A growing number of full-time employees are making a change of their lives and getting into freelancing or even into entrepreneurship.
Nowadays, things couldn’t get easier for employees to get their foot in the door and launch their own ventures. It all starts with a simple change, which involves freelancing.
How to start freelancing on the side in 4 easy steps
You can follow your dream of becoming your own boss and create your own company by simply learning the skills you need with a freelance job.
The good news is that you don’t have to quit your job or give up everything. You can start your freelance business taking baby steps and find your first client.
In this article, I’ll give you some quick tips on how to start freelancing on the side.
The following 4 easy steps should help you become a successful freelancer and prepare for starting your own business.
- Define your core offer
- How to work for the right clients
- How can you find your first freelancing testimonial
- Going for the right clients and growing one client at a time
- Check this before quitting your job to start a freelance business
Define your core offer
First and foremost, you need to know exactly what services you’re good at. Based on your knowledge, skills and previous experience, you should be able to craft a core offer that you can offer at a price.
Let’s assume that you have some skills In Photoshop, you enjoy doing graphic design, and you already use Adobe Illustrator at your current job.
In this case, your core offer might include logo creation, image resizing, image retouching, offering courses on how to use Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop, or simply offer graphic & poster design services.
On the other hand, if you’re already an SEO & Content manager with a proven level of experience, you can offer professional SEO & content writing services. You can start small by designing a landing page and promoting yourself as a genuine SEO expert.
On that page, you’ll be able to integrate the feedback you receive from your customers, provide pricing options and also connect with customers on a personal level. Of course, you can also start by working on a third-party platform such as Fiverr.com or PeoplePerHour.com. There are tons of high-quality platforms that you can use to hone your skills, grow your customer database and gain the experience needed in order to build your own business.
How to work for the right clients
The second part of the process is understanding the pain points of your customers. As you’re just starting out your freelance business, you need to know as much as possible about your target customers.
By narrowing down your focus on just a selected group of customers, you’ll be able to create a bespoke offer and personalized portfolio that solves the pain points of your customers.
While in the beginning, it’s much easier to take all the jobs you can get, you’ll soon understand that you need to turn down some customers. By working just with the right clients for you, you’ll be able to achieve much better results in the long run.
In the beginning, you need to start at a lower price in order to entice your prospects to buy from you. Since you’re a new player on the market and you don’t have the notoriety of bigger players, you can’t focus on making money. Your focus at this stage should be to go above and beyond and exceed your customers’ expectations.
Your goal should be to grow your brand awareness and notoriety and become a go-to person for your clients. To better understand who your ideal customer is, you want to ask yourself 3 questions:
- What type of businesses/people will find my services to be useful
- Which prospects will afford to pay the price in order to benefit from my services?
- Who is the decision-maker in each company?
Once you manage to answer these questions successfully, you’ll be able to narrow down your selection and you’ll become ready to find your first customer.
How can you find your first freelancing testimonial
When starting out your freelance business, it is close-to-impossible to land your first job within the first few weeks.
Let’s say you got your site up-and-ready, but it needs months until it starts ranking on SEO, and you don’t want to spend any money on PPC to drive traffic to your site.
Even if you invest $100 in paid ads, the chances of getting a customer are minimal, because you lack testimonials.
That’s why it is smart to focus on finding your first testimonial. To do that, you can play it smart and get a beta-customer first.
You can offer your services to a friend, co-worker, relative, or anyone else you know that fits into the range of ideal customers.
You can even do the job for free or charge a very low price. Once again, at this point, you should focus on growing your notoriety and building your brand instead of making money.
Your goal is to get a real testimonial so you can build up some authority on your site. Additionally, you want to have some feedback so you know what to improve.
After you’ve offered your services to a colleague or friend, it is time for the real experience, which involves getting your first client.
Going for the right clients and growing one client at a time
The last step of the process is a routine-based work where you want to grow and scale up your business by offering the services you love. Take into account each feedback you receive and strive to improve and get better at what you offer.
Even if you’re a very good specialist in your field, you might soon find out that you need to hone your soft skills, such as communication, empathy, and understanding of the client’s needs.
The more you’ll manage to grow your business, the better you’ll become at interacting with people, understanding their needs and solving their true problems.
At this point, you need to have a clear idea about what are the most painful problems of your customers and build your offer around that.
Remember, the better you become at identifying and solving the burning pains of your customers the more success you’ll have.
The bast majority of your competition will be offering generic services like anybody else and try to beat the competition by price rather than build a solid offer based on results.
Check this before quitting your job to start a freelance business
Starting a freelancing business takes time and effort, and to be honest, there are a few things that you need to check before quitting your job and start a business, or maybe, don’t do it.
However, once you notice that you start to make quite a profit, you should consider going a full-time freelancer and then getting ready to start your own small business. Your startup is just around the corner, together with your financial freedom and your success.
Do you want to find a profitable business idea?
If you want to start your own journey, I made a step-by-step guide for you to help you find and validate a profitable online business idea. You can get instant free access from here.