Do you find yourself stuck in the office cubicle, thinking about leaving your unsatisfying 9 to 5 job and starting a full-time freelance business? If you have the skill which someone is ready to pay for, freelance work online can turn up to become a great business prospect with financial satisfaction.
With the considerable shifts in the economy and corporations looking to keep their payrolls lean, freelancing business has come into centre stage. Startups and upcoming small businesses are more keen to embrace outsourcing rather than progressing with the inhouse team. While working for one such company as a Team Lead Content, I was subjected to similar confrontation from the COO. Undoubtedly, it’s so easy to work with in house team, you can easily train and convince them to work hard but with freelancers it’s one tough task. Getting the job done as per the set quality standards and within the timed constraints, is not a cake walk. However, the COO had a clear perception and was going by the book & time-tested strategy:
“No further hirings, go for the freelance writers or talk to a freelance consultant”
Now, when I am managing a freelance business and offering freelance jobs in India, I am able to understand that why businesses around the globe have embraced freelance outsourcing. You have guessed it right too. It is easy on pocket of employer. He gets the job done with no employee responsibilities, direct salaries, appraisals or facilities (pick and drop, meals, insurance, etc).
With more and more creative, technical and professional fields opening to freelancing, venturing in the freelance business is low on risks and high on profit. Freelancing can be anything from designing a website to maintaining a corporate account from your home. Content Marketing and Photography are two other common freelance career opportunities. Information technology and the advent of Internet has made it more feasible than ever. Blogging is a hot cake, if you have good writing sense. There are various online platforms like FindNerd’s Nerd Digest, where you write and showcase your talent and earn a repute in terms of points and rankings. If you like to write, people who have their internet businesses can become your potential customers. If you get enough clients (who needs something done and you can do it), you can start your freelance business.
Sounds lucrative? Wondering how to start?
Here are six simple but essential tips to start your Freelance Business:
1) Decide what you want to do
First things First. Before you start, you got to have a clear idea about how to earn money from home and what work you want to be doing. Do extensive research on the freelance marketplace like Elance.com, FindNerd.com and Guru.com to understand types of work ISVs and the buyers are looking for. You will see log list of options including data entry, writing, designing, recruitment jobs and many others. Choose the field in which you have prior experience and expertise. You might require a team as well so consider only that field in which you have like minded people available. Often people decide to start something for which they don’t have the faintest idea and ends up offering unsatisfactory results.
2) Always be ready to learn
Even if you are starting a freelance business ( not starting as a novice freelancer), you have not mastered everything. Whatever your field, know that with every passing day, a new tool, technology or update is born. To meet the growing demands of the clients, you are required to brush yourself and run shoulder to shoulder with modern technological advancements taking place in your field of interest. An new tool released, you should have the knowledge about it. At least, try the free version to have the idea about how it works and see if it can assist you in revamping your freelance service to have a cut above your competitors.
3) Define your deliverables
Defining deliverable is one of the important part of the planning stage. Deliverables are list of items or services that will be offered to the client after finishing the project. Deliverables will indicate that the project is complete. This will assist both you and your clients to share one common ground leaving the possibility of any “scope creep”. For example, as an SEO based content writer, you can offer deliverables like:
Highlighting the keywords used in the article
Total number of articles written with keyword density percentile
A draft that includes titles, notes and word count etc.
4) Create freelancing profiles
Best websites to avail work are FindNerd.com, Odesk.com, Elance.com and Freelancer.com. Create a profile and fill in as much as information possible and upload some prior work examples. You can also upload the web links of live articles, blogs or website that you have previously created. Creating the profiles will help you expand your professional network for enhanced global and local exposure. It will also assist the SMBs to have a clear idea of your capability and working style.
Note: It is advised that you avoid looking for the assignments on any classified ad sites like Craigslist.com as they are full of spams and scams.
5) Prioritizing Marketing
Previous point will not have a deep impact on captivating the potential clients unless you dedicate precious hours in Self Branding and marketing yourself. As client list continuous shift, many freelancers are confused on how much marketing and promotion is required to keep their entity alive and advancing. As a freelance entrepreneur, you must “You must understand the importance of Social Media and to ways to use Social Media effectively to promote your business”. You might have amazing skills and strong entrepreneurial prowess but if you are missing on Branding and Marketing, you might fall short in keeping pase with bottle neck competition or lose the potential customer. Any and everything that you create should be well documented and circulated across Social Media platforms. Let everyone in your family, friends, colleagues and relatives know that you are starting a freelance business, they might fetch you some great clients. Business growth through marketing and social media is essential for your freelance business success.
6) Team Up
My favourite basketball player of all times Michael Jordan once quoted:
‘Talent win games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships’
Your freelance business is a championship, it can’t be won alone. You will require the help of like minded individuals or people from inter-related services (like a web designer and writer meeting an SEO guy) to get the task done. I met an Individual Software Vendor (ISV) at FindNerd.com . He wanted me to write his web content and also asked if I knew any Web designer who can assist him in revamping the UX of his website. Fortunately, I had a friend of mine who is revered for creating great UX and UI designs for website. Now, if I didn’t knew him. I would have lost the deal. Keeping the like minded individuals always come in handy.
There is no doubt that Freelancing is a growing trend. Available technologies, social media and modern communication aids are removing the barriers and greasing the skids for a successful Freelancing Business opportunities for many. By following the above mentioned six simple guidelines, you can easily start your Freelancing Business and make money online. Do you have any other tip which you can share? Do provide your valuable input in the comment section below.