Starting a freelancing business can be an exciting yet challenging endeavor, especially if you’re new to the world of self-employment. However, armed with the right knowledge and a clear roadmap, you can confidently navigate the journey and set yourself up for success.
This article will guide you through 8 simple steps to help you start your freelance business. From defining your niche and setting up your workspace to finding clients, we’ll cover all the essential elements needed to get started.
Table of Contents [Show]
The Benefits of Freelancing
There is a good reason that 57% of the total US workforce is projected to be freelance by 2028.
Freelancing offers incredible benefits that traditional employment does not, and with the rise of remote work and technology, it is becoming an increasingly viable career choice. Below are just some of the benefits that freelancers can expect:
Increased Autonomy: Freelancers have increased autonomy over all of their business decisions, including which projects they take on, where they choose to work, and how they run their business.
Flexible Work Schedule: Freelancers have the flexibility to set their own schedules and choose between working full-time or part-time, allowing them to decide when and where they want to work. According to a survey by Upwork, 76% of participants report that freelancing gives them flexibility needed as a caregiver for their family, and 66% say that it gives them flexibility needed for personal, mental, or physical health needs.
Unlimited Income Potential: As a freelancer, your earnings are not limited to a fixed salary. Instead, you have the opportunity to set your own rates, negotiate contracts, explore additional income streams for feelancers, and scale your business to increase your income. Studies show that freelancers doing skilled services earn a median rate of $28 an hour, which is more than 70% of workers in the US.
Diverse Client Base: Freelancing opens doors to a diverse range of clients from around the world. This exposure allows you to collaborate with individuals and companies spanning various industries and geographic locations.
Personal and Professional Growth: As a freelancer, you become the master of your own destiny. This level of responsibility forces you to continuously develop your skills, seek new opportunities and stay ahead of industry trends.
Work-Life Balance: With the ability to set your own schedule and work from anywhere, you can prioritize self-care, spend time with loved ones, and pursue personal passions without sacrificing your career.
How to Start Your Own Freelance Business
Step 1️⃣: Define Your Goals
First and foremost, decide what you want to achieve by starting your own freelance business. Focus on your financial goals, your working hours, and how you want to run your business. You can use the SMART goal framework to help you identify the best goals for you. Without knowing what you want to achieve, you won’t be able to achieve it.
Step 2️⃣: Find a Profitable Niche
Once you’ve identified your specific goals and objectives, you can decide on your niche. There are a plethora of jobs available for freelancers to choose from, and many are extremely profitable. Ask yourself what you’re capable of, what you’re qualified to do, and what you’d be passionate about doing, and determine whether that niche aligns with your goals.
Step 3️⃣: Improve Your Skill Set
Regardless of whether or not you are qualified to work within your chosen niche, there are many aspects of freelancing that differ from traditional employment. You can take courses to learn more about running your own freelance business, as well as to improve your technical skills. Our Freelance Foundations course can provide you with all of the knowledge that you need to start your freelancing journey, from acquiring clients to project management.
Step 4️⃣: Identify Your Target Clients
Consider your ideal client; who are they, and why do they need your services? Create buyer personas to outline the types of clients that you would like to work with in order to learn where you might find them. Conduct market research to learn more about who your target audience is, and how you can best appeal to them.
Step 5️⃣: Set Strategic Prices
There are a variety of pricing strategies to choose from as a freelancer, whether it be hourly or project-based. Decide which structure best aligns with your financial needs, and do research on the industry average for an entry-level freelancer in your industry. Price your services based on your own expenses, your financial goals, the average for your position, and how your competitors price their services.
Step 6️⃣: Build a Portfolio/Website
Having an online portfolio or business website is crucial for showcasing your abilities to potential clients. Business websites can also help you to reach a wider audience online, come across as professional and trustworthy, and market yourself to potential clients. If you do not have enough experience in your field to create a portfolio, you can gain experience by offering your services free of charge for your first clients, in exchange for the right to display your work for them.
Step 7️⃣: Pitch Yourself
Learn how to market yourself to potential clients, by creating a sales pitch for your services outlining why you are the best choice for them above any of your competitors. Build connections with others in your industry by networking on platforms like LinkedIn or by attending industry-related events.
Step 8️⃣: Find Your First Clients
Once you have decided on your niche, updated your skill set, built a portfolio website and worked out all of the aspects of your business, you can start to reach out to potential clients. You can do this through cold calling, by networking with others within your industry, or by signing up to freelance job board platforms.
Speak to them and identify whether they are the right fit for your business, submit a proposal, and enjoy working with your very first clients.
Freelancing offers many benefits that make it an attractive career choice for many professionals. From increased autonomy and flexible work schedules to unlimited income potential and personal growth, freelancers have the opportunity to shape their own destiny and create a fulfilling career on their own terms.
Starting your own freelance business may seem daunting at first, but by following the eight simple steps outlined in this article, you can lay a strong foundation for your venture. From defining your goals all the way to finding your first clients, each step brings you closer to establishing a thriving freelance business.