You’ve decided to take the plunge 🥾 dive in and put your heart and soul into a solo career and do some freelance work? Perfect, because that’s exactly what we’re going to talk about and more exactly how to become a freelancer? We’re going to answer all your questions even the ones you didn’t think of. Let’s go, walk! There has been an explosion 🧨 of people going freelance in recent years. You become your own boss and you are accountable only to yourself. Great, but already what is “being freelance“? We also know that thanks to the COVID crisis, working from home has become commonplace for a good number of people. And this is a good thing because many jobs are suitable for freelance status.
What is freelancing?
To put it simply, a freelancer is a self-employed person who has no fixed or open-ended employment contract. He does not work under any directive except his own. A freelancer can choose his clients, his orders, his providers and anyone he wants to work with. He can work remotely or wherever he wants.
Be careful, being a freelancer is not a status, you must understand that. What you have to remember is that you are a freelancer (who works on his own account) offering various services.
8 steps to become a freelancer
Finally you decided to work on your own but you don’t know what are the different steps to do? We will give you everything you need to know.
#1 Define your services
This part is simple since you find your way, what you are good at and you just have to put your skills forward. You are a developer and you master languages such as PhP, Java, Python? Go for it. But we are not only talking about jobs coming from tech, if you are a nail technician 💅, you can very well start your own business and offer services as such. Either way you are not limited.
#2 Define your targets and goals
We talk about it over and over again in this blog but it’s the foundation of any sales strategy. You will set up a persona. A persona is a picture of your ideal client, the one who is able to buy your products or services without asking any questions because you have met his need. To establish a persona, you will need several pieces of information about your target such as
- His/her first and last name (use fictitious names).
- A photo to better identify your target (even if it is only fictitious).
- Their age.
- Her geographical location.
- Her marital status.
- Her income.
- Her pain points.
- Her needs.
These are the primary information you will need but do not hesitate to add elements that will reinforce the personality of your ideal target. Concerning your objectives, there is no ready-made strategy, it is you who will decide which objectives to set up and if they are easily attainable. Think about it, especially when you are at the beginning of your activity, you have to set up easily attainable objectives ✅ otherwise you will get discouraged and you will not succeed. So you’ll need to think about goals:
- Financial: your salary, the investments you will make, your savings…
- Notoriety: how to set up your visibility, how to attract traffic to your website if you have one…
- Related to your professional and personal life: how much time do you have to work, how many vacation days?
#3 How to become a freelancer : Set up your offer
Once you have set up your different objectives, you will have to tackle the offer that you will propose to your customers. To put together a good offer. You must meet the needs of your target, it must be clear and easily understandable. Think about what you offer and translate it for your customers. Are you an SEO writer? Put your skills forward, get yourself seen on platforms like LinkedIn. On the other hand, if you want to find clients, there are several ways to do it:
- You can also apply for missions on freelance websites.
- Make a special offer by offering a small free service 💰.
- Build your visibility on LinkedIn. By creating content, you’ll be able to show potential clients that you know your stuff and that they can trust you.
- Partner with other industry professionals. Just because you’ve gone solo doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. Don’t hesitate to find other freelancers and surround yourself with them so you can benefit from their advice.
#4 Set your prices
When you start a new venture, you may experience imposter syndrome. Be confident and know your value. There are no set prices anyway. To find out what price you should put up, look on the internet, and check the value you add to your services. You should also think about the charges you will pay. Depending on the country where you are, the charges are not the same, so you have to be well informed. Once you have your target monthly income, add these charges and divide by the number of hours worked, you will have your hourly rate. What you need to consider:
- Your skills.
- Your know-how.
- Your level of expertise 🖋️.
- Your experience (if you have a good number of years of experience, you can put a higher figure).
- Your recommendations from your clients.
#5 Communicate on platforms
We talked about it quickly in a section above, but a communication on platforms will allow you to have visibility on your offer and/or services. For this, we recommend LinkedIn. This professional platform will allow you to highlight your skills by talking about topics related to your business. In fact, it is very simple since on LinkedIn you have a huge base of professionals.
Thanks to LinkedIn, you will have a direct contact 📱 with your customers. Indeed, no more need to go through gatekeepers, you talk directly with the person in charge of the product or service. The more you publish on LinkedIn, the more people will see you, so you will gradually gain the trust of your prospects. In addition to doing your prospecting on LinkedIn, you will do what is called Inbound Marketing, which is a technique to attract new customers to you.
#6 Build a customer database
Having a customer database is extremely important for your business. It will allow you to retain your customers, increase your revenue and help you meet their needs. As said before, you will be prospecting for customers and you will be collecting data such as:
- Contact information.
- Data from a previous purchase made on your online site if you have one for example.
What is particularly interesting is that you will also be able to observe the trends of your sales, so do not skip this point.
#7 Have confidence in yourself
When you jump into the deep end of freelancing, you need to have confidence in yourself, know your value 🙂, know what you’re going to bring to your clients. If you have confidence in yourself, it will be felt with your clients, you will put the right prices for the work you have provided. We all know the impostor syndrome, you must also be aware of your value.
#8 Continue to train
Yes, you will also need to continually educate yourself to keep up with your clientele and their demands. But you are not only doing this for your clients but also for yourself, to help you renew yourself. Maybe you will want to implement new things in your service offering and this will give you new ideas to constantly be in a perspective of improvement.
As a Freelancer, you can run into boredom if you keep doing the same thing over and over again. Continuing to learn new things and implementing them can be a solution to keep the routine from setting in and to improve yourself. Now that you know the 8 steps to becoming a freelancer, we’ve put together some tips on targeted jobs for you. It’s happening right now.
How to become a freelance writer
When you start out as a freelance writer, you’ll be wondering what line of work you’ll specialize in. Because yes, there are several:
- Web page writing.
- Blogging (article writing).
When you start freelance writing, you’ll need to do some market research to understand the needs ✅ and different workings of the business. This will also allow you to set up rates according to what is done on the market. Be careful, you don’t give away your prices and take into account that someone who lowers his prices voluntarily can be suspicious. To carry out your activity, you will need:
- A computer with enough power.
- A good internet connection.
You can find assignments on freelance platforms like Fiverr for example.
How to become a freelance photographer
Making money 💰 as a photographer is perfectly possible. To start a career as a freelance photographer, you don’t necessarily need a degree, it will still know some photography techniques. Of course, if you do, you’ll be more likely to get clients quickly. If you are passionate and talented, you can put your passion to work for clients. But you will need a portfolio to show what you can do. And you don’t have to go far, you can use Instagram just fine. As for the freelance writer, you can also sign up on a freelance platform to find your assignments. You can take photos of:
- Special events.
- For individuals (in portrait).
As you can see, you are not limited. The most complicated part will be to build a reputation and have a solid client base so that you can be recommended.
How to become a freelance copywriter
This is the same basis as a freelance copywriter. However, you will be writing copy for clients with a project. For example, you can feed someone’s social networks and write on their behalf. This is part of being a copywriter. You have the opportunity to do several things like:
- Web pages.
- Social network texts.
- Writing for magazines.
As with everything, you’ll need to do some market research beforehand to know your environment in the copywriting field and set your rates. Once again, platforms can help you find assignments that match your needs.
How to become a freelance marketer
As the digital world has developed a lot, we are always looking for marketers. But there are different branches 🌳 in which you can specialize and we will make a small list now:
- SEO content creation.
- Adwords specialist.
- Website or e-commerce management.
- Creation of advertisements.
- Market analysis.
- Webinars implementation.
- Search for partners.
- UX/UI specialist.
- Creating a marketing campaign for a product or service.
As you can see, being a marketer encompasses many specialties. As you can see, being a marketer encompasses many specialties. You will offer your services according to your talents, perhaps by continuing to train to complete your offer. You can very well use LinkedIn to help increase your visibility and apply on freelance platforms to find freelance jobs.
The benefits of freelancing
If you’ve decided to take the step to independence, it’s because there are a few benefits to being a Freelancer. Here are the ones that for us are important ⚡ to mention in this article:
- You remain in control of your organization: it’s normal, you are now your own boss. So you can organize yourself exactly the way you feel. Your schedules? That’s up to you. The clients? You choose them.
- The location: by being the sole decision maker of your business, you also decide where you want to work. And that can be in your living room, in a coworking space or on the other side of the world on a white sand beach under coconut trees 🌴.
- The choice of missions: obviously, if you decide on your clients, it is that you can also choose the kind of mission you want to take.
These three points are the most important. When we hear Freelance, we hear freedom and the desire to do a job that we are passionate about since we will have chosen it. We understand why millions of people have made the choice to go solo and have the pace that suits them best.
The disadvantages of Freelancing
Obviously, in the life of a freelancer, everything is not perfect, especially at the beginning. When you embark on this path, you may come up against :
- Loneliness: you work alone, so you don’t have colleagues and you can’t take a break at the coffee machine and tell Sylvie from accounting about your weekend debauchery… More seriously, you can’t be reassured by someone who can come to your aid when you’re stuck.
- Income: this is the bête noire of freelancers. When you don’t have a client database, you won’t be able to make money. You will have to make yourself known, know your value and how to sell yourself. The beginning may be a little difficult but you must not give up.
- No vacation: this disadvantage should be taken with a grain of salt. Since you manage your own schedule 📆 you will technically be able to take a vacation but you won’t get paid during that time.
FAQ of the article
Mistakes not to make when starting out
Once you put a foot in the world of freelancing, there are some mistakes not to be made like: FAQ
- ❌ Only have one client. Even if they pay you very well, you need to build a client portfolio. If overnight your one client doesn’t want to deal with you anymore, you will have no income.
- ❌ Having prices too low: We often have the impostor syndrome, but you need to know your value. You are sure of what you do, you know your field, go for the right price.
- ❌ Thinking it’s absolute freedom: you’ll have assignments, so real contracts with real people, you’ll have rendering obligations.
Can you be a freelancer and an employee?
Many employees have asked themselves this question. The answer is “yes”. You can be both an employee (work full-time) and a freelancer if you have the time and the resources. Maybe at some point, you will be forced to make a choice based on the workload. However, his words need to be qualified. We explain 👇.
The first thing to know is that you have a non-compete obligation with respect to your employer. Indeed, you can not be in the same field and deal with the same themes as an employee and as a Freelancer, it is not fair. So if you are an SEO writer specialized in automotive marketing, you cannot be an automotive marketing SEO writer as a Freelancer (but you can do it in other themes without any problem). The second thing is that if your contract states that you can’t do any other profession as a freelancer, you won’t be able to get started.
How to invoice when you are a freelancer?
Don’t panic, you won’t need to do any accounting training to be able to invoice when you’re freelancing. There are very simple elements to keep on an invoice. But before you do that, you should know that there are plenty of online invoice platforms that are free to use, so don’t hesitate to use them. When you go to invoice, here are the items that should be on your invoice ✅ :
- Your first and last name / or the name of your company.
- Your telephone number.
- The invoice number (for the nomenclature, you can very well do the year + the invoice number. For example, if we are in 2022 and this is your first invoice, you can name it: “invoice-2022-1”).
- The address of your company (the headquarters).
- Your SIREN number (which you will find on your mail that we send you some time after the creation of your company).
- The identity of your customer.
- His/her telephone number.
- The date of the invoice.
- The name of the products or services you sell.
As far as VAT is concerned, keep in mind that when you are in micro-business, you are not subject to VAT, so it should not appear on your invoice (up to a certain threshold).
Being a freelance is far from simple but with eveyrything we’ve said, it will be easy for you to give it a shot.
We’ve come to the end of this article and now you know everything about how to become a freelancer. What are you waiting for to get started 😁?