A brief introduction to freelancing
A lot of you might have heard the buzz word “freelancing” all over the Facebook, or you may have attended a seminar that hinted the freelancing concept. If you’re wondering what it is, then here is your answer:
Freelancing is a business lifestyle that gives you freedom to work from anywhere, anytime you want. It doesn’t require a 9-to-5 routine, unlike other jobs. A freelancer gets hired and paid by the clients on a project-to-project basis.
You may call it a job when you have regular clients, and you have to spend a particular time span getting their work done, but the freedom freelancing provides is not even remotely close to a job.
Imagine, you wake up early some day at 6 a.m., and you feel fresh — grab your laptop and start working while you’re in the blanket, or you attended a party and got home late, no worries — just get yourself a cup of coffee and start working.
A lot of freelancing experts say that freelancing is a business-lifestyle. It’s true because:
- You get to choose your clients
- You can decide your working hours
- You can work on your couch
- You can travel and continue working
- You can do a side hustle
- You can play with your dog
- You can spend quality time with family
A lot of perks.
So if you never heard about freelancing, now you might have gotten some idea about freelancing.
How to get started with freelancing
Freelancing is one of the emerging trends around the world. As of 2016, more than 47% of the world population has gotten the access to the internet. The more people get access to the internet, the easier it becomes to spread the word about freelancing.
How to get started
Here are the steps that will help you understand the concept of freelancing:
- Find your strength: Your strength is the ability to get something done without hesitation. You may have a skill that you never noticed, or you may have a passion for something. It’s up to you to figure out that what your real strength is.
For example, when I started off blogging in 2009, I had no idea what blogging is, let alone my writing was terrible. As soon as I found out that this is something I’m passionate about; I instantaneously built up my mind that I’m going to go all in. By 2010, I was quite sure about following my passion.
The reason I’m telling you to find your strength is that you can’t continue doing something you don’t love. The sooner you figure out what you love and can do for the rest of your life, the better.
It could be cooking, baking, sketching, writing, video editing, photography, app development, embroidery, or dog training. It could be anything you love to do. If you start off on the right foot, you’re going to win. You’ll learn more about cashing in on your passion in chapter three of this e-book.
- Polish your skill: Once you’ve found your strength, the next thing you might want to do is get better at it. Perhaps, polishing your skill is more important than the finding your strength.
As a freelancing beginner, you must strive for learning new things in your niche, not to mention hone in on your passion.
It will be an ever-going process. You can’t stop learning after 28 months because you’ve started getting freelance clients. We, as freelancers, don’t stop learning.
The best way to improve is practice.
- If you’re a freelance graphic designer, design logos, banners, illustrations and upload to Behance.
- If you’re a photographer, take photos and upload to Instagram.
- If you’re passionate about video making, create videos and upload to YouTube.
- If you’re good at writing, write articles on Medium.
- If you can make infographics, then make and upload to Pinterest.
Take a look at the Instagram profile of Adrijus Guscia:
He designs book covers. All you’ll find on his Instagram profile is book covers.
It’s not about the four social platforms, but rather how you use what available at your disposal. You can just create a Facebook page and upload your videos/images there. What matters is, how much you do and how skilled you become.
- Put yourself out there: Finding your strength and polishing your skill would go in vain if you don’t put yourself out there. Whether it’s publishing your content on any online platform or leaving your comment underneath someone else’s content, if you’re hesitant to do so, then you’re stopping yourself to grow.
What a lot of people don’t realize about putting themselves out there is that they go through the process of evolution when they do this.
For example, if I hadn’t started publishing content back in 2009, I won’t be publishing this e-book. It’s a fact that you grow when you get into the process of doing and get ready for a long-haul.
How would you put yourself out there?
A lot of you might be wondering that how someone can make this happen.
Let me explain this with a personal example:
Putting yourself out there doesn’t mean just to use the cover and profile pictures on social media. In fact, it means, put out the content in front of the audience.
For example, if I work as a freelance blogger, I pay attention to writing content on my blog. I try to publish, at least, three times every month.
If I’m passionate about blogging, then I’m going all in. I don’t have a choice. I’m trying my best to put as much content as possible on various platforms. I shared this example because I don’t want you to misinterpret the statement of “putting yourself out there” — if you think that I meant to get active on social media or fix your social media profiles, then you’re mistaken. I meant that do whatever you can do to put your words, picture, video, or audio out there to attract, engage, and convert the audience.
How to market your freelance service
So marketing your freelance service is way more aggressive stage than putting yourself out there. As you’ve read in the second chapter that putting yourself is a starting point of stepping up, for example, you have to fix your social media profiles; you should be using the right platforms to put your content out there, and so on.
The Chapter three precisely talks about the freelance service marketing. By the end of this chapter, you’ll have a handful of options to start utilizing.
But before digging into this, I implore you to pay attention to the chapter two. If you haven’t figured out what you’re passionate about, and you’re just going with the flow, then sit down for a second and think about it. You can’t sell something that you can’t cook.
I assume that you’re confident that you’ve chosen your passion or something you’re good at or something you have honed in on.
Whether you’ve mastered the art of infographics designing, food recipes making, photo shooting, or Facebook page growing — what you need to look at the best possible ways to reach out to the right audience who would hire you to work for them.
The strategies that I’m about to share with you will bridge the gap between you and your prospective clients. Test out the only strategies that resonate with you.
- Leverage the helpful content: It means that you should have some content in your pocket that could help you reach the audience you want to meet. The content could be of various forms. For example, you can create a YouTube video about any topic of your niche, or you can make an infographic for Pinterest, or a presentation for SlideShare, or an article for Medium. You have to have some content to gain the leverage to get into the rabbit hole. Once you find the right platform that you enjoy creating content on, drill down further and keep pumping out content. (Choose one platform)
- Join the communities on Facebook or LinkedIn: Facebook is crushing it with the groups. The Facebook group is the go-to place if you want to build a community of engaged people. However, LinkedIn groups aren’t bad either, but avoid jumping on both platforms at the same time. Find a couple of relevant groups and start talking to people, leave nice comments, ask decent questions, and help out people (if you can). In short, play nice.
- Answer on Quora: At this stage, you must have a bundle of blog posts that you might have published, or YouTube videos that you posted, or infographics that you published on Pinterest. Find the relevant questions that your content can answer. I don’t recommend adding the content link to your every Quora answer, but if your blog post or video or infographic increases the value of your solution and could potentially help the readers, then include your link in the Quora answer, otherwise avoid it. (Don’t forget to use the Quora profile bio at the core)
- Do Facebook comments: Replying to the tweets might be good for many, but Facebook comments have a different impact. Don’t miss out the opportunity of Facebook commenting. Whenever you find an interesting article or status on Facebook that is directly related to your freelance service, hop on and say something that benefits everyone around. The hack is that the moment someone gets the benefit from your comment, either they instantly add you/follow you or visit your Facebook profile to find out more about you. Boom. You might have a new lead on its way. Even if that doesn’t happen right away, don’t worry at all, if the person finds out about your freelance service or expertise that you offer, that’s enough. You win.
- Use the link the right way: Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, the link is one of the most important hooks that you can cash in on. If you have a website up and running that has the complete information about your freelance service, just mention your website URL in the profile straight away. Don’t use a link shortener or something. Don’t mention your FM or Sarahah link in the URL section.
In short, use every opportunity to tell the audience that what you do or sell. The whole point of sharing these strategies with you is that you need to gain attention, offer value, and build a connection with the audience.
I try my best to bring attention to my personal brand; whether it’s Quora or YouTube or any other platform. I make sure that I convey my thing to everyone. If people visit my blog or any social media profile and leave without knowing what I do, then it’s my fault.
I have concluded that “finding your strength” and “creating the right content on the right platform” synthesize and result in the success. For me, a combination of lots of things worked.
But above all, my personal blog did well regarding marketing the freelance service. I leveraged the platform by creating helpful content. That’s what I did. It might be YouTube for you.
Or, it could be Instagram for you if you’re a passionate photographer or graphic designer. It doesn’t matter anymore that you have zero experience. Everybody starts at zero. Everybody. I’ve shared tactics that I learned in last five years.
This article wants you to be honest with you; choose what you like to do, not because you’re told to like that. The only way to succeed in freelancing is by doing that makes you happy. If you’re not happy with the thing you’re doing, you won’t master it because you don’t have the passion for it and someday you’ll quit and start looking for something else.
The zero experience is a great opportunity. Start your freelance career the right way.
All the best.