How to get started on your freelancer journey?

How to get started on your freelance journey — A complete guide for beginners.
It took me about a year to get steady work as a freelancer and here is the nitty-gritty of what actually worked to keep myself fed and not homeless.
Just so we’re all on the same page, this article is not about how to get to the A-list level of whatever you want to do freelance. This is simply for those out there who are willing to hustle and want to start paying their bills with freelance projects.
To give you some context, I have been working as a freelance graphic designer with a youtube channel on the side. When I first started, I read every single blog and article out there on how to make my business work. Now that I am at the point of finally having consistent projects and income, I thought I’d reflect on the advice and go through what worked for me and what didn’t.
Let’s dive into it!


Getting Started:

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
“Brainstorm on services you can offer”
First things first, let’s explore what all you can offer as a freelancer and what markets are ripe for.
List of the services you can offer:
Freelance Writing
Web Development
Marketing Services
Logo Design
Graphic Designing
Illustrations
There is no end to it what you can do on the internet, especially in the times like these where everyone is doing their work at the leisure of their home. This is just a list of niches that are popular right now. For more such ideas refer to this link.
“Educate yourself”
Once you’ve decided what you want to do. The next step is to educate yourself. Simply put, you need to be good at what you do to be able to get paid for it. You can’t just jump right in without even trying to learn the basics. You must polish up your skills first.
People lie in two categories:
If you’re still in college or just graduated or you’ve no job right now. This is an ideal situation for you guys right now. Utilize this time to keep your skills updated, gain some experience, and not to forget — a decent income. Give yourself space and time to experiment more. Discover yourself in the process. Start by taking courses, learning new techniques in the industry, and read a lot.
If you’re considering this as your side hustle(never liked this phrase). But if there is something else going on in your life, for example, a job or a business of sorts. I suggest you start by taking a paid course or any free tutorial on youtube and work on making your portfolio. Be smart about leaving your job. Have a plan! For you guys, it is going to take some time but since you have a job you can use this time to thoroughly study and polish your skills.
Getting Discovered:

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels
“Get on social media”
When I first started I hovered around the 700 followers mark on Instagram. I didn’t have a huge following but I was active with the people there. Start posting your work there or make a new page entirely. Social media helps. Twitter is another such example, people are always looking for competent people. There are so many people in my friend circle who got freelance gigs from these websites.
Just keep posting consistently and have patience. It is not going to take that long but give it a year give or take.
“Build a website”
Nothing too sassy just build a simple website where you can upload your work(or portfolio). A website can go a long way, it does two things for you. First, it makes you look professional, and second, It helps you stand out from the crowd and you build your credibility. Go make one!
“Get on Reddit and Quora”
Reddit is great to start a dialogue in whatever niche you want to dip your foot into. Also, you get to be a part of the conversation which equips you to find relevant information.
Personally, I started writing on Quora a while ago and it turned out fruitful. Being nice, helpful, and giving as much factual information as possible is the key. You’d be surprised at how many people want to hire you to do the workload instead of them stressing about it.
Arguably, finding clients as a freelancer is one of the toughest tasks. Sometimes it feels like you’re spending more time client-hunting than actually working. The above-mentioned are some of the strategies you can leverage to make potential clients come to you. For a more detailed guide on how to find clients, refer to the article mentioned at the end of this post.

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