I know the feeling you get when you don’t know where to start and what to do first. It sucks! I can only imagine how potential freelancers feel. It’s overwhelming.
- Where do you start?
- What do you do for freelance income?
- How do you make some damn money?
I’ve been freelancing for over four years now. I started Studenomics in late-2008 and it didn’t take long before I was writing for others. Sometimes it’s a bit difficult to relate to someone that’s just trying to get started. This is why I wanted to have some fun and brainstorm what I would do if I were to start from scratch.
Earlier this week we looked at excuses to freelancing. This time around I’m putting myself in the shoes of someone just getting started.
What if I had to begin freelancing right now? How would I start and get off the ground?
Research possible options for how to start freelancing writing.
I would start off by looking around and questioning to see where I can make money and what I can do that others value. I would look at my skillset to see if there’s any market demand for what I can offer. I would also think of knowledge that I have that others would love to learn. Then I would see how I could make money doing this.
- What do I do that others wish they could do?
- What are my strengths?
- What could I teach others?
- What do I enjoy doing?
The trick here would be to keep this process short and sweet. It’s easy to get caught up with excuses and distractions. I would see what’s working for others and apply it to myself.
Then I would start putting samples of my work together.
Create a portfolio.
Next I would create some sort of a portfolio so that I have proof of my work. I would record myself, write articles, train friends, or do anything possible to create a portfolio with samples of my work. I would want something to show to all prospective clients. I would want proof that I know what I’m talking about and that it’s safe to pay me.
Another benefit of creating a portfolio is the fact that you can gather testimonials so that you come off as more credible. In creating samples, you’re bound to work for free and create some goodwill. Most of the folks that you work with for free or help out, would be glad to offer a testimonial or refer you to a friend.
At this point I would have my chosen freelancing job and samples of my work. The next step is to…
Network like a mad man!
“People share, read, and generally engage more with any type of content when it’s surfaced through friends & people they know and trust.” — Malorie Lucich, Facebook spokesperson
You have to spread the word about what you’re doing and why others should pay you. It’s crucial that you network with successful freelancers, potential clients, and folks that have freelanced in the past so that you make the right connections and learn more.
Keeping in touch with freelancers also allows you to bounce ideas off each other and discuss pricing. You don’t want to feel secluded as a freelancer. It helps big time to have a few friends in the field.
Find someone to pay for my freelancing services.
Once you have a portfolio and have started networking, you’re bound to find a client or two. If not, then you need to tweak something in the process.
You need to find clients that are paying for your services. If you’re working and not earning any money, then you have a hobby and NOT a business model.
Read every piece of information on freelancing.
The reason that reading/consuming is this low on the list is because doing is way more important.
Reading is great, but you need to do first. Once you start working and making money, then you can begin to consume every piece of possible information so that you can improve how you work. You can read all of the marketing books, motivational blog posts, and tweets that you can find. This is information that that you pick up once you’re already making money. Don’t keep on reading and stalling instead of freelancing.
Master my craft.
Through finding clients and reading every piece of information on freelancing, I would hope that I’m mastering my craft. If I had to start freelancing today, I would be eager to become the best at what I do at this point.
For example, if you want to be a personal trainer, you should be working on your own training to ensure that you’re on top of your fitness goals. It’s helpful in your freelancing career if you can personally become the best at what you do.
Stack that paper!
You got to keep on working and making money. Once you have money coming in, you can spend it on paying off your debt, on trips, put it away into your savings or reinvest into yourself so that you can become better at what you do.
That’s what I would do if I had to start freelancing from scratch today.
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.” — Walt Disney