Choosing to start freelancing with no experience can be nerve-wracking and, at the same time, interesting. It’s fun as you would be working from your comfort zone and be your boss, but you would need to consider a lot of things like your skills, paycheck, time, etc., before going in.
It takes a lot of determination to get your first client, as most clients prefer freelancers with tons of experience. This might sound discouraging, but with a few tested tips, you can start competing for high paying gigs with experienced freelancers.
How to start freelancing with no experience
1. Get a website
For you to grow your business, what you need is a professional freelancer website. Creating a website does not only make you look professional, but it also helps attract quality clients. There are so many things you need to keep in mind when creating a website; Hosting provider, domain name, choosing a theme, and selecting pages.
For you to create a website, you need a hosting provider. There are so many hosting providers, and you need to choose a professional host so you can have control over your content and not having your website shut down. One thing you shouldn’t forget while creating a website is getting a domain name. You can use your business name or your name for your domain.
Once you are done, install WordPress and move over to choosing your theme and site layout. Ensure your website has the following pages front page, about page, service page, portfolio, and contact page. You can view our previous article on how to create a website here.
2. Search on freelancing websites
As a first-time freelancer, you need to register with an online freelance marketplace to easily find clients who may need your services.
There are so many freelance job websites, and these are some you can try as a beginner:
- We Work Remotely
- People Per Hour
Read more: best places to get freelance jobs
You can create an account on each of them till you find the one you’re comfortable with. Once you create an account, make sure to fill in your necessary details (you should complete your profile if you boost your chances of getting good jobs). You can also search for other freelancers that offer the same service as you and see how their profiles are set up so you can copy a thing or two.
Once your profile is professional-looking and is approved by the platform, you can start bidding for jobs. Platforms like Upwork will approve your account within 24 hours if your skill is in high demand.
Here is our post on how to get your profile approved on Upwork
3. Showcase your work
You can attract potential clients when you showcase your work on your portfolio. But since you’re starting freelancing with no experience, there is little or nothing to show yet. That’s where fake projects come in.
These projects are not entirely fake, but they are named because it is what you feel a client might need. Though you haven’t gotten any client yet, you can convert them to PDF files and share them with those you feel need them. This can help you get a potential client who is in dying need of that particular service.
Here’s how to create one
- Pick a project you’re good at.
- Create a couple of samples that you think your clients will be interested in (create different logo or flyer samples if you’re into graphics design)
- Upload your work on free platforms in your niche – you can use Dribbble if you’re a graphic designer or Medium if you’re a writer. This is optional, but having your work on reputable sites can boost your chances of landing your first client.
- Choose a portfolio building service like Clippings.me, or Contently.
- Create your account, upload your samples and add a link to your freelance account
4. Offer free services
If you want to start freelancing with no experience, you should consider offering some free services. You can provide free services to a few of your clients while still following the same process of offering paid service.
It is important to follow due process, either paid or free, to avoid being used. This is where contracts come in; either free or paid services must be bound by a contract, so clients don’t have to overstep their boundaries because you decided to render free service to them.
5. Network within your circle
The best way to start getting clients is when word goes out that you’re offering a particular service. How to do that? Recruit your friends, co-workers, family, classmates to help you spread the word. However, this tactic may only work when your circle is strong; that is, when there are people within your circle that are well connected.
6. Utilize social media
Another way to start freelancing with no experience and get clients is through social media. There may be potential clients just waiting for you to showcase what you can do. You can create an account for your business using Facebook and Instagram in the same vein utilizing your Whatsapp account to source for clients. Once this is done, ensure to post your works often at the same time get your family and friends to help repost on their pages too. In no time, you’ll start getting many clients who require your services.
Continue reading: 5 things to avoid doing on your social media as a job seeker
7. Create a fake client project
Creating a fake client project doesn’t mean you are telling a lie; instead, it simply means you are trying to showcase what you think a potential client wants, which is another strategy to getting new clients. While creating these projects, it’s relevant to have in mind that you are doing this for a client, so you have to put in your best, so it suits the client’s taste.
8. Pitch your service
Pitching, in this sense, has to do with reaching out to businesses or clients that you know may benefit from your services. While sending the pitch, ensure you talk more about your client’s obstacles and needs and ways you can help them out rather than focusing more on your strength.
9. Find what you are good at
Before starting freelancing, you have to first find out your strong points so that you won’t get stuck when you finally land a client. Make sure you build your business around what you’re good at and love doing. If you’re not an expert, make sure to learn more before venturing into the freelance space.
10. Consider interning
Most freelancers see interning as offering a free service to someone, but there is more to interning than that. Most professional freelancers take on interns to help with small tasks that they don’t have time for, like responding to emails, sending pitches, managing your social media platforms, etc. Some freelancers will even pay you as an intern because they know how stressful it is to be a freelancer. You can seize this opportunity to develop your skill under the supervision of a professional.