6 Tips To Start Your Own Freelance Business

By Zack | Entrepreneurship

Jul 03
How To Start A Freelance Business Without Any Experience

How To Start A Freelance Business Without Any Experience

“The only thing worse than starting something and failing… is not starting something.” —Seth Godin
Read Time: 5 mins

I’m always shocked when I wake up in the morning and don’t have to physically go to work. There’s no struggling to get both myself and the kids ready. I don’t spend my mornings fighting with my wardrobe. Most importantly, I don’t have to worry about coordinating my work schedule with my husband’s. This is possible because I’ve created my own profitable freelance business.

I can do this because I started freelance writing at the beginning of 2016.

I now make over $1,800 a month as a virtual assistant and writer.

How in the world does a stay-at-home mom and wife go from chasing around a toddler and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (I still do this, don’t worry) to creating a career tailored to fit her life?

I’m going to tell you how I did it and how you can too.

It doesn’t matter what your last job was or how long you’ve been working; there is a way to make money from the comfort of your couch.

Step 1: Create A Foundation of Work

The beginning is always the hardest. To land your first job, you’re going to have to have something to show potential clients. To get your first customers, you’ll need a portfolio.

But, since you haven’t had any clients yet, what do you do?

The first thing you need to do is to determine the type of projects your ideal client might need.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of work do you want to do?
  • What’s your niche?
  • Who do you want to hire you?
  • I knew I wanted clients to hire me to blog on lifestyle topics.

This helped me create the samples I needed to attract these types of clients.

I knew I was getting paid far less than what I should have been, BUT I was getting some great samples for my portfolio.

Do the work before you’re hired

Create samples of your work based on the type of client you want.

For example, I wrote a 500-word piece on beauty products or parenting before I started. This might mean creating a sample logo or website. Whatever you need to show clients, do it.

Keep doing this until you have a few examples to show potential clients.

Step 2: Set Your Freelance Business Goals

It’s hard to get to where you want to go if you don’t know where your destination is.

These goals can be for the week, month, or year. Whatever works for you.

I always like to set weekly, monthly, and annual goals with a clear vision of what I want long-term in my mind.

Set a goal to get at least one client in your first week or two. Then, once you have your first customer, you can take what you learned and repeat that process to get your second, third and fourth.

The important things is to set goals, even if you don’t reach them.

Step 3: Know Your Freelance Rate

If you are asking far less than you know you could be earning, neither you or your client will benefit.

You won’t make what you want and in turn, probably won’t hit your income goals, and your customer will get mediocre work because you weren’t motivated by the measly $25 they planned to pay you.

Look at the market and see what other entry level people are making.

It’s easy to think that you aren’t worth what other people are early on. Don’t discount yourself just because you don’t have much experience.

Start low and raise your rates over time as you become more comfortable.

Related: Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business? 

Step 4: Put Yourself Out There

Time to apply for some jobs!

Here are a couple of resources you can use to find freelance gigs starting out:

  • Freelancer.com
  • Upwork.com
  • Social Media
  • Door to Door Sales

Keep in mind, landing the first job is always the hardest. Whether it’s going door to door or using a popular freelance site, it’s important to build up your ability to talk about how you can help other people solve their problems.

A great way to get started is to stay active on social media and let others what you are starting.

Connect with other people in your field as well as potential clients.

I suggest focusing on 2-3 platforms to focus on for growing your business.

If you’re a photographer, Instagram will work better for you than for a writer. Facebook is a great place because of its inherent community aspect.

I can’t even begin to tell you how many awesome opportunities I’ve had from social media. Be transparent. Share what you are up to. You will be surprised at how your friends, family, and potential clients will respond.

Step 5: Be Persistent

I won’t lie to you and tell you it’s easy to get the freelance ball rolling.

I can’t tell you when you will land your first client. It could be tomorrow, or it could be a week from now.

But, the clients will come. They will pay you for your services.

Remember, every “no” gets you that much closer to a “yes.”

Keep applying for the jobs, and I promise you, your freelance business will grow.

Find referrals wherever you can. Ask friends, family, and other business owners.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and continue improving your “pitch.”

Step 6: Build Momentum

One of the best things you can do for your first few clients is to go above and beyond.

This is important because then they’ll want to hire you for more work, they’ll give you a good review (if you ask) and hopefully, they can recommend you to someone else that needs work.

I like to have clients review my work through a form on my website. Then, I post their review for future clients to see.

Related: How To Start a Blog or Website in Scratch in Under 10 Mins

I strongly suggest you do the same! It is much easier to get hired this way.

After you’ve completely wrapped up your work with your first client, growing your business means repeating the very same steps you took to land your first gig.

Honestly, it will be even easier since you have some experience now.

Rinse and repeat. Now make it happen!

Read Next: Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business? 

What business ideas do you have? Have you ever wanted to begin freelancing? Share your business ideas below and any other questions or comments. 

Bursae.Headshot 238x300 - 6 Tips To Start Your Own Freelance BusinessDanae Bursae is a personal finance blogger, freelance writer, and personal assistant.

“I wanted to be an independent woman, a woman who could pay for her bills, a woman who could run her own life – and I became that woman.” -Diane Von Furstenberg

You can read more about Diane on her website.

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About the Author

Zack and his wife started FreeUp to help share their passion for personal finance with others. He is the primary writer for FreeUp, where he discusses all things personal finance, entrepreneurship, and life. Click the icon to the left to follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

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