How to Start Working as a Freelancer: Tips to Start Out
Are you determined to start working on your own terms?
Freelance work allows you to plan your own schedule and work at your own pace without reporting to a boss, but it also poses major challenges like a lack of stability. As a freelancer, sometimes you'll get tons of work and other times very little, which can affect your bank account.
However, if you are organised and responsible, you should be able to handle it just fine. Stay with us at oneHOWTO to learn how to start working as a freelancer with our tips to start out.
The first thing you should know if you want to start working as a freelancer is that freelancing is not for everyone and it requires certain skills to be successful. You must bear in mind when you start out that you won't have a fixed income, that the amount of work will vary, and that you'll often have to work more hours than you want while not having the comforts of a formal job like vacation pay, wage benefits, etc.
Once you understand this, it is very important to know that to be a good freelancer you must:
- Be organised and punctual.
- Know how to prioritize.
- Respond to your clients quickly and effectively.
- Always provide the best work for your clients so that they want to work with you again.
- Manage your finances properly so that you don't run out of money.
- Have patience to face all the challenges of working on your own.
Are you ready to start working as a freelancer?
Begin by establishing a list of services you can provide and the respective rates as a guide. This way, when a potential client requests an estimate for a project you will be able to respond quickly. Remember that when you start out as a freelancer it is important to offer competitive prices so you get customers right away; you can adjust your fees later.
Be aware of laws regarding the billing and collection of freelance work. For example, in the UK you need to register so the government can tax the work you do if you work as a freelancer regularly and if you make over a certain amount of money per year. In other countries it is sufficient to make an invoice and declare the VAT to the appropriate agency.
You definitely do not want to start working as a freelancer in your country illegally, so research the rules in your area and prepare all the details regarding your taxation.
Before you start working as a freelancer and offering your services you will need to review and update your CV and prepare a portfolio. Your CV should be updated with your latest work, so be creative to capture the reader's attention and demonstrate your skills as a freelancer.
It will also be important to prepare a good portfolio and have some digital samples of your work on hand to serve as a cover letter. Remember that proof of quality work is worth more than any amount of words. Here you can learn how to create an online portfolio.
Once you have everything to adequately respond to all possible offers, it is time to look at freelance job websites. These pages consistently offer different jobs suitable for freelancers so you can respond to offers that you think appropriate and evaluate the reality of the market.
It is important to start working on getting a loyal customer base, so all the work you do must be excellent. Always respond by the arranged deadlines and communicate in a timely manner to decide on the details of the job. All this will make them contact you directly the next time they need a job done instead of using a website.
Another way to start working as a freelancer is to contact companies that fit your profile directly. Suppose you are a translator; you will have to search for translation companies and send in your CV and portfolio in order to get registered for freelance projects. You never know when a door will open, so the effort is worthwhile.
An advantage of working on your own is that the distance does not necessarily matter - there are many jobs that can be done regardless of where you are - meaning you can expand our search radius considerably.
Learning to advertise yourself is a fundamental aspect of freelance work. It is important to let everyone know that you work on your own, because you never know when a friend or acquaintance may need your services.
Inform those around you of what you do and sell your work whenever you can, because you never know who you're talking to or if that person will become your next customer.
What better way to advertise yourself than using social networks? If you want to start working as a freelancer it is very important that all the social networks and websites where a potential customer can find information on you are up to date. We recommend:
- Sign up for a LinkedIn account and complete all the necessary fields. This is a very useful website if you want to find a job, as it is what most companies use to search the people they want to hire. Here you can learn how to use LinkedIn to get a job.
- Optimize your Google profile because there are many people who can reach you through this site.
- Creating a good profile on Twitter allows you to highlight your professional skills and share what you do. It doesn't seem as obvious, but you never know who can reach you through this this network!
These are our tips on how to start working as a freelancer. Do you have any tips for those who are starting out? Tell us in the comments section!
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