How to Start your Freelancing Business and Make money online

While so many are still grappling with how to find their feet in a struggling economy; globally, more than 1.5 billion people have found ways to start a freelance business that’s earned them a decent income, according to World Bank.

Apart from the flexibility that makes freelancing very appealing to most people, the gainful opportunities that comes with this lifestyle has enabled many freelancers to live the life of their dreams, regardless of their location.

These and many more are part of the big WHYs that’s powered the resolve of the 1.57 billion freelancers we have in the world today.

To set yourself apart in order to forge a thriving freelance career, you must understand the nitty gritty of freelancing as well as learn the proven strategies you can use to launch your career.

Luckily, this is what you’ll learn in this post as I share the top proven freelancing experience that’s worked for me and many other freelancers, in the following paragraphs…

One of the first steps to start a freelance business is to set out your goal or simply put, identify and plan out the things you want to achieve as a freelancer.

The primary reason you need this is so that you identify clearly the things you intend to do, the step you’ll take to achieve them as well as how long it might take to achieve those things.

The reason you need this is because goals can help you to shape your business model, pricing and other details that has to do with the business.

Having clear goals for your freelancing business will get you to identify your priorities, create strategies you can use to achieve these priorities and then identify the right KPIs to measure your success correctly.

Without this in place, it might get really difficult to attain any measurable success.

So, now that you have set out your freelance business goals, the next step to start a freelance business is to identify your core skills.

To get started, you want to identify and evaluate your current skills, experiences or expertise…

To get the best out of your freelance business, you want to identify and evaluate your skills and expertise | Photos by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexel

Get two different plain sheets of paper. On each paper, rule a straight vertical line from the top to the bottom of the sheet.

On one side of the sheet, list out each of the skills, abilities and expertise you have, based on your education, job or general life experiences.

On the opposite side, write down your estimated level of exposure, expertise and or experience with the skills or expertise within the range of 1-100, with 100 being the highest level.

Now for the next step…

Begin to think about the list you have before you critically. Looking at your list, alongside your laid down goals, which of the skills you listed down can really get you to achieve the goals you’ve laid out in step one above?

Find out the exact skills and begin to list them down in a separate sheet. Write out each of these skills until you’ve exhausted them.

PS: Keep in mind, not all skills and experiences are sellable. Where you don’t have marketable skills, you can get to learn them.

Now that you have listed out your top skills, the next step you want to take to start a freelance business is to identify a need that people are currently looking out for solutions.

A need is a problem that a specific number of people are actually looking out for solutions to them which you can provide and get paid in return for your services. Or a product that people are willing to buy.

To some people and depending on the level of your skills, this need may revolve around services like Content Writing, Graphics Design, Search Engine Optimization, Business Consulting, etc.

You have to find out the market demand for any product, skill or expertise you have in mind and then gauge these alongside the skills you were able to identify in step two above.

Tools like Google Search, Google Keyword tool, Ubersuggest etc. can give you a clear idea on services that people are actively searching online.

In addition to that, you can also check up freelancing sites like Fiverr, Freelancer, Truelancer etc. to get a better idea about services that are in demand.

To get this done, right, you need to research this need then line up each of them in a list against your level of expertise in your chosen skill.

Before settling for any of them, find out your level of competence, the level of competition in that niche and the number of people actively searching for those services.

Doing this will give you great ideas about skills or services that are in high demand in your preferred freelancing niche.

So, who’s your target audience? Who are the people actively searching for the proposed solution you intend to offer?

This is one of the important questions you have to ask yourself before you can get to start a freelance business on a good note.

You must have a good knowledge of your target audience, know who they are, where they are, what they want and how best you can serve them.

A tool like Google analytics, Facebook page analytics etc. can get you started on this.

Also at this stage, you have to conduct a decent market research to find out other freelancers offering similar services, how they run it, their charges, offerings and services etc.

Here’s a complete guide on how to price your freelance business. This guide will be very helpful in that aspect.

After identifying your target audience and their specific needs, you want to create a solution that will work for them. This is a very important step you’ll have to take, as you journey to start a freelance business.

And you have to revolve your solutions around the specific needs of your target audience. For example, where your target audience are businesses in need of graphics design, your solution has to revolve around creating a graphics design services that will work for them.

Now, considering you already have the data on your target audience based on your research in step four above, you want to use this data to create a solution that will be custom fit for this audience.

Considering their geographic location and other factors, set up your solution and come up with a pricing that will work for your target audience.

PS: keep in mind that whatever result you have from your market research will definitely affect the outcome of your proposed solution.

As a you get all set to start a freelance business, it doesn’t really matter whether you’re going to be running your business as a solopreneur or not, you need to create a brand for your business.

This is very crucial because a lot of potential clients will want to understand your brand before getting to do business with you.

Create a solution your target audience is ready to buy | Photos by Sora Shimazaki

So, this step is where you go about creating your freelancing business brand.

Starting from your social media handles be sure that your entire online platform is on brand. Choose your brand colors, select a professional picture to represent your brand, set up your bio and put together a list of your existing portfolio.

Also, ensure you get a website for your freelancing business. This is very important when it comes to branding. And we can get you a website to start your freelance business if you reach out to us here.

Here’s a complete guide on how to set up your brand as a freelancer.

Yes, you need a business plan to start a freelance business if you plan to build a thriving business in the long run.

Trust me, your business plan doesn’t have to be something elaborate. All you need do here is to write down the most important steps you need to take to get your freelance business started.

So, to get on with this, you want to map out your strategy. Are you launching on your social media or your website? How do you want to promote the business after the initial launch?

How do you get your first few clients and how do you intend to make them come back to do business with you?

These are some of the questions that your business plan should answer.

This guide here will give you a more detailed clue on how to set up your freelance business plan.

It is not enough to start a freelance business, you have to promote your business, get the word out and get your services right in front of the people that will be interested in it.

There are many ways you can get to promote your business which can include either using paid or free promotional options.

For example, one of the primary ways to promote your freelance business can be through the use of paid or organic promotion.

Paid promotion involves the use of paid ads either on social media, search engine like Google, Bing and other popular websites etc.

Organic promotion entails the use of other strategies like content marketing, social media marketing, guest posting, SEO, link building etc to promote your freelancing business.

Depending on affordability and your budget, you can choose to use either or all of these avenues to promote your business.

Final Words

Just like any other business, starting a freelance business may not be all beds of roses but as someone that’s been there for over half a decade, I can assure you, starting a thriving freelance business is very realistic.

With dedication to your business and a commitment to learn and relearn as you keep evolving there’s room for all round growth.

So, as you set out to get started with your freelance business, always bear in mind you’re here to provide a solution for your target clients. Focus on this.

Keep in mind to analyze the effectiveness of each strategic step you take at intervals. To understand if what you do is working or not, find time to measure your outcome against your goals. This is very crucial.

To avoid repetition of mundane tasks, create systems that works. Repeat them where they work and drop the ones that don’t.

So, there you have the strategic steps on how to start a freelance business and live life on your own terms. Get over here to learn high demand skills that will boost your freelance business. And be sure to reach out to us here, if you need further help on getting started.

Now, it’s over to you! What’s the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced while trying to set up your freelance business? Drop your answers in the comments section.

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Victor Winners

Victor Winners

A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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