This is the third lesson of the freelancer guide, in which we will address, in detailed steps, the answer to the question “How do I start a freelancer?”
In the first lesson, we discussed what freelancer is, its advantages and challenges, and in the second lesson, we discussed the most important, most sought-after and profitable areas of freelancer.
Today we will talk systematically about the steps to start freelancer, and what are the things that you need to do in order to actually enter the field of freelancer.
If you're reading this article in 2022 - and I think you are - you've probably heard at least one person tell you that they work online or freelancing.
And because this idea seems shiny and alluring at first glance, and it is in fact, you may also have wondered; How do I start freelancing? Today we will answer this question in a simple and easy way and with all the details you need.
Steps to getting started with freelancing
1. First ask yourself, “Is freelancer right for me?”
In fact, freelancer is not suitable for everyone, and this is normal because we are human beings and are different and deal with pressures and opportunities completely differently, and each of us has ambitions in a certain direction in life.
In any case, to find out whether freelancing is right for you personally or not, you should ask yourself these questions:
1. Do you have a capacity for self-learning? (Freelance work needs someone who is able to learn constantly and is able to access the sources of self-learning on his own).
2. Do you have the ability to deal with instability? (Freelance work is not for those who prefer a routine life and a secure fixed salary.)
3. Why do you want to freelance? Is it to run away from the job? Or to improve your income? Or is it because you want to work on the thing you have a passion for? (Escape is a weak reason, improving income is a medium reason, passion is a strong reason, however you have to understand your own reason.)
4. Do you have the patience and courage to enter freelancer? (Freelance work takes courage, and it also needs some patience to achieve success).
5. Do you have the ability to work on your own? (In freelancer you are your own boss, and you have to manage all aspects of your working life yourself, so you have to have the ability to self-discipline).
In the event that you have not yet looked at the lesson of what is freelancer, you should return to it to understand this field and its nature, advantages and disadvantages, and then find out whether it suits you or not.
2. Prepare with basic requirements
Of course, any business needs some basic requirements according to its nature, and this also applies to self-employment, but fortunately, freelancer is characterized by the fact that it needs minimum requirements, unlike other types of other businesses.
Here is a list of the most important basic requirements that you need to start in the field of freelancer:
(Here we are talking about basic requirements in general, but for each field of freelancer there are special requirements)
Unfortunately, as Freelancer, you cannot rely on your mobile phone for your work, but you need a computer, or a laptop to carry out the tasks of your work, here your mobile phone also has a role in following up your work and communicating with your customers…etc.
Note: There are some tasks that you can accomplish through your mobile phone, but of course you will need a computer, especially if you choose to specialize in a technical field.
2. Good internet service
You need a good-speed Internet service, at a level that helps you and does not hinder you from carrying out and delivering your tasks.
Of course, you need time dedicated to your work as a Lancer. In fact, you can take advantage of any spare time you have and invest it in freelancer, but devotion to freelancer means another level of opportunities and possibilities.
3. Accurately select the field of freelancer that you want to work in
Determine the exact field of freelancer that is right for you
This is one of the most important steps, if not the same. If you are wondering how to get started as a freelancer, choosing the field or category you will specialize in is the tip of the line.
As you are interested in the field of self-employment, you are one of two… You already have experience in one of the areas of freelancer, and you want to start your way directly to enter the labor market to provide what you are already good at, and then you can bypass this point.
Or you want to work as a Freelancer, but you haven't decided your field or specialty yet.
In the second case, here are the points that will help you determine the field of freelancer that suits you:
Return to the study of the areas of freelancer, and learn about the most important and most popular areas of freelancer at the present time.
Have a brainstorming session trying to make a list of your most important skills, experience and knowledge in the field.
Ask your friends and family what are the most important things about you that they find you do well at.
Do a research on the most important areas and the special requirements for each field, and then come up with what is most appropriate for your specific circumstances.
Continue reading the lessons of this guide to the end, to get a complete picture of the field of freelancer and get into it.
The only thing that guarantees success and profit from freelancer is that you focus your efforts on the field that you find yourself able to start and continue in, and even professionalize as well.
Whether it is a technical, managerial or creative field, you should always make sure that it matches your inclinations and passions, and you can visualize yourself continuing in it; Because you are supposed to strive all the way to develop your skills and professionalism, and perhaps even become the best.
How can you find out your passion for a particular field?
The only way to know which fields are right for you and your skills is to compare the skills and needs required for each field with your own.
For example, if you are a visual person and inclined to creativity and art, it is better for you to move towards the fields of design and move away from the fields of programming and web development, and vice versa (unless you want the opposite of course!).
1) the field of programming
The ability to understand and learn Logic & Concept, and apply them to solve problems and build applications.
Understand the basics of mathematics, especially algebra and arithmetic.
Ability to identify and solve problems.
Being curious and curious about the basic rules behind the way things work.
Some of the communication skills, to achieve effective communication with the other programmers.
Knowledge of a number of programming languages required in the labor market.
2) Design field
Possess a sense of creativity and innovation.
Accuracy and attention to detail.
Openness to different opinions and criticism.
An ability to solve problems, especially technically.
Passion for art, colors and artistic coordination.
Pay attention to technical news and trending designs.
Desire to develop skills, especially technical and design software.
Also Read : The 8 Core Web Design Standards
3) Marketing field
Possess problem-solving skills and quick decision-making.
Technical experience with marketing tools and programs, or the ability to deal with them.
Ability to write and communicate effectively.
Possess team working skills.
Flexibility in dealing with different pressures and situations.
Ability to negotiate and accommodate clients.
Do you find something that suits you?
If the answer is yes, and you find yourself meeting most or all of these traits in a field, then perhaps it is the field you want to pursue.
Determine the value of the field you want to learn
How many times have you learned something—especially in formal education—and after walking out of the exam hall, you don't remember a letter anymore?
This is because we don't really learn a thing unless it has meaning or value to us, and that's why you'll find some; After studying English for many years, they are not yet able to speak it.
All this and more because we learn to pass a test, not to really learn.
You have to understand that the value of what you learn is twofold:
The first part:
in the case of freelancer; Remember you didn't start anything at all. Is it financial freedom? Flexibility in working times? Having your dream job instead of a field of study you never liked? Maybe even just fun?
All of these reasons should be kept in mind at every step you take, and even every time you think about over-striving for your goal.
Therefore, your education in this field, whether design, programming, marketing, or others, will build a better future and less work pressure. The motives and reasons set by you.
Make a list of all the advantages that you expect from freelancing, and put it in front of you all the time. This will help you a lot in the learning process.
The second part:
In your same field, let's say programming as an example: Learn the basics that you should know and that you can't ignore.
I mean the basics that you will inevitably need to know, such as the programming logic as a whole Concept, the most important programming languages, the most popular and in-demand applications and so on..
This familiarity will enable you to focus your efforts on what is most important; In this way, you better invest your time and efforts in what you really need, so that it is applied and practiced, so you can master it more and more, and avoid occupying yourself with what is not of great benefit.
Now.. you may still wonder how to take advantage of this field and start freelancing? You will find the answer to this question in the following steps.
4. Learn from trusted sources
A trusted resource is the shortcut to learning your target industry right, and at Seo7u we've covered several comprehensive resources for learning the most in-demand areas for getting started as a freelancer.
How to access free courses in any discipline you want
The difficulty of the learning process does not lie in finding resources, the Internet world is full of reliable sources and courses, which you can rely on in the learning process.
In fact, the real difficulty lies in your ability to self-discipline, and keep learning until you reach what you want.
Here are some points that will help you in the learning phase on your way to getting started in freelancer:
Learn from free resources first, gather information and understand the field through written articles and YouTube videos.
Apply whatever you learn.
Find a friend or colleague to experience learning together.
Participate in specialized groups on social media in the field you want to learn.
Remember that the learning process takes time, so be patient.
Even bad courses will teach you at least one thing that is new to you, so do not regret any learning experience.
Develop a smart and clear learning plan
The thing that all domain experts have in common is that when they started, they did not go random, but rather followed a solid plan that ended up where they are.
Do you remember the traits of SMART goals?
Coaches shorten these traits or characteristics into SMART, where each letter stands for an important word, as follows:
S - Specific
Define the target clearly, and don't make it a floating target. And let it be, for example, that you learn the basics of designing a business card on Illustrator (which is one of the most popular design programs).
M - Measurable
Don't set a goal that you can't tell if you've achieved or not. In the card design example, the yardstick here would be to be able to design one or more attractive business cards.
Also, don't set a goal that you can't judge yourself if you achieved or not. Like saying my goal is to become a professional in using design software. Although it is a noble goal, of course, the method of measurement here is wrong; Because there is no agreed definition of software professionalism.
But the goal could be, for example, to be able to use Effectively design software tools, understand how they work and use them properly to implement ingenious designs.
A - Achievable
Especially in terms of time and effort. Don't set a goal that you know you don't have the time or resources to achieve, so you can get frustrated once you start.
Also, a possible goal is a goal whose features are not difficult for you to identify. I mean, do not make your goal to become the most famous digital marketer in the world, and this will be your goal with which to start the journey.
Of course, it is good to be ambitious, but there is a difference between ambition, vision, and a momentary goal.
Setting an achievable goal will make the learning process a rewarding experience. And your goal is to be able to land your first job or start freelancing as a digital marketer.
R - Realistic
Don't set a dreamy, extreme goal, especially if you're just starting out in an area. I mean, don't make your first goal to design a visual identity for a brand when you can't install Photoshop yet.
Always start with small goals that you can implement in a timely manner. The simple and realistic the goal, the more you can go on. You won't believe the impact of these small victories!
T - Timely
And here's the stall. Don't set a timeless goal for two reasons; One is that if you start doing it, you will either take too much or too little time, and the second is that you probably won't take it seriously and will continue to procrastinate maybe forever.
Count and study the most important pens in the target field. Ask and research trusted sources for an estimated time to understand the basics of each section, and then the time needed to get enough practice for beginners.
Note that there is no unified answer for every section, let alone every area. Don't base your goal on these answers, but use them as a reference for the timing of your goal.
For example, if the experts' suggestions say that you will need a month and a half to understand the basics of HTML, we do not recommend that you put in two weeks to learn it. But you can put, for example, a period of two months, so that you will have more time to understand and study carefully, as well as to practice for a better time, which means a higher skill.
5. Know who your customers are
This point is very important on your way to start freelancer, and if you can deal with it intelligently, it will save you a lot in the path of your success in freelancer.
If you know who your potential customers are, this will enable you to search and collect information about them, and thus make it easier for you to reach them.
Some may think that this point is self-evident and this is true, but because it is self-evident, there are many who work in the field of freelancer who do not deal with it consciously and intelligently.
Awareness and focus here is to understand the nature of the client and the importance of work for him, and his way of thinking, and trying to reach the place where he is.
The conclusion here is that by forming good ideas and information about the nature of your customers, and putting this in mind, this will firstly enable you to reach them, and secondly it will enable you to deal with them in a professional and more efficient manner.
6. Ask for expert advice
There is no one greater than learning, and the easiest way to master anything is to ask someone where you want to go. Those who asked, “How do I start a freelance business?” Before you, they took the same path.
Those who have preceded you in a field know exactly what it is like to be a beginner and not be able to understand anything or see the goal clearly, and even understand the boredom and doubt you might get in the middle of the journey.
They'll have the answers to all your head-banging questions about how to get started, how to find work, how to get things done and the right shortcuts all.
Fortunately, they are usually willing to teach, help, and lend a helping hand to other novices; Because they also started where they begin.
For more good news and luck, there are countless communities of professionals and experts from every field on social media platforms and electronic forums, whether Arabic speakers or others.
Visit social media and do a small search and you will find hundreds of groups full of people who can answer your questions and give you a clearer and more effective roadmap, and they will be the proof of its success.
7. Discover the most important skills and tools you need and develop them
There is a set of general skills that every FreeLancer must possess, and which you must try to learn and constantly develop.
On the other hand, you have to discover the most important special skills that you need according to the field you want to specialize in, this will be understood during your learning journey.
You can also search on this point independently according to the field you want to specialize in, for example, if you choose e-marketing, you can search for e-marketing skills that should be available in every professional marketer.
Tools are also a very important component of freelancing, and they play a huge role in the success of your business as a Freelancer. Tools, like skills, are divided into general tools that every Freelancer must own, and other special tools according to the field or specialization.
Freelance tools are mostly programs and applications that facilitate work and save time. There is a special lesson on the most important freelancing tools in our guide.
8. Practice constantly
It doesn't matter what you're trying to learn, whether it's a technical or creative field or both, always document what you learn by doing.
Don't just learn the thing, but do it with your hands as much as you can. Whether it's a small design project, code to implement a simple app, a piece of an ad you're trying to write, or anything else possible.
You will start from zero or even earlier, then quickly What you will find yourself repeating certain mistakes, and then re-practicing to avoid these mistakes and to focus on the good points. All of these things will make you more professional and skilled in the field that you will pursue in the near future.
If you can, show your work and small implemented projects to experts and professionals and ask them to give their opinion or critique on your work. It's okay, don't take criticism personally. Everyone started at some point.
Take these suggestions and act on them, avoiding previous mistakes. Try adding and incorporating some new ideas, so you can implement the project in your own way. Accept the mistake and take advantage of it.
Remember that people learn by doing more than they do others.
9. Create a workflow and stick to it at all times
One of the very important points at the beginning of your freelancing path is to develop a workflow plan. Self-employment has a special nature, there is no boss to monitor you, so you have to be your own boss. This will never happen without a clear plan for your business system.
Here are some points to include in your plan:
Determining the working days during the week and the day or two days off, and determining the daily working hours.
Determining the maximum and minimum deadlines for the delivery of tasks from the date of contracting.
Develop a plan for studying and learning in order to raise the level of efficiency.
Set times to network and be present in the communities in your field of specialization.
10. Build a circle of relationships
This step - like others - is not built in the course of a day and a night; You will need a long breath and a smart investment of your efforts in the right place.
The Department of Relationships is the group of knowledge whose knowledge is based on benefit and benefit, whether in the social, professional or personal aspect.
To get started in the field of self-employment, it is important to lay the foundations for forming your circles of relationships; With which you will be able to market yourself and your independent services.
Of course, you can get freelancing opportunities without building a circle of relationships, and offering your services to complete strangers. But the intelligence lies in building a strong relationship between you and these strangers based on trust and appreciation, then you will ensure that they return to you to benefit from your services whenever they need it.
And we can't talk about the circle of relationships without talking about LinkedIn! And if you don't know why, you might like to read our article “9 Reasons You Should Be on LinkedIn
Linkedin is a social media site that specializes in the practical and professional field, so for you as a freelancer, it is one of the most important channels of communication and finding opportunities at all. Being on LinkedIn with a professional account is a very important step.
You have to start early by creating a personal account for you on LinkedIn, this account must appear seriously and professionally. Use a well-groomed personal photo, and write a personal description that explains your ambition and pursuit of professionalism in your field of specialization, and the personal and professional skills you possess, as well as technical skills related to the same field.
Send invitations to experts and professionals in the target field you wish to specialize in. In the invitation to add, make it clear that you have ambitions to professionalize the common field, and you want to communicate with them or follow them to benefit from their expertise and content.
At the same time, expand the circle of your additions and communicate with potential customers in the target field, that is, those who are interested in obtaining these services, such as project owners and companies, for example.
Always strive to post valuable content that looks professional, for example:
The latest trends in the target field, you can add your personal analysis and opinion.
Distinguished work carried out by the applicants in the field, and explain why you find it a successful work.
The latest trending news and its relationship to the field - if any.
Projects and tasks that you have implemented, even if they are small
Have a special presence and interaction with your circle of relationships based on respect and constructive discussion.
11. Create accounts on freelance platforms
Freelance platforms are specialized sites that act as an intermediary between service providers and their applicants. As a Freelancer, you can register as a service provider, and they will allow you to build an account with a lot of details about your business.
There are a lot of freelancing platforms, some specialized in specific areas and some general ones. Fortunately, there are global platforms for freelancing.
We will cover all about freelancing platforms in an upcoming lesson.
12. Build your own portfolio or portfolio
Build a Portfolio or a Business Gallery
The importance of building a portfolio or gallery is that anyone who wants to work with you should see some of your previous business models first, in order to make sure that you are the right person for the job.
Portfolio represents your interface, through which your clients can learn about your business and evaluate your business based on it.
For you as a beginner, you may not have previous works to display, in this case you should also make samples of your works specifically for display in the portfolio.
There's a full Portfolio tutorial in this guide, in which you'll find everything you need to build a professional Portfolio.
13. Enter the labor market
Your first steps can be a little confused, but you'll soon find yourself on the right track at the end of the day. Then things will start to sort themselves out, and as you start freelancing, you will have the financial freedom and perhaps even the personal freedom you've always wanted.
Some tips that will help you succeed and establish your footing in the freelancer market:
1) Make sure to provide the best possible service to your customers
Always put quality first. Don't hand over to your clients a project that you don't trust is the best thing to do - unless there are other considerations. Quality and excellence are what will bring the customer back to you every time.
2) Set a schedule and stick to it
A common disadvantage of self-employment is that you may lose control of your schedule and your time, and either procrastinate too much or push yourself too much.
Make sure to set each task with a reasonable schedule that governs it. You may not be able to estimate the time correctly at first, but with time and practice you will be able to determine an adequate duration for each project, and most importantly, stick to it.
3) Take care of the customer's interest more than the financial return
Especially at the beginning of your interaction with him, make him see that you are keen on working and the success of the project just like him, and that you are trying to help him reach this success.
And this is shown in your thorough research on the market, the company or project, its needs, and the competition it is about. This will give you a broader idea of the best service you can offer or discuss.
See this step as a long-term investment. The more you express to the client your sincere concern and concern for the success of his project and his personal success, the more likely he is to come back to you again in the future or to nominate you to his circles of relationships.
4) Provide after-delivery services
Act as if you are a big company that cares about the experience of its customers with it just as you care about the quality of its services. Communicate with the client after delivery and ask him about his opinion and the efficiency of the project so far. If you have a blog, offers or discounts for him, let him know.
And now.. Congratulations!
You have passed the most important part of your answer to “How do I start self-employment?”, which is knowledge. The rest depends on your seriousness alone. You'll be thankful to yourself a year from now if you start today.
Remember that the only thing that makes successful people who they are is to take the first step and stick with it… Now will you be one of them?
Here are the links to all the freelance guide tutorials: