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This article will help you get started on how to start freelancing if you’re a total beginner with no experience. While freelancing can provide a steady source of income, up to six figures per month, you must take the proper steps to achieve that level of success.
But how do you know how to start and become a successful freelancer? That is what this article will address. Most digital marketing consultants started off freelancing, like me!
In this article, I’ll be showing you everything you need on how to start freelancing work for beginners the right way so that you can build a successful freelancing career.
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing is all about working as an independent contractor while taking on jobs from people or businesses. Freelancers are people who take on tasks from other people or businesses as independent workers without being employed by the person or business giving out the job to you.
Most freelance jobs are temporary and done on demand. Freelancers are mostly self-employed and have no commitment to the company that gives them a job aside from the job already assigned to be done.
There’s hardly a skill you can’t get a freelancer on. As a digital marketer, we know that there’s a lot of freelancing in digital marketing as there are a lot of digital marketing skills you can get freelancers on such as SEO content writing, backlink building, lead generation, etc.
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- A 2019 study by Statista reveals that 57 Million Americans were freelancers in 2019. (Source: Statista)
- Freelancers add $1.2 trillion annually to the United States’ Economy
- 36% of U.S. workers did freelance work over the past 12 months.
- The freelance economy now has 57 million Americans. 51% say that money is not enough to make them want to work in traditional jobs. Flexible work hours and the ability to live anywhere they like are the main reasons. (Source: Freelancers Union).
- It’s estimated that by the end of 2021, 42%” of the American workforce will be freelancing. (Source: WebsitePlanet).
Is Freelancing Right For You?
Freelancing is ok for everyone. As long as you have a skill that you can use to work for others, then you can start freelancing with no experience.
The future of freelance work looks bright going by the statistics. Over the years, the number of self-employed workers has increased steadily at a rate that is higher than the employment growth for employees.
It might take some work and patience on your part before you begin to land the number of jobs you want per month, but with consistency, anyone can build their way up.
How To Start Freelancing
You may need to take the following steps into consideration if you wish to start freelancing.
1. Define Your Goal
If you don’t clearly define your goal before embarking on your freelancing journey, you may as well get stuck on the road. Understanding why you want to begin a freelance career will guide your strategy and how you do things. Clear and realistic goals will allow you to create an effective plan, manage expectations, and remain committed to your vision.
2. Services Offered
The freelance industry is largely a service industry. You can specialize in a skill you are passionate about. Do not try to be a jack of all trades as that will not be as efficient and a specialist. Besides freelancers that specialize in one service generally do better.
However, you can also think about a skill that compliments your main service. For instance, a web developer may also offer content writing if he has good content writing tools or digital marketing services. Once you are comfortable with freelancing and have built a client base, you can expand your skillset or add new ones.
3. Determine Your Target Market/Niche
New freelancers with no experience often fall prey to the temptation to offer their services to everyone who needs them. bDon’t do this. It’s important to target specific markets or niches to help you build a reputation, and charge higher prices.
4. Create A Targeted Portfolio Site
To stand out from the crowd of people looking for how to start freelancing, you can create a portfolio site where you can publish your work and highlight your skills.
However, as a beginner, you can start off without one if you utilize the freelance platforms we highlighted further down in this article. These platforms already have in place an area where you can show some of your work as a portfolio.
5. Determine Your Pricing Strategy
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when determining your pricing, and a lot of factors can influence your pricing too. These things include your niche, client, etc. For instance, the price of designing a flyer might not be compared to software development.
However, we believe that charging your client according to the value you give is a better option for both you and your client.
6. Reach Out To Potential Clients
One advantage of using freelance platforms as a freelancer is that people who need your services come to you. However, that alone shouldn’t stop you from reaching out to potential clients. You can run ads and follow up with anyone who indicates interest in your services.
7. Analyze, Learn, and Adapt Your Approach
After about 3 months of active freelancing and applying the steps given above, re-evaluate your results and see which is working and which isn’t. This analysis will help freelancers with no experience strategize.
Top Freelancing Websites To Make Money
If you are serious about knowing how to make money on the best freelancing sites, here are the platforms you have to get used to.
#1. Upwork freelancing
It was founded by Beerud Sheth, an MIT graduate, and Srini Anumolu, a wall street veteran. It was launched in 2015 in the US. It is now one of the top ten freelancing websites where people can connect to start businesses.
Upwork boasts 3 million job opportunities, almost $1 million in value, and includes web, mobile, software development, data science, analytics, engineering, writing, legal, and more. This makes it the largest global freelancer marketplace. This website is great for beginners because it has work in many basic categories such as writing, programming, designing, and others.
There are over 12 million registered freelancers in Upwork, and more than 5 million clients. Remote work can be completed and tracked via mobile. Payments are secure and always safe. The website also has its own “time tracking software”, which allows clients to see how hard you’ve worked for them.
#2. Fiverr freelancing
Fiverr freelancing platform is a place that connects freelancers and business owners who are looking for digital services, such as website design, content writing, voice-overs, and more.
Fiverr allows those interested in how to start freelancing to easily communicate with business owners. You will notice that Fiverr freelancers are called sellers on their sites. Business owners are called buyers.
Sellers don’t have to send out bids. Instead, they can sign up and list gigs for free. They can also set their prices. Buyers can browse through various categories and make purchases while they wait.
The system charges the buyer’s account when they purchase a gig and then puts the money on hold. The system will charge a commission and send freelancers 80%.
It can take up to 14 business days for Fiverr freelancers to withdraw their earnings, depending on the seller level. You have several options to withdraw your earnings, including PayPal, debit card, and wire transfer.
#3. Guru freelancing
Guru allows freelancers to connect with companies around the world. Companies have the option to hire programmers, graphic designers, and product managers.
It’s easy to search job listings and send quotes to clients through this freelance website. Sign up now to create a profile as a freelancer. Based on your work experience and skill set, the system will recommend job opportunities.
Freelancers are able to bid on long- or short-term projects and can set a fixed price. You can withdraw your earnings via PayPal or wire transfer. The site also offers SafePay protection to ensure freelancers are paid promptly.
Freelancers who sign up for this website get a basic membership. Paid memberships offer more tools to make you stand out.
#4. 99designs freelancing
99designs is a great resource for freelance designers searching for work. 99designs is a free website that allows designers to connect with businesses. You can choose from various design projects, including book covers and logo design to clothing and merchandise.
After signing up, you will be asked to create a profile. You can also include work experience. Your application will be reviewed by the curation team, which will determine your level as a designer. Your level determines how visible you are on the platform.
99designs makes it easy to find freelance jobs that match your skills. You can select industries, design styles, and categories to access a variety of jobs.
99designs charges an introduction fee of $100, and a platform fee that ranges from 5% up to 15% for every client you work with. Payoneer or PayPal are used to pay freelancers. For those with higher profile clients, it may take up to three days to get paid.
#5. FlexJobs freelancing
Flexjobs is a website that offers remote and flexible job opportunities. This includes part-time, freelance, and full-time positions. There are many options, from writing jobs to training and education, to journalism jobs and writing jobs.
Flexjobs guarantees that all jobs listed on the website are legitimate. Flexjobs verifies all job openings and blocks fake companies. This website is not like other job boards online. It does not have any ads.
Subscribe to a subscription in order to search for freelance jobs. There are four plans to choose from, with prices starting at $6.95/week. A subscription grants unlimited access and career advice as well as a personal work portfolio and skill testing.
Payments can be made with either a PayPal account or a prepaid credit card. The 30-day satisfaction guarantee allows you to return the full amount if you aren’t satisfied with your service.
Toptal is a freelancing website that connects industry professionals with companies. Toptal offers a wide range of freelancers from web developers and web designers, to finance consultants and product managers.
To apply to Toptal as an independent contractor, you must pass five stages of the screening process. These include a thorough English evaluation and a project assessment. Only the top 3% of applicants make it onto the platform.
Once you pass all the steps, you will be able to access various job postings from top companies and clients, including Motorola and Airbnb. Failing the test could result in your application being held up for several months.
Toptal offers a time tracking and invoicing service called TopTracker. Freelancers can get the final price and receive payments via Payoneer or Paypal. Beginners interested in how to start freelancing should check if these options are ok for them.
#7. TaskRabbit freelancing
TaskRabbit is a website that allows you to earn money doing things like shopping for groceries or building furniture. TaskRabbit, a service that provides same-day services, connects clients with freelancers who can help them with various daily tasks.
TaskRabbit, unlike other sites offering freelancing, lists only simple jobs. Simply create an account, choose your category and area, and then set an hourly fee.
Each application will be reviewed by the TaskRabbit Team. The registration fee for a freelancer is $25. After approval, freelancers can begin to find jobs and manage their work using the mobile app.
When a freelancer completes a task, they will send an invoice detailing the hours worked. Clients can deposit money directly into their registered bank account. TaskRabbit does not charge service fees. Freelancers will be charged the full rate.
Remote.com uses artificial intelligence to connect freelancers with employers across the globe. Employers can receive customized work assignments each day and can manage the application process from beginning to end on the platform.
There are currently more than 100,000 open job vacancies from 10,000 companies. These job openings are classified into different industry sectors, as well as full-time and freelance opportunities.
It is possible to find entry-level jobs as well as executive and managerial positions. Many of these are flexible and remote.
Pros And Cons of Freelancing
Pros of Freelancing Work
– Freedom of Clients – Freelancers are able to select the clients with which they work. You can work with multiple clients or just a few clients.
– Control of Workload – You also have the option to choose your work schedule. You have the freedom to work as much or little as you like, and can pick projects that you are passionate about. Focus on what you love and not the distractions that come with a full-time job such as meetings, political campaigns in the office, distractions, etc.
– Flexibility – Freelancers enjoy the freedom to choose their clients and work schedules, which is something most people only dream about. You can choose to work part-time in the summer and full-time the rest of the year.
– Independence – Independent work is possible through freelance jobs. Those interested in how to start freelancing are free from the 9-to-5 grind and the cubicle. Additionally, you can work independently, where you feel most comfortable.
– Exposure – Many jobs offer variety to employees. However, a freelance job allows you to work on many different projects and topics. While experience may be gained in one industry or career area, it is not possible to work for another company. You can expand your horizons by freelancing. This can make the environment less repetitive and boring. Beginners find this somewhat stressful.
Cons of Freelancing for Beginners With no Experience
– Taxes – However, freelancers are responsible for self-employment taxes as well as making sure they get paid quarterly. But freelancers have the right to take deductions that aren’t available to employees. You may find taxation a disadvantage to freelancing. Make sure you review all laws and regulations before setting your rates.
– Inadequate Benefits – Freelancers with no experience receive very few benefits. Employees are, for the most part, eligible for benefits. Because freelancers are self-employed they often have to find and fund their own insurance.
– Sporadic work – It can be hard to find steady work as a freelancer. There are many projects that can be initiated and abandoned. Contracts can be ended early by clients. It’s possible that you complete a project, but it is difficult to find work.
– The Ultimate Responsibility – You are a freelancer if you run a business. You are responsible for managing clients, business development, billing/collecting taxes, and client management.
Not everyone can handle these tasks. Your brand is your business, and you are the one who controls it.
– Cash Flow Issues – Cash flow is a major concern when considering the pros and cons of freelancing. Although freelancers are free to determine their fees to meet their clients’ and their income, they also have to collect the payment. There are many clients who don’t pay, and freelancers have had to deal with them.
Freelancers also need to inquire about potential clients’ expectations and whether the role is project-based or seasonal.
– Isolation – One of the downsides to working as a freelancer, is the isolation from a company or team. If you don’t have anyone to support you, it is more likely that you will work alone. For some freelancers without experience, this can be a blessing in disguise!
Countries With High Number of Freelancers
Here are the countries with high interest in freelancing jobs. They help businesses and individuals carry out various tasks and get paid for their services. The freelancers in these countries are much more than those with no experience:
India – Freelancing in India is very popular. Many Indians get into freelancing as a way to monetize their skills and earn US$ back to their country. Freelance jobs in India are mostly by agencies who themselves get freelance jobs from tier one countries.
Pakistan – Freelancing in Pakistan is also very popular due to many young people having digital marketing skills. There are some freelancing websites in Pakistan that can help those interested in how to start freelancing get started.
Australia – Freelancing in Australia is also very popular with many freelance websites to choose from. International workers usually join in to get some tasks done.
Canada – Freelancing in Canada has seen an upsurge with many immigrants moving to Canada for better pay.
Bangladesh – Freelancing in Bangladesh is similar to most neighboring countries like India and Pakistan. They use their IT skills to earn on freelance websites.
Germany – Freelancing in Germany is a tradition with many people outsourcing tasks to different freelancers.
Nepal – Freelancing in Nepal can be seen as similar to India and Pakistan – it’s lucrative.
Nigeria – Freelancing in Nigeria is growing rapidly with many people happing on the growing Dollar price to earn U$D abroad and send it home.
Freelancing is one very good way to monetize your skills and make a very good income, especially in developing countries. No matter the skill set you have, there is someone around the world that needs a job that your skill can match.
So, your question shouldn’t now be how to start freelancing. It’s up to you to prepare yourself and go get the jobs done, then start collecting the money. Good luck in your quest. If you are a budding freelancer with no experience but need to start earning money by working online, Contact me if you need more assistance.