Before reading this post, I want to assume that you\u2019ve read our previous post on who is a freelancer? If not, you may want to first visit that blog to have background knowledge of what freelancing is all about. Freelancing can be a means to professional\/financial freedom but it can also be a means to an end. Like any other business, freelancing involves risk-taking and this is something that isn\u2019t preached often.\r\n\r\nThis is not to scare you but as exciting and profitable as freelancing is, if you are not well-grounded in what to expect, then failure will knock at the door. The good news, however, is that many people have succeeded as freelancers. En route success, they\u2019ve built their names, stamped their reputations, and reached their professional goals.\r\n\r\nIn this short post, I will show you how to become a freelancer and what you need to know before setting up a freelance brand for yourself.\r\n1. What skill do you have now?\r\nFreelancing is simply exchanging your skills for money. Before venturing into freelancing, you need to know a skill or more. You don\u2019t necessarily need to be an expert in that field because you gain mastery as you work. And if you don\u2019t have any skill set, it is not late to decide on one. One of the best ways to know which skill to develop is to align your passion with the current trend.\r\n\r\nThis is where you need to pay rasp attention. Of what use is learning how to type on a typewriter? Once upon a time, this was a hotcake but now, typewriters have gone obsolete. I know you love typing but let that flow in line with the current trend. Do you know how to paint on paper? You can upgrade and learn how to replicate that same skill on a computer or even a phone.\r\n\r\nThere are different skills to acquire as a freelancer such as writing, transcribing, translating, designing, and more. Your skills will determine what type of service you will offer. Let\u2019s say you\u2019ve learned graphic design, you can offer services like logo creation, image editing, flyer maker, etc. We have a complete guide on the top skills for freelancers. You may click here to check it out.\r\n2. Know which freelancing platform to start from \r\nNow that you know what service you want to offer, where do you want to turn it into money? Becoming a freelancer is just as easy as visiting sites that offer freelance jobs and taking them on. This is a good place to begin as a freelancer and with time, you can grow your own network or brand.\r\n\r\nHere are a few sites that you can start with:\r\n\r\n \tFreelancer.com: This is another exciting marketplace for freelancers who want to turn their skills into money. It is one of the oldest freelance job marketplaces where beginners can start their freelancing adventure.\r\n \tFiverr: Fiverr is an online marketplace where buyers search for freelancers who can provide certain kinds of service. They have a category for virtually every freelancer.\r\n \tUpwork: If you are looking for more business clients, you will find them here. On Upwork, freelancers bid for jobs. Once you have or can create a decent portfolio, you can get jobs and earn per hour.\r\n \t99designs: As the name implies, this is home for freelancers with designing skills. But don\u2019t get it twisted, 99designs also offers amazing services for freelancers too.\r\n \tPeople per Hour: Almost similar to Upwork but with a notable difference, freelancers can work here and get paid by the hour. Registration is easy; you can get started almost immediately.\r\n\r\nOnce you sign up on any of these sites, you take your time to study the environment. Choose a professional username, one that matches the kind of service that you want to offer. This helps to build your brand identity. Learn how to create gigs and portfolios that will catch the attention of potential clients.\r\n3. Decide your rates\r\nHow much do you want to charge for your service? One way to go about this is to check what other freelancers in your niche are charging. Do a survey and come up with a competitive rate that equals what you offer. It is also good to know what is obtainable for each platform. For instance, Upwork pays per hour while Fiverr pays when you get the job done.\r\n4. Market your services\r\nI tell people to liken freelancing to the Amazon of products where people come to shop for services. On Amazon, there is a gross difference between a seller who advertises his product and one who doesn\u2019t. If you don\u2019t market your service, there is a slim chance of clients knowing what you offer. Marketing your services is as easy as:\r\n\r\n \tsharing your profile link on social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp status\r\n \tposting your gig link on LinkedIn\r\n \tusing email marketing to get more traction\r\n \tembedding your gig link after answering a question (that is related to your service) on Quora\r\n \trequest for reviews from your buyers (if you already have)\r\n\r\nMarketing your service is essential for your success as a freelancer \u2013 whether you are a beginner or an expert.\r\n5. Create an online portfolio\r\nThis is important for experienced freelancers. As you gather reviews and experience, we suggest you create a personal portfolio website to let the world see what stock you are made of. Designers can try Behance while developers can try GitHub.\r\n6. Never stop learning\r\nLearning is a continuous process. The more you learn, the more you become relevant to your world. As time changes, new skills are born. Five years ago, cryptocurrency and electric vehicles were not as popular as they are now. You can explore these trends and acquire a skill in line with these topics. Not saying you should leave your present skill but you can grow or even diversify into something different and better.\r\nWhat to do when you start getting jobs\r\nOnce you have finished setting up your accounts, there are certain things you need to know.\r\n\r\n \tSatisfy your clients: One of the secrets of a successful freelancer is that he knows how to satisfy his clients. A satisfied client will always come back for more. Not just that, he will be happy to refer your service to his friends, co-workers, and family members. By so doing, you have paved the way for multiple streams of revenue. When your client asks for a revision, do well to attend to him.\r\n \tDeliver timely: Timely delivery is crucial in freelancing. In some cases, you will have multiple clients to deliver to within 48 hours. If you cannot meet up with a certain task, it is best you inform the clients beforehand. You don\u2019t want to disappoint a new client especially when there are other options. Better still, set ample time for your service.\r\n \tDeliver quality: Always deliver quality over quantity. Remember, your service is an extension of who you are. If you offer low-quality services, people will not value you. On the other hand, quality service will attract multiple clients. Pay attention to details, grammatical errors, codes, and so on. In freelancing, nothing should be taken for granted.\r\n\r\nOthers are:\r\n\r\n \tFluent communication: Communication is crucial in freelancing. Remember, you are working remotely. Thus, effective communication is needed to make the project go well. If you don\u2019t understand a thing, make sure you ask questions. Additionally, let your communication be in simple words. Avoid lengthy stories rather than learn to communicate fluently.\r\n \tKnow how to negotiate: Some clients are very funny. You don\u2019t want to encounter certain sets of clients. The best thing is to negotiate your pricing before starting any project. This will save you a great deal of trouble, time, and third-party interference.\r\n \tCreate a referral system: A referral system is a bonus that you give to a client so that he can refer others to you. You can reward your clients by discounting costs, offering an additional service, etc. in exchange; they will refer clients to procure your service.\r\n\r\nTO WRAP UP\r\nWith this guide, you can become a freelancer in no time. Again, we suggest you retain your existing source of income while taking up freelancing during your free time. Try it as a part-time business to see how it works out. It is up to you to decide on whether to start freelancing or skip to the next blog post.\r\n\r\nWe hope you find this article helpful. You may also click here to see other amazing tips on how to succeed as a freelancer.