Freelancing is a huge industry of billions of dollars with a huge number of opportunities of a Freelance Career apart from other sides of the online world. In the US alone, 34% of the total workforce is working independently, says the survey report by Freelancers Union. So this creates a new economy controlled by freelancers. (1)
Pakistan is one of the top four countries with the greatest number of freelancers. And according to a recently published report in The Express Tribune, 150,000 freelancers from Pakistan are generating combined revenue of $1 Billion. This makes an average of $6500 for one, which equals 6.5 Lac Pakistani Rupees, without even a government support. (2)
Not really. Read ahead.
You have probably read the news about a designer, Danyal Saleem from Pakistan, making an amount of $20,000 monthly as a freelancer? (3) And you can convert it into Pakistani Rupees easily by multiplying it a hundred times. I don’t need to do that for you this time since doing calculations is a motivation in and of itself. Isn’t it?
But how to make a start? How to earn a serious living online? What is the once-and-for-all kind of a guide for beginners to have a paying freelance career? This is the only question that hurts every struggler. I have met not a single struggler who doesn’t mourn on this question. So I have decided to write a step-by-step guide for beginners to have an influencing freelance career. Read till the end so that you don’t miss anything and follow exactly the way I write.
Step # 0: Start from Polishing Your Skills
This is an essential step. No matter what subject you are related to. Or whatever your field of interest is. Polishing your skills at least up to an extent where you feel ready to submit a professional project is necessary to start. See the example projects. If you are a writer, must follow famous professionals of the subject you write for. Try to follow the way they do. Ask for their suggestions. Ask for their How-To content if it is there.
Similarly, if you are a graphics-designer, a web-developer or even a translator, see the professional work first and try to follow the idea. Practice others’ projects for the sake of polishing your skills. Go to any freelancing website and find projects relating to your field. Don’t apply for any projects. But take them as homework for you. Complete the project and then analyze the mistakes. Google search for similar works and compare them with yours. Keep practicing.
Step # 1: Make Your Accounts on Social-Networking & Freelancing Sites
This is obviously important since you cannot have a freelance career without a renowned platform. But why did I mention social-networking sites before that of freelancing?
Well, social-networking websites can do two great things for you.
- It will help you interact with people of your concern.
- It will prove to be a portfolio of your work and progress.
Social-Networking websites especially LinkedIn is of great concern when it comes to real business. Facebook is important for making an effective audience that helps in developing a freelance career for each other. Keep your progress updated on both Facebook and LinkedIn in the about section. Get connected with relevant people. And keep building your network.
Make an account on Freelancing Website now.
Step # 2: Maintain your Freelancing Website Account
This one is also a crucial step. Don’t leave it orphan. Try improving your profile by necessary steps. Submit your portfolio. If there isn’t one, try developing one. Try taking necessary tests offered by the website. If you are a writer, take grammar tests. For tech-guys, take the relevant tests and try scoring as high as possible. Never lose a chance to avail any free offers by the freelancing website.
Take part in competitions when they are relevant to your field.
Step # 3: Get Reviews
This is the most crucial point where every newbie gets stuck. People keep asking about how to get into it. Employers don’t give a paid project unless you have positive reviews by other employers. And you don’t get reviews unless a project is given to you. This is the fallacious cycle that keeps you from getting ahead. And it tormenting. No?
How can you overcome this paradoxical and self-contradictorily reproducible cycle of employer-reviews-and-reviews-employer? There is a solution. Follow three steps to overcome it.
- Get your friends and family into it. Get their reviews submitted onto your profile. Seek at least five reviews from your from your friends-and-family network.
- Offer a chance to provide free of charge service of yours. If you are a writer, write articles for them without asking for a penny. Do as much effort as you would do for an article offering $1000 per 1000 words. Show your skills. And convince them in a way that they can’t escape you in any manner.
- Choose when to offer services for free. If the employer is renowned and you hope that he/she will give reviews on your profile. Or the employer has a big audience and chances are that he will acknowledge your skills by publishing a 100-words status update at their own page.
Take at least 5 reviews from such employers and you are all set to take off and ready to make money online. New employers will start trusting your skills. Keep the good work up. And make a habit of getting this done time and time again. Investing your skill instead of money can do wonders. Don’t consider it as a waste of time.
Step # 4: Keep Promoting
Well seriously. If you want more people to discover you, keep a 20-percent portion of your income for investing in the promotion. Freelancing websites offer paid profile or gig promotion services. Keep promoting in order to keep gaining a good number of projects.
Step # 5: Get a Team for a better Freelance Career
Projects will keep coming. Now you are supposed to be an employee as well as an employer at the same time. Be sincere to yourself as well as others. Get a friend in. Guide them how to do the work. Offer them a commission-based partnership. Keep 40% and give away the rest to the friend. Build a community of like-minded people who can work according to your needs. Keep increasing the number of team members as required. Keep guiding them about what kind of work you require. They will make mistakes. Don’t panic. Guide them again and again unless they start doing better.
As I always say, being passionate and patient at the same is the key to success. Don’t worry. You won’t die without seeing the reward of your hard work. I have mentioned above the extraordinary example of Danyal with an exceedingly successful freelance career. If these stories don’t motivate you, I don’t know what else will. Be sincere to yourself and keep improving your skills.