Freelancing is one of the legitimate ways to make money online. People from all over the world search for freelance jobs, complete them, and get paid all online, working at home in front of their computers. Anyone with any skills such as writing, graphic design, audio and video editing, programming, web development, data entry, etc. has the opportunity to start making money online and turn freelancing his or her full-time or part-time job.
If you have the necessary skills, knowledge, and experience, you could be making a living working on freelance jobs online. Having skills and training in demand is the first step if you want to be a successful online freelancer, but success does not come easy, just like in any other area or business.
It takes time to establish your reputation and become a successful freelancer. Finding freelance jobs online is relatively easy but how successful you will become as an online freelance depends on many things, most of all how good are you in what you are doing but also there is the challenge of finding new clients and keeping existing ones coming back. Here are a few tips to get you started on the path of successful online freelancing if you are a newbie
1. Focus on what you can do best
There are so many areas that online freelancers work in today it really makes it easy to get started for anyone with any skill that is in demand. And there is the first step you must take to become a successful online freelancer. You must choose what you want to work in and what niche you should specialize in. It comes down to choosing to work something that you love to do and something you are good at and have experience in.
You can be a writer, a graphic designer, video editor, a programmer, a teacher, or something else depending on your skills experience, and preferably formal education and certifications. You should also consider focusing on a single niche within your line of work. For instance, if you are a writer then focus on an area you are familiar with whatever that may be like technology, finance, fashion, etc. Remember, it is important to deliver quality work, that is the reason why someone will hire you, so stick with what you know and what you are good at.
2. Set your prices lower than the competition.
Everyone when starting with their online freelancing jobs search wants to find jobs that will pay the most. If you are a beginner you should face the reality that there are many others like you biding on the same project. To set your price realistically you should check and see what other freelancers far charging and go from there. Even more, try to offer lower prices for your services to your potential clients. Overtime when you have to build up your portfolio and establish your reputation then you can a premium price for your services.
3. Create a blog/website
You probably wonder why would you need a blog in the first place if you are going freelance. There are good reasons why. First of all, having your own blog or website will make you look more professional in the eyes of your potential clients. Blogs and websites are indexed by search engines and that will result in being displayed in the search results. Every time a potential client uses Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu or any other search engine for services that you can provide your website will be displayed and with a click of a button, new clients will find you. You can also publish your resume, your portfolio, and contact information to make it easier to contact you.
4. Use social media
Another important channel useful for finding clients and building and developing your business is through social media. Millions and millions of people have their profiles on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and others. Many of these profiles belong to potential employers and you can use social media platforms to connect with them. You should join groups dedicated to your niche, follow profiles that publish posts related to your area of expertise, and you can use your profile to list the services you offer.
5. Follow up with your customers
Once you begin working on a project you should regularly inform your clients about the progress being made, but also if any changes and delays in the delivery time are necessary. It is a good business practice to follow up with your customer after the job was done and delivered. A simple email asking them were they satisfied with the quality and the time it took you to complete is the least you should do.
This follow-up shows customers their needs are cared for and that you take your obligations seriously. You should also mention that if they ever need more services from you they should not hesitate to contact you and that you stand ready to get started with any project they might have in the future.
When you get hired you have a limited time to deliver what was required by your client and any delay or work that does not meet clients’ requirements will result in clients that will not be satisfied and possibly client lost to another fellow freelancer offering the same services that you do. You can build trust and a good reputation only by delivering what you promise n the first place.
However, the best way to build your freelancing reputation is to over-deliver on your promises. You should in other words talk less and work more. Always strive to deliver very high-quality work and be well ahead of the deadline. That is the best way to have your clients consider you reliable and come back to you when they have another project that needs to be done.
7. Learn new skills
Freelancing online is a legitimate money-making opportunity. The number of freelancers is in the millions and more and more new freelancers join the online freelancing jobs market. Because of this, the competition is growing as each day passes by and in order to stay competitive, you must learn new skills to stay relevant and have new projects and opportunities available to you. For example, if you are a writer you can later also expand on proofreading and editing jobs You can learn new things by reading books or by online courses like Udemy, edX, SkillShare, Udacity, Coursera, Khan Academy, and others.
8. Join as many freelance jobs website as you can
There are many freelance job marketplaces or websites in existence today. Some of the best known are Fiverr, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, Freelancer, and others. You can find potential clients and jobs on any one of these but it is best if you join as many freelancing jobs websites as possible. Take time to create your profile, portfolio and showcase your skills on all of them and make sure to check for jobs posting frequently on all of them. If there are no jobs that interest you on one of these websites the there might be something available on another.
9. Learn how to outsource
Freelancing involves many activities not just the actual work on the projects you are hired to complete. There are also other things like finding new clients, bookkeeping, invoicing and others in addition to the actual core work that you do. To do all this by yourself takes away valuable time you can use to do actual work that pays. Because of this, it is very useful to know how to outsource the extra non-core work to other professionals. By outsourcing work, you can grow your business, increase your earnings, and have more free time to enjoy life, which is the reason why people start working on freelance jobs in the first place.
10. Ask your clients for recommendations, testimonials, and positive reviews
One of the best and proven ways to find new clients is by recommendation from your past clients. If you create your profile on your website and on freelance jobs platforms and describe your skills and experience is a good starting point but when new clients look who to hire one of the things they look at is the average grade, reviews, and testimonials from previous clients. If you have excellent reviews then your chances of getting hired are greatly increased. After you complete a project and your client is very satisfied with your work don’t be shy to ask for a positive review and testimonial.
Freelancing to many people seems like a dream job because they can make a living working at home using only their laptops. Having the necessary skills, talent, experience, and ability to deliver high-quality work is most important but for success, there are also other things mentioned in this post. This is especially true for newbie online freelancers who are just starting out.
One thing I disagree with is setting low prices. It will be hard to scale later in a year or so. I wish I had started with higher pricing for my services. I raised them slightly but not enough to offset the time involved.