The freelance market is growing – employers are ready to delegate more and more tasks to freelancers.

The term “freelancer” came to us from the English language of knightly times, it means “free spearman”. It is believed that the writer Walter Scott, who used it in the novel Ivanhoe, became the ancestor of the term. A freelancer can be defined as a person who is not connected by labour ties with one specific employer, that is, not a member of the staff. In simple words, a freelancer is an employee who is looking for orders for himself and can cooperate with several employers at the same time. Freelancers usually work remotely.


Nowadays, the army of freelancers is growing, and here is what people who have decided to become freelancers from scratch have to do:

Step 1. Choose a Niche

It is best to write down all your skills, which, in principle, can be monetized. Consider what your soul is for. See in which areas other freelancers offer their services. For example, if you focus on freelance sites, then here are the sections that are usually presented there – they fully reflect the structure of supply and demand in the market:

  • Specialists in the field of programming, IT services, game development, websites and applications, and system administration.
  • Photographers, videographers.
  • Designers, illustrators, artists, architects, animation film developers.
  • Specialists in working with texts – copywriters, journalists, editors, translators.
  • SMM specialists – content managers, and group administrators.
  • Marketers, PR managers, SEO specialists, and internal communications specialists.
  • Sound specialists – composers, arrangers, editors, announcers.
  • Specialists in the field of online education, from tutors to administrators of online schools and moderators of webinars.
  • Hairdressers, beauticians, and security guards.

Based on this information, your skills, and inclinations, choose a niche.

Step 2: Get trained

If you come from employment and stay in the familiar field – you know the industry, but may not be aware of the nuances or new trends. Yes, and academic knowledge makes sense to refresh.

If you change the field of activity, the training must be serious – to withstand the competition, you must be very deep in the topic and own the relevant tools. Look for offline or online courses (not necessarily paid, free ones can be enough to start) or the opportunity to work as a junior with an experienced specialist in your field.

In addition to learning, communication is also important – subscribe to groups on social networks on a selected topic, and find and join Telegram chats. This is both informal information and useful networking.

Step 3: Create a financial cushion

This is especially true for those who go to freelance employment, where there is a familiar and stable salary and social package. This will not happen in freelancing– you must first invest, and only then will it be possible to receive income. It is unlikely that it will be possible to immediately reach high earnings.

The financial cushion should ideally be enough for six months – it is believed that during this time, with a serious approach, a freelancer can already reach a decent level of income.

Step 4. Organize your workspace

Time management and self-organization are everything. Think about where the desktop, professional literature, notebook, and folders with documents will be located (they will definitely be – contracts, acts). I recommend choosing a table with adjustable height and a comfortable chair – maximum ergonomics is extremely important. Think about the lighting – after all, you are going to work a normal working day, that is, at least 8 hours. And sometimes more. A good modern organizer will help you organize the little things.

Advice: If possible, Try to visually separate the place that you have selected from your house as your workplace from the rest of the apartment and explain to your family clearly that when you are at your desk, you are not at home, you are at work.

However, if the above-mentioned option doesn’t suit you then you can rent a workplace in a co-working space if there is one near your home. It disciplines and creates a sense of teamwork. But these are additional costs.

Step 5. Create a portfolio

Even a beginner needs to have a portfolio. You can put study papers, the results of projects that you did for your friends or colleagues in it. If you did an internship, also show your work in your portfolio.

If there is nothing, become your own customer. Formulate tasks, complete them as efficiently as possible, and place the results in a portfolio. 3-5 works at the start are enough, then the portfolio will grow naturally.

Think about where you will post your portfolio – the easiest way is to register on one of the freelance sites. There you can also get access to projects and tasks published by customers.

Step 6. Start searching for orders

This stage, once begun, never ends – in the search mode, you have to live for years. Of course, we must strive to find regular customers and stable orders, but even in this case, customers can leave, which means that you need to periodically monitor offers and vacancies. You can consider popular freelancing sites like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, and Truelancer.

Step 7. Continue... ad infinitum

Freelancing is an option for organizing work that involves continuous improvement and professional development. If a hired worker can do the same thing for years and feel completely in his place and at ease, then a freelancer with high competition in the market needs development. It is important to expand competencies, deepen knowledge, and take on more and more significant areas of work. The reputation of a strong specialist is not easy to earn, and you can lose it very quickly if you stop developing.

So what you will definitely need:

  • Watch and listen to thematic webinars;
  • Take refresher courses;
  • Perhaps to master related specialties;
  • Look up to the leaders of the sphere and learn from their experience.

The more experience you are going to gain, the better your reputation, and the deeper your knowledge, the higher the level of income you can generate through freelancing.

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