If you want to become a freelancer, there are several key steps you need to take. While no two people are exactly the same, here are five steps that can put you on the path to success:
1. Choose Full or Part-Time
Will you quit your job and get involved with freelancing full-time? Will you stick with your current job and work part-time for the time being?
The choice is yours and you have to make this decision based on your personal and financial circumstances.
2. Choose a Niche
Will you offer freelance writing services? How about web design? Or maybe you will decide to freelance as an interior designer?
You can be a freelancer in almost every industry imaginable, you simply need to carve out your space.
Tip: don’t spread yourself too thin. Instead, focus your time and energy on one niche, as this will put you in position to grow your business as you establish yourself as an industry leader.
3. Create a Business Plan
Many new freelancers think this is a waste of time and money, but nothing could be further from the truth.
You need a comprehensive business plan that will keep you on track, both during the good and bad times.
Tip: your business plan should include a detailed section on marketing your freelance services.
4. Find Your First Client
You aren’t a freelancer until you land your first client. This is why you need to work hard from day one.
Some people find their first client after a few hours on the job. Others have to wait a bit longer, such as several weeks or months. Even if you face some challenges upfront, don’t let this deter you. The first client is the most difficult to land.
Tip: don’t be opposed to working for free to “get your name out there” and gain some experience.
5. Continue to Grow
It feels good to land your first client, but that’s just the start. You need to focus on growth, as this is the best way to take your company to the next level.
Growth means something different to every freelancer, so make sure you define this. Are you interested in growing your revenue? Your client list? Are you hoping to hire employees?
It’s important to take the right steps from the start. This does not guarantee that you will achieve great success, but it will at least put you in position to reach your goals.
In a perfect world, you would know exactly what to expect as a freelancer. You would also know how to deal with any challenge that comes your way. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. You need to be flexible enough to deal with anything that stands in your way, even if this means altering your approach.
What do you think about these steps to becoming a freelancer? Would you add any others to the list? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.