9 Expert Tips to Start and Run a Successful Online Freelance Business
The Internet is creating limitless opportunities for users worldwide and freelancing seems to be one of the most exciting things to do online. To freelance is to be an independent worker who earns wages on a per-job or per-task basis.
Given the advantages of being self-employed and considering the numerous freelance jobs and opportunities online, the demand for freelance workers is increasing in different industries.
In this post, I want to help you with some expert tips to start freelancing online and turn it into a successful and lucrative business. Whether you have some skills already or you still need to develop your skills, you can be successful with some hard work, excellence and persistence.
Expert tips to help you build a successful freelancing business online.
1 – Begin with an idea
There is a long list of freelancing ideas in the digital world today to pick from but if you are already an expert in a particular field, you may want to develop it into a freelance business. Without a doubt, that would be the easiest way to get started. Many freelancers today used to have 9 to 5 jobs where they developed their skills and then went out on their own and started freelancing or consulting in the same field. You just need to think about what you are good at and what interests you. For example, if you are creative and somewhat tech-savvy, you can consider becoming a freelance UX designer. Or, if you are a great writer, you can be a freelance blogger. The possibilities are endless.
2 – Get the skills
Whether you are stepping into a completely new industry, moving from a full-time job to freelancing or becoming a freelance consultant, there will always be a need to acquire the skills necessary to be productive in your new income generating activity. In any industry, freelance jobs always require excellence and fine skills. There is no room for try and error. Investing in training and courses is highly recommended to stand the challenges of the market.
3 – Get the tools
Whether you are getting into UI/UX design, website creation, writing or proofreading, logo design or any other freelancing activity, you will need tools that can propel your career forward. Tools allow you to perform and deliver on time and with efficiency.
Every freelance job has its set of tools. Some of these are free and others require a one time or recurring fee. As a professional who wants to stand out and dominate the market, buying licences of the tools you need is the best option so that you don’t run into resource limitations that may cause delays in delivery and loss.
Being an online worker, most of the tools you will require are software and personal computers. You may need a comfortable home office environment with permanent Internet connection. While many get swept away with visions of working on the beach, the beach site will not be your permanent working environment.
4 – Create a blog
One of the ways to market your online business is your blog. A blog is a simple website that allows you to constantly publish useful information about your business. As a freelance worker, some of the pages on your blog should be:
- Your About me page
- Testimonials page
- Some of your recent works
- You may want to add a shop for visitors to order some of your works
- Add a page allowing readers to hire you
- Contact page
On the blog section of your website, you want to constantly publish industry information to keep your readers informed. As your business grows, open up to guest authors to create more sources of content for your blog.
The more useful and well-researched materials you publish on your blog, the more natural traffic and potential clients you stand to attract from search engines. You will also gain exposure from social media as most of your readers share your articles on social media platforms.
5 – Join freelancing platforms
Freelance job platforms abound on the net. While some of these platforms are niche-focused, you may want to spread out and create your presence on the most active of these websites.
Before you join any freelancing platform, some of the areas you should investigate are:
- User feedback and reviews
- Fees and charges
- Funds withdrawals
- Ease of use
- Order checkout page conversion
To thrive and attract attention on job websites, you have to make sure your profile is properly filled with relevant materials including past experience, skills, etc. Also encourage your clients to give you positive feedback as this will help with your overall rating, increasing your chances of getting more jobs.
6 – Write books and create courses
One of the things experts in different industries do to build and maintain leadership positions is that they create courses and write books for their communities. Books may be written and given out for free but courses (video courses in many cases) generally come at a price.
While courses and books help you to generate more income, they will also help in promoting your freelance business and connect you to more people. If you choose to create a blog, your books or videos may be sold on your website or simply hosted on ebooks/video dedicated platforms.
Whether you are writing a book or course, it should be focused on your activities and helping your audience resolve issues.
7 – Offer free services to clients
One of the things I recommend is that you offer free services to your clients, especially first-timers. This is a great way to create a good first impression and will surely get some of these newcomers hooked.
The free service is just a bait. Make sure you really give your best for their satisfaction. This will determine whether or not they will come back to order from you.
8 – Run promotions during events
One of the biggest marketing tools used by brands is events. Everyone marketing a service or product should make use of public events in my opinion. As a freelancer, during events like Black Friday, Christmas season, etc, don’t sit back and watch.
Take advantage of these global events and cut down prices or offer something unique to your market. Chances are that more orders will come in as people strive to take advantage of discounts and deals to save on shopping.
9 – Create a list of buyers
One of the most beautiful things to do to your freelancing business is to keep a list of your buyers. It’s easier to get an existing buyer to buy again than to get a new buyer on board. Your buyers are visitors who have proven to have a certain purchasing power. You can always turn to them with special deals and promotions. Chances are that many of them will hit the order button again and purchase more from you.
To nurture your buyers list, from time to time, offer free services that will keep their trust for you warm. As your list grows, the chances of constantly having jobs from your existing market increase too.
All you need is determination, focus, excellence and consistency to become a successful freelancer. While it will take time, before you know it, you will be a successful online worker in your industry.