Perhaps you’ve recently lost your job and you’re looking for a new path in life to follow. Maybe you’re tired of working for your boss because they’re not a very pleasant person, or perhaps you just want to start something of your own so that you have more time to spend with friends and family.
There are many reasons to go with a freelancing career, but there are also many problems that prevent one from switching to a self-employed lifestyle. This could include the lack of security, it could be to do with the financial responsibilities you have, and it could also be due to a lack of technical skill that leads one to believe they can’t make it as a freelancer.
However, becoming a freelancer is relatively straightforward and the path to achieving it isn’t as difficult as you might think. So in this article, we’re going to go through the steps you need to take to go from your current job to freelancing.
- Identify your skills
First, you need to identify how you’re going to freelance. Are you going to become a writer? Do you have engineering skills? Or perhaps you’re a master of finance?
There are plenty of skills that you can transfer to a freelancing career, but what if you want to become something completely different to what you’re currently doing? Maybe you’re tired of the corporate lifestyle or hate working in finance and want to do something different–what then?
The answer is simple; learn.
If you want to become an illustrator, there are Adobe Illustrator classes that can help you get started. If you want to learn web design, there are thousands of free videos and lessons you can get from the internet. If you want to teach, there are dozens of unique platforms where you can upload your own lessons and videos to teach your skills to others.
There are so many ways to make money with freelancing but you need to identify what you’re good at, or what you want to be good at. This is the key to forging a new path in life and as long as you’re motivated, it’s much easier to achieve than you may think.
So in short, make sure you first identify the skills you have and practice them. If you want to become an artist, draw every day. If you want to write, write every day. This is something you can do without much free time as long as you make it a goal of yours to practice, even if you currently have a day job.
- Don’t neglect stability
If you’re stable with your current job then don’t neglect it. Use it as a way to fund your new endeavours and consider testing the waters of freelancing before you dive in.
People argue that achieving a stable job and lifestyle is the goal in life. They say it’s the moment where you realize that you can live the rest of your life peacefully, but in reality, having stability just means that you’ve created an opportunity to learn new skills and build a new career if you choose to.
This means you shouldn’t leave your job, you shouldn’t take time off and you shouldn’t neglect what you already have. Many people have been burned by their decisions to leave their job and switch to freelancing, only to find that it isn’t what the expected it to be. They regret leaving their jobs (especially since it leaves a nasty mark on your employment record) and they’ll end up with a difficult situation on their hands.
So in short, don’t neglect the stability you currently have.
- Don’t work for free, but do build experience
One of the traps that a lot of budding freelancers fall under is working for free. People will be more than happy to pry on young freelancers, explaining that if they do work for free, they’ll offer “exposure” as a payment. The reality is that you never expose yourself when working under the umbrella of another company. Instead, you’re giving attention to that company even if your name is at the bottom of the article.
This means you should never work for free, but as long as you’re building up experience, then it’s perfectly fine. For instance, if you want to become a writer then you’re free to work for random blogs and websites and write articles. However, don’t grow attached especially if they don’t offer any kind of compensation. Instead, you should leave once you realize that it’s becoming a grind and feels like a job with the exception of actually getting paid.
Experience can help you build confidence in your skills and also helps you communicate and build social links with others. If you’re going to take freelancing seriously, then you need to start somewhere and working for free can be a good opportunity to practice the skills you’ve learned.
- Seeking work
Freelancers can seek work a number of different ways. The first and most reliable method is to sign up for an agency or website that can help you find clients. This can also mean working for an outsourcing company that pairs you with potential clients. This can often bring in a very steady stream of income, but it’s not where you’ll find the most success.
The most profitable way to make money freelancing is to actually utilize social media and build your own brand. The more you work under your own name, the more history you have and the more proof you have that you’re capable of delivering results. Whether you’re an artistic freelancer or one that fixes computers and networks for companies, word of mouth marketing is the most powerful tool at your disposal and it’s one of the reasons why social media platforms are so helpful.
While it’s perfectly fine to use freelancing as an alternate source of income, using social media to market your services and show off your work can be a blessing if you eventually do want to switch to a full-time freelancing career.
Hopefully, this article has helped you muster up the courage you need to kickstart a freelancing career. It’s not as difficult as people make it out to be, and as long as you’re motivated and willing to put in the time and effort, it can be a fantastic way to earn a living or even just some extra money.