Freelancing as a career path has become extremely popular with the evolution of technology and as remote work becomes more standardized. In fact, American freelancers contributed approximately $1.35 trillion in annual earnings to the US economy, an increase of $50 billion compared to 2021.
That being said, it may be difficult to get started, especially without experience. In this article, we will look at how to become a freelancer with no experience, the steps to take to start, and how to gain experience.
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How to Become a Freelancer with No Experience
In order to become a freelancer with no experience, you need to view it as if you are starting your own business – which you are. Below are the steps that you need to follow to gain experience and begin your freelancing journey.
✅ Step One: Identify Your Skill Set
According to a recent survey by Upwork, it was found that 72% of freelancers reported leveraging their existing skills to secure freelance work. This highlights the significance of recognizing and capitalizing on one’s current abilities when venturing into the freelance industry.
If you aren’t sure what freelance work you want to do, or if you aren’t sure which skills you need to acquire, you can start by taking a look at your current skill set. Write down the hard and soft skills that you already possess, and identify how these skills could help you on your freelance journey.
⬜ Step Two: Choose a Niche
Consider your passions and your current skill set, and decide which freelance niche you would best fit into. If you have graphic design skills and you have a passion for branding, you may make a good logo designer. If you have fast typing skills and you like to write, you could try to become a transcriber.
⬜ Step Three: Create a Starter Portfolio
Just because you don’t have experience in your chosen field doesn’t mean you can’t create some. Build a portfolio on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, etc., and take time to create content showcasing your talents to future clients. For example, if you want to become a freelance product photographer, you take product shots, edit them and upload them to your portfolio platforms and business website.
⬜ Step Four: Build Your Online Presence
A recent study conducted by Statista reveals that as of 2021, there were approximately 774 million registered LinkedIn users worldwide. Moreover, LinkedIn’s revenue for the second quarter of 2021 reached $1.46 billion, indicating its significance as a networking tool.
Platforms like LinkedIn can be great for networking and finding clients. Create a profile and start connecting with people in your industry. Next, you can create profiles on freelance job board platforms such as Upwork and link to your portfolio and any other relevant information.
If you’d like to go a step further, you can even build a website for your services. Be active on these platforms, regularly optimize and update your information, and prepare to connect with others in your industry.
⬜ Step Five: Do a Short Learning Course
There are plenty of affordable or free courses out there that can help you to improve your skills. Our Freelance Foundations course is completely free of charge, with zero distracting ads. In our course, we aim to give any aspiring freelancer or independent contractor the necessary tools to start their freelancing journey and succeed at being their own boss, as well as providing additional resources to help you along the way.
⬜ Step Six: Set Your Rates
Before you start taking on projects, you need to decide on your rates. There are several different pricing models available to choose from, and you can find plenty of information to help you set your rates online.
Websites such as Glassdoor provide valuable insights into the average earnings of professionals within your industry. Exploring these platforms can offer a benchmark for understanding the prevailing rates. However, it’s important to remember that your own unique circumstances, needs, and goals should also factor into the equation when deciding how much to charge.
⬜ Step Seven: Find Your First Clients
Finding your first client may seem daunting, but a variety of tried-and-tested methods can make it a whole lot easier. Networking with others in your field can be highly beneficial to build useful professional relationships and can get you in contact with potential clients. Cold calling is one of the oldest and most effective methods for lead generation and can be the catalyst for finding your first freelance project.
⬜ Step Eight: Gain Experience
Once you have worked on your first few projects, you should have a better idea of how you work and what methods are most effective for gaining and working with clients. You may also have identified where your skill set is lacking and what you can do to improve your business. Based on your findings, you can gain the necessary skills and experience to improve your strategies and exceed client expectations.
Becoming a freelancer with no experience may seem like a daunting task, but with determination and strategic steps, it is entirely achievable. By following the steps outlined above, you can start your freelancing journey and build a successful career.
Remember that freelancing is a continuous learning process, so stay persistent, improve your skills, and constantly adapt to the evolving market. You can achieve your goals and become a successful freelancer with dedication and hard work. Embrace the opportunities that the evolving world of freelancing offers, and take the first step towards becoming your own boss.