Just like working in an office, choosing to be a freelancer has its own pros and cons. It is very clear that you will have a higher level of freedom and discretion in determining when to work and when to do other things that are important in your lives. You can choose to pursue your hobby or to spend more time with your family or children but at the same time getting a steady income. However, starting out as a freelancer is not as easy as it seems. A freelancing career requires being great at applying the right strategies for success. Different strategies may work for someone but may not work for others. For that reason, here are some general tips to guide you to budget your first investments as a newbie freelancer:
Present All Your Skills And Passions
If you are inexperienced in the freelancing world, finding new clients and getting your name out to the public can be challenging. On that account, it is important for you to list down things that you like to do and things that you are actually good at before doing anything else. This will help you in finding the market and clients for what you can do. If you have absolutely zero idea on where to start, start by listing down the type of work that you like to do the most. If you still cannot decipher what kind of work that you would like to do, determine which kind of business that you would like to work at.
After your target market has been defined, you should set goals and deadlines to do things that are required to find new clients. This includes submitting bids for different projects if you enroll yourself in one of the freelancing platforms available online as well as actually reaching out different businesses which can use your service if you decide to freelance offline. Find out which person is more likely to be able to make the decision to give you job offers. In a small company or business this usually would be the owner. In a larger company setting, it will usually be the director. Be optimistic throughout the whole process; do not be let down if you have not received any response or job offers.
Be mindful that you should also be able to prove a solid work quality when you present your skills to potential employers. This requires you to be equipped with sample work, case studies or even a demo of what your work actually looks like. A potential employer should have a clear idea of what to expect. In some cases it is also useful for you to provide them with your detailed resume or curriculum vitae if you happen to have a certification for your skills. It is all about proving how great your skills really are.
Start With Projects That Are Free
When you apply for various online freelancing platforms available on the internet, you may realize that some projects require a certain qualification to be fulfilled and fulfilling those qualifications may not be free. If you are completely new to the business, it is advised that you only choose with projects which are free to avoid useless overspending in the beginning. Some writing jobs may require you to complete the basic United States or United Kingdom English test, where more complicated jobs require you to pass some mathematical and statistics tests. Starting out in the freelancing world is tough, and it is better for you to be really sure that you will make money worthy of your spending instead of just spending on lots and lots of qualifications without actually getting a job in the future.
In addition, the suggestion to start with projects that are free is also applicable if you choose to freelance offline. Some employers require you to have a certain certification or to have undergone some official training in order for you to be hired at their place. If you are not really sure that this job will definitely be given to you, you may consider not to follow their order and search for other work alternatives. If working as a freelance graphic designer at a big company requires you to have a degree in graphic design, it may be best for you to offer your service to smaller businesses when you have not fulfilled such criteria. Remember that certification is not the only way to achieve success.
Complete Useful Tests Or Trainings
When you have already obtained several jobs in your hand, you may feel the need to develop into something more sophisticated which pays a higher salary compared to the work niche that you currently have already settled into. This is where you may want to spend a portion of your money for taking various tests, trainings or certifications which you know can help boost your job portfolio as well as your employability. If you are freelancing in the creative or writing industry, certifications may not be that essential and you can continue building your name without having to purchase for one. However, obtaining relevant certification is definitely an option for freelancers who work in the IT field which includes programming, web developing and graphic designing jobs.
Completing various skills tests is also beneficial if you are freelancing through the online freelancing platforms. After you have completed the relevant tests, you will be able to unlock more and more projects with higher level of difficulty and complication which in turn may bring in a higher salary. The available skills tests aim to certify your skills as a potential employee to your potential employers. You will be distinguished from other uncertified applicants and as a result you will have a higher possibility of winning project bids.
Most of the time, certifications are not required by your potential clients. Nevertheless, companies and businesses will prefer to work with certified professionals since it will bring evidently higher qualification, skill and reliability to the table. Even when the employers do not require any certification, you are more likely to be hired if you are certified. Certification makes you stand out better than other candidates while at the same time it presents you as a more expert professional. Some companies even require a degree for certain job positions. However, you should not instantly think that you need a college degree in order to get a higher paying job. There are various specialized training short courses which you can be part of in order to make your resume more impressive and convincing. As a conclusion, carefully measure your current background and skills and then decide whether or not this set of skills and background can get you to the position that you aim to be at. If it is not enough, then it may be better for you to be certified.
Focus On Only One Or Two Freelance Online Sites
If you are new to the freelancing industry, there is a great chance that you are giving it a try through a freelance bidding site, such as Upwork, Freelancer, Guru and the likes. These types will provide you with a list of projects which are available to be done. These sites also utilize a bidding system in which you bid for certain projects and then wait for the clients to review your proposal and eventually hire you if you fulfill the criteria. Despite having its pros and cons, if you choose to find jobs through these freelance online bidding sites there are some things that you should keep in mind. Since these bidding sites are time consuming especially at the beginning, you should only focus on one. If you really feel that you can manage the time well, then you can register to maximum two freelance online bidding sites. Take note that you will have to fulfill all your personal details, verify your payment methods, take skill tests to certify that you are good at what you are doing, obtain good reviews, and so on and so forth. That being said, if you choose to register to multiple sites without focusing on one or two, you will end up losing a huge amount of time with a very small chance of success. Once you have started, you should also limit your time in bidding and searching for the right projects. Newcomers tend to spend so much time online in front of the computer especially if all of their bids were not accepted by the clients.
If your work is related to designing or building up a software, it will be helpful for you to establish your own site so that clients can directly visit it when they want to see your work sample. It may be the case that you will be getting clients outside of the bidding sites once you are successful in completing several tasks. Therefore, starting your own freelance business is also an option. At the end of the day, it may be true that most of the projects in these freelance online bidding sites pay surprisingly low wage with a very high level of competition. However, to each their own and you should find out what is best for you.