How to start a freelance business: A detailed guide (Part 1)
Even after Covid, the need for a career that offers great flexibility with attractive pay has made freelancing one of the top jobs individuals are delving into. According to statistics, there are approximately 1.2 billion people in the freelancing sector worldwide. This suggests that it accounts for approximately 34% of the global workforce.
In the second part of this series, Workee experts will share tips to help you grow your freelance business as well as freelance job ideas to help you begin.
Establish your personal and business objectives
Starting a freelancing business because everyone else is doing it is a recipe for disaster. Before providing any freelancer services, you should figure out your goals. This will assist you in remaining focused and providing better services to your customers.
According to one report, there are approximately 1.2 billion freelancers worldwide, which means that if you don't have a clear set of goals, you'll find yourself at the bottom of the heap.
Determine your goals by answering the following questions:
Why do I want to pursue a career in freelancing?
How much effort and time will I put in to make this happen?
Is this something I'd like to do full-time?
What will help me stand out in the freelance field? What services should I offer?
You can begin by finding honest answers to the above questions. As you progress in your field, more questions will arise.
Identify a niche based on your competency
Every freelance business is built on core offerings, usually a skill. There are numerous freelance work ideas you may choose from, but what you choose has to be based on your competency and strength.
The only way to start a successful freelance business is to identify your field of expertise. Recognize how you can assist others while also being compensated for your services. You may decide to offer tutoring services to students; you may be a freelance artist, a photographer, or a software engineer? The list goes on and on.
Freelancers have more options than individuals employed by a single company and have only one job. A freelancer can work in multiple fields and offer multiple services as long as they are all competence areas. You're ready to commence your freelance business once you've identified an area of interest and specialty.
Identify potential market/clients
Because there are numerous freelance job ideas, it is essential to identify your target market and potential customers from the lot. Not everyone looking for a freelancer needs your skillset, so it is important to identify prospective customers to enable you to run target marketing. It is a waste of resources to market your offering to everybody. You have to be more strategic and smart with your marketing by first asking the following questions;
Which businesses or individuals need my services?
Where can I find them?
How do I contact them?
Your potential client can be individuals, small businesses, or large companies. Make a list of or a few of them, find out how your offering can help them improve their business, and turn your service into a potential solution.
Identifying your potential customers also helps you discover their needs and requirements, allowing you to design more tailor-made offerings that they would find attractive.
Define your marketing medium
Simply telling yourself that you are now a freelancer isn't going to cut it; you have to market your services. Put your skills out there so people can see them. There are numerous ways to promote your freelancing services to get people interested in working with you. Let's look at some freelance advertising ideas.
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., are viable marketing mediums for any business. Recent statistics have shown that more than half of the world's population (over 4.5 billion) uses social media. According to another report, more than seven in ten (74 percent) freelancers market their services through social media platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.
A personal website
You can never go wrong with a personal website. A website allows you to brand and market your freelance business as you wish and, if done rightly, would attract people. Your website conveys an impression of expertise and professionalism. Clients would want to engage you more.
Workee is a great example of an all-in-one platform for freelance professionals to get everything done. You can use this solution to build your own website and manage your video calls, schedules, invoicing, and much more.
Various freelance platforms allow you to host and advertise your services to possible customers. Some of these platforms connect you to potential clients, while some provide you with all the necessary tools and features you will need to operate a successful freelance business.
Have a plan for administrative functions
Running a freelance business goes beyond offering your services to people and collecting money. So many freelancers tend to forget the place of administrative duties in their early days, which always turns out badly for the business. Not minding administrative obligations would greatly hamper your efficiency and may subsequently lead to legal issues.
Like any other business, freelance business entails calculating and paying accruable taxes, providing business contracts, and sometimes doing certain business registration.
Ensure that you have sorted out your accounting management. Determine what it would cost to keep your business running and how you intend to manage your cash inflow. It would be best if you also had payment channels that allow your customers to make payments seamlessly. When deciding on payment channels, also consider options for international clients who may not be able to pay in your local currency.
You should also have a system, such as a CRM, to help you handle marketing and customer service. A decent CRM application may help you handle clients more effectively while also saving you hours of administrative time.
A great recommendation is Workee, an all-in-one platform that helps you organize your freelance business. It is integrated with automated tools that take care of all the administrative tasks, including tax management and payments, CRM, and accounting, to name a few.
Decide on your price
As a freelancer, you decide your charge and how you wish to receive your pay (hourly, per milestone). But you shouldn't just set rates arbitrarily or based on your feelings. Before you launch your freelance business, you should determine how much you'll charge based on three factors; your experience, the originality of your service, and the saturation of your niche. If your niche is less competitive and you have relevant experience, you may charge higher rates because the demand will be higher than the supply.
If you're just starting as a freelancer, you should do the necessary research on your competition before determining your pricing. It should neither be too pricey nor excessively cheap; it should appear reasonable to the client.
Design different pricing plans for your clients depending on your chosen niche.
These plans may include discounts on individual sessions as part of your service package. This strategy also has the potential to help you attract new customers.
The average hourly rate for experienced freelancers is $28. However, this might vary widely depending on the industry, location, and other factors like those listed above. It's also a good idea to conduct further studies in your area to see whether or not there is a price standard.
Have a portfolio
One of the best approaches to advertising your service is demonstrating that you can provide the solution your potential customers require. And there is no better way to do this than to provide samples of previous jobs similar to those you are bidding for. Your portfolio should also include personal jobs that reflect the recent applications in your niche. Doing this makes the client regard you as an expert with requisite experience.
Your portfolio may include positive ratings and commentaries from former clients. A Payoneer survey reveals that clients are keenly interested in outlined ratings and portfolios when hiring. In other words, a portfolio is a critical deciding factor for choosing freelancers.
Build and maintain good client relationship
Maintaining client relationships should always be one of your major objectives. You must go to great lengths to keep your customers happy and retain them. This entails constantly keeping in touch with your customers and regularly providing them excellent customer service.
Another reason to maintain a solid connection with your clients is the possibility of referrals from them. Most clients will be more than happy to refer you to their friends and colleagues if they have a good working relationship with you. According to a recent study, over 41% of freelancers get work from previous clients' recommendations.
Gathering feedback and testimonials from your customers would be useful for marketing.
Ideas for a successful freelance career
Freelancing has grown so wide that there are numerous freelance ideas to make money and various freelance job ideas you can engage in. Nonetheless, some of these ideas require skill and knowledge in a particular field. Below are some freelance money-making ideas you may use depending on your expertise.
Freelance writing niche ideas
Over the last few years, the freelance writing business has expanded greatly. There is a continuous increase in demand for writers. The more people start their own firms, the more they demand new and unique content. Here are some innovative ways to earn your writing skills.
As of 2021, there were 570 million blogs on the internet, and all of these blogs need blog content to remain relevant. You may choose to write for specific niches, such as sports blog writer, food blog writer, health writer, etc. Or, if you are versatile, you may combine multiple niches to reach more clients.
There is a huge demand for written word translators in this era. Especially English paired translations. So if you understand two or more foreign languages in huge demand, you can decide to be a translator for written documents.
Technical writers explain complex subjects so that non-professionals in a particular field can understand. As a technical writer, you may write about complex programming concepts or explain automobile engineering/ mechanical functions so that others who are not in the field but need the knowledge may understand.
Writing opportunities for B2B and B2C
B2B writing demands a great deal of professional writing because you will be expected to develop content for other businesses in a formal tone. At the same time, B2C writing may not be so demanding, depending on the purpose.
Most people need a professional resume writer to develop their CV, and some are quite good at it. So, if you think you're good at writing great resumes, you should monetize your skill immediately.
A text or speech accompanies almost every ad campaign. This text is usually developed by a creative writer specializing in ad copies. This is a niche that requires a great deal of creativity and research.
Social media writing
Different companies and individuals people to write content for their social media pages. You may consider a freelance career in social media writing if you can develop engaging and interesting content.
Freelance ideas for design and graphics
The design and graphics niche offers vast opportunities for creatives to make money. Here are some freelance job ideas in this category.
You will need certain editing tools to deliver great jobs to your client.
Every brand needs a logo; hence if you are good at creating and designing logos, you will not be in short supply of freelance jobs.
This is a broad niche that encompasses creating visuals on a computer. It includes making flyers, cards, book covers, presentations, etc.
Web design includes UI/UX design, which entails creating a good and appealing look for web platforms to enhance user experience.
As an interior designer, you will be expected to improve the aesthetics of a building, room, space, etc. It would help if you had good ideas for combining colors, paints, selecting the right furniture, etc.
Freelance ideas for web developers
We are in the computer age, and there will always be a need for web developers and software engineers. Here are some freelance career ideas for web developers
Mobile applications are in great demand, and there are numerous opportunities for app developers in the freelance industry.
Software engineers develop software and various web platforms we use on the internet. Most companies and people prefer to engage freelancers for their web development projects.
You can provide makeup and beauty services for individuals and events. Freelance makeup artistry is a thriving business with huge potential. But beyond having the skill, you should create an appealing business name that will easily attract potential clients. Clients are first drawn to your makeup freelance name idea before appraising your skill.
Here are some freelance makeup artist business name ideas to give you a clue;
Hush & Lush
Glamour Paradise etc.
These freelance makeup artist name ideas show how you can name your business.
Freelance photography ideas
Pictures are a big deal now. People need pictures for almost everything: events, memories, ads, content, etc.
Other freelance jobs ideas
Voice over artist
To succeed as a freelancer, you need to master the art of concentration and perseverance. It may not be easy at first, but with practice, time and effort, it becomes easier. Follow this guide and learn everything you can about the career you've set your sights on. Take a chance, and don't be afraid to fail; it's all part of the learning process.
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