The traditional 9-5 office employment model is slowly collapsing, and flexible business options such as freelancing are exploding in popularity. The gig economy is thriving, and some of the highest-paid gigs are earned by freelancers who work from home.
Not only is hiring freelancers becoming more and more common, it’s also becoming more attractive for many businesses because they can take advantage of fewer taxes, lower overhead, and lower employee expenses.
This creates an incredible opportunity for talented individuals like you to get into the freelancing industry.? There are hundreds of articles, resources, and free trainings out there to help you get started. The opportunities for freelancers are only getting better and better.
Start by Asking Yourself Why You Want to be a Freelancer
When people are learning how to get into freelancing, they quickly realize it is a lot more work than they expected. It’s not easy to be self-employed or to be your own boss. For many freelancers, their traditional 40 hour work week has now become 80 hours. They’re working twice as hard just to make the same amount of money.
A recent study by Statista concluded that approximately 50.9% of the U.S. population will be freelancing in the next 10 years.
We all have bills and expenses that need to be taken care of, and families to look out for. But the truth is, once we decide to chase our dreams in the freelance market, these problems won’t magically be solved.
Choosing to become a freelancer comes with great responsibility. For example, even with the flexibility it offers, you still have to pay taxes on your income. It takes hard work, persistence, skill, passion, and finesse. However, if you’re ready to put in the work, it can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life.
Regardless of your age, education, or background, the freelance market has a place for you. In this article, we will overview the roadmap for having a successful freelancing career.
Are you ready to become your own boss and take control of your life? Are you ready to forget about that morning commute, schedule your own hours, and live a more balanced family life?
6 Strategies to use when learning how to get into freelancing and score the highest paying gigs possible
1. Choose a Profitable Niche
Think about the industry you are looking to work
- Do you want to be a graphic designer?
- Do you want to be a developer?
- Do you want to be a copywriter?
Whichever industry you choose, there will always be many other freelancers, willing to accept low paying gigs. Now is the time to get over the idea of competing on price. If you compete by price, you die by price.
We have prepared a list of five questions you should ask yourself when selecting a freelancing niche:
- What problems can you solve?
- What are your interests and passions?
- What is your biggest competitor currently doing?
- How much can you charge for your time?
- What are my short term and long term goals?
These questions are invaluable before setting up as a freelancer.. Why? Because if you want to score high paying gigs, you need to ensure you can solve a problem that currently exists in the market.
Once you have narrowed in and selected a freelancing niche for you, the next step is to determine what your ideal client looks like. This step is crucial as it will set the playing field for your entire career.
2. Specify Your Target Clients
The second strategy you can use before setting up as a freelancer and to ensure you have the highest paid freelance work is to specify your target audience.
If you are like many entrepreneurs, you want to scale your freelancing business quickly. You want to earn many high paying clients, and have a very fulfilling career. However, many people are not selective with the clients they take on. This is especially true when you are just starting out. You may think that anyone who has money is an opportunity for you to provide your services.
But here is the truth: If everyone is your customer, then no one is your customer. You need targeted clients to succeed.
The Three Step Approach to Target Clients
We have prepared a three step formula for you to use to help you narrow down the clients you want to work with:
Step 1: Start with a shotgun approach
When first starting out as a freelancer, it can be extremely difficult to make assumptions on what clients you would like to work with. The shotgun approach involves you working with a variety of different clients at the start of your career. From there, you can develop a clear sense of whether or not you would like to pursue working with those clients.
Step 2: Build a client profile
To maximise your freelance work and ensure you can guarantee the highest paid freelance work, you need to build a client profile., In order to do this, write a checklist of what your ideal client looks like. The reason why you want to narrow down on the focus of your clientele is because you work best with the people you specified in the previous step. This will set you up for the most success, and help you earn more high paying clients in the long run.
Step 3: Narrow down and build a referral circle
By working for specific clients that fit your persona, you’ll build a relationship with them. What does this mean? You will get recommended to other clients through referrals and testimonials. And the best part is, they will also be high paying clients as well.
Once you’re specified your target clients, your next step is to follow one of the most overlooked secret strategies that millions of people in the market are not doing. Are you ready?
3. Find a Mentor
The third strategy you can use when setting up as a freelancer and scoring the high paying gigs is to find a mentor. The importance of finding a mentor is something that can’t be stressed enough. If you take a look at many entrepreneurs around the world, you will see that many of them credit their success to their mentors.
This is because in life, we are all limited to one common denominator: Time.
We can recover from mistakes, learn from bad investments, and earn back the respect of our clients. However, we can never earn back time. Mentors help you save time and help you make less mistakes. According to Forbes, 76% of people think mentors are important, but only 37% have a mentor. This means that if you have a mentor, you’ll gain a competitive edge in the gig economy.
How to Find a Great Mentor
1. Connect with inspiring people
Try to find a mentor through inspiring people you’ve already interacted and worked with. If you don’t have any connections right now, focus on following and connecting to the people you admire on social media.
2. Find someone with the same qualities as you
Just because someone has found great wealth and success, this does not instantly make them qualified to be your mentor. We cannot stress this enough. Make sure you have similar qualities to your mentor, take them out for dinner and see how well you connect with them.
3. Be someone you would want to mentor
Ask yourself the question, would I mentor myself? If the answer is no, it’s time to work on yourself. Here’s a checklist of things you should work on when aiming to be an ideal mentee.
- Are you great at what you do?
- Are you eager to learn, and committed to change?
- Do you promote the success of your peers?
- Are you someone who actively seeks more responsibility?
- Are you ready to turn feedback into learning?
Finding the right mentor can change the course of your freelancing career. Once you’ve found a mentor, it’s time to move onto the fourth strategy. Can you guess what it is?
4. Specialize in Your Niche
Before setting up as a freelancer,specialize in your craft, and position yourself as an expert.
This important aspect is consistently overlooked in today’s market by so many freelancers.
Jiro Ono, Japanese chef and entrepreneur said, “You must dedicate your life to mastering your skill. That’s the secret of success.”
The Denominator of Comparison
I want you to imagine that a client is looking for a copywriter to write a landing page for his e-commerce store that sells protein powder. Two potential prospects approach them asking to do business. Here are their personas:
Prospect #1: An older person in their late 50’s with over 20 years of freelance writing. They promise that they can produce a landing page that converts.
Prospect #2: A young adult in their early 20’s who has just over 2 years of writing experience. They are specialized for writing copy in the supplement industry and have a strong understanding of writing landing pages.
After reading those two personas, who would you choose to do business with? The answer here is simple. Because prospect #2 has experience writing in a specific niche, it makes more sense to trust them with the project, despite having only two years of experience.
This is the value of specializing in your niche. In today’s saturated market, you need something that you can present about yourself that is both different, and eye catching. The final step is to put together your past work, and build your portfolio.
5. Build Your Freelance Portfolio
A portfolio is like your personal vault that you can go to whenever you need to prove to a client that you are as incredible as you say you are.
But you might be asking yourself, How can I build a portfolio when I don’t have many years of experience?
The answer here is simple. A portfolio doesn’t have to only be client based work. It can consist of testimonials and personal work, and the best part is you don’t have to be a graphic designer to build one.
Sonya Parker, author and entrepreneur said, “Almost everyone will make a good first impression, but only a few will make a good lasting impression.”
Earning high paying gigs requires trust, and what better way to build a relationship with your client than with a stellar first impression? An awesome portfolio is a great way to ensure you make a great first impression, especially when applying for freelance jobs. This is a great tip to remember when learning how to get into freelancing.
6. Perfect Your Portfolio
Here are eight essential things every portfolio needs to score the highest paying gigs easily:
- Your photo
- Your bio
- Relevant skills and education
- What you specialize in
- Examples of your work
- Your contact information
- A strong call to action
Presentation is key. Focus on the small details and don’t be scared to upload your work. Having something is better than having nothing.
Freelance portfolios are like snowflakes, while they all look similar, no two are the same. This means if you have something about you that stands out from every other freelancer in the market, say it loud and proud. Emphasize why you are so great, and at the end of it all, encourage them to do business with you.
If you’re not putting your best foot forward into every interaction you make with potential clients then you will miss out on a lot of opportunities. With these five strategies, you are now ready to conquer the market and score many high paying gigs.
Want to Learn More Secrets About Freelancing?
You now have some of the tools required to build a successful freelancing career and score the highest paying clients. However, if you’re looking to specialize in your craft and fulfill a demand in the marketplace, we have prepared a masterclass of freelancing secrets just for you.
If you’re looking to learn some more closely-guarded freelancing secrets that you need to have a high-paying freelance career, click here to get started.