The traditional 9-5 work hour is continually being redefined, and a lot of people are gravitating towards working for themselves, which means freelancing. Learning how to start freelancing with no experience may seem hard at first, but with determination, it opens new doors of opportunities.
Just imagine the benefits you will have, such as creating your own schedule and being your own boss. Having the choice to work from anywhere at any time, you can literally relax on a beach while working on your freelance career.
This article will help you achieve all that, by providing detailed but simple to understand steps on how to start freelancing with no experience.
Let’s dive in with the first step.
STEP 1: Identify Your Skills and Strengths
Every successful freelance career starts with self-awareness. Yes, you can decide which type of freelance work you are interested in, but to be a successful freelancer you first need to recognize what will you bring to the table.
Ask yourself, what are you good at? Maybe it is something related to your current job, or are there some skills you are passionate about to try for the longest time? There are a lot of abilities that can help you land great freelance jobs.
To help you identify your skills and strengths that can lead to a successful freelance job, here is a list of the most in-demand freelancing skills.
Writing and Editing – Freelance writers craft content for websites, freelance gigs, and marketing campaigns.
Video Editing – Creating engaging videos with visual effects and a lot more for clients.
Graphic Design Services- Creating attractive visuals for marketing and branding purposes.
Web Design and Development –Building and designing professional websites for clients.
Social Media Management – The social media manager is in charge of the company’s online presence.
Digital Marketing – Promoting the products and services of other companies in the online world.
Sales and Lead Generation – Connecting prospective clients with relevant services.
Translation and Languages – Offering translation services and language instructions.
SEO Experts –Optimizing content for search engines on the client’s professional website.
You don’t need to choose one from here since you might have a unique skill that can help you become a successful freelancer. This is merely a guide and some of the most sought-after skills in the freelance world.
STEP 2: Create Sample Work for Fictional Clients
Before you can confidently approach your first client, it is necessary to have something prepared to showcase. No one will believe in your skills, no matter how good you are if they don’t see proof of it.
If you are just starting out, it is normal not to have any previous work that can be related to your chosen skills, and that you can use as a sample. This is why creating some work before finding some potential clients should be your priority.
Freelance writers can draft articles about the topic they are interested in or the niche that they chose. Web designers can develop blueprints of a professional website for a fictional brand, and graphic designers can create logos, brochures, or other promotional materials for imagined companies.
When presenting these, it is essential to be honest about them being conceptual or sample work.
Because it is not about deceiving your potential clients to hire you but showcasing what you can do as a freelancer.
STEP 3: Build a Portfolio and Personal Website
Now that you have done some sample works, it is time to create a platform where you can showcase them. There are several choices here, you can make some social media accounts or sign up on freelance platforms, but the best choice is to create your own personal website.
It will give you a competitive edge and make it easier for potential clients to find and contact you. It will also serve as a marketing tool for yourself and your services.
Here are some simple steps to build a professional website for freelancers.
Choose a Domain Name –This could be your name or some words that represent your services.
Pick a Simple and Fast Template – Ensures your site is fast and easy to navigate.
Upload your Previous Work – Make sure that they stand out the most.
Create an About Me and Contact Page – So clients can easily know about you and contact you if they are interested.
Use Keywords and Optimize for SEO – To increase your site’s visibility on search engines.
Building a personal website may seem a daunting challenge for a beginner, but keep in mind unless you are pursuing freelance web design, it is best to keep it simple and easy to navigate.
A great website for freelancers should resemble a museum: clean, simple, and well-organized. Just like how the artwork on the museum wall stands out the most, your sample work should be the highlight of your site.
STEP 4: Choose a Freelance Platform
After setting up your website, and posting all your best previous work, it is now time to choose a platform where you can find actual freelance jobs.
Each platform will have its pros and cons, it is best to decide based on where you think your audience and potential clients will be present. Let’s dive into the 3 most prominent freelancing platforms.
Upwork is one of the largest freelance platforms out there. It caters to a wide range of jobs, from freelance writing to web design and more.
It offers both hourly rate and fixed-price projects and provides flexibility to the jobs you can do or not. It also has a comprehensive system for vetting freelancers, only allowing skilled individuals to sign up.
Upwork takes a sliding fee based on your lifetime billings on a particular client and for new freelancers, it might be higher.
Fiverr also has a diverse amount of work you can do on their platform. Because of this a lot of clients are attracted to hire from their site.
It is great for freelancers who can offer package services, allowing them to set up gigs and attract clients.
Fiverr always takes a 20% commission from each sale but it allows upsells so you can offer to add on services and earn more.
Freelancer is a global platform that connects freelancers with clients from different places in the world.
Operates on a bidding system, this allows freelancers to bid on projects they are interested in and have some chance of being hired.
Due to the system, each project can warrant competition, especially for popular freelance job categories such as for a web designer or a freelance writer.
The best platform will depend on your skillset and the audience and potential clients you want to attract. Also, as you build more credibility and take on more projects, the easier it is for freelance clients to discover and trust you.
STEP 5: Offer Free Services to Trusted Contacts
Starting your freelancing business can be a difficult journey, especially in the early stages when you can’t seem to find clients.
This is because most freelance clients hire experienced freelancers instead of beginners no matter how cheap their price is. This is why it is important to build experience yourself.
The best way to do this is to offer free services to your connections. Maybe some of your other professional colleagues need a website, or a family member has a blog and you can offer to write some articles. When starting, try to help someone for free and you will be rewarded for it.
As you grow and work on new projects, you will be able to showcase more on freelance sites, making you one of the top candidates for clients to hire.
So, just remember that the hardest part when it comes to looking for clients is always at the beginning, it will get easier from there as you become an experienced freelancer yourself.
STEP 6: Set Competitive Pricing
Setting the right price for your services is important.
You can’t set the price too high because then no one will hire you, and if they do they might expect a lot more than you can handle. On the other hand, if your price is too low it might not be enough to pay your bills and compensate for your time and effort.
Here are a few guides to follow when setting up the price:
Research the Market: Look at what your competitor’s pricing is.
Factor in Your Experience Level: Higher experience allows you to charge more.
Consider Your Expenses: Factor in the initial expenses you need to do your freelance work.
Re-evaluate Periodically: Regularly assess your pricing based on the supply and demand of the market.
Remember, your pricing is not just a reflection of your skills, it can also display your value to the market. So, always be confident in your pricing and make sure to communicate properly about the value you offer.
STEP 7: Leverage Personal Connections for More Projects
Personal connections can be your goldmine if you have the right people by your side. If not, you can still use other platforms to find and develop these connections.
Because they are the best promoter of your services, through word of mouth you can spread information about what you are offering, find more clients, and even hit the jackpot with high-paying projects or long-term contracts.
To leverage your connection, you have to know how to properly reach out. You can do this personally or through a platform such as LinkedIn or Email.
You can also attend networking services to meet potential clients and other freelancers. Social media channels can also provide some leads on who to connect with to find more projects.
Remember, the goal of this step is to get your foot in the door. Once you develop more projects, you can then begin targeting even higher-scale freelance jobs and clients.
STEP 8: Gather Client Testimonials
Feedback is the backbone of the freelancing world. After every freelance gig, it is important to ask for a testimonial about how good you did your job. Of course, it should be an honest and genuine review and not a made-up one.
These testimonials can act as an indirect form of customer service. This is because customer service representatives usually handle the concerns of current clients, but testimonials are for future customers who are second-guessing whether to hire you or not.
Always, ensure that you first ask for permission to display the testimonials you gathered before displaying them in your website portfolio or on the freelancing platforms.
STEP 9: Find more High-Profile Clients
The next step after you work on several projects to completion and have gathered a considerable amount of testimonials is to find high-profile clients.
This step will boost your income through the roof. The difference between high-earning freelancers and those who are not is not the number of their clients but the quality of the projects they were hired to do.
There are simple steps to find high-profile clients. The first is to reach out on LinkedIn since most CEOs and top executives of companies will be present here.
Referrals from previous clients can also be utilized to find more high-profile clients that can pay you the most. That is why it is important to do each job to the best of your abilities. You never know what opportunities each project can bring you.
STEP 10: Maintain a Structured Freelance Routine
A successful freelance career isn’t just about landing your high-profile clients. It is also about keeping them.
Maintaining a structured freelance routine is important to manage your time properly. Remember, this time you are your own boss, and you work according to the time you set for yourself.
Make sure that you find the time to work in your golden hour. You don’t need to work 8 hours every day, you just need to find the most productive time in the day when you can bring out your best self.
It is also important to keep in mind that burnout can happen and it is best to go easy on yourself when it does. You can only progress as much as your body can handle so take the time and enjoy your freelancing journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you do freelancing with no experience?
Yes, every pro and successful individual starts somewhere. By identifying your strengths, creating sample works, building a portfolio, and offering free services, you can gain experience and credibility as a freelancer.
What is the easiest freelance job to get?
Content writing and social media management are often considered the easiest freelance job to get. But of course, every individual will have their strengths and weaknesses that will factor in which freelance job is easy to get and which ones are not.
Which skill is best for freelancing?
The best skills for freelancing are content creation, freelance writing, web development, digital marketing, and graphic design. It is best to choose based on your strengths and market demands.
What is the negative side of freelancing?
The negative side of freelancing is the unpredictability of income, lack of job security, potential isolation, and the responsibilities of managing all aspects of your business including taxes and legal requirements.
What makes most beginner freelancers fail?
Most beginner freelancers fail because of overpricing their services in the beginning, not managing their time effectively, and failing to learn continuously and adapt to market demands.
Following these 10 steps on how to start freelancing with no experience seems incredibly challenging at first. However, once you get serious about what you want, you can easily accomplish all of it.
Sometimes, taking the first step is the hardest. But, you can never go to your destination without taking it.
It is best to just start and be confident that you can overcome whatever problems that come your way.
I hope this guide helps you in starting your own freelancing business even with no experience. Good Luck!
As a professional web and software developer, the author possesses a strong foundational background in Computer Science. This equips him with both academic rigor and practical insights into the world of web-based entrepreneurship. As the founder of this platform, webpreneurships.com, he stands at the intersection of technology and business.