Learn how to quickly replace your income through online freelance work, including tips for how to freelance, finding freelance work and how to stand out in this growing market.
If you’re between jobs and looking for a way to keep your skills sharp and keep incoming coming in, consider online freelance work. This is a fast and growing segment of work that provides excellent income opportunity and flexibility. In fact, many people opt for freelance consulting as the ideal alternative to being more traditionally employed.
More and more companies are relying on skilled freelance talent to complete work that was once done by employees. Companies have downsized; but the work still needs to be done. Because of this, demand for freelancers and the availability of online freelance work is expected to continue to rise. In fact, many skilled freelancers are quickly able to replace their incomes by doing freelance jobs online.
Freelance work is essentially work without a long-term contract. Well, that’s the simplest way to describe it. If you’re considering freelancing for the first time, be sure to check out the more detailed description here.
You can find online freelance work for a wide variety of skills. While freelance writing gigs are what most people think of when they think of freelance, your skills may fall into another area such as: copy editing, data entry, graphic design, web design, project management, training, consulting, computer programming, research, and other skills.
If you’re just getting started at freelancing, freelance job boards are a great place to get started finding online freelance work. Sign up for one or more job boards to get started.
Rather than just list yourself on the job board and wait, it’s best to actively bid on available jobs. Price yourself competitively so that you are in the sweet spot of the going rate. Some freelancers like to take on short projects to start to be sure that they are compatible with the client before getting into more complex jobs.
What Do You Need to Get Started Finding Freelance Work?
To get started freelancing, you really only need a computer and an internet connection. You may also need a business license, depending on where you live. Of course, you need the skills that employers are seeking as well.
Next, you’ll need clients. The quickest way of finding freelance work is by joining one or more freelance job boards. Scan the jobs before you sign up for the trial offer. If you see one you’d like to bid on, go for the trial offer now. If you don’t, sign up for their free newsletter and check back often. When you find a job you want to bid on, take advantage of the trial offer then.
As you complete your first few jobs, you are building your portfolio and your references. Be willing to go above and beyond — not only are you likely to win a long-term client but you may be able to use that client as a reference as well.
Once you build your portfolio and your confidence, you’ll be ready to get serious and market yourself in a variety of places. You’ll want to do whatever you can to stand out from the crowd. Your high-quality work and reliability are your best assets. It’s important to be known as a problem solver who can connect a small part of a project to the bigger picture.
Online freelance work can be a lot of fun. If you’re serious about making online freelance work your business, you’ll want to put together a basic promotion package, that includes:
- An overview of the services you will offer and an understanding of how you will charge.
- A logo to put on your business card, letters and other communication. Yes, you’ll need a business card to hand out at networking events, mixers or to leave with clients you meet with.
- A resume that is tailored to highlight the skills you will be offering as a freelancer and to establish your credibility.
- A portfolio if you have any examples of your work. This can be a simple folder holding samples or more elaborate if you are marketing graphic design. Some types of freelancing do not use portfolios.
- A pitch letter to market your services. This is like a cover letter with a twist.
- Well-practiced interview skills to make a great impression during client meetings.
- Invoices; think through how you will invoice and track your income.
- Thank you notes; combined with your great work, these go a long way to generating repeat business and referrals.
- An effective online profile – You will want to be sure your online profile on LinkedIn and Google are completed and that they highlight your skills as a freelancer. This can often work in conjunction with your pitch letter and resume. You’ll be using this information as you join online job boards as well. Stay consistent — not only does it build your brand, but it also is much easier than recreating the wheel every time!
- A website – Finally, if you’re serious about building your freelance business, you will want to create a website. This is an important part of your brand and provides you with a way for potential clients to get to know you, view your work and get in touch with you. Done correctly, a website will help drive traffic and new clients to you as well.
Can I Really Make a Living with Freelance Online Jobs?
If you’re serious about making a living doing online freelance work, it can certainly be done. Get the word out through all your networking channels, freelance boards and online avenues. Many people make a full time living doing freelance jobs online and they revel in the flexibility it provides.
Like any business, online freelance work can be a lot of work, but since you set your own pace and choose your own jobs, it’s easy to see how it could quite possibly be work that you love.
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