One of the best pieces of advice for anyone looking to start out in the freelance market is to be sure you have a large selection of different types of clients. This ensures that if any client falls through for whatever reason, you will have someone else to take their place. But you’re new, so the question is, how do you land your first freelancing gig?
Here are 7 tips for how you can land your first freelance gig.
1. Make a portfolio of your work
A job portfolio showcases your work in various media. You can make one and then use it to convince others of your skills and talents to get a job.
There are two ways to create a work portfolio, either with a physical portfolio or on the internet.
A physical portfolio is typically a compilation of your work that fits a theme. It can be as simple as having loose-leaf paper or something complicated like building a website.
2. Create a professional profile
As a freelancer, having a professional, up-to-date profile is essential. This profile can include your skills and credentials, media coverage, pricing information, customer testimonials, portfolio work, and more.
A complete and updated freelancer profile is crucial because it lets potential clients see what you can do for them. A well-designed profile will attract clients with similar interests and goals as you. It also provides a space to show your best work, put your personality in front of the clients, and highlight any special skills.
3. Connect with people in your industry
If you are freelancing or thinking about it, it is essential to network with other freelancers. The stories you will hear can teach you how to handle challenging projects, avoid working with bad clients or customers, and identify good clients. The goal of networking is to get new and exciting clients and cultivate relationships with fellow freelancers who can help you in your career at any given time.
4. As a freelancer, build connections with potential clients
Many freelancers struggle to develop relationships with clients. They spend hours creating a portfolio, filling out application forms, or sending out proposals, only to never hear back. The truth is that it can be difficult for a freelancer to establish themselves and make connections. The best way to break through this barrier is by being proactive and strategic.
Introduce yourself and your work before you start pitching them on what they need. This will make it easier for them to say “yes” when you offer them a proposal.
Many freelancers are turning to Facebook groups for help and advice on a variety of topics. These groups are filled with other freelancers who can offer helpful tips, resources and support, and possible client referrals. Groups can be used as networking tools, job boards, idea exchanges, or just places to offer a helping hand to others.
5. Research the market for clients that match your skillset
The internet has made it easier than ever to find clients. There are plenty of freelance job boards out there like Upwork, Fiverr, Indeed, Jobstreet, and many others, that offer various opportunities. There are still ways to get the word out about your services for those who don’t have such an easy time. Whether you’re looking for clients or employees, networking with other professionals in your industry is an excellent way to get your name and business out into the world and get noticed!.
6. Start Small
As a freelancer, it can be challenging to know where to start. For web designers, begin by creating a website; for writers, put all your published links in a portfolio, and make sure your portfolio is up-to-date with examples of your work. Post on freelance sites such as Upwork and PeoplePerHour to attract potential clients in your niche. If you’re good at something, don’t be afraid to promote yourself!
7. Be persistent
Most new freelancers experience rejection, and it will happen repeatedly. It’s a tricky business, and it’s difficult to know if the proposal is good enough. But it’s essential to be persistent nonetheless because no one succeeds on their first try. In the words of Walt Disney, “all you can do is keep on trying.”
There was a time when freelancing was only a privilege given to a gifted few. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to become a freelancer. The question is, how do you get your first gig if nobody knows you? Here is an idea: in exchange for experience, a rating, and a review, offer a simple job for free. Consider it as an “internship” for your work-from-home freelancing initiative.
If you did follow this advice, let me know how it went. Thanks for reading.