How to Start a Freelance Business
Eliminating the unknowns of what it means to freelance.
Freelancing is a great way to make money, but it can be intimidating to start. It’s not just a matter of finding work—there are a few key pieces of information you need to set in place before you can start earning money and begin to work independently. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to start a freelance business!
Identify your skillset.
Before you learn how to start a freelance business, you need to identify your best freelance skills. That means deciding what it is that you are good at and then what it is that you enjoy doing most. To get started, make a list of all the skills that come to mind.
Once you’ve got the basics down, determine which of these skills are transferable from one industry to another and which ones would be in demand in today’s marketplace. By identifying what type of work will be most profitable for your small business, this process can help ensure that all parties involved benefit from working together efficiently and effectively.
Determine what you are going to offer.
As a freelancer, you are the product. You need to determine what you are going to offer. Always remember that your skills are your greatest asset.
What do you love doing? Do you know the answer to that question? If not, then consider these points to get you thinking:
- What have I always done as a hobby or just for myself?
- If I could do anything in the world without any obstacles or limitations, what would I do with my time?
- What makes me happy in my free time?
Know your target market.
Now that you know what services you will be offering, it’s time to evaluate who your customers are, and what problems they need solved. If you are going to have a successful business, then this is really a crucial step.
- Know what they want/need: You need to find out what products or services people in your target market would like and would be willing to pay for. Don’t get ahead of yourself by thinking about all the great ways that you could provide them with these things; just focus on finding out what they want and need first.
- Know how much they’re willing to pay: The next step is figuring out how much money these people should be paying for those products or services.
Create a plan for reaching your market.
Now that you’ve identified your target market, it’s time to plan out how you will reach them.
You will need to create a website that provides information about your products or services. Check out plus.page for a simple and affordable mini-website to start with. You can also consider creating an email list if you want to send out regular updates or specials to those interested in what you have to offer.
Another option is to set up social media accounts, where you can share updates with your followers and market any promotions you may set up.
Set a baseline price for each of your offerings.
This is the step that most freelancers have trouble with. To be successful in your freelancing business, you need to know what your time is worth and charge enough to cover your expenses and make a profit. This takes experience and some trial and error before you’re able to figure out what works for you.
Most freelancers set an hourly rate. However, there’s no one standard formula for determining what’s fair. Every freelance professional needs to find out what works best in their particular situation—by experimenting with different rate models and monitoring how they affect sales volume and profits over time.
Estimate how much time it will take you to complete each project.
If you’re going to be successful at freelancing, it’s essential that you accurately estimate how much time it will take you to complete each project. This is a skill that takes time to develop.
When you first start out, it’s easy to underestimate the amount of time each project will take—and this can lead to frustration when you run into unexpected problems. However, with experience, you’ll gain an instinctive feel for how long each task should take—and that’ll help you avoid unpleasant surprises down the road.
Create a list of expenses that you need to cover to conduct business.
Now that you’ve created a business plan, it’s time to create a list of expenses that you need to cover in order to conduct your freelance business. There are many different types of expenses to consider as a freelancer, including office space and equipment, marketing and advertising materials/services, utilities, such as electricity or internet service, and insurance.
Your budget should include enough money so that all your necessary expenses can be covered each month while still leaving enough left over for growth options. You should also set aside money for taxes so that you aren’t surprised to come tax season!
Create an ideal workday schedule and stick with it every day.
Once you’ve decided when and how often you’ll work, it’s time to create a schedule. When I first started out as a freelancer, I was afraid that I’d feel like I was working all the time.
With your new business being your top priority, it’s important to make sure that your work doesn’t infringe on other areas of your life. Setting a structure for your work-life balance is important so that you can avoid getting burnt out. For example:
- Set aside blocks of time each day so that you can focus on your work without distractions (and stick to those times).
- Make sure there’s enough space in between each project block so that you don’t feel engulfed by having too many tasks at once.
Freelancing is about growing your business steadily over time.
How to start a freelance business ultimately comes down to being open to change and having patience, both with yourself and with your clients. Freelancing is about growing your business steadily over time.
Freelancing is not the kind of profession where you can win stress-free clients, settle into a predictable routine, and make multiple-figure income instantaneously. As with most things in life, anything worth pursuing takes persistence, time, and lots of hard work to reap the benefits.
This means that if freelancing is right for you, it will require some serious dedication and commitment over the long haul. But don’t worry; this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible! In fact, with the right approach and mindset—you’ll find yourself well on the road to success in no time at all!
So, what do you think? Are you ready to start a freelance business?
Sure, there’s plenty of work ahead of you. But if this guide has shown anything at all, it’s that if you’re willing to put in some hard work and determination, there is no reason why starting a successful freelance career shouldn’t be possible for anyone who wants it.
Before you go
This article was all about how to start a freelance business. In need of some more beginner freelancing tips? Check out some of our other articles like the Essential Skills for Freelancers That Guarantee Success, and 5 Easy Tips For Scaling Your Freelance Business.
Freelance marketplace: Revolancer