A lot of people are now considering a new work trend that gives them flexibility and comfort in so many ways – freelancing. Freelance employments have increased in the past years and a lot have jumped into the opportunity of breaking from the traditional work set-up. If you have been considering this but do not know where to start, then this article is just for you.
1. Choose your niche
Pretty much everything could be outsourced to a third party nowadays so much so that at least one of your skills or talent could be a good choice to start your freelance job. Of course, there are certain roles that require specific skill sets like programming or video editing. However, you don’t need to fret and think that you don’t have what it takes. Look at your other secondary skills and begin from there. Enjoy writing? Then look at online writing gigs. The possibilities are endless and you just need to be creative.
2. Build your profile and portfolio
Your potential clients would find you and create their first impression of you through your profile so it’s important that it looks polished, organized and professional enough. From your headshot (no peace signs or tongue stuck out photos, please) to the content, clients would be able to gauge if you are something they would like to enter business with. Be careful of grammar and spelling mistakes as this could create a wrong impression of your skills already. Better add links of your previous work that are related to the service you are offering so clients would have a way to assess your skills.
If you are new with freelance work and does not have a portfolio to show, that’s okay. You could start building it by looking for pro bono work related to your niche, which you could eventually add to your list of experience.
3. Maximize the power of an awesome cover letter
So you’ve finally put up your profile and portfolio. The next step in looking for freelance work is to start searching for it and sending out your resume. But do not just rely on your curriculum vitae to do the work for you. Write a cover letter that would highlight your experience and strengths with regard to the opportunity you are looking for. Not all hiring managers have the time to scroll through your 5-page resume so it’s good to write a letter that would introduce you and be direct with what you could offer the firm.
4. Land your first freelance work
If you do not get the first job you applied for, don’t be discouraged. It happens. Just continue to look for other opportunities you could share your experience with. You could also ask the employer you applied to why you did not make the cut (in a polite manner, of course!) so you would know what else to improve with your skills and experience. It is also a good way to build relationship with potential customers. Who knows, you might just be what they need after a few months.
5. Find ways to slowly build your brand
Remember, you are not just a mere freelancer, your name is a business. If you do your work well, more clients would get your services. But in order for you to reach that, you also need to slowly create a brand that would create a recall in the industry. After you have gotten experience, try to assess which direction you’d like to focus on, say you’re writer – would you like to remain a copywriter or eventually move into an editorial position? Once you’ve determined what you like, you could also take up additional lessons or boot camps to further hone your skills and amp up your marketability.