Freelancing is a great way to take up some additional work from home and earn a few extra dollars. Whether you’re the creative type or gravitating more towards the entrepreneurial side, there is a freelance opportunity for every kind of work.
However, due to the increase of freelancers in the past decade, you have to make a strategic portfolio and prepare well in advance to stand out in the crowd.
So whether you want to quit your job, have a side hustle, or earn a few bucks, make sure you have adequate planning, research, and passion for driving your freelance business forward. This guide is perfect for you if you don’t know where to start. Here are a few steps to take to get started.
Decide On A Form Of Business
The best thing about a freelance business is starting as a sole business owner or merging it with another business or a partner. You can also set up a legal entity like a limited liability corporation or a company.
Most freelancers choose to do the latter because it benefits a legal entity while also taking away the complications of a corporation. Probably the most useful thing for you to do, at this point, is to consider your business goals and search for different types of businesses and assess which type supports your goals.
It’s good to have a plan so you can make an accounting and tax-paying structure. You can always change your business type later if you want to.
Determine Your Rates
Once you have planned what kind of business you want to establish, make a transparent pricing structure about your services so your customers know what prices you charge. This will also help you put a price on your skills and competency and establish how many clients you may need for your business to remain functional.
When choosing rates, remember that you don’t have to set a price based on your competitors’ rates. It might be possible that you offer a more valuable service than your competitor, so always charge based on the value you offer your customers.
Use The Right Tools
As soon as you’ve decided on the nature of your business, it is best to outline its processes. To do that, you need to have all the right freelancer tools in your arsenal.
Use a planner to outline all the processes you would include in your business operations. For example, you take clients' feedback, deal with customers, account management, signing tasks, etc. Additionally, you need to learn discipline from day one, so you can avoid getting stuck in a rut when things get tough.
Some of the following software choices can streamline your business processes and make work management easy for you:
A project management software for cross-functional collaboration among different departments
Productivity tools to collaborate and communicate effectively
An invoicing software to automate the streamlined process and increase productivity and convenience
Market Your Business The Right Way
Laying the groundwork for marketing your business is the first step to telling your audience about your business. Set up a website and social media accounts like Instagram and Twitter and reach out to a maximum audience. If you have already designed your freelance business’s logo, you can also make your business cards and promote them online.
Networking is essential because it entices potential clients right away. You can also ask your friends and family to share on their social media. You will be surprised by the referrals that your contacts can generate for you.
Carefully Choose Your First Clients
Choosing your first clients carefully is very important because no matter how great your business is if your clients don’t put in a good word for you, you will likely not get more clients. Your portfolio should indicate the kind of projects you are ready to take on and include testimonials from your past clients.
As much as it is important to choose clients wisely, it might also not be an excellent idea to be too picky about it. Instead, choose clients or businesses that can be beneficial for you in the long term. This can be a type of business you would want to explore or expand in or those that will help you kick-start your career.
When creating a client portfolio, you can create a cold pitch to attract potential clients. Similarly, creating a website will also be helpful as you’re essentially showing companies and clients proof of what you can offer.
If you’re planning to build a profitable freelance business from scratch and need guidance, this article will provide you with all the tips to empower you and open your own successful freelance business.