A step-by-step guide to finding a Freelancing project as a beginner -
Long gone are the days when job security was a thing. Since the recent pandemic, decline in government jobs, the introduction of A.I and huge sudden layoffs in the last months of 2022, it has become extremely crucial for you to build yourself on the internet and get paid for your work. Hassle-free.
You are in the age of the getting paid for your skills. Skills that set you apart and pay your bills.
Think of any monetizable skill you may have. Maybe you are good at video editing and
- can help a YouTube creator with his videos and thumbnails. or
- you can help someone’s business with its website management and SEO.
People pay heavily for these things you offer them.
But I know the exact reason why you are reading this article!
You are here because you have a skill but you don't know how to monetize it.
You have already started your freelancing journey, but as a beginner, you need some guidance.
Well, my friend. I got your back.
In just 5 actionable steps, I am going to help you get clients for your skill and take a step closer to your independent life where you don't have to work 10 hours a day with a boss yelling at your head.
Here's how you quit being broke and start earning as a freelancer through any DAMN CHOSEN SKILL.
- Learn a skill for at least 5–6 months -
No, you don’t need to purchase a paid course initially. Watch videos on YouTube, educational posts from Instagram creators, and study free courses on Udemy, and Coursera as well.
Most of the self-proclaimed ‘gurus’ actually make all their money on the internet from selling courses, not from the thing they guarantee they will teach you.
So better ignore them as a beginner freelancer.
Leverage the benefit of free material till your skills get better than that of a newbie.
2. Work for your friends for FREE -
Now that you have that skill and you can make someone's work or business better, ask your friends or colleagues if they need your services.
If you have a lot of contacts or even if you have a hard time talking to people, networking will help you here.
Circulate the news to your peers about your services and see the magic of networking.
Even if you don’t know someone to work for, there is a 500% chance that your friend’s friend’s friend knows someone.
You can also make a temporary placard for this purpose.
3. Make a portfolio & start cold mailing –
Now that you have worked for one or more of your friends, solved their problems or helped the venture generate better engagement, it's time to show the world your expertise.
This is where a portfolio comes into play.
Your portfolio is the personalized collection of your best work and testimonials that you can show to your prospective clients to gain their trust.
Consider it this way. The way your degree certificate works in finding a job, and a portfolio works the same way in the world of freelance.
A cold message/mail is where the recipient doesn't know who you are and honestly, it doesn't matter. Your portfolio speaks for yourself.
Leverage the power of the Internet and collect emails or LinkedIn profiles of the CEOs, and hiring companies and start cold messaging them.
You can either mail them or message them on Twitter or LinkedIn.
I recommend LinkedIn as it's the official platform for finding work. People are more open to having conversations about jobs and freelancing.
A cold message must be personalized and respectful. Someone is spending their time reading your offer, so make sure it's worth their time.
Here’s an example of a sample cold message for a video editor —
I have a quick question for you. Who handles the video editing part for all your social media platforms? I love the visual representation of all the videos.
But I think if there was a little more clarity and captions, it would be easier for people to understand as well.
Having two years of experience in video editing, I think I can perfectly fulfill your needs.
In case you are interested, here are my work samples.
[Link to work sample]
Hoping to hear from you.
Work for free or at a very low rate in the beginning and always attach a security offer.
Example - I will increase your sales by 5% in the next 30 days, if not, you are allowed to pay me nothing.
Leave no reason for a client to find a dent in your offer and say no.
4. Ask for referrals -
When you are new to the world of freelancing, I suggest you not to ask for money as the first offer. Instead, ask for connections and referrals.
Think of it this way.
The client you are working for most probably knows similar businesses and solopreneurs .
As the charge for your work, ask your client to set you up with other people who might be interested in your services or offer a discounted rate for the next project if the client can retain you.
There are high chances you get either of these things.
If you get referrals, you get to get in touch with similar influential people in the industry and if the client retains you for a discounted rate, you don't have to find work again and your portfolio keeps on getting better.
It's a win-win situation.
Always keep in mind, working for experience, in the beginning, is the key to closing higher-paying clients in the future.
5. Building a network –
Now that you have a bunch of clients you have worked for, it's time to build an extensive network to fish a bigger client.
When potential clients see you as a freelancer connected with other recruiters, their trust in you grows exponentially.
Start posting your work and experience on LinkedIn and build a tribe. This will help you in two ways -
- Building an audience
- Inbound leads
As you further grow in this journey, you will learn new insights and learnings of freelancing and how to cope with it.