As of 2017, 3.9 million people in the US worked from home at least half the time.
Many of these people were freelancers.
For someone who has always worked for someone else, the freelance network can be scary. It requires confidence, skill, and persistence to be successful.
However, on the flip side — this can be one of the best and most important decisions you may ever make!
If you are looking to join the remote workforce, keep reading for some useful tips that can help propel your career and earnings past the competition.
Use Fear to Find Confidence
First things first.
You should know that confidence is not built in a vacuum. This means that trying something new and doing it well builds confidence.
The more familiar you are with a thing, the more comfortable you will be with the process of it. Also think about the many other ways that businesses are looking to find and hire freelancers as well. Not only will this help with better understanding the industry, you may also learn how to better stand out from the crowd and accommodate new clients as well.
Part of being a writer is isolating yourself in a blanket and coffee cocoon. You could literally go weeks without ever seeing another human being — should that be a main focus and goal of yours. Though it is recommended to make sure you break apart your day and writing/design work, so you don’t overwhelm yourself and your body in the process.
When you want to start freelance networking, this is a mistake. Your comfort zone is your enemy.
Start by reaching out to other freelancers and potential clients.
Do this using online forums and offline meetups. Face to face meetings build real relationships and can give you new leads.
Services like Meetup, Eventbrite, and Facebook regularly have public events centered around a topic. Also, platforms like Instagram are helpful for building your freelance career.
Find a Niche
Take stock of the knowledge you have accumulated thus far. Chances are you’ll find someone online in need of content around it.
Do you know a lot about fitness or personal development? These are jumping off blocks for you to begin reaching out to clients.
If you are unsure where to start, try picking a niche.
Specializing in a few areas will help you build a portfolio of content your clients can trust. While writing is a general skill, knowledge of a nuanced subject will land you the big bucks.
Choosing a popular niche will ensure that there will be ample work available.
If you don’t have a deep knowledge base in a particular subject, don’t worry. It is most important to show that you can provide quality work on a deadline.
The time has come to leave the research nest. Once you have an idea of what you want to write, start reaching out to people. There are many tools that can help with this process as well.
Pitching is usually the hardest part for entrepreneurs. They get into a constant loop of whether or not they are really good enough.
When this comes up, think about the worst-case scenario. The worst that will come of reaching out to a website is an ignored email. You may also get a letter that says “no thank you.”
Find a sustainable number and reach out to that many people a day. If you are in a niche, write a few sample articles and submit them to websites. Make it unique with an interesting headline to catch attention.
Be sure to set up an email for correspondence. Also, use a payment service so that you can send an invoice.
If you are hoping to go full-time as a freelancer, build up your client base first. You don’t want to leave your current job on a hunch with no prospects.
Self-talk is the voice that rolls over and over in our heads. It tells us, “I’m not good enough”, “I’m not ready”, “maybe they don’t need my input.”
Negative self-talk is unsupportive language that keeps us paralyzed by intangible possibilities. Fear of the unknown is the major driving force behind negative self-talk.
Positive self-talk can be trained and developed as you develop confidence.
Psychologists and self-improvement leaders like Craig Beck assist with developing positive self-talk.
Just like ‘haters’ and negative feedback can deter you from your end goal, positive feedback and self-talk can help you get to where you want to be.
If you truly feel your work isn’t strong enough this is a constructive truth. It simply means you can improve your writing skills.
How to Succeed in the World of Freelance
The freelance industry, like anything new, can feel overwhelming at first — but those who stick with it and build a profitable and trusted clientele, can find great success for years to come.
Like many other industries, success in it can be summed up in a few words: persistence, confidence, skill.
Building your skill will build confidence. Meeting others in your field will boost creativity, leads, and confidence.
From there, be persistent. Continue to reach out to clients and improve your work.
Of the many different things I can teach and tell you about running a business and making money online, it is that you are up against the world. There is no reason for anyone to find success online if they aren’t willing to put in the time, work, and effort.
The opportunities are there for those who are willing to fight for them. Now show the world of freelance what you have to offer!