Are you interested in starting a freelance career? Freelancing has been on the rise in recent years and it’s only going to keep growing. In fact, according to Nasdaq, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
But, with so much competition, it can be difficult to land your first paying clients, especially if you don’t have much experience. Don’t worry though. If you dream of working-from-home and running your own business, you can break through the crowded freelance market and stand out from the rest.
Check out these 5 easy ways to jump-start your freelance career.
1. Build a professional website.
If you want to be taken seriously as a freelancer, you need to have your own website. Don’t worry, you don’t need to hire someone to design your website for you. WordPress offers a ton of free WordPress themes designed with freelancers in mind. So, you can create a great-looking site in an instant.
For example, this modern WordPress theme called Cenote, would be perfect for freelance writers, photographers, designers, and more.
Consider creating a coming soon page for your website using SeedProd as well. By creating a coming soon page for your site, you can promote your site to potential clients while it’s still under construction.
And don’t forget to add one of the most important features to your website—a contact form. A contact form lets potential clients get in touch with you if they’re interested in working with you.
2. Create a LinkedIn profile.
Aside from building a professional website, you should also create a LinkedIn profile. Since LinkedIn is a social media platform designed for professionals, it’s one of the best places online to find clients.
But, as a freelancer, you need to set up your LinkedIn profile a little differently than someone that’s posting their resume for recruiters to find. Your freelance LinkedIn profile should include:
- A professional-looking profile photo
- A header that includes the keyword “freelance”
- Your contact info and a link to your website
- A summary that’s targeted towards your ideal clients
Another way to stand out on LinkedIn as a freelancer is by creating a branded LinkedIn banner like the one below.
You can easily create a branded LinkedIn banner using a free design tool like Canva.
3. Put together a portfolio.
Instead of just telling potential clients you do great work, you need to show them with a portfolio. But, what do you do if you’ve never had any clients before and don’t have any previous projects to show off? Just create samples.
For example, if you’re a freelance eCommerce writer without any experience, simply write some quality blog posts in that niche so you can provide them to potential clients. A graphic designer could create sample logos and brochures. A social media manager could create sample Instagram posts. So, even though you haven’t had any paying clients yet, these samples show potential clients you’re capable of doing the job. Once you’ve created some samples, you can send them to clients in PDF form or display them on your own website.
4. Promote your freelance business.
Once you’ve set up your website and LinkedIn profile as well as created samples for your portfolio, it’s time to start promoting your freelance business. A solid online presence will help you build your brand and attract clients to your site. After all, the more people that know about your freelance career, the more leads you can get for your business.
For freelance writers, a great way to promote your freelance career is to start a blog. This allows you to show off your writing skills and when users discover your content on the web, it will lead them to your website where they can hire you for your services. Aside from writing on your own website, you can also widen your reach with a good guest blogging strategy. Blogging works for non-writers as well. For example, a virtual assistant can share their tips in a guest post too.
If you’re not interested in creating long-form blog posts, you can always promote your freelance career by sharing relevant content on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
5. Land clients with cold emailing.
When you’re first starting your freelance career, clients probably won’t come to you. So, you need to reach out to them and offer your services. One easy and free way to do that is with cold emailing. Cold emailing is simply sending emails to potential clients that don’t have an existing connection with you.
First, research companies that you think would benefit from your services. Use a tool like Hunter to find the email address of the right point of contact. Then, craft a cold email that shows the value of your service and how it would help their business.
To make sure your messages aren’t sent to the spam folder, you can use a tool like WP Mail SMTP. WP Mail SMTP makes sure your emails are authenticated properly, sent via trusted third parties, and successfully delivered to the inbox.
Over to you.
Getting your freelance career rolling can be difficult. But, with these tips for jump-starting your freelance career, you can land your first client in no time. Once you get some experience with a couple clients, your freelance career should start to soar from there.