It’s not easy for a beginner to start making money as a freelancer. And most of the guide based on freelancing for beginners only talks about basic stuff. Like create an account on freelancing websites and start taking orders.
But it’s very unlikely that you’d get any orders by just doing that. Especially when you’re a beginner—there are tons of questions that arise. Like what are the top freelancing websites for creating gigs or what are the top freelancing jobs that pay the most and so on.
But what if there was a freelancing for beginners guide that answers every question a new freelancer might have. From platforms to highest paying jobs and from building a personal brand to getting your first client and a lot more.
For that reason, you’re simply going to love this guide because we will cover almost everything. So here’s our ultimate guide on freelancing for beginners.
1. Advantages and disadvantages of freelancing
Freelancing is freedom; freelancing gives you choice and freelancing might be the perfect career for you. The very idea of starting a business from your laptop working from home is alluring enough. However, that’s not the whole story.
Therefore, before you learn more about the resources on freelancing for beginners. Here is a list of the pros and cons of freelancing. This comparison will help you understand freelancing better.
Advantages of freelancing
a. Flexible working schedule – As we said, you can pick how much you’d like to work in a week and even set your working hours accordingly. Most of the time, your clients don’t care about your working hours as long as you deliver the project on time.
b. Avoid the rat race and innovate – In a full-time corporate job, thousands of people are trying to compete for the same job. What are the chances that you’d get the job? Therefore, as a freelancer, you can always avoid this situation and constantly innovate yourself to climb the ladder.
c. Healthy work-life balance – When you manage well as a freelancer, you get time to concentrate on your work as well as on your personal life. Maintaining a work-life balance is simply easy as a freelancer.
d. Start whenever you feel like – While in a full-time role, your education and experience in the corporate world decide your position. But it’s not the same in freelancing. The only thing matters in most freelancing business are your skill. So if you’ve got that—you can start freelancing at any time of your life.
Disadvantages of freelancing
a. Fluctuating source of income – This is always going to be the case. Your payments will get delayed and it gets hard to save and manage money.
b. It’s a stressful job – Because freelancing is more of a business where you’re self-employed. Things get pretty hard to handle. That’s why our guide on managing stress as a freelancer will help.
c. The problem of workflow – Working from home is not always productive—especially if you’re living with your family. There will always be some form of distraction ready to interrupt your flow. But you can always read our guide on work from home productivity tips.
d. It’s hard to get leads – It’s tiresome to maintain a pipeline of high-paying inbound leads. Therefore, getting good clients is always competitive.
Moreover, it’s a coin with two sides, so if you want to explore both sides, this article will help you make your mind.
2. Best freelancing websites for beginners
In our freelancing for beginners guide, let’s cover the best platforms for freelancers. These websites will include the best options for a general freelancer as well as for a niche-specif freelancer.
Websites for general freelancing jobs
Fiverr – One of the best features of Fiverr is its ability to let you create different gigs and market them. Making your portfolio is easy enough and you can choose the work from almost every industry.
UpWork – UpWork works just the opposite of Fiverr. That is, after creating your portfolio, you need to send the proposal to your prospects and can start working if they like your pitch.
Freelancer – Freelancer is generally a bit less saturated than Fiverr or UpWork. Here you get very limited proposals that you can send to your potential clients. Nevertheless, it’s still a great place for beginners freelancers to start.
Websites for niche-specific freelancers
- Design and development jobs for freelancers – Smashingmagazine, 10xmanagement, Solidgigs
- Writing jobs for freelancers – ProBlogger, Due, BloggingPro
- Virtual Assistant Jobs for freelancers – FancyHands, WoodBows, VirtualStaffFinder
- Testing jobs for freelancers – TestBirds, User Testing, User Feel
- Designing jobs for freelancers – Envato Studio, 99designs, Dribble
- SEO jobs for freelancers – SEO clerk, Konker,
- Video editing jobs for freelancers – ProdcutionHub, Mandy, Media Bistro
- Developers jobs for freelancers – Gun.io, Angel List, Store Tasker
More freelancing websites
Here are some more websites that can be used for any freelancer to find work related to any industry:
3. Best freelancing jobs for beginners
This freelancing for beginners guide would be incomplete without mentioning the highest-paying freelance jobs. The list includes jobs that are popular and also pays well.
Copywriter and content writer
Copywriters use the art of persuasive writing to catch the attention of their readers. The “copies” written by copywriters are mostly created to motivate the reader into buying the product. Copywriters create content for advertisements, websites, white papers, ad copies, product guide, and so on
Content writers generally have more diverse niches to choose from. They can help their clients to create blog content, news articles, books, product description, and so on. If you wish to create your career as a freelance content writer, we highly recommend you to check out this article: Become a Freelance Content Writer.
Digital marketing is one of the most demanding skills one can offer as a freelancer. While you have a particular region as a writer, as a digital marketer, you are mostly a generalist.
You can be asked to create blogs, marketing strategy, content strategy, email marketing, affiliate marketing, campaigns, analytic, and a lot more. Expert digital marketers help companies to build their online presence. Therefore, being a digital marketer has its benefits and challenges.
Web designers have been in the freelancing industry for quite some time now. Web designers plan and make sure that the websites run smoothly with all the text, graphics, videos, and sounds.
Webs designers are easily able to work with multiple clients and they help their clients keep the website updated with proper backup and structures.
SEO (search engine optimization)
SEO is easily one of the highest-paying freelancing jobs out there. The SEO experts make sure that the website and its content show up when someone searches for a query in search engines.
SEO is needed so that the content can be ranked organically. As a result, the strategy is created for the long-term effects. One can offer services like website optimization, content optimization, checking for technical SEO issues, and so on.
If you want to check out more freelancing for beginners jobs that are in high demand and pays well. Consider these blogs:
4. How to do personal branding as a freelancer
It’s great if freelancing websites work for you as a beginner freelancer. However, in most cases, because these websites have so much competition, it gets hard to score projects. We are not saying that you should not use the website we mentioned above. But we want you to give every tool and direction you might need in this journey.
Therefore, the opposite of a freelancing website is generating inbound links. In this case, you don’t have to go to the client and pitch them. Rather the client comes to you asking for services you offer. Sound almost imagery right?
This can be done through personal branding. Personal branding is a way to build your expertise in your market so that you don’t have to fight the competition. You might offer the same amount of work but you’ll get paid more and the client will come to you. All because you have dominance in your industry or niche.
But how do you build your personal brand to get inbound leads? The answer is, through creating content. Start sharing content on social media that demonstrate your expertise in your field. Once this content reaches your prospects, they will contact you because they see you as an expert.
However, building a personal brand is not just about creating content—it’s about creating your image and persona. To discover more about personal branding, refer to this blog: Personal Branding on LinkedIn.
5. How to get your first client as a new freelancer
This is a bit of a paradox: you’ll need work samples to acquire your first job, but since it’s your first job, you don’t have any. Because no matter what your industry is, you’ll need some previous work to show your prospects.
Whether you’re a graphic designer, writer, digital marketer, or web developer. And because of the same reason, many beginner freelancers start working for free or they get into an internship that hardly pays. There’s nothing wrong with such an approach if you’re getting a lot of value and learning your skills.
However, if you’re neither getting much value nor it pays, you should consider a different approach. You should build a portfolio on your own. For that, you can start working on personal projects and use them to create your portfolio or work samples. For example, if want to offer your services as a freelance writer, you can create your own articles and send them as a sample. For SEO executives, one can create a website and use it for the same purpose.
Once you’ve some kind of samples to showcase your skills, It’s easier to get your first client. Meanwhile, start networking more, join Facebook groups for freelancing gigs, create more content, improve your skills and learn from your seniors. Remember that freelancing is a journey that needs constant improvement and scaling.
Freelancing is more of a lifestyle statement than just a business. It provides anyone on the globe with independence and opportunity.
While freelancing for beginners isn’t as easy as setting up an account on freelancing websites and earning 5 or 6 figures. But it doesn’t have to be rocket science either.
Follow the steps given in this article and you’ll be able to score your first client. But remember to go through the resources and actionable tips mentioned here.