Learn how to put your best foot forward when you decide to start freelancing. This is easily our most common Freelance FAQ.
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Freelance FAQ: How do I start freelancing?
The basic answer is ‘find someone who wants to pay you money for a service you provide, then provide that service.
The longer answer is:
I started by picking a hobby-skill I had (wordpress development) and finding people who needed WordPress websites. Over time, I identified more valuable problems to focus on and updated my positioning, my target market, my expensive problem, and my service offerings.
But to start, create those ‘rolodex moments’ -- have a strong positioning statement (“I’m a THING who helps TARGET MARKET with EXPENSIVE PROBLEM”) and see what referrals and reaction you get.
What you need to start freelancing
All you really need to freelance is:
Selling and positioning your skill so that it appeals to clients -- and building a plan around that -- is the real secret to freelancing successfully. Typically, this is referred to as finding a niche, which is something a freelancer should do as soon as possible.
A niche reduces competition and increases specialization. Niche experts can earn more and they’re more attractive to clients with problems their niche experience helps solve. It provides direction and focus.
You’ll want to find some sort of niche ASAP. Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help:
Finding those first three good clients is the first barrier to overcome.
With those first clients (and future clients), you’ll want to:
After those first few client interactions, you should reassess your plan before moving forward. Is your skill offering value to clients? Did you enjoy working with these clients? Are there areas to improve?
If those first few client interactions went well and you want to do more work with them, pursue referrals, build case studies, and focus on refining your service as much as possible.
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