Embarking on a freelancing career can be both exciting and daunting, especially for those just starting out. As someone who has navigated the world of freelancing, I've learned a lot along the way and want to share my insights and strategies to help others find success. In this comprehensive guide, I'll discuss what I would do if I was starting from scratch as a freelancer, focusing on 14 key areas to help you launch and grow your business. By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to becoming a successful freelancer who is excited to work on projects and make a real impact.
1. Build an Outstanding Profile and Project Catalogue
The first thing I would do is build a standout profile that takes advantage of every bit of space provided by the platform. Your profile is your online resume and the first impression you make on potential clients. Pay special attention to the Project Catalogue, which is a great way to showcase your skills and attract clients who need specific services.
To make your profile and Project Catalogue stand out:
Use a professional-looking photo of yourself and a compelling headline.
Write a clear and concise bio that highlights your skills and experience.
Offer a variety of projects that cater to different client needs in your Project Catalogue.
Clearly define the scope, deliverables, and pricing of each project.
2. Reviews: Building Trust and Gaining Momentum
When you're just starting out, reviews are essential for building trust with potential clients. I would make an effort to get reviews early and often, as this will help you gain momentum and demonstrate your expertise to others.
Here's how you can encourage clients to leave reviews:
Deliver high-quality work that exceeds client expectations.
Communicate effectively and be responsive to client needs.
Ask clients for feedback and request reviews after completing projects.
3. Pricing: Feeling Good with Your Rate
One key aspect of freelancing is setting a rate that you feel good about. You should be excited to work, and your pricing should reflect the value you bring to clients.
To determine your ideal rate:
Research industry standards and competitor rates.
Consider your experience, skills, and the value you bring to projects.
Take into account your expenses and desired income.
4. Taking Advantage of the Platform: Focus on Incoming Work
As a freelancer, it's essential to make the most of the platform you're using, especially when it comes to finding new projects. I would actively focus on the incoming work, which can be found in the platform's project stream. By using tools like RSS, you can get alerts for relevant work and see how often new projects are posted.
To optimize your platform experience and find work quickly:
Monitor the project stream regularly and look for projects that match your skills and interests.
Set up RSS alerts for relevant keywords or categories, so you're notified when new projects are posted.
Prioritize clients on the platform who are ready to hire immediately, as they are more likely to result in quick work opportunities.
Be prepared to submit proposals promptly when you see a project that fits your expertise, as timely responses can increase your chances of being selected.
By focusing on the incoming work and being proactive in your search, you can find more projects that align with your skills and ultimately boost your freelancing success. Remember, the people on platforms like Upwork are ready to hire now, and tapping into this pool of clients can lead to more opportunities than seeking work elsewhere.
5. Using Looms to Build Authority and Show You Care
Looms, which are built into many freelancing platforms, can be a powerful tool to help you build authority quickly and show clients that you genuinely care about their projects. Loom is a video messaging platform that allows you to record and share video messages with your clients easily.
To use Looms effectively:
Use Looms for client communication, especially for complex topics that might be difficult to explain in writing.
Share quick video updates on project progress to keep clients informed and engaged.
Record video tutorials or walkthroughs to help clients better understand your deliverables or the process behind your work.
6. Create Theoretical Work for Your Portfolio
Having a strong portfolio is essential to showcase your skills and attract clients. I would create theoretical work to demonstrate my abilities, even if I don't have real-world examples yet. This can help fill any gaps in your portfolio and show potential clients what you're capable of.
To create compelling theoretical work:
Choose projects that align with your skills and the services you want to offer.
Develop detailed case studies that outline the project's goals, your approach, and the final outcome.
Hire professionals to help you create visually appealing thumbnails and other supporting visuals for your portfolio.
7. Leverage AI for a Cogent, Error-Free Profile
Using artificial intelligence (AI) tools can help you create a polished, error-free profile that stands out from the competition. AI-powered tools can help you with grammar, spelling, and even sentence structure.
To leverage AI effectively:
Use AI-powered writing assistants like Grammarly or ProWritingAid to review and improve your profile content.
Experiment with AI-driven content generation tools, like GPT-3, to help you brainstorm ideas for your profile or portfolio descriptions.
Regularly update your profile with the help of AI tools to ensure it remains polished and professional.
8. Split Test Different Skills for Optimal Profile Views
To ensure your profile gets maximum visibility, I would split test different skills and make adjustments based on the results. This can help you identify which skills are in high demand and should be highlighted on your profile.
To conduct effective split tests:
Start by listing your top skills and services you offer.
Change the order and emphasis of your skills periodically, monitoring the impact on your profile views.
Use platform analytics or third-party tools to track your profile's performance and make data-driven decisions.
9. Create a Great Profile Video to Build Trust
Adding a video to your profile can help build trust and give potential clients a better sense of who you are. I would create a high-quality, engaging video that showcases my personality, skills, and experience.
To make a great profile video:
Keep it short and sweet, aiming for 1-2 minutes in length.
Include a brief introduction, your expertise, and examples of your work.
Be authentic and let your personality shine through to connect with potential clients.
10. List All Platforms You Work With for SEO Purposes
To increase your visibility and attract more clients, I would list all of the platforms and tools I work with on my profile. This can help improve your SEO both on the platform itself and through external search engines like Google, Bing, or AI and voice search.
To optimize your profile for SEO:
Include relevant keywords related to the platforms and tools you use.
Keep your profile and portfolio descriptions up-to-date and keyword-rich.
Connect your freelancing profile with your professional website or blog to create a strong online presence.
11. Adopt a Business Mindset
From the very beginning, I would think of myself as a business rather than just a freelancer. This mindset shift can help you approach your work more professionally and make better long-term decisions
To adopt a business mindset:
Set clear goals and create a plan to achieve them.
Develop a brand identity, including a consistent visual style and tone of voice.
Focus on building long-term relationships with clients, rather than just completing one-off projects.
Continuously invest in your skills and professional development.
12. Organize Yourself with Project Management Tools
Staying organized is crucial for managing multiple projects and clients effectively. I would use platforms like Trello to create a project management environment for both myself and my clients.
To stay organized with Trello:
Set up boards for each client or project, with lists and cards to manage tasks and deadlines.
Use labels and due dates to prioritize tasks and keep track of progress.
Invite clients to collaborate on boards, giving them visibility into your work and fostering better communication.
13. Perfect Your Proposals with Palmer's PPP Strategy
Your proposal is often the first impression you make on a potential client, so it's essential to get it right. I would follow Palmer's PPP (Profile, Portfolio, Proposal) strategy to ensure my proposals are concise, professional, and effective.
To implement Palmer's PPP strategy:
Keep your profile polished and up-to-date, showcasing your skills and expertise.
Develop a strong portfolio that demonstrates your abilities through real-world and theoretical projects.
Craft tailored proposals that quickly and clearly convey your understanding of the client's needs and how you can help.
Focus on bidding for projects that align with your skills and expertise, even if it means using more connects on the platform.
14. Build a Business System for Yourself
Having a business system and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool is essential for managing your freelance business effectively. I would use a platform like AutomateScale for Freelancers or GHL (Go High-Level) if you plan to build your own agency.
To build a business system:
Choose a CRM that meets your needs, whether you're a solo freelancer or planning to scale an agency.
Set up your CRM to manage leads, clients, projects, and communication.
Use the CRM's automation features to streamline repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.
By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to building a successful freelancing career that allows you to work on exciting projects, grow your skills, and make a lasting impact. Remember, your success depends on your ability to showcase your expertise, connect with clients, and deliver outstanding work. So invest in your profile, portfolio, and proposal skills, and stay organized with project management tools and a solid business system.
For more insights and resources to help you succeed in freelancing, check out the GHL landing page. With GHL, you can build a business system tailored to your needs and grow a successful freelance career or agency. Click here to learn more about GHL and how it can help you achieve your freelancing goals.