Have you fondled with the idea of launching a business, possibly a freelance business, lately? Well, you have probably, else you wouldn’t have clicked on the headline of this post.
Let’s face it – starting a freelance business is no mean feat, and is definitely not meant for the fainthearted.
- Where do I even start from?
- How do I find clients?
- But I don’t have a sellable skill, who will hire me?
- I feel stuck in my job, how do will I make out time for my business?
- What if I fail and become completely broke?
These and many more are some of the questions wannabe freelancers keep asking, in most cases never getting meaningful answers.
Some have even taken the first step by scouting freelance sites to find work, only to be disappointed by what they saw.
But here is the thing – you don’t need any answer – what you need is a strategy, a foolproof one at that. If you are waiting for the day things will be alright to launch your freelance business, you might have to wait for, well, forever.
That said, here are strategies most successful freelance business owners used to achieve their dream of building a 6 figure freelance side hustle. If they could, you can, too.
Strategy #1: Conquer your fears
As humans, we tend to dread doing the things we haven’t done before. It even gets worse when there is something at stake.
However, trying to conquer this fear by making it go away will definitely end in futility. Doing what needs to be done no matter how scared we may be, is the true mark of courage.
Scared you won’t find clients? Start pitching to clients who are ready to hire freelancers, and pitch as regularly as possible. Numbers is the game here – the higher the number of pitches you send, the more likely your chances of landing a job.
Scared you will be turned down? Sometimes, I wonder how life would have been if there were no such thing as disappointment – boring, most likely. You will definitely be turned down, but the good news is that there will always be someone willing to hire you no matter how crappy you think your skills may be.
Scared you won’t be able to make enough? While it is true that there are countless freelancers out there that are struggling hard to make a living, many others are living the dream life. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which category you will belong to.
Strategy #2 Begin with the end in mind
How long do you plan to freelance?
Do you intend going into it full time or combining it with your day job?
What revenue are you aiming at; how much do you see yourself earning a year after launching?
The list of questions is endless. To avoid getting into the rut some freelancers fall into without the slightest clue of how to get out, define your end; where do you see yourself going with this business.
If like the headline of this post says, your goal is to build a six-figure freelance business, be prepared for a long haul.
Strategy #3 Start small
You might have heard of a saying which goes thus:
Nothing is as hard as starting
Starting a new venture is hard, no doubt…starting small makes the job easy. The best place to launch a freelancing career or business is on freelance site, or freelance marketplace as some people prefer to call it.
Upwork, Fiverr, People Per Hour, are good places to start. Working on such of platforms gives affords a budding freelancer the opportunity to build a portfolio, and building a reputable portfolio on these freelance sites will help immensely.
Strategy #4 Build a compelling portfolio website
Starting small is fine, but I bet you wouldn’t want to stay small forever. As you dig deeper into freelancing, there will come a time when you will have to build a portfolio website.
Not only does building one make you look professional, it serves as an avenue to get more high paying client.
You don’t have to be a techie to build a compelling portfolio website. It only takes a matter of, at most an hour, to get a website running, thanks to easy-to-use Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.
Remember, it is called a portfolio website because it is meant to showcase your portfolio. Even if other things are missing, a portfolio, which is basically samples of previously done works, shouldn’t.
Strategy #5 Promote your business
Staying and waiting for clients to start pouring in is a completely bad idea – you have to take your business to them.
I will divide the promotional strategy that can be used into two:
- Free: SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media marketing, blogging/guest blogging are typical strategies.
- Paid: Google Adwords, Facebook and Twitter ads are popular today.
Nothing is as difficult as taking a project from ground zero up. But be of good cheer, earning thousands of dollars from a freelance business is achievable.