HOW TO: Become A Freelancer In 3 Simple Steps

Posted on January 7, 2011 in Alternative Careers

By Rahul Verma:

Getting a job today is not tough; only two kinds exist here, either it is a job of your interest or you’re doing it to just pay your bills. It’s a big question among students and recent college graduates, how to do something in one’s field of interest? They can do the job by doing the work of their interest as a freelancer, but now the problem is: how to start freelancing?

1) How to enter the market?

The tough part about becoming a freelancer — especially for introverts — is putting your name out there and having to hustle to sell your services. How you should showcase yourself in the market depends on the work you like to do. If you don’t have any idea about where to start, I advise that you approach a freelancer by commenting on their blog or by mailing them your queries to know more about the industry and its demands and how you fill the void. You also need a website (at least a professional blog) which showcases all the work you have done till date, the services you offer, how one can reach you, etc. If you’re a programmer then you must upload the screenshot of your recent projects and get recommendation by your teammates, your friends and also by your mentors on your work, which will help you to put yourself into the market. Also, an essential here is to have a professional profile on showcasing all your professional work and commitments, with details, till date.

2) How to find contracts

Once you get involved in the market then it’s time to get some clients. Tell everyone, your co-workers, friends, teachers and neighbours that you’re available to do freelance work and the kind of work you are comfortable with. Contact the contractors who have similar interest or do the same work to just broaden your network and take their help to get work done in an efficient manner. Be generous and send referrals their way, and they will return the favour.

3) Pricing Yourself

For the students and recent college graduates it’s a tough decision about how to answer the question “What’s your hourly rate?” Your hourly rate will depend on the project, your industry, market, location, the economy, your experience, and what’s the budget of your client.

When you’re just starting out, you have to under-price yourself because you really want to get the experience and want feedback from your clients, and over perform. As time passes and you get more involved in the project and your number of hours get increased then you can adjust your prices.

You also have to focus on how much time you have to get the work done and accordingly schedule the project because negative feedback would make a terrible impact on your portfolio.

Some great websites to start off with could be:

Happy Freelancing!!!

Image courtesy.