How to Thrive as a Newbie Freelancer: 5 Steps and you’re ready!

Charu Mitra Dubey
Sep 14, 2018 · 4 min read

Does thinking about ditching your 9–5 job and getting started as a freelancer give you goosebumps? Well, I can totally understand that. It’s just not you but many out there who aren’t ready to quit their secure enough jobs and search out for gigs. But let me tell you something, India owns around 15 million freelancers and bags around 40% of all the freelancing works worldwide. Pretty impressive, right?

So why not try it once and maybe it suits you better. Let me give you a little motivation, if you are eligible enough to do something for your company then you have all the qualities to do the same thing for yourself. All you need to do is focus and have a little patience.

And if you have both then allow me to shed some light on the path that you should follow in order to thrive as a newbie freelancer.

5 Steps Towards a Successful Freelancing Career-

Find a Niche

This is the first step towards starting off as a freelancer. Many freelancers do a mistake of writing about anything. This may seem necessary when you are just getting started and need to pay bills but this may end up with a messy portfolio. You don’t wish to confuse your clients, right? Try to concentrate on maximum 2–3 niches and build a portfolio over that.

Leverage Social Media

I admit that 75% of all the writing gigs that I’ve got is because of LinkedIn. Social Media is very powerful and has both tangible and intangible effects for a freelancer. When you start to stay active on Social Media, you start to catch eyeballs. The more people learn about your skills the more clients you get. Just choose a social media platform wisely and –

  • Stay Active (Posting, commenting, building relationships)
  • Build a network
  • Connect with influencers in your niche.

Just after some time of following the rules, you’ll start to see the outcomes, yourself. 🙂

Guest Posting

Many of the freelancers don’t believe in guest posting, why? Because it doesn’t help you get immediate rewards but it does help to strengthen up your portfolio and land writing gigs. How? Take my case, for example, whenever I get to publish my write-up on any high ranked website in my niche, I get 2–3 gigs every time. And these numbers keep on increasing with time.

Here’s what you need to do-

  • Find some websites in your niche that accepts guest posts.
  • Lookout for submission forms (if they have any) or pitch them directly.
  • Move from low DA websites to higher ones.
  • And please never go for ‘paid’ guest postings.

Build a Portfolio

Now that you’ve probably got some write-ups online, it’s time to build a real portfolio. Your portfolio is your CV that you would need to flaunt whenever you apply for a new gig. Showcase your best works over your portfolio. You can either go for an online portfolio or just a simple doc file. Don’t forget to keep updating it from time to time.

Reach Out!

You’re not always going to have work coming on your doorsteps. You need to go out and look for it. Prepare a list of companies that hire freelancers. How? One of the simplest tricks is to look out for other freelancers in your niche. Try LinkedIn to view the portfolios of other freelancers, where do they work? Reach out to the companies who hired them. You may not always get hired but don’t stop trying. You’ll definitely get 2 out of 25.

Wrapping it up-

Find the best gigs can be a little too difficult at first but once you get a foothold in the industry, you’d not need to worry about it. If you’re a newbie then having mentors, who could help you land up the best freelancing gigs can be a boon. A team of experienced freelancers is starting a new platform to help the freelancing newbies out there (even I am a part of it :)). Wanna join? Come along!

Originally published at on September 14, 2018.

This story is published in The Startup, Medium’s largest entrepreneurship publication followed by +368,675 people.

Subscribe to receive our top stories here.

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +477K people. Follow to join our community.

Charu Mitra Dubey

Written by

One day I will find peace but till then I would write whatever I feel. A solopreneur in a never ending journey of experimenting new stuffs. Founder @Initium

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +477K people. Follow to join our community.