Freelancing is the most popular way to begin an online business. Here's why and how to make more money and turn your side hustle into a full-time, scalable business.
How to Land Your First Freelance Project: Five Steps
Take these five steps to secure your first client and launch a freelance profession.
- Describe your knowledge as a product.
- Establish your ideal customer or marketplace.
- Prepare a portfolio and online profiles.
- Promote your services to customers.
- Take notes on the outcomes and gaps, evaluate the result at every stage, and adjust your strategy to advance.
First step – Describe your knowledge as a product
Your resume's abilities section merely enumerates your technological and technical know-how. However, you must determine what you could accomplish in the actual world with all of those abilities.
Make it clear how you can provide for the client so that they comprehend it.
You could be skilled in the following:
- Website creation
- Internet advertising
- Analysis of Data
- Writing and translating
Your offerings may include the following:
- Creating complete, high-performance websites and web apps.
- Creating stunning digital artwork and graphics for posters, videos, and websites.
- Assisting individuals and small businesses in online product and service promotion.
- Analyzing data to find trends and provide comprehensive answers to crucial business-related concerns to make wise decisions.
- Writing fantastic content that will contribute to someone's site, YouTube channel, etc.
- Automate processes with code or no-code tooling
Most people have trouble taking the initial step. They are unsure about their readiness right now. You'll never be fully prepared. Start now!
- Look for those who have successfully carved themselves into a career in freelancing. Investigate and imitate their procedure. Then add your personal touch.
- Learn to use the proper language; explain whatever you perform and why you are superior to the competition to your potential clients.
Second step - Establish your ideal customer or marketplace
A freelance profession is impossible without clients, but this does not mean you should approach or market your skills to anybody. This won't help you much and will only make you more frustrated.
Since you already know your niche, you should consider who requires such a service. Start narrow to stand out and excel.
Third step - Prepare a portfolio and online profiles
Now that you know your niche and ideal customers, it's time to open your business. That can be your portfolio page in this scenario, which is strongly advised, or profiles on websites including LinkedIn, Upwork, Toptal, or AngelList.
A strong portfolio might improve your chances of landing a job for several reasons.
- It demonstrates how seriously you approach your task.
- It can demonstrate your work examples and the ability level needed to provide a service in your specialized field.
- Having endorsements or references written by a colleague, partner, or ex-boss can help your credibility.
Here are some pointers for creating a captivating and sincere portfolio:
- Examine the projects for which you might apply. Make a note of the terms and abilities that these clients employ to express their requirements. Include in your profile any abilities (strengths) that will help you land relevant projects. List no more than 10 skills.
- Upload a professional photo along with a brief bio that highlights your area of expertise or services.
- Showcase your portfolio's best work.
- If you have any certifications, list them here. Strengthen your resume.
- Be persistent with your skill set, finish the profile, be clear and concise, and proofread each part.
Fourth step - Promote your services to customers
Now is the time to get to work. You might land the job if you can market your services and demonstrate that you fit the client's needs and budget well.
But first, you must find clients to approach. Your exposure and outreach need improvement here.
There are several methods for doing that:
- Contacting clients on websites like LinkedIn.
- Use Upwork (generic), Toptal (engineers), Codementor (if you're an expert), and AngelList as sites for freelancing.
- Make a Facebook group to offer services in your specialty in your local area (city/state), or utilize Google Adwords to advertise your services if you want to take it further.
Many freelancers start off as employees before embarking on their solo endeavors. This is an excellent way to gain domain expertise and build up a network of people to whom you will later reach out to gain those initial clients.
Fifth step - Take notes on the outcomes and gaps, evaluate the result at every stage, and adjust your strategy to advance
You can secure your first assignment in one day, a month, or six months. Continual improvement is essential to the process in either case. Even if your initial attempt fails, you may learn from it and try again.
- How many clients or projects have you contacted? How many reacted, expressed interest, were rejected, or took action?
- Why was your idea turned down? Ask the client for feedback.
- What do those in your niche that are successful do differently?
- What is fresh in your field?
Study the information:
- Look for any gaps between the project's criteria and your portfolio.
- Recognize each piece of data you've collected, then focus on the kinds of clients you had the best possibilities of converting.
- Establish a distinct class of customers for whom you must close the knowledge gap between their needs and yours.
Following these guidelines, finding your first client shouldn't take long. But as always, it requires hard work, and it'll get easier the more experience you get, the better you hone your skills, and above all, how good you are att marketing yourself.