With over 10 million people in India alone, opting to let go of traditional careers and start a freelance business that provides more flexibility to the lifestyle they love, there is an unprecedented shift in the pattern of companies functioning in the world. Hiring freelancers has become more attractive in 2020 which creates an incredible opportunity for people with useful skills to start a freelancing journey on the side and eventually grow that into a sustainable career.
According to the Randstad Workmonitor survey, 83 percent of the Indian workforce would like to be an entrepreneur. Well, choosing to start a freelance journey is the most feasible, realistic, and attainable side business one can start keeping their day job. There comes a sort of financial security with the day job one does and that is so definite. So, before giving it up and opting for a wholesome freelance journey, one has to make sure that they are earning a handsome amount of income by freelancing which could be relied on.
Freelancing is one of the active ways to earn money online where you offer a service to the client based on the skill you have and get paid in exchange. When I say active, it means you will have to strictly work to get paid in return. If you are dedicated and can put constant efforts, freelancing can be a great way to generate money out of your skills or hobbies, or niche for your interest. later on, once you have a good client base, you can turn freelancing into your self- owned business by hiring a team under you and start earning passive income.
All it requires is a career dream, one good skill, one trustworthy client, some extra hours initially to put in to get started with a freelance journey which can be a milestone for a great business ahead.
Make no mistakes and read the road-map below to understand how to start with the freelance journey, earn more, and finally turn it into a business generating passive income.
1. Define your goals:
There is always a saying “Without a clear goal in mind, you lead no-where.” You need to have a long-term vision of what freelancing is going to fetch you. Is freelancing only to earn an extra income besides your day job or you want to turn it into a full-time career taking the benefit of being your boss. Once you know your goal, it will help you put your priceless time and efforts in the right direction.
2. Find your interest and profitable niche:
After setting a definable goal, all you need is a service that you can provide to the client in exchange for money. The freelancing marketplace has a lot of services provided by experts such as designing, content marketing, voiceovers, tech services, legal, etc. one has to contemplate over once own area of interest. That can be your hobby, passion, or professional expertise. Remember, your interest to carry the work for a long time falling in your niche is very important to sustain in this profession. After understanding your niche, what matters is having a great market in that area which can help you monetize your interests. Only when there is work in the area of our interest, we can serve our purpose to earn. This can be checked by small research on several freelancing sites like Ekprice or professional mediums like LinkedIn etc.
3. Become an expert in your skill:
No matter how different your interest is, there is always a pool of competition among the freelancers in the outside world. And there is always someone who is doing a job better than us at lower rates. Meaning we all are replaceable. What makes you valuable is the uniqueness with which you carry your work. Once you know where your interest lies, take time to practice to become a field expert. Before welcoming any client and not providing quality service its good to become an expert in your niche.
How to expertise in your skills? Let’s take an example. Say your interest lies in writing and you realize that writing can be monetized. You can’t become a successful freelancer overnight thinking you can get clients just by showcasing your service. Usually, a lot of beginners do this mistake and keep pitching themselves without prior work but let me tell you clients sitting out there are experts in understanding the level of your expertise. They have the best options open to choose you. Only your invaluable work is going to keep you sustain in freelancing. Coming back to writing, one can start blogging and take up some topics of your interest and write for the same. Or can publish their work or opt for small unpaid projects of certain NGO’s or other firms. This will not only boost your confidence but will get to know what it takes in a particular field to be an expert and overall in’s and out’s of the domain.
Great prior experience in your skill will also help you build a portfolio which is a must to showcase in front of the client for them to trust that you are the right candidate for them to offer their projects.
4. Strategize your work:
This is one small step before reaching your first client. Make sure you know what is the result you are going to provide to the client which will help you better communicate with your client and thus it will be clear on both sides of how the entire process will run.
For example: Saying “I will provide an article of 500 words in 2 days in the form of doc.” Is far better and organized than “I will provide my writing service.”
5. Set a strategic price for the service you offer:
It’s always hard to decide the right price for your service due to a lot of competition. As the client always negotiates on price and if not you there is always someone else to accomplish the work. I believe it’s not about competing over the prices but providing quality work. In the start to get into the market, one can search for experts providing similar services and price their service similar to them may be a bit lower, but once you have built a reputable client base by providing quality work than keeping the price as per your need will never harm you much. It’s worth it if the prices are kept compatible with the market prices as too low pricing can under-rate your work and too high on the other way round.
6. Now you are all set to reach your first target client:
Reaching to the first RIGHT client is a motivation in itself and a great start as well as GO-GO! One way to reach your first client is by freelancing on websites like ekprice.com or Upwork or having your marketplace where you keep an engaging audience who might turn into your potential clients. But knowing with what kind of clients you want to work and keeping your area restricted will help you over the long run and keep you out of fraud cases. Not all clients are trustworthy and the good news is once you reach the first right client, you will by yourself be able to negotiate further who is the next right person for you to work with. After all, these are the clients who are going to refer you for your great deliverables and the momentum will pick up.
7. Learn how to pitch yourself:
Just like knowledge is of no use unless one doesn’t know how to represent it, your expertise in a certain skill is of no use unless you don’t know how to market yourself and put in someone’s shoe. Pitching yourself is the first impression you have upon the client. let the client know how important is their work to you and why you are the right choice for them to choose. Showcase your portfolio here. Research about the client before reaching them. Try to exactly catch with their thinking and you have it all. Be a better communicator.
8. Build a reputation:
Having a good reputation is important in the professional world so in freelancing business. This can be built by providing satisfying work to your client on time. Maintaining good behavior. Having a strong network is important for which you need to channelize yourself on certain mediums. Sound like a professional every time you put forward yourself. Having a great client review and showcasing it will help you get more clients and long-term projects. If you have a good repo no need to ask for referrals, you will automatically be referred.
Further, it’s important to organize your work schedule once you have built a good client base. Maintain a time table of your work and earnings.
Every client is important no matter how small the work is. Never underweight any client on basis of small projects or new once.
Soft power always plays a vital role in building a strong connection. Be unique in the way you serve your client and always believe in providing extra and make them feel that they are important.
Once you have a great network, the work is done. Now you can look for a long-term stable project to transform your freelancing business into a full-time job. Later when you realize it’s the time to generate passive income you can build a team of professionals and start leading it by getting gigs and work done hand in hand. This requires tremendous focus and constant effort.