Deciding to pursue a freelancing career may not exactly be like a walk in the park. True that it has its perks but before you can enjoy those, you will have to go through some rough spots before you can actually make a name and stand out in the overwhelming number of freelancers.
Coveting a spot in the freelancing world will not be easy especially if you are an amateur who lacks experience. Think of the competition you will be facing when you start looking for freelance jobs. It’s no secret that most clients would prefer to hire those who have a solid portfolio and a considerable amount of experience as opposed to newbies.
So, how exactly can you get that first job and how can you start a freelancing career if you can’t find a client? The answer is really simple. You just need to know the basics. In other words, you have to learn the tricks of the trade before you can expect to find solid ground. As a budding freelancer, you have to begin with the important first steps.
If you like this article, you might be interested in some of our other articles on Steps To Freelancing, Freelancing – A Boon Or A Bane, Micro Bloggs For Free Lancers and The Tradeoffs of a Freelancing Career.
Gauge Your Skills
The first thing you need to do is to gauge your skills. You have to develop your self-esteem and believe that you can compete with other freelancers. It’s important for you possess the skills that would increase your value when you market yourself in the world of freelancing.
In gauging your skills, you need to determine your weak and strong points. You can do this by gathering a handful of your previous works; see where you had a hard time and which ones were easily done.
Improve and Develop Your Skills
Once you have gauged your skills, focus on marketing your strong points and work on the improvement of your weaknesses. You need to hone your skills to increase your market value. Keep in mind that employers prefer independent contractors who are skilled in a particular line of work such as writing, designing, translating, transcribing and programming. The main reason why they hire freelancers is to get things done and that is why you need to polish your skills.
Build a Killer Portfolio
What most freelancers don’t realize is the importance of a portfolio in their line of work. In fact, many independent contractors fail to keep their portfolios fresh and updated. They don’t realize that this simple thing could make or break their freelance careers.
Portfolios are used to promote and market your services and skills. These are used as a reference to your work. Prospect clients check and refer to your portfolio prior to actually considering hiring you.
It gives the client an idea on the quality of your work, that’s why it’s crucial to create a well-polished portfolio that will impress your prospective employers.
Market Yourself and Your Skills
This is where you start looking for prospective clients. It’s best to make use of social media to your advantage. Create a profile that deserves a second glance. Market yourself by displaying your killer portfolio and contact details. Make sure that you will be reached easily through email, in case someone is interested in your works and would want to hire you.
Be creative in marketing yourself. Bear in mind that the competition is tough in the freelancing world. This will motivate you into giving it your best shot.
You can join sites where freelancers are welcome to apply to contractual jobs and projects. A lot of employers post their job ads on these sites so you’ll surely find a prospective client there.
Be Ready for an Interview and a Test Job
You have got to be optimistic and hope that you could find a decent job after you have applied on various job ads you happened to stumble upon. You also need to be ready anytime the employer or the prospect client sets up an interview. Be ready to market yourself.
Being shy won’t help so make sure to summon all your self-confidence before the interview begins. Try to answer the questions confidently without being too cocky.
You will probably be asked to take on a test job. This can be the beginning of your life long freelancing career so it’s best to ace it. Give your hundred percent and don’t miss the deadline. Double check for any missed errors before submitting your work to ensure that you did well.
Take On Your First Freelancing Job
Once you have passed the interview and the test job, you can look forward to getting hired. This is the stage where you take on your first freelancing job. Make sure that you are consistent with the quality of your work if you intend to work on a long-term basis with your client.
You cannot just offer your best works for the first two weeks or so and start slacking on the succeeding days. If you do that, prepare to get fired because no employer would want to waste their money on lazy freelancers.
Consistency is the key to a life-long freelancing career. You need to be professional at all times and by that I mean you need to follow strict deadlines and work hard to maintain the quality of your work.
If you are in the middle of something important, do contact your client and give him a heads up. Be honest in dealing with your employers, especially when it comes to missing your deadlines.
The First Steps Are Always the Most Important
Looking for a freelancing job can be tough but once you have familiarized yourself with the important first steps, it will be bearable.
You need to be patient, motivated and determined because you can’t just find a prospective client over night especially if it is your first time to hunt for freelance jobs.
Establish a Solid Foundation and Be Consistent
What’s important in the field of freelancing is to establish a solid ground. You can start off with your profile and portfolio. Make sure that you highlight certain qualities and skills that will attract prospective clients.
Once you get your first freelancing job, everything else will follow. You just need to get the hang of it. Getting used to this kind of job will open more doors of opportunities for you and that means more possible income.
Remember, the more work you take on, the more compensation you will receive. Aim for more but don’t over work yourself as this can lead to burnout. Just accept the jobs that you can handle and be sure to stick to the deadlines without compromising the quality of your work.