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How To Start Freelancing With Zero Experience

Freelancing Demanding Skill Set To Learn

Freelancing is a popular career option that has grown in popularity in recent years. This can be attributed to the surge of freelancers as a result of the current economy and downsizing. Many people have found the freelance lifestyle intriguing because it provides them with independence and flexibility.

It also encourages innovation and provides a great lot of autonomy. Starting up is one of the most critical aspects of freelancing. The freelancing industry enjoyed impressive growth in the past several years.

According to Upwork (One of the Top freelancing platforms), 

Americans are spending more than 1 billion hours per week freelancing. Approximately 57 million Americans were freelancing by the end of 2018, and if trends continue, over half of Americans will be freelancing by 2027, according to an article in Forbes.

There are a million ways to “freelance.” The first step is to find out what kind of freelancing you want to do by identifying your interests. If you’re more of a creative person, freelance copywriting or video editing can be a good fit. If you’re technically inclined, you could work as a freelance web developer or coder.

If you’re new to freelancing, seek for part-time employment to test the waters before diving fully into full-time freelancing with no experience.

It helps to have some experience under your belt before entering the freelancing market to succeed as a freelancer. That doesn’t rule out the possibility of getting started with no prior expertise. It’s just as crucial in determining what kind of work you want to do before diving headfirst into the freelancing market, because certain tasks, such as writing material or developing graphics, require significant experience.

In the wise words of Professor Farnsworth from Futurama, “Good news, everyone! You’re wrong!“.

Becoming a freelancer (even when you have ZERO experience) is much easier than you think. Sure, it’s going to require determination, time and resilience – but it’s not IMPOSSIBLE.

By the time you’re read this post, you’re going to know the exact steps you need to take to get out of your head and do the damn thing.

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course aims to increase Pakistan’s ranking as well as to empower Pakistani citizens through self-employment opportunities available in the field of freelancing. The aim is to make the students self-empowered and self-employed after watching the course content.

Pakistan is ranked 4th in the list of freelancing, and it is producing Freelancers in the category of Software Development and Multimedia mainly. People are now fed up with typical 9-5 jobs, they want to work according to their choice and prefer freelancing.

HOW TO START FREELANCING WITH NO EXPERIENCE

Step 1: The Mindset of a Boss

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As a freelancer, your mindset will determine your success. You will materialise failure if you do not believe in yourself and do not support yourself 100 percent. Consider how you would behave if you had already accomplished your goal. As if you have a successful full-time freelance business that allows you to travel the world anytime you choose.

Think about it this way. We all have these stories that we tell ourselves.

Maybe yours are:

  • “I’m not successful”
  • “Making money is hard”
  • “I don’t deserve money or success”
  • “No one will buy from me”

These stories end up becoming beliefs that influence your actions.

Think about how you would act if you had already achieved your goal. Like you have that thriving full-time freelancing business that lets you travel the world whenever you felt like it.

  • You’re not going to worry about money because your business is profitable and sustainable.
  • You’re going to be organised and have processes in place.
  • You would be saving money for your next trip.
  • You would believe in your business and that what you’re selling can help people.

That is the mindset of a boss.

Action Step: Identify the limiting beliefs that are holding you back, call bullshit and start acting like that successful freelancer.

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Step 2: Find A Marketable Skill

The second and most crucial step is to identify a skill that you can provide as a service.

This might be as easy as transcription of a podcast or as complex as designing a mobile app. Whatever it is, finding a skill that you are strong at and that has enough demand in the marketplace is the key to success in freelancing.

If you’re skilled at drawing pictures or designing product packaging, for example, go to a freelancing marketplace like UpWork or Freelancer and see what projects are available.

If there are enough job advertisements for the talent you’re strong at on those sites, you’ve struck gold.

When you aren’t SUPER clear on who you are trying to help as a freelancer, it’s going to make it hard to:

  • Position yourself as an expert.
  • Find potential clients and land freelance jobs.
  • Figure out how you can best serve your clients.

Think of it like this:

The whole world is the market. You can’t sell to the whole world because not everyone needs your service. So you need to funnel that down until you have that one group of people you serve. You want one group that you can master.

Action Step: To figure out your niche, ask yourself: Who do I want to help and why?

Step 3: Identify Your Skillset

Once you’ve identified a desirable expertise, be sure you can offer it as a service. Simply said, you must be exceptionally good at what you do in order to be paid for it.

Let’s imagine you wish to write for health and wellness blogs as a freelance writer. This is a popular category. You’ve also written about it in high school or college.

That does not, however, mean that you can write blog entries for internet audiences. Article writing styles and layout fluctuate greatly between blogs and online media. The main goal is to appeal to a broad audience.

As a result, you must now learn how to create blog entries for an internet audience. Learn the ins and outs of WordPress. What is the best way to produce visuals for articles? 

So what can you do to get clear on what you want to do?

  • List all your current skills and interests.
  • List what you want to know more about.
  • Identify which skills you can translate into a remote role.
  • Identify gaps in your knowledge and what you need to learn.

It’s the same for anyone other type of freelance skill. You can’t just go straight in without first learning the basics. You must first improve your skills.

Read books, watch YouTube channels, and follow blogs that are relevant to your profession and sector. Taking online classes is also the most efficient approach to acquire and improve a skill. 

It takes time to build a skill from the ground up. So be patient and continue to study and practise. It could take weeks, months, or even years to complete. Just keep going.

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Step 4: Create Your Portfolio And Set Your Rates

Create a portfolio to keep all of your published/live work in one position as you begin to build your name.

A portfolio would be a website or a webpage that displays all of your work.
If you’re a graphic designer, for example, you may build a portfolio page on a site like Behance to showcase all of your work. When you’re contacting a client, you may simply send them a link to your portfolio so they can check out your skills.

Make sure your portfolio only contains your greatest work.

Another thing that holds a lot of freelancers back from starting their business or going full-time has to do with rates. I get it. It’s scary. I struggled with it a lot when I started my freelance writing business in 2018. It’s the reason why I took $18 gigs for 1,000-word articles.

Step 5: Learn How to Pitch

Hands down, the most important skill for you to master as a beginner freelancer is learning how to pitch.

You’re going to need it for:

  • Replying to job board ads
  • Writing cold emails
  • Your LinkedIn profile
  • Podcast interviews
  • Guest posts
  • LinkedIn introductions

And whenever else you need to communicate what you do and how you can help people.

If you can write a pitch that does all that, it’s going to make it much easier for you to land that dream client, and start seeing sales in your freelancing business.

An easy formula to include in all your pitches is the following:

  • Identify a problem
  • Solve it with your solution
  • Position yourself as the expert
  • Back yourself up with testimonials, case studies, results or samples

If you have NO work experience, create niche-specific samples and host them on your site. You can also work for free for a short period to get testimonials and then transition those clients onto a paid module.

I thought it was the industry benchmark when in reality it’s daylight robbery.

There are three techniques that have helped me figure out my rates and feel good about what I charge my clients:

HOW MUCH DOES YOUR DREAM LIFE COST?

Have you sat down and calculated exactly how much everything in your life costs? It’s a super simple exercise that will give you a hard number to work with.

  • What is the total for your business costs?
  • Do you want to get massages every week?
  • Want to save up for that trip to Bali or a house?

Once you know the total of your dream life, you can work backwards and figure out how much you need to make yearly, quarterly, monthly and weekly. When you have those numbers, you can look at your prices and see how much you would need to sell to make that a reality.

Step 6: Optimize Your Social Media Platforms

If you want to become a freelancer, it’s not enough to create an Upwork profile and hang out on freelancing websites.

You need to make sure your online presence is attracting clients to your business.

After all, pitching every single day is going to eat into the amount of time you have each day to work. By optimising your LinkedIn and Instagram profiles, you won’t have to generate potential leads manually – they will come to you!

Here’s what you need to do for each profile:

INSTAGRAM

  • Add your main keyword to your “Name” section and username if possible.
  • Add your niche statement to your bio, so people know what you do.
  • Use a “Call-to-Action” for your bio link.

LINKEDIN

  • Add your niche to your headline + related keywords.
  • Add your best testimonials and results to your about section.
  • Add keywords and skills people would use to search for you in your about section and work experience.
  • Use LinkedIn Publisher to answer questions for your niche.
  • Add your website to your profile.

For example, if you are a freelance writer, you could add the following:

  • Headline: Freelance B2B Tech Case Study Writer | Copywriter | Content Marketer
  • Skills: SEO Content Writing, Blogging, Ghost Writing, Technical Writing
  • LinkedIn Publisher: 5 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Case Studies and How to Fix Them!

Step 7: Try Freelancing Part-Time

Freelancing is not everyone’s cup of tea. The process of marketing yourself, selling your services, and dealing with clients can be overwhelming.

If you’re not sure whether freelancing is the right career path for you, just try doing it part-time.

Spend a couple of hours every day working on smaller freelance gigs. And learn the ways of freelancing. When you feel ready to tackle bigger projects, then you can decide whether you should freelance full-time or leave your day job.

Step 8: Deliver Beyond Expectations

Once you’ve landed a job, the following step is to make sure you complete the project according to the specifications of the client. Once you’ve landed a job, the following step is to make sure you complete the project according to the specifications of the client.

I want you to outperform the client by going above and beyond their expectations.

Let me give you an example. I used to get jobs writing blog articles with a set word count, such as 1000 words when I first started freelancing. When I delivered the blog post, I wrote it to be around 1100-1200 words long and included a distinctive header graphic. Without having to charge extra for it.

My work was always well received by my clients. And they gave it a five-star rating. So find a method to go above and beyond in your career.

What is the key to success in freelancing?

Attitude

Attitude sets the tone of your work. Focus on dedication, honesty and hard work to achieve desired results. Working in an easy environment: Freelancing provides you with the provision to work in an easy work environment, but you still must manage time for deadlines and work quality efficiently.

Stay on the clock

Doing the activity when it matters the most. Bound yourself to do a job before or on time that is required for it.

Avoid distractions

At the time of work, try to avoid the distractions that may lose your interest in your work, i.e. socializing with friends, watching movies, hanging out etc.

Communication

Communication plays a vital role in the freelance business market. Improve your communication skills to make a long-term relationship with your client, but always remember your communication should be concise and precise.

FAQs About Freelancing

These frequently asked questions about freelancing will help you further understand how the industry works.

Q: Is Freelancing A Career?

Yes! Freelancing can be considered as a career. But, it depends on what kind of work you choose to do. For example, if you’re doing data entry work, it can’t be considered a career. At least not a good one. However, if you were to choose something like copywriting, you can use it as a career to become a marketer and even be in charge of marketing teams on startups.

Q: Which Field Is Best In Freelancing?

There are many fields in freelancing that allows you to earn higher rates and generate profitable incomes. But, there is no specific industry or a job that you can all as “the best”. You shouldn’t choose a career because it earns the highest amount of money. Choose the ones that you’re good at.

Q: What Kind Of Freelance Work Can I Do?

The freelancing market is quite big. There are hundreds of specializations out there ranging from logo designers to product copywriters, and more. You can do any type of work. If you have a skillset, you can turn it into a service and offer it for a price. Whether it’s online or offline. That’s freelancing!

Q: How Can I Start Freelance With No Experience?

The great thing about freelancing is that it doesn’t have any requirements. You don’t need a fancy college degree or years of experience on a job to get started as a freelancer. All you need is a marketable skill and dedication to work harder and better than everyone else.

Q: What Are Freelancing Websites?

Freelancing websites are like marketplaces where you can find clients and land jobs. You can join a freelancing website, like UpWork or PeoplePerHour, to create a profile and apply for jobs posted by clients. These sites often have a lot of competition and charge high platform fees. While they are good for beginners I often encourage freelancers to avoid such marketplaces.

Q: Which Skills Are In Demand For Freelancing?

Finding the right skill with a good demand is crucial to finding freelancing success. Every year, new trends take over the world of freelancing so the demand for the skills differs from time to time. Some years there’s high demand for coding skills while some years there’s a demand for video editors.

Q: Is Freelancing Better Than A Job?

Much like any other day job, freelancing also has benefits and downsides. It definitely has many perks compared to the usual office job. So yes, freelancing can be better than a regular job. But that will mostly depend on your personality type.

Q: What Are The Pros And Cons Of Freelancing?

One of the best things about being a freelancer is that you can be your own boss. It’s like running a business. You can look for clients, find work, and do work at your own pace. But it can also be quite tiring. Especially if you’re used to doing things that you’re told to do. Like at an office job.

Q: Do Freelancers Get Paid?

Yes! Unless you get scammed by a scam artist. Freelancers always get paid. There’s a myth to this topic that clients don’t pay or avoid payment on time. But it’s not true. If you know how to find good clients, you’ll always get paid on time.

Q: How do Freelancers Find Work?

Freelancers can find work using various methods. And you’ll be happy to know that you don’t always have to use marketplaces like Upwork and Freelancer.com. Instead, you can use job boards, communities, and even email outreach to find jobs.

Q: Why Freelancing Is Hard?

Freelancing is not easy. You need to work hard and be determined to succeed as a freelancer. More importantly, it takes time to gain experience and develop skills. A good way to make this process easier is to find a coach and improve your skills by taking courses and reading books.

Q: Where To Learn Freelancing?

Unfortunately, there’s no special place you can go to learn to freelance. It’s something you must learn by doing. Taking online courses and reading books will help, but in the end, it will depend on your dedication and the ability to learn from your failures to be a great freelancer.

Q: What Are Easy Freelance Jobs?

Data entry gigs, transcription jobs, and translation jobs are all easy gigs you can do as a freelancer. But, keep in mind that “easy come, easy go”. Those easy jobs won’t last long. If you want to build a career as a freelancer, you’ll need to work hard at improving your skills.

Q: What Is Local Freelancing?

You don’t always have to signup for a freelance marketplace online to find work as a freelancer. You can also do work for local businesses. Whether it’s designing a website for a local shop or designing a logo, it still counts as freelancing. There are many job boards you can use to find local freelance jobs. Or you can go old-school and cold-call to ask for jobs.

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