A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting Your Freelance Career

30.12.2015

Ever wonder how freelancers make money online? If you haven´t had a chance to learn about freelancing, then it could be a lightning rod for you. The freelancing system is an emerging online business model and being adopted everywhere in the world. The reason it´s called a business model rather than a ´job´ is something this article will explain it to you.

The freelancing begins with the PROBLEM SOLVING and earning an extra or a full-time living. There isn´t any specific requirement to be seen in a candidate to get selected in the freelance community. In fact, anyone with a certain skill could be a freelancer, if there is a certain demand of the product or service that person is willing to provide.
 
If you´re new to freelancing, then you have probably never come across such an article explaining the procedure of turning into a professional freelancer. I´ll help you take the right decisions and opt the better options ever to get started. 
 
Before we go any further, you should ask yourself three questions:
1. Do you want to be a professional freelancer?
2. Do you want to make a full-time living with your freelancing? 
3. What does ´hustle in business´ mean to you?


 
The reason you need those three answers is that it will help you understand your POINT OF VIEW on the freelance career. If you´re a newbie, you might a little hesitant answering the question about FULL-TIME LIVING with freelancing, but you should know that FREELANCING is a lifestyle now, it´s certainly not just a part-time money making strategy, which is why I thought to share a step-by-step guide to help you start your freelance career:
 
1. Identify the passion
This could be a game-changer. Once in a while, you´ll find some of the freelancers who stop providing the same service they used to provide a year back. The frequent changes in the services and products aren´t going to help. If you want to succeed as a freelancer, have a little faith in yourself and select the best thing you could possibly do. Most of the times it´s your PASSION that you want to do and sell. The graphic designers could turn to freelance graphic enthusiasts. The point is that you have to pick the right form of business to start as a freelancer because things will go otherwise if you don´t follow the passion. So, find the passion. Casey Neistat knew that he will be associated with the video and filming since the beginning of his career. He used to work in filming and advertising. Later on, he ended up on advertising and pursued his video and filming passion on the YouTube and turned one of the greatest YouTubers on the planet earth. 
 
2. Choose the platform
The platform counts a lot. It specifies your approach and somehow explains where you´re taking your freelance career to. There are two types of freelancers. The first ones who want to build their freelance brands on their own. They build relationships, use social media, create blogs, engage people, and communicate with friends. In short, they believe in going off the hook. They want to be free and beyond the boundaries. They don’t rely on others´ platforms. They build their own. They´re creative and selfless. The second type of freelancers who could be talented but they highly depend on the platforms. They pick up the freelancing sites such as freelancemap to kick start their career. Most probably you´ll find them on the freelance platforms because they want to be on the right place at the right time. They are not less competitive than the others, but their entrepreneurial spirit is pretty much different from the first ones. So, decide which side you want to be on. Pick it. 
 
3. Find the right track 
Once you´ve figured it out that what your passion is, what you want to do, what you want to sell, how you want to do it, and how much you want to make, then the most important thing ever would be assessing the track. Discuss with the family, friends, and peers about the service you want to offer as a freelancer. Dig a little bit history of yourself, find out about yourself, and think about that have you ever been associated with anything related to the freelance service you´re providing. I shared my story of turning into an entrepreneur at 9 on my about me page. Just make sure that this is someone you really like and you won´t quit at some time. Once you know that it´s your track, don´t misguide yourself further. 
 
4. Get socially engaged
Without the social engagement and interaction, it´s totally impossible to get noticed. A freelancing career success comes from a lot of ways. One of those ways is Networking and PR. If you´re not good with meeting people, building relations, and communicating with the audience, then improve it, because there isn´t any other way around. Select the social platforms you like to have your identity present and be consistent there. When it comes to engagement, the platforms which are pretty much popular are Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. Although, it´s totally up to individuals, whatever they´re comfortable with. Just try to build connections and serve them well. 
 
5. Start delivering the value
Building a freelance career is like building a business. You wait for things to change. You don´t have to rush for success. In order to build your freelance brand, what you need is to deliver more than you´re expected to get. Adam Grant´s book ´Give and Take´ explains this well. What it does is actually it helps you STAND OUT of the crowd. When people find the VALUE you deliver no matter where, they would certainly like to follow you. Think about getting popularity as a brand. Speaking of branding, the popular brands like Nike, Adidas, IBM, BMW don´t sponsor athletes and sporting events because they always want to sell more products, they´ll sell the products anyway, in fact, they do this because they want to position their brands in the prospects and customers mind. It´s a marketing technique and formally known as Brand Positioning. One of the best ways to deliver the value is by writing the blog. Use the blogging as a medium to solve the (specific) readers´ problems. Remember what I said about the freelancers in the beginning?  They´re problem solvers. So, be the one who does it exactly the same. 
 
6. Analyze the performance
At the end of the day, make sure to analyze what you have done so far and how it worked for you. It´s a kind of own performance appraisal to assess the business development strategies. There could be a number of ways to do that. Analyze every single month that whether it went better than the previous one in terms of prospective inquiries, existing customer projects, and the profit or not. Take your freelancing as a business, when you accept it as a business, you´ll automatically incline yourself to take it more seriously, and hence, it´s all that you need. 
 
Conclusion
Freelancing isn´t just a process of bidding on the projects, getting the customers, and delivering the job. It´s a mindset of taking the opportunities, building the long-term clients, and making money off of your services. In fact, making a full-time living. 
 
It takes hustle, consistency, and the hard work. Choose if you accept that part.

This guide isn´t about teaching you make money off of something you don´t like. It´s about telling you that truth about building a successful freelance career. If you want to build it, you can build it… 

People fail all the time.
 
They learn the hard way.

But the secret is right in front of you. Have some patience, believe in yourself, and be the problem solver. 
What else would it take you build a freelance career?

This is a guest post by Hassaan Khan.
 
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Comments

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