Several people around the world are making a living out of freelancing these days. Apart from the fact that freelancing pays, you also get to be your boss by setting your working hours or deciding when to be on leave. You do not need to jump out of bed every morning to hit the road en route to an office. You can do your jobs from anywhere. Starting your own freelance business can seem overwhelming but all of the hard work will be worth it in the end. Let us have a look at some tips on how to launch yours online.
Choose a Niche
Choosing a category to freelance in is very important because you will need to put in your best efforts in jobs you would be doing for clients. It would be easier to put in your best when handling a particular job if you have some knowledge or education concerning it. Many aspiring freelancers get this aspect wrong because they want to fit into the category that brings in the most money when they do not have knowledge in that field. Imagine someone who reads law starting a freelance business to offer website-building services when he or she doesn’t have any prior knowledge about it. Talk of a square peg in a round hole, this is a perfect example.
Some of the options of categories to choose from are:
- Article writing and content writing
- Translational services
- Graphic design
- Virtual assisting
- Social media marketing
- Online marketing
- Data entry and spreadsheet operations
- Book-keeping and accounting
- Search Engine Optimization
These and so many others are available. You would be crumbling your freelance business in no time if you go for a category you can’t handle. This is because your clients will never be happy with your work and if you keep getting negative reviews, you are folding up gradually.
The most crucial thing in freelancing is the feeling of pleasure from the process and the result. Most often, the impact is understood as profit and the implementation of any project. If you analyze the experience of all successful freelancers, it turns out that most of them love their work. Their business is their personal life. Therefore, the main criterion you need to evaluate the choice of a niche is the pleasure of what you do. And if in freelancing you do not like what you do, urgently change your niche. Because the emotional component of the whole process, starting from starting a project from scratch and ending with its scaling and reaching a new level, ultimately turns out to be the most important.
Get the tools
Whether you are going into web creation, UI/ UX designs, or even tutoring, you will need to have the necessary tools that would enable you to move your career forward. These tools would allow you to deliver your jobs on time and with efficiency. All freelance jobs require their sets of tools. If you hope to stand out as a professional and dominate the market for your chosen niche, you would have to pay for licences of these tools. It is better this way so that you don’t run into a limitation of resources that will cause delays with your job submissions.
As an online worker, you would need some software and computer systems. A comfortable home office isn’t out of the question either. All these should be complemented with a regular internet service. If you are going into the article writing niche, you should know that clients love original, error-free content. How do you ensure these? You can pay subscription fees for Copyscape and Grammarly. Copyscape tells you if your article is original while Grammarly helps you take care of any grammatical errors.
Freelancers use their own set of tools in their workflow. General recommendations can be as follows:
- I use Todoist. This service has “karma.” It increases as you complete tasks that add sports interest, and it’s just lovely to see the completed task being crossed out on the smartphone screen. Alternative services are Any.do with a friendly interface and Things, but it is only for iOS and Mac OS users.
- If you don’t have Dropbox yet, then I suggest you get one. I have not yet met people who would be dissatisfied with the work of this beautiful service. It allows you to store your files in the cloud. And this is very convenient! After all, thanks to this, you have access to your files anywhere in the world.
- Records need to be kept somewhere. Details of the order, your thoughts on the project, notes, etc. Previously, this could be done with notebooks. But today, in the era of computers and smartphones, it is better to do it digitally. You no longer need to get your hands dirty with ink.
- Online office.Google Docs can be a convenient tool for a freelancer. It is an almost fully functional office that is available online. If you need to make an online presentation of the result of your work, then Google Docs is just for you.
Put yourself out there
Once you have known which categories to go for and have equipped yourself with the right tools, what is next on the list is publicizing your business. No matter how ready you are, if people who are seeking freelancers can’t find you, then the aim of starting your business is getting defeated. It is worse even if you already subscribed to some of your tools for a month, time would already be ticking against you. To get yourself noticed, you will need to have an online presence.
You can create a website and use the help of SEO Consultants to attract traffic to your site using keywords related to your chosen niche. Apart from creating a website, you could start a blog or be active on one of the social media platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter. Once you have achieved creating a strong online presence, make sure to advertise your business very well. You can employ a good digital marketing professional to help you with that.
Never skimp on advertising. Always have a specific monthly budget for advertising. Don’t skimp on advertising. Advertising investment tends to be the fastest payback.
Set a reasonable schedule for yourself
If you can market your freelance business very well, you would start getting clients. Now, this is the critical part. You need to understand that first impressions matter most. On your website or wherever your clients meet you regularly, you have to set an availability status. If you are not available because you are busy with a job, you have to let people know on your page.
Make sure to know the timeline for each job you get. It is needless to say that you should never deliver jobs after timelines. When you submit your jobs on time, you get positive reviews and this will draw new and bigger clients to you. You can achieve delivering jobs on time by setting a reasonable schedule for yourself. It must be such that you get to have resting periods and don’t have to lose hours of sleep at night. You will need to be healthy to keep meeting targets and that is the importance of planning your schedule.
Free employment is a friendly and flexible work format that allows many to combine profitable orders and personal projects. However, sometimes freelancing starts to take up all your free time – you stop distinguishing between weekdays and weekends and make edits around the clock or complete urgent tasks. You can hold out at this pace for a while, but very soon, you will begin to feel tired, decreased productivity, soreness, and apathy – the first symptoms of burnout. Learn to avoid them. Choose projects carefully and wisely. Ask yourself more often: “Do I have the resources for one more task? Am I ready mentally and physically to work even harder? Also, communicate more. Do not isolate yourself from your friends, relatives, and acquaintances. Social interactions will help you relax and forget about all projects for a while. Finally, control your spending. Freelancing is often associated with financial instability as it depends on the number of projects. Think about services and apps that you no longer use but still pay for a subscription. Cook more at home and spend less on shipping.
Try to reach the global community
Some people launch their freelance businesses only to serve a local community. Imagine having very good coding or programming skills and you serve only clients in your country because you don’t want to be faced with a language barrier. Well, you may be losing a lot of money if you don’t get to meet different clients and know how much they pay in return for services. To be more successful, you need to be open to working with foreign clients. Some online platforms can help with translational services if your client’s first language is different from yours. InterpretCloud is one such platform where you can learn more about video remote interpretation. With InterpretCloud, you can have meetings with your foreign clients no matter the differences in language. Some foreign clients may even be willing to pay more money than your local clients. You may never know unless you find out.
Freelancing is a fantastic way to get an online business going. Once you are able to secure an initial client base with your skills, the possibilities are endless. A lot of money comes with it too. Many people have transformed their freelancing businesses into big agencies and companies of professional repute. Determination, focus, excellence, and consistency are the keywords to attain the status of a successful freelancer. It will take time and there will be ups and downs, good clients and difficult ones. The thought of being your own boss supersedes all the setbacks. So, what are you waiting for? Get started on your own freelance business today.