If you want to travel the world, become location independent, or at the very least, escape from the drudgery of the standard work-week and office life, there are few options at your disposal as effective, and with as much potential, as becoming a freelancer of one stripe or another.
Writers, graphic designers, and business consultants are just a few of the different types of professions that lend themselves to the freelance lifestyle. Even if you’re in a more hands-on, less web-centric field, you still be able to win back a lot of your freedom by becoming a contractor.
The freelance life is the stuff of legends; setting your own hours, wearing whatever you want, each day, working from a new exotic locale with each new sunrise, and drinking in the wonders of life deeply and passionately.
But how to get started working as a freelancer? Hopefully these tips will help set you on the right path.
Identify your passion and areas of expertise
To be a successful freelancer, you need an area of expertise, and a passion for that area of expertise.
It may be that your area of expertise and overlapping interest is readily apparent. Maybe you have an electrical engineering technology degree, and some work experience in the field. In this case, it makes sense to leverage these skills in such a way as to make a freelance living off of them.
This could be done either directly, or in a somewhat roundabout way. You could, for example, pair a proficiency with writing with your qualification, and become a technical writer on electrical engineering, running successful blogs, writing for expert websites (for a fair fee) and even securing book deals.
Even if your skills and interests are more obscure, however, you’d be surprised how much can be built from mear beginnings.
Setup a (good) website
A website is absolutely essential to any would-be successful freelancer, and a good website is far more likely to yield decent results than an amateurish one.
Fair or not, for better or for worse, people will judge your professionalism and credibility by how sleek and streamlined your website is.
What’s more, your website will often be the first point of contact between you and your clients. For that reason, it’s essential to make a good first impression.
Reach out to any relevant contacts and begin marketing
Marketing is the lifeblood of every freelancer, and there’s no way of getting around the necessity of reaching out to people and offering your services.
As you become more established in your career, and as your website’s SEO improves, you will have more and more clients contacting you directly.
As a beginner, however, the task of getting work rests squarely on your shoulders. It’s entirely down to you to reach out to any relevant contacts, and to identify prospective clients, and to apply yourself to the task of getting their attention and convincing them to use your services.
Writing a blog, gathering testimonials, and displaying work samples on your website are all effective marketing strategies. But be prepared for a good deal of job applications and cold emailing, too.