11 Best Freelancing Tips For Beginners
Are you in search of the best freelancing tips for beginners?
Are you looking forward to being your boss where you don’t have to be reporting to the higher manager that micromanages everything you do?
Trust me, I’ve been there, and I often stared at the clock, counting the minutes before I could go home.
Only when I started freelancing, I fell back in love with life!
I left my corporate job with its stable pay and sizable pension to freelance and travel the world and it’s the best decision I’ve made in my life!
Some of the numerous benefits of being a freelancer include the ability to choose the sort of work you do and who you work with, as well as the amount of time you spend on a project and whether or not you work remotely.
This article will address your questions about what freelancing is and how to make it work for you!
Summary of the 11 Best Freelancing Tips For Beginners
- Figure Out WHY You Want To Freelance
- Pick ONE Niche And Own It
- Upskilling Will Make You More Money
- Who Are Your Ideal Clients?
- Build A Solid Portfolio
- Manage Your Time
- Get On Freelancing Sites
- Charge Accordingly
- Follow Up
- Build Your Reputation
- Leverage Social media For Networking
- How To Become A Freelance Writer
- Best Freelance Jobs For Beginners
- How To Become A Virtual Assistant With No Experience
- Beginner Transcription Jobs
Note- If you are busy and want learn a step by step strategy to find the perfect freelance job that suits your skills and interests, secure paying clients and earn enough to quit your 9-5 job, check this freelance job resource out.
What Is Freelancing?
You keep seeing this word pop up online and you know that Brad from high school proudly claims that he’s a freelancer now, but WHAT is freelancing?
Freelancing is when you work independently, under your own employment.
You’re not tied to any company or organization. A freelancer has a set of skills and charges people to have access to that skill.
For example, say you’re great at spotting the most minute grammatical errors. That is a skill. What you can now do is start proofreading for people who don’t have the skill or time to run through their documents to check for errors, charging them a fee for your service.
The number of jobs you take on as a freelancer just boils down to how much work you can handle at a time.
Remember, with freelancing, you don’t have to report back or answer to anyone. If you think you can juggle 6 different clients and deliver excellent-quality work, then, by all means, you go for it!
Being a freelancer means taking full responsibility for your work and your finances.
You no longer have a steady paycheck that rolls in every couple of weeks. With freelancing, your income is proportional to the work you do and the effort you put in.
Freelancing is mostly about working on your terms and circumstances, getting compensated for offering high-quality services, and interacting with clients. Let’s go through this freelancing guide for beginners to get you started.
11 Best Freelancing Tips For Beginners
1. Figure Out WHY You Want To Freelance
As cliche as it sounds, one of the best freelancing tips for beginners that I can give you is that you’ve got to figure out your why.
What is the driving force of your decision to be a freelancer?
- Do you want to increase your income?
- Are you tired of investing your time into funding someone else’s dream?
- Do you want to have absolute control over your time?
Whatever the reason may be, it’s got to be strong enough to drive you to put the extra hours into pursuing a freelance job.
Instead of sugar coating it, I’m going to give you some tough love and say that freelancing isn’t all that smooth sailing.
Regardless of which freelance job that you decide on, it’s going to take a while for you to establish some groundwork and start earning an income.
Your mindset and your WHY matters.
If you’re going into this with a fixed mindset that it will be difficult, then yes, it will be. You want to steer yourself in the direction of success and not dwell in a victim mindset that it’s “too” difficult.
Facing rejections are part and parcel of life, more so in the freelance world. Get used to failing- it’s normal.
I received 30 rejections before I secured my first freelance writing client.
You’ve got to be tenacious and persevere, continuously working towards your freelancing goal. It will get lonely, especially if you’re starting because you’re a one-woman (or man) show.
Be optimistic and self-driven, and you will be able to withstand the journey of starting up a career in freelancing.
2. Pick ONE Niche And Own It
I know you might feel like you want to dive in headfirst and accept the mountain of jobs that are available on freelancing sites and it’s great to try out many things.
However, you’re going to want to pick a niche that is the most suitable for you.
Being an expert in a niche will bring in more jobs for you. What do I mean by that?
Say you’re suffering from an annoying toothache, do you go to a surgeon or do you go to a dentist? A dentist right?
Why? Because you know a dentist is an expert in all things related to human teeth.
Likewise with your freelance career. If a client is looking for content writing services and stumbles upon your profile, would they find samples of content writing or are they going to find accounting samples and graphic design samples?
When choosing a niche, think of the following:
- What are your interests and passions?
- What are your skills?
- Are there any gaps in the market that you could fill in?
- Are there any opportunities that you could take up?
There is no ‘wrong’ freelance niche and it’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you’re just starting. Take out a piece of paper and list down the answers to the questions above and go from there.
Choosing a specific field to work in on top of delivering excellent work is the key to standing out in the world of freelancing. Potential clients will trust someone who exudes confidence and specializes in a topic.
Here are some of the best niches to dabble into:
3. Upskilling Will Make You More Money
Okay now that you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to amp it up by defining what you can offer to the public.
You see, being a freelancer is about having a skill and getting people to pay you for that skill. You’ve got to hone your skill to the best of your abilities to ensure you’ve got yourself a stable clientele and stand out from the marker
Whatever it is, finding a skill that you are strong at and can master and that has sufficient demand in the marketplace is the key to excelling in freelancing.
For example, let’s say you were writing about fashion in college and you’re now planning to be a freelance writer in the beauty and fashion industry. The fashion industry is growing at a steady pace of 7.18% annually and you know that this is a niche that is in demand.
Now, you can’t pitch to fashion websites or blogs right away without providing solid samples that display your writing skills in the fashion niche.
The kind of writing you do in college and blog articles have individual writing formats. When it comes to blogs, you would need to know how to write to attract readers to the site.
With that being said, you’ve got to spend some time writing articles that are suitable for a blog, learning how to ask the right questions to draw in readers.
These freelancing tips for beginners do not only apply to freelance writing but also apply to any freelance job you’d like to try for.
Try to implement these steps to take your skills to the next level :
- Read blogs
- Find a mentor on the topic of interest and emulate them
- Listen to podcasts
- Join Facebook groups
- Enroll in free courses online
Don’t be discouraged if it seems like it is taking a while to brush your skills, be patient, and stay consistent .
4. Find Out Who Your Ideal Clients Are
As a freelancer you have the freedom to choose who you want to work with ! It’s scary but liberating 🙂
Once you start looking for clients, you should have a distinct idea of the kind of people you want to work with.
This of course is correlated to your values.
If you’re someone who is highly driven, values time, and has high integrity, you are most probably not going to get along with clients who take three weeks to get back to you, or clients who delay payments without giving you the heads up.
Are you aiming to help small businesses that are also equally driven to make a change?
Would you like to make a name as a cryptocurrency writer or do you have your eye set on a particular brand? Are you catering your services to a certain demographic? Are these demographics capable decision-makers that will boost your freelance business?
There are a handful of factors that go in when picking out clients. Whatever your answer may be, it is best to know who you’re catering your service to generate tailored pitches for these clients and bring in a decent income for yourself.
5. Build A Solid Portfolio
This is one of the most important freelancing tips for beginners.
Just like preparing a CV for a job interview, you should have an outstanding profile and portfolio highlighting your skills and talents.
A place where potential clients can browse and have the light bulb go off in their head that you’re the perfect candidate for the freelance job at hand.
A solid portfolio can be a personal website, blog, or resume where you can showcase your skills.
You will need to create personal branding that reflects the values you hold on to, how you express those values, what you stand for, and essentially who you are.
The key to building a good portfolio comprises of these few elements :
- Highlight your skills
- Showcase previous projects and sample works
- Your portfolio should reflect who you are (show your passions, interests, etc)
- Include reviews and testimonials
- Always edit your portfolio with recent achievements as you go along.
Try to keep your portfolio creative and exciting so that it doesn’t look like a bland report of your skills and achievements.
Tip – You can share your work samples on the free portfolio too, Contently or on your own freelance website.
6. Manage Your Time
The last thing you would want to do is drown in your workload because you’re trying to juggle your 9-5 and your freelance hustle.
You will end up letting your clients down and burning valuable relationships.
One of the best freelancing tips for beginners is to manage your time by staying grounded with a schedule.
Do you want to feel like a hot mess, feeling like you can’t achieve that work-life balance? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
In freelancing, time is money.
You’re your boss, you have the liberty of choosing your working hours. To manage your time efficiently, here are some things you can do starting today:
Maintain A Schedule
Despite the fact that freelancers have flexible hours, having a schedule will have you keep track of the projects that you are involved in.
This will ensure deadlines aren’t missed and all works are delivered in a timely manner.
Every day, set aside time for work. Try to choose the hours that correspond to your clients’ or prospective clients’ usual working hours. This will help maintain a steady workflow.
If you’re not someone who can adhere to a timetable of work, use the Pomodoro Technique, which I find truly useful to manage your time.
Set your timer to 25 minutes, and dive straight into deep-focused work before taking a break and repeating the cycle.
On the other hand, if you’re juggling multiple projects and need help in managing them, then Trello is going to be your best friend! On this site, you can rearrange and prioritize your projects and stay up to date with your project timelines.
Here’s an article on the 15 best productivity tips on working from home for you to maximize your output and produce quality work!
This is one of the most uncommon but very important freelancing tips for beginners.
Now everyone needs to rest, even freelancers. But wait, I get to set my working hours, why would I possibly need rest?
Contrary to popular belief, freelancer burnouts are real.
To avoid that, have a rest day or days to simply recharge and connect with your loved ones. Do activities that swell your heart with joy and then come back and get ready to deliver amazing work.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with saying no to people which resulted in my energy draining and me feeling completely depleted.
Learning how to draw boundaries is important because you don’t want to work at the expense of your energy and time being robbed.
Set clear rules about deadlines and working ethics.
Don’t take on more work for the sake of expanding your portfolio or increasing your income when you’re compromising the work quality.
7. Get On Freelancing Sites
Another efficient freelancing tips for beginners that plays a key role in the type of clients and job you’re engaged with is freelancing sites.
A freelancing site is where freelancers, beginners or not, can come together to find jobs that are suitable for them.
Due to the wide selection of jobs that are available on the sites, freelancers can have a pick on the job they’d like to be involved in.
Since you’re a beginner, take a look at the few freelancing sites mentioned below to ease yourself into the process of earning as a freelancer.
Here are some articles on remote jobs that you could try out :
- How To Work From Amazon From Home
- Location Independent Jobs
- Digital Nomad Vacatures: Your Quick And Easy Guide
- Digital Nomad Jobs For Beginners
More often than not, these platforms are a breeze to browse and locate jobs that are tailored to your skills.
8. Charge Accordingly
It’s no surprise that as you’re starting you won’t be earning much, you might even work for free just to build a portfolio.
I have no issue working for free at the beginning, to gain valuable experience.
However, I am a firm believer that you should be compensated adequately for the work you’re doing, once you have built up experience.
It’s no surprise that most freelancers charge peanuts at the beginning of the journey because let’s face it, you’re new, you don’t have enough experience, and you’re still learning.
However, once you get more experience, raise your rates.
If you continue to undercharge your clients for the work you do, it’ll only halt your progress into becoming a high-earning freelancer.
For starters, instead of wondering how to make money freelancing online, hop on to the many freelancing sites and look at the rates charged by other freelancers in your niche.
Try to gauge the average rate to charge based on your work and go on from there.
This amazing guide on pricing 101 will give you a clear picture of the dos and don’ts of pricing your services.
9. Get Some Testimonials
Reviews are vital, we all know that.
For instance, before I buy a book, I often get on Goodreads to look at the reviews for that story before purchasing it.
It’s the same with online clothes shopping, before making a purchase, I skim through the reviews to make sure I am getting the right fit for myself.
The same principle applies to freelancing.
It is important to follow up with your clients and get their reviews. With reviews, you can’t be expecting all sunshine and rainbows and be open to any constructive criticism that may come your way.
The client can leave a review on your Facebook Business page, on your freelance website or even via email.
If a follow-up with a client reveals that your service needs work or some tweaking, then great, you can tweak it and improve your service. When you apply the feedback that is given to you, chances are your work will improve for the better.
Always deliver work that is beyond expectations to ensure the clients are truly satisfied and that you have recurring work securing an income stream.
Positive testimonials can pave the way for more business.
10. Build Your Reputation
Aside from having a solid portfolio, building a good reputation is among the best freelancing tips for beginners in 2021.
While having a high-quality portfolio will help in attracting clients, you build your reputation and credibility by doing the extras.
Once you’ve established your footing in the industry, you can then go ahead and create online courses, influence other budding freelancers, write an ebook, share your tips on social media and host workshops to begin boosting your presence in your niche.
I guess you can say that this is a form of reputation booster, a list of achievements that can be used to enhance your portfolio and demonstrate your growth and knowledge learned for potential future clients.
11. Leverage Social Media For Networking
How to start freelancing work?
Shout it out at the top of the roof that you’re starting a freelance career.
Small businesses are booming in every corner and now you can be part of that group too. Every contact and connection you make counts, as you never know where it might lead to.
Use social media to boost the exposure of your service, the wider your services are broadcasted to, the higher the chances of you being spotted by potential clients.
In the beginning, you can post about your service across all social media.
However, over time, it’s best to narrow them down to where your potential audiences are.
If you’re getting the most interaction from Instagram, then great, keep going at it, put more focus into marketing on that social media platform.
As a one-man show, you don’t want to be overwhelmed with managing too many social media platforms that cause unnecessary stress.
Social media is a free-marketing channel that many freelancers are taking advantage of as there are over 3.78 billion users worldwide, and that accounts for about 48% of the world population. Isn’t that mind-blowing?
As long as you figure out how to navigate through social media to attain new clients, you’re all set!
Insider Tip –I found great success as a freelancer on Linkedin!
Best Freelancing Tips For Beginners FAQS
How Can I Become A Freelancer With No Experience?
So, how to start freelancing with no experience, and is it possible? The answer is yes.
You’re going to want to kick the thoughts that it is impossible out of your head, far far away over to Neverland.
Starting a freelance job with no experience is going to require additional work, determination, and dedication from your side but hey, that goes for everything else in life.
I started all my freelance jobs with ZERO experience and I still eventually ended up earning six-figures a year!
One of the many upsides to freelancing is that it does not have a fixed set of requirements or terms and conditions to start a job. No Ph.D. or Masters degree in any course will be required.
Take me as an example, I didn’t know what my skills were or what freelancing job would be suitable for me. All I knew is that I wanted to earn extra money to help pay my bills. I read through multiple articles on freelance online and narrowed down my skills.
I knew I loved reading and have always had a way with words, so freelance writing seemed like a sensible option. I saved up enough money to enroll myself in a course and the rest is history.
The imposter syndrome is going to dawn on you, and that is normal.
You’re human after all, so don’t fret about not having the greatest qualifications to start freelancing because what is expected of you is the determination to hone your existing skills and the commitment to work hard every day.
Remote Work Vs Freelancing – What’s The Difference?
You might have assumed that these two terms mean the same thing as I had. However, they are not.
A remote worker is someone whose physical presence is not required at the office.
You are still employed under a company or an organization, it’s just that you possess the liberty to work from home or any venue of your preference.
One of the main differences between a remote worker and a freelancer is that a remote worker can work full-time for an organization whereas a freelancer works part-time or on a per-agreement-basis.
Employees opt for remote work these days as it allows citizens to cut down the daily hassle of work commute, saving both time and money. Thanks to the advancement of modern technology, the quality of work produced does not have to be compromised despite not being physically present at the office.
Freelancing on the other hand is when a self-employed individual has a certain skill set to complete a project or job.
As a freelancer, you work on your own time with a flexible schedule of your choice and are not under any employment obligations like you would be in a company.
The freedom of choosing which clients to work with or which projects to agree on is entirely up to you, with no bosses hovering around your head to limit your potential.
You can work for multiple clients at a time without the worry of breaching contacts. The terms and conditions of your job are set by you and no one else.
Where To Find Freelance Jobs Online?
As a budding beginner in the world of freelancing, be prepared to take on jobs even when the pay isn’t tempting,at the beginning .
In order to have a portfolio of work to display to potential paying clients, you’ve got to start somewhere.
So even if the pay is low, it is a means to showcase your skills and the kind of quality work you can produce.
Over time, as your portfolio of work grows, you will be able to attract better-paying jobs and connect with recurring clients to ensure a constant stream of jobs because you have gained their trust by producing high-quality work from the very beginning.
So, now that you’ve understood the best freelancing tips for beginners, here are some of the best freelance websites for beginners to get you going.
Freelancer has got you covered if you’re in search of freelance jobs for beginners in the niches ranging from designing to writing.
Considered as one of the best freelance sites for beginners, you will find that navigating through the site for a job is a seamless process.
Among the job categories available on the site are:
- Websites, IT, and Software
- Design, Media, and Architecture
- Product Sourcing and Manufacturing
- Translation and Language
- Mobile Phones and Computing
- Data Entry and Admin
- Sales and Marketing
- Local Jobs and Services
- Writing and Content
- Engineering and Services
- Freight, Shipping, and Transportation
- Business, Accounting, Human Resources, and Legal
The option is endless with Freelancer, take your pick and get on board the freelance train!
To get noticed on SimplyHired, all you need to do is upload your resume and draw in the flood of opportunities.
The convenience of the job search-ability on the site will be handy for beginner freelancers. Search results can be narrowed down to only show the jobs that are within your niche and expertise.
Upwork is the go-to website for anyone looking to hire a freelancer. From bloggers to major corporations, freelancers are always sought after through Upwork.
The never-ending stream of job postings is regularly updated providing the best options for anyone in search of freelancers.
Due to the density of this platform, it might take a while for you to get noticed on this site, but if you’re consistent with updating your profile, tweaking it to stand out, you’ll be securing projects soon enough.
Implement these effective tips on how to create an impressive freelancer profile listed by UpWork to increase the probability of your profile being noticed by potential clients.
Some freelancers may dismiss Fiverr due to the low rates offered, but it is one of the best freelancing websites for beginners.
Even though the pay might not be that great in the beginning, you will be able to build a credible portfolio by engaging with jobs on Fiverr.
Among the job categories available on the site are:
- Graphics and Design
- Digital Marketing
- Writing and Translation
- Video and Animation
- Music and Audio
- Programming and Tech
With over USD 250 million paid to freelancers, Guru is a credible source for anyone seeking a freelance job.
Businesses opt for Guru to search for a freelancer as the company does thorough screening for the freelancers that are listed on their site, hence, in terms of security, you’re good to go.
Among the job categories available on the site are:
- Programming and Development
- Administrative and Secretarial
- Education and Training
- Design and Art
- Engineering and Architecture
- Writing and Translation
- Sales and Marketing
- Business and Finance
6. College Recruiter
This site is great for anyone in college who would like to start their freelancing journey. College recruiter has jobs available for different college majors, recent graduates, entry-level jobs, and internship opportunities.
Among the companies that are offering jobs on this site are :
7. Facebook Groups
An amazing avenue to secure freelancing jobs for beginners is through Facebook groups. Just a quick search will show you different groups on Facebook according to your niche.
Once you’re in these groups, post your service and let potential clients connect with you.
A few examples of freelance job groups are :
- Freelance Remote Jobs
- Fiverr & Upwork Freelancers
- Freelance Content Writer, Content Marketing
- Freelance Essay & Assignment Writing Jobs
- Graphic Designers & Freelancers
Which Freelancing Job Is Best For Beginners?
One thing that should be made clear is that with freelancing, no one job fits all.
Experimenting with different job platforms and engaging with various clients is part of the freelancing journey.
If you’re still on the fence about becoming a freelancer, here is a detailed article on the best freelancing jobs for beginners that covers all you need to know about picking a job that is tailored to your skillset.
Which Freelancing Skills Are In Demand?
As of 2019, nearly 57 million American citizens are freelancers and it’s no surprise that the number is expected to rise over the next coming years.
The independence, flexibility, and liberation that come from freelancing seem to suit the needs and dreams of many.
Gone are the days where a 9-5 work-life is considered the dream.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it is completely fine if you’re comfortable with a 9-5 job but if we’re being honest, you clicked on this article because you’re finally giving in to the nagging voice that is telling you to begin freelancing.
Consider this one of the best freelancing tips for beginners :You need to tailor your skills based on the demand.
The famous economics principle of supply and demand applies here. If you can accommodate the needs of modern society, you’re on the path to earning big bucks as a freelancer.
Take a look at the freelancing skills that are in demand :
1. Social Media Management
Having a career as a social media manager was an unfathomable idea ten years ago. However, I am willing to bet that you know someone who’s a social media manager today.
Average salary: USD 52,239
2. Video Editors
With an increase of 23% in the number of channels on Youtube, the demand for video editors is constantly on the rise.
With the introduction of ‘Reels’ on Instagram and the viral Tiktok videos that are taking over the internet, videos have become a staple means of communication across the globe.
Average salary: USD 48,908
3. Programming And Software Development
Everything and anything that revolves around IT and technology in this sector is slowly but surely taking over the world. This skillset is high in demand as it is not for everyone and is difficult to master.
It is a highly valued skill that is sure to bring in big bucks.
Average salary: USD 79,520
4. Content Writing
Being a content writer should be on your list of potential jobs if someone who has a way with words and has great research skills. All the best freelance writing tips for beginners can be found here!
Due to the fame of online marketing, businesses are in search of writers who can captivate audiences with their skills in writing.
Average salary: USD 61,050
5. Graphic Designers
Creating vibrant and eye-catching designs is not a skill that everyone can hone.
One of the best freelance graphic design tips for beginners is to always sketch out your designs before slogging hours at the computer. If graphic designing floats your boat, then you’re in luck because this skill is in demand in the world of freelancing.
Average salary: USD 52,786
6. SEO Specialist
As an SEO specialist, you will be in charge of the keywords that are vital in ranking a business in Google or any search engine, bringing in traffic and sales for your client.
Average salary: USD 69,401
7. Accounting And Bookkeeper
Accounting and bookkeeping is a job that can be done from the comfort of your home. If you’re someone with an eye for mathematics and analytics, this freelance job is the one for you.
Even though there are large accounting firms out there, small businesses tend to seek freelancers for this service.
Average salary: USD 78,640
There you go, practical freelancing tips for beginners along with other useful content for you to practice! Freelancing gives you a lot of freedom and allows you to establish your own business, freeing you from the shackles of a corporate 9-5 job.
It’s a common misconception that freelancers are constantly overworked.
To keep the inflow of a steady stream of job opportunities, freelancers must be consistent with what they do and in developing networks.
Being a freelancer can be rewarding, you’ll be able to work with clients from across the globe, expanding your network and experience.
You’re your boss and you work for you.