let’s get to work.

How to Find a Job as a Freelancer

In the freelance universe, one of the most difficult things is getting started. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to help you find the right tools to promote your services. At this point, the idea is to make yourself known, not only on the Internet, but also among your family and friends. To achieve this, you can follow these steps:

Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Tell your friends that you are starting to work as a freelancer and that you are offering your services. That way they can recommend you to people who may be looking to hire someone with your skills. If you want to know more about this marketing strategy, you can visit this recommended article.

Take Advantage of Social Networks

This step will allow you to create a community around your niche market. If you take advantage of technology, creating a profile on social networks, you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert in the field.

For example, LinkedIn is perfect for creating professional profiles, and, thus, is a widely used platform in the world of work which can help you find job offers. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more visual network, but you could also use it to create a portfolio, if your work fits that format. Facebook can be an excellent tool for finding groups and forums where other freelancers share experiences, job offers and tips you can put into practice when working.

It’s worth noting that having a profile on these platforms could increase your credibility and, therefore, your chances of receiving contract offers.

The following is obvious, but no less important: social networks are one of the best channels of communication. They are a very useful tool for getting customers, especially if you publish interesting content frequently.

Create a Website

We should not only talk about the website, but also about the blogs. Depending on the type of work you want to do as a freelancer, having a website will help people find you through web search engines, such as Google. This way, you can both offer your services and be contacted by potential clients.

Here, it’s worth noting that, since the Internet has no borders, you could expand your business to other countries, working with clients from other parts of the world.

Join Freelancer Platforms

This is one of the most recommended options, especially for those who are just starting out. On the internet, there are several platforms that work as a link between clients and freelancers, allowing you to work online. These digital platforms are perfect to start in the freelance world by applying for jobs in a gradual way, or to start with simple projects.

Once you’ve picked up the pace and have a couple of freelancer contracts, the options will start to expand. Over time, you may want to become a little more independent.

The most recommended platforms for working as a freelancer are Upwork, Workana and Soy Freelancer. All three work in a similar way. You create a professional account, link the portfolio you previously built and look for jobs that will generate contracts through the same platform. For connecting you with clients, the platforms will charge a commission for your earnings. This could be up to 20%, and is one of the reasons why many freelancers tend to migrate to a more independent working style after acquiring a certain reputation on the networks.

If you want to know more about these platforms, you can review this guide that we’ve prepared for you.

Now that you know where to start and what steps to take, we are going to list a series of useful tips for preventing mistakes and taking advantage of all the knowledge you’ll be acquiring as a freelancer.

Practical Tips for Being a Successful Freelancer

1. Learn English

Knowing English will increase your chances of getting a job as a freelancer. It is the global language of business and, as such, will allow you to get better contracts and salaries. It’s that simple. Freelancing tends to be very virtual, and you will most likely be in contact with customers from other parts of the world. That’s why it’s essential to have a good command of English. In fact, on some of the platforms we recommended above, you need to know English to understand both how they work and the proposals of customers.

2. Organize Your Space and Work Schedule

Having a defined workspace, whether at home or on a coworking site, will make you more productive and time efficient. This is why, as we mentioned before, you’ll most likely become a more orderly person.

As for the schedule, pretend you’re getting ready to go to an office; set the alarm at the same time as always, and comply with it. It’ll be difficult at first, but, in time, this new lifestyle could bring you personal benefits.

3. Be Honest

This is essential for dealing with your clients and colleagues. If you are not an honest person from the beginning, it’s likely that your reputation will be affected. When agreeing on the methodology of work with your client, try to set realistic deadlines and comply with everything to the letter.

4. Choose Your Contracts and Learn to Say “No”

As a freelancer, you’ll have access to many proposals that, as interesting as they may seem, will not be directly related to your market niche. If you really have no previous experience in the field, sometimes it’s better to say “no.” This way, you can focus on what you do best and deliver excellent quality results that will enhance your reputation.

5. Request Comments and Ratings

The satisfaction and comments of the people you have already worked with will be an excellent validator for attracting new customers. Try to ask for recommendations or ratings of your services as much as you can. This will allow you to talk about “success stories” in your future projects. What is also really important here is your evolution as a professional, and feedback is a perfect opportunity to learn and improve. Besides, if a client is happy, he could recommend you, so you would already be working on that “voice-to-voice marketing” we talked about before.

Keep in mind that your client’s ratings are fundamental to your portfolio.

6. Save All Your Work

This step is important for expanding your service portfolio. In addition, it’s common for employers to request examples or samples of past work that was similar to what they are looking for. Therefore, it’s ideal to have those files always at hand and ready to attach to your next application letter.

7. Learn How to Budget

When you work as a freelancer, your income may vary from month to month. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared in advance and save money for contingencies. To do this, it’s essential to learn how to budget—that is, how to make an income and expense plan for a given period of time.

8. Always Have a Contract

Your safety as a self-employed person is important. Even if you are working on something you are passionate about, you have to make it worth your while. To guarantee payment for your services, it’s important to create a contract with each client. In this respect, the platforms we recommended above create contracts automatically, making sure that your income is secure.

9. Don’t Forget to Live Life

This is the last tip, but not the least important. I would even dare to say that it’s the most important of all. Life is not what happens around or during work. You may have read in another TripleChilli article that the ideal would be to “work to live, not live to work.” Life is about, we would say, experiences and feelings. So, even if you are passionate about what you do, it’s important that you learn to enjoy your free time with family and friends, or take a vacation.

It’s Time to Start!

Becoming a freelancer is a process that takes some time, but it’s easy if you perform all these steps with patience and dedication. If you put your mind to it, it can result in something supremely positive for your professional and personal growth.

As a freelancer or digital nomad, you can also start working on the possibility of creating your own business. For this, you need to pursue clear objectives and persevere. So, grab a pencil and paper, and take advantage of all the tools you find on the Internet to achieve your dreams.

If you’re reading this, it’s because you have made, or are about to make, one of the most important decisions of your life. Being a freelancer represents a way of working that’s very different from the conventional way, though you can still obtain excellent results. This lifestyle, as such, is perfect for those who want to work remotely, taking advantage of digital tools that allow for the globalization of services offered.

In this guide, we’re going to tell you everything you should consider before and during the process of creating your digital business. We’ll show you the steps to follow to become a successful freelancer. For now, what you can be sure of is that, by working as a freelancer, you’ll acquire freedom in both personal and economic terms. You’ll become a more organized and dedicated person, you’ll work with what you are passionate about, and you’ll be able to start your own business, doing things at your own pace. If you want to know more about the advantages of working as a freelancer, we have another article in which we go deeper into it.

Are you ready to start? Here we go!

Freelancing: Getting Ready to Start

First of all, we will tell you how to prepare yourself to start working as a freelancer. This process is not the same for everyone, but we will cover the most important points to help you organize your ideas before putting them into practice.

What Services Will You Offer?

The first step is to carefully analyze what functions you can perform as services offered under the freelancer mode. Of all your skills, which could you use to get clients and work as a freelancer? Since you’ll spend a lot of time on this activity, it’s advisable to choose something you’re passionate about, an area in which you have experience and in which you can deliver good quality work. You might also consider developing some new skills or researching industries that have caught your attention.

The most popular work that is done under the freelancer modality is usually work related to graphic design, digital marketing and advertising, as well as virtual language classes, or activities related to text production and web page development, among others. Ideally, your work area should be related to your studies in some way. This will increase your chances of positioning yourself as an expert in a given subject, and there will be more clients willing to hire you. So, what skills do you consider to be the most adequate for building your service portfolio? Analyze them, define them and standardize your procedures.

Create Your Portfolio or Service Portfolio

A digital portfolio (or service portfolio) is a sample of your experience and the work you’ve done in your niche market. To put it together, you’ll need to gather photographs, texts or works you have done. Try to select the works that you are proud of or that have met your clients’ expectations. If you don’t have any work experience yet, you can use good-quality university work, volunteer work or collaborative work that you have participated in.

The service portfolio certifies your experience and serves as a sample of your skills. To create yours, we recommend using the Behance platform, which allows you to create your portfolio online and link it to some of the work platforms we’ll talk about later. It’s very easy to use. Just create your account in Behance and upload your projects with the online editor. Although it is mostly used by designers or advertisers (because it has a very visual approach), it’s very popular among freelancers in different areas.

If you’re a web programmer, you may find a profile on other platforms more useful, such as Github, for example. If your skills are related to writing, the best thing to do would be to create a blog.

Do you already have all of the above? Well, let’s get to work.

How to Find a Job as a Freelancer

In the freelance universe, one of the most difficult things is getting started. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to help you find the right tools to promote your services. At this point, the idea is to make yourself known, not only on the Internet, but also among your family and friends. To achieve this, you can follow these steps:

Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Tell your friends that you are starting to work as a freelancer and that you are offering your services. That way they can recommend you to people who may be looking to hire someone with your skills. If you want to know more about this marketing strategy, you can visit this recommended article.

Take Advantage of Social Networks

This step will allow you to create a community around your niche market. If you take advantage of technology, creating a profile on social networks, you’ll be able to position yourself as an expert in the field.

For example, LinkedIn is perfect for creating professional profiles, and, thus, is a widely used platform in the world of work which can help you find job offers. Instagram, on the other hand, is a more visual network, but you could also use it to create a portfolio, if your work fits that format. Facebook can be an excellent tool for finding groups and forums where other freelancers share experiences, job offers and tips you can put into practice when working.

It’s worth noting that having a profile on these platforms could increase your credibility and, therefore, your chances of receiving contract offers.

The following is obvious, but no less important: social networks are one of the best channels of communication. They are a very useful tool for getting customers, especially if you publish interesting content frequently.

Create a Website

We should not only talk about the website, but also about the blogs. Depending on the type of work you want to do as a freelancer, having a website will help people find you through web search engines, such as Google. This way, you can both offer your services and be contacted by potential clients.

Here, it’s worth noting that, since the Internet has no borders, you could expand your business to other countries, working with clients from other parts of the world.

Join Freelancer Platforms

This is one of the most recommended options, especially for those who are just starting out. On the internet, there are several platforms that work as a link between clients and freelancers, allowing you to work online. These digital platforms are perfect to start in the freelance world by applying for jobs in a gradual way, or to start with simple projects.

Once you’ve picked up the pace and have a couple of freelancer contracts, the options will start to expand. Over time, you may want to become a little more independent.

The most recommended platforms for working as a freelancer are Upwork, Workana and Soy Freelancer. All three work in a similar way. You create a professional account, link the portfolio you previously built and look for jobs that will generate contracts through the same platform. For connecting you with clients, the platforms will charge a commission for your earnings. This could be up to 20%, and is one of the reasons why many freelancers tend to migrate to a more independent working style after acquiring a certain reputation on the networks.

If you want to know more about these platforms, you can review this guide that we’ve prepared for you.

Now that you know where to start and what steps to take, we are going to list a series of useful tips for preventing mistakes and taking advantage of all the knowledge you’ll be acquiring as a freelancer.

Practical Tips for Being a Successful Freelancer

1. Learn English

Knowing English will increase your chances of getting a job as a freelancer. It is the global language of business and, as such, will allow you to get better contracts and salaries. It’s that simple. Freelancing tends to be very virtual, and you will most likely be in contact with customers from other parts of the world. That’s why it’s essential to have a good command of English. In fact, on some of the platforms we recommended above, you need to know English to understand both how they work and the proposals of customers.

2. Organize Your Space and Work Schedule

Having a defined workspace, whether at home or on a coworking site, will make you more productive and time efficient. This is why, as we mentioned before, you’ll most likely become a more orderly person.

As for the schedule, pretend you’re getting ready to go to an office; set the alarm at the same time as always, and comply with it. It’ll be difficult at first, but, in time, this new lifestyle could bring you personal benefits.

3. Be Honest

This is essential for dealing with your clients and colleagues. If you are not an honest person from the beginning, it’s likely that your reputation will be affected. When agreeing on the methodology of work with your client, try to set realistic deadlines and comply with everything to the letter.

4. Choose Your Contracts and Learn to Say “No”

As a freelancer, you’ll have access to many proposals that, as interesting as they may seem, will not be directly related to your market niche. If you really have no previous experience in the field, sometimes it’s better to say “no.” This way, you can focus on what you do best and deliver excellent quality results that will enhance your reputation.

5. Request Comments and Ratings

The satisfaction and comments of the people you have already worked with will be an excellent validator for attracting new customers. Try to ask for recommendations or ratings of your services as much as you can. This will allow you to talk about “success stories” in your future projects. What is also really important here is your evolution as a professional, and feedback is a perfect opportunity to learn and improve. Besides, if a client is happy, he could recommend you, so you would already be working on that “voice-to-voice marketing” we talked about before.

Keep in mind that your client’s ratings are fundamental to your portfolio.

6. Save All Your Work

This step is important for expanding your service portfolio. In addition, it’s common for employers to request examples or samples of past work that was similar to what they are looking for. Therefore, it’s ideal to have those files always at hand and ready to attach to your next application letter.

7. Learn How to Budget

When you work as a freelancer, your income may vary from month to month. Therefore, it’s important to be prepared in advance and save money for contingencies. To do this, it’s essential to learn how to budget—that is, how to make an income and expense plan for a given period of time.

8. Always Have a Contract

Your safety as a self-employed person is important. Even if you are working on something you are passionate about, you have to make it worth your while. To guarantee payment for your services, it’s important to create a contract with each client. In this respect, the platforms we recommended above create contracts automatically, making sure that your income is secure.

9. Don’t Forget to Live Life

This is the last tip, but not the least important. I would even dare to say that it’s the most important of all. Life is not what happens around or during work. You may have read in another TripleChilli article that the ideal would be to “work to live, not live to work.” Life is about, we would say, experiences and feelings. So, even if you are passionate about what you do, it’s important that you learn to enjoy your free time with family and friends, or take a vacation.

It’s Time to Start!

Becoming a freelancer is a process that takes some time, but it’s easy if you perform all these steps with patience and dedication. If you put your mind to it, it can result in something supremely positive for your professional and personal growth.

As a freelancer or digital nomad, you can also start working on the possibility of creating your own business. For this, you need to pursue clear objectives and persevere. So, grab a pencil and paper, and take advantage of all the tools you find on the Internet to achieve your dreams.

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