The freelance industry is growing, and one can certainly feel its growth in the past several months. The current trend in this industry is evolving especially now that employees seek higher salary and their desire to have a flexible working schedule fuels the growth in the freelance industry, or what we now call the Gig Economy.
Freelance work, or the Gig Economy, is growing three times faster than the growth of the total workforce. With technology playing an essential role in this growth allowing everyone to have access to freelancing and other forms of works are now easier to do and find.
With freelance work becoming available for everyone, no one can blame if an employee is giving it some serious thought. However, there is a common question every beginner always asks; how to start.
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Building a successful freelancing career is not as easy as it may seem. However, with proper steps and guidance, you can certainly start your career in this industry. Here are some steps that aspiring freelancer can follow.
Choose a service/skill that you can offer
When foreign entrepreneurs stopped building brick and mortar businesses and started outsourcing, everything became available and can be outsourced which gives you a higher probability that one or two skills on your résumé can be applied in a business somewhere.
However, you have to be creative in your approach. It doesn’t necessarily you have to be a graphic designer, a programmer or a coding expert. It’s more than that. You may be a skilled writer, fast typist, has a keen eye for details especially in reporting using Excel, good with numbers, have a well-modulated voice, passionate for photography or a good researcher. Whatever skill that you have right now, you can start offering freelance service and opportunities.
I have to remind you, make sure that you don’t over analyze any preconception that you need to learn a specific skill or when someone says that you do not have the necessary skills or experience. Surprisingly, a little knowledge is all you need to start. A little faith in your abilities will take you a long way.
Target what market you want to serve.
Now that you’ve already identified the skill/service that you want to offer to your potential client. Narrow down your targeting to a specific industry. For example, if you are an artist who loves to create different designs you might choose to do shirt designs for POD businesses. Having that specific skill/service will make you attractive to a particular set of clients, and it can give you a higher probability of success.
Build your online presence
Freelancing is unique. You don’t have to spend money on requirements like what you usually do in a traditional job application process. Clients are not concerned about your educational attainment or your favorite hobby, they check your social media accounts and ask what you have done in the past and see if the results that you’ve made fits their business.
That’s why it is vital that you set up your social media account correctly. You can use your social media account as your portfolio, and you can demonstrate your skill through regular posting that aims to get the attention of your target market.
You can also join groups of your target market and start engaging with them. Connecting with them through engagement gives you a higher chance of finding your ideal client.
Sell yourself — your service.
Apply the “ten before ten” rule.
I heard this from a podcast a couple of months ago. It means that you need to send ten cold emails before 10 AM every day. You can also try submitting ten proposals before 10 AM. Do what suits you and the number will add up eventually.
As Jim Rohn said, “No matter how many people you share your opportunity with, no matter how many people may not be interested – You will have a ratio! You may have 1:10 or 2:10 …whatever it is – it is.”
Do this every day and as you go along the ratio will improve. If you are not getting the result from the first 10, increase it to 20 until you reach that threshold and start seeing results. You will have more clients for every ten prospective clients that you share your services.
Securing a freelance work is not as easy as it may seem. However, if you already understand its process — connect with a potential client, the more likely you will find work. That is a proven strategy that works and one that you should keep in mind.
Be the expert on your chosen skill set and build your brand. I am convinced there is no reason why you cannot succeed in the world of freelancing like so many others have before you.
Fred is a passionate virtual professional who wants to teach his countrymen about the opportunity of working online. He advocates that the Internet is not just for Facebook, YouTube, and online game usage. On this site, he gathers established professionals, CEO's, freelancers, business owners and influencers and asked for their insights that will provide an overview of how you can start as a virtual professional. He aims to support and help those who want to become an effective virtual professional.
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