If you have a skill that you can offer, the freelance business model may just be for you! Let’s take a look at how the freelancer business model works and if it could be the next business you start.
First of all, a freelancer is someone who works for themselves and makes money per job they complete for another person/company.
They offer one or more services like writing, editing, graphic design, different technical skills, project management, and the list goes on and on. This is great for people who are looking for personal freedom while earning a nice income.You have a skill that you can sell to others and you're your own boss.Click To Tweet
Let’s take a look at the steps you need to accomplish to become a freelancer for yourself.
To get yourself started I recommend that you signup at a few freelancing sites and do a few jobs that match your skills. This will allow you to get paid and start building your portfolio. You can find different freelance sites by going over to Google and searching for “freelance jobs” or “freelance websites”.
When you’re just starting it can be hard to get anyone to hire you because you don’t have any proof of what you can actually do.
You might have to do a few jobs for very little pay just to build your reputation.
Starting this way though will also allow you to see what other skills you could easily develop to provide even more services as a freelancer. You’ll learn what you actually do and don’t like to do, and what you’re best at.
After you’ve spent a few months on the freelancing sites, and you want to go bigger and not be at the mercy of the freelancing sites you can start offering your services from your own website.
Here are the steps you need to take to do this:
Step 1: Define What You’ll Offer
Define what skills or services you will offer, and your rates. You can do a little research and see what other freelancers are doing to help you decide what you will offer and for how much.
Step 2: Define Who You Want To Work With
Generally, when you offer specific services, you know who you want to work with, but if not this is a great time to sit down and define who you will want to provide your services for.
For example, if you’re a writer do you want to do writing for anyone or for specific niches? If you’re a graphic designer what kind of graphics and for what kind of businesses?
When you get specific with what and who you will work for you can create very specific offers for your services and always pull in the right people to work with.
Step 3: Show Yourself Off
The next thing you will want to do is build a website positioning yourself as the best person to hire for the services you provide and clearly spell out your services, pricing, and how to get started with you. If you have multiple services, I recommend having a page on your website for each of your services.
Your website also needs to include your portfolio. If you took my advice and started with the freelancing site, you could do a small case study write-up for each person you worked for and the results you accomplished for them. Reach out to people you’ve done work for and ask if they will give you a testimonial or endorsement that you can use on your website.
Your portfolio is one of the most important parts of your website because people want to see that you’re good at what you do and that you’ll be reliable in getting it done. Make sure you put some serious time and effort into creating your portfolio and constantly update it.
Step 4: Know The Legalities
As a freelancer, there are different legalities you need to know about, and different contracts you will need depending on what services you offer. I highly recommend you hire a lawyer who can help you know the legalities and the contracts you’ll need. A consult with a lawyer may run you a few hundred dollars but could give you and your clients the protection that you need and save you a lot of money in the end.
Step 5: Develop Your Marketing Strategy
At this point, you have a great-looking website that you offer your services from and that shows you’re the person who people need to hire. However, if no one knows your website exists you won’t be able to sell those services, so you’re going to need to create a marketing strategy.
When it comes to marketing, you have a lot of options. You could use content marketing along with social media marketing, paid advertising, an affiliate program, or a compilation of multiple strategies. At this point hiring a marketing consultant to come in and help you develop your marketing strategy could be the quickest way to get clients coming in. It will cost you money, but in the end could save you a lot of time.
Hot Tip: Marketing consultants are usually in need of different services that freelancers offer. You might be able to barter with them and exchange their services for your services.
The important thing here is you develop your marketing strategy that works and keep using it to sell your services as a freelancer. When you stop marketing you’ll stop getting clients, so being persistent and consistent is the key to success here.
Now the steps I just gave you are general steps to this business model. There are many steps for each step that I gave you. Take each step and learn what you need to do to complete each step. The most important thing you can do if you want a career as a freelancer though is to just get started!
Learn as you go, and before you know it, you’ll have a thriving freelance business that pays you well and gives you the freedom lifestyle that you want.