Life as a freelancer can be wonderfully appealing. If you’ve always worked as an employee, working the same days and hours every week, coping with harsh shifts and long hours, the idea of flexibility can be thrilling. You might also long to do something that you love. To make money doing something that you enjoy and feel passionate about, instead of sitting in a boring office or standing on a shop floor.
Freelance work gives you an exceptional level of flexibility. As a freelancer, you can set your own hours, and work as much or as little as you want. You can take holidays, work while you travel, or spend more time with your family. It gives you control over not just how much work you take, but also the content of your work.
As a freelancer, you don’t just have to stick to one kind of work. You could try your hand at not just content writing, but also web design, editing, proofreading and anything else that you are good at.
Even without qualifications or formal training, you can earn money doing what you are good at. For many, freelancing is the route to happiness. If you wanted, you could one day turn your freelancing into your own business, or you could freelance for your whole career, raising your rates as you gain experience. The gig economy is thriving, and it’s easy to see why.
But, while you might find the life of a freelancer appealing, knowing where to start can be tough. If you want to be a freelance writer or designer for example, but have not formal training or qualifications in the area, finding your first freelance jobs can be daunting. Here are some tips to help you to get started.
1) Get Your CV Right
Applying for freelance work isn’t the same as applying for a job. But it isn’t always that different either. Clients won’t be as concerned about your work experience if it’s not relevant. But it’s still worth listing, focusing on transferable skills instead of responsibilities.
If you’ve been a shop assistant, you’ve got patience, attention to detail, organization, customer service skills, and the ability to change your working style to suit the needs of the customer. All of these skills can help you as a freelancer. It might help you to work with a resume builder to tailor your old CV to freelance work.
2) Build a Portfolio
When applying for freelance work, clients will want to see what you can do. If you’ve got no experience, create some. Write some pieces, take some photographs or spend time creating websites.
It’s excellent practice and gives you a chance to build a portfolio of sample pieces that you can send as examples of your work when you apply for jobs.
3) Apply for Jobs
If you want to get freelance work, you need to apply for it. Don’t be put off because you think that you haven’t got enough experience or you won’t get the job. Apply for work that you are interested in, you never know.
4) Use a Freelancing Site
There are several freelancing sites out there, that connect freelancers with clients in need of their services. Some of these sites are free to join and let you scroll through available work, applying for jobs that you are interested in easily. This kind of work isn’t always the best paid, but it will get you experience and can be a fantastic start, even if it only proves to yourself that you can get work.
5) Start Your Own Website
Starting your own website, advertising your services and showing off your skills is a bit like having a portfolio that is always online, and always available to potential clients. It can be a great way to get work, as potential clients find it, or as you direct people to it when you apply for jobs.
Spend some time working on your website and perfecting the SEO, and it could bring in plenty of work. Just make sure you keep updating it to reflect your new skills and experience as you gain them.
6) Ask for Feedback
Your first job is hard to find, but when it comes, it’s important that you don’t rest, assuming that the rest will come easily. Ask your clients for feedback and testimonials and add them to your CV, website and social media feeds.
7) Sell Yourself
Selling ourselves is something that many of us struggle with. If you want to secure regular freelance work that you enjoy, you need to get used to selling yourself and your skills, and pushing for work.