Are you looking to become your own boss? Perhaps you heard about freelancing and would like to try it out for yourself. It is possible to live the American dream and be successful. Being a freelancer is a lot of work but it’s definitely worth it. Here are 8 steps to becoming a freelancer.

  1. Get credentials. Depending on your industry, you may need specific credentials to freelance. If you are working for someone else, you might be using their credentials. Research this before you make the leap. You might want to take classes or even potentially go back to school, however there are a lot of skills you can research and teach yourself for free or minimal cost online.
  2. Make a business plan. Lose the employee mindset. You are now a small business owner. Set goals and plan and start with a great framework. You work for yourself and have clients now.
  3. Create an online presence. Get your business name on all social media platforms. You don’t have to be on all of them at once, but you want to secure your name on them for the future. Focus on two. Once you get two down, expand on your other channels. Have a consistent brand image.
  4. Create a pitch. If you are a copywriter this is a no brainer but you still have to network even if you aren’t a writer. Create a basic outline you can edit for each potential client. Don’t just make a form letter and send it to everyone without changing it. They will notice and you will not get jobs. Competition can still be fierce on gigs, even though there are more of them today than in the past.
  5. Join your community and network. Join groups in your industry on Facebook and LinkedIn. Get to know people. Answer questions. Don’t be spammy but get your name out there. Marketing yourself and your business is very important.
  6. Learn about competition. Study those in the same industry. Don’t just copy them but learn what they are doing right and wrong. Learn from them. You may even want to reach out to them for possible collaborations. Make friends with those in your industry.
  7. Win clients, before you leave your day job. Get a source of income coming in before you make that jump. You may want to have a couple months worth of expenses saved just to be safe.
  8. Quit your day job. Once you’re ready, quit your job and go full time so you can focus on your business. It takes a lot of work and you’ll get drained doing both. This is the best step in this list, but you want to do it wisely. Don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

With these freelancing tips for beginners, you will be on your way to creating a side business that could potentially lead to full-time income. Focus on each step in your journey but keep the end goal in mind. It is possible to reach your goals and be your own boss, although it will take a lot of work and dedication. Being a freelancer is a dream for many, be brave enough to take that leap and you will reap rewards of an independent lifestyle.

Posted by Amir Shaikh

Mr. Shaikh is a CEO of GigTricks and a Dubai-based Entrepreneur, Business Mentor, Engineer, and Philanthropist who is on a mission in making the world a better place by facilitating unlimited growth opportunities for both entrepreneurs and freelancers around the world.

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