In today’s lesson I’ll be teaching you the 3 main steps to get started as a freelancer. Without all the fluff, without all the super detailed, these are the main actionable items you can do literally today to start making money online as a freelancer.
Intro: 3 Steps to Get Started as a Freelancer
When it comes to starting a new career or job, it tends to be a long, drawn out process. From writing your resume to applying to lots of jobs online to waiting to hear back for interviews. And then finally doing some interviews if you even got called in for any, waiting some more, and possibly getting an offer.
The corporate career world is a slow, old school process. But the online freelance world is much more up to date and fast paced. Which means you create your freelancing business and start making money tomorrow - it’s simple to set up!
So here are the 3 steps to get started as a freelancer - the bare minimum you’ll need to do to get set up.
Prefer to learn this in video format? Watch my YouTube video about it here:
Step 1: Write your freelancing business plan
Before you go share your freelancing services with the world, you’ll need to get clear on who you’re selling to, what you’re selling, and why. If you skip this step, you’re doomed. Because you will be sharing freelancing services that are too generic (not niched enough), won’t know who to write your gigs for (aka your target audience), and won’t be clear on what exactly you want to sell.
It’s simple to write a freelancing business plan. You don’t need a 100-page document to lay it all out and there’s less pressure because there are typically no start-up costs or investments needed to get started.
Here are the 4 things I suggest you brainstorm for your freelancing business plan:
Your Mission - This is your why. Why you’re providing the services you do, who you’re helping, and how you’re helping them. Sum it up into 2-3 sentences.
Your Target Audience - This is your who. Who you’re trying to sell your services to online. Picture someone in your mind that is your exact ideal client. Where do they live? How old are they? What’s their business or work? What are their interests? What are their pain points or struggles? What is their desired outcome or goal?
Your Services/Offers - Next list out some potential services you can provide as a freelancer and be detailed with them. Instead of writing copywriter write out more details within a specific niche you love, are experienced working in, or are knowledgeable about. For example, I will write you a long format health blog post with 3 SEO keywords. List out 10-15 ideas and then put a star next to your top five favorites that you would enjoy and that you think would sell well.
Your Action List - Finally, what action do you need to take before you can sell these services? Is there anything you need to invest in first? Like a software product, a physical product, a subscription, a camera, etc. Write down everything you need to do before you can make your services “live”.
Now that you have your freelancing business plan written, it’s time to take action and bring this business plan to life!
Step 2: Decide where you want to sell your freelancing services
As an online freelancing, the possibilities are endless for where you sell or list your services. So it’s up to you to decide where to start. I suggest you start with Fiverr.com as it’s one of the most popular freelancing sites, easy to use, most seller friendly, and it’s where I’ve found the most success.
However, there are many other freelancing website options like:
Your own website
Your own social media platform
And the list goes on. The thing is, to get started on any website it will take several hours of your time to create an account, become a freelancer seller, create your gigs that you want to sell, get verified, etc. so you won’t be able to just start selling on all of them right away.
That’s why I suggest you start with one and try it out for a month to see what you like or don’t like about it. And if you have free time, you can eventually signup for a second site, a third site, a fourth site, or more. You get to do whatever you want because you’re the boss! As a freelancer you are your own boss. You are the CEO, the marketer, the accountant, etc so you get to call the shots.
So choose one of those sites, create an account, and follow the instructions to build out your business plan and bring it to life!
Step 3: Research your Competition
Now that you’ve got your freelancing business plan written and you’ve signed up for at least once freelancing website account to list your services, it’s time to research your competition.
Sure you could list your services with whatever package you want and at whatever price point you desire. But here’s the thing… how will you know if you are charging too little or too much? Or if you’re providing your clients with bare minimum service or luxury elite services? You won’t know unless you see what your competition is providing.
So take an hour to search through the freelancing site you chose and research what other people are offering that is similar to your services.
Pay attention to:
-What services are included in one order
-What services aren’t included in one order
-How they market themselves
-How many sales they’ve made
-What sort of packages, add-ons, or upsells they offer
-What prices they charge
Soak all of these things in like a sponge and use them to inspire your own services. If you have an idea to include an extra special service in an order that no one else is included, well try it out! If you want to charge around the average of what other people charge, then calculate what that is. If you don’t like how some people marketed their services and you see a way to do it better, then try that out!
The way you share your services as a freelancer is 100% up to you and sometimes it’s an experiment. In the beginning, just take messy action to get your services listed. But over time, each month you may make little changes here and there to improve them based on what seems to work well.
Don’t copy and paste or completely copy someone’s gig - that’s a big NO NO. But do take the time to research what buyers are looking for and being offered. And then offer your services in a way that seems like even better value.
Alright, to wrap up today you’ve learned the overall big picture 3 things to do to get started as a freelancer. This can all be done in under five hours. Just five hours of your time and in a few months your side hustle could be bringing in hundreds or thousands of “Extra” fun money for you. And perhaps in a few years this side hustle can turn into your full-time job working for yourself from home or across the globe as your own boss. Who knows. The possibilities are endless and freelancing is an exciting and freeing world. So what are you waiting for?!! Get started today!!
Peace & love, Steph
Thanks for reading!
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