Sunday, May 06, 2018

How to start off? ROADMAP for an Online freelancer

Namaste friends and freelancers.

The last week was tremendous. There were new orders that I delivered, new research that did (I will tell you about that once I have something solid in hand) and met new people too. New people – people who were not known to me at all and have now become very good acquaintances, just after a couple of interactions! It was awesome. Loved it. How was your week? Do let me know how it was in your comments. I will love to read.

Now, in today’s post, I am going to write about how to start off as an online freelancer. You already know that in this blog, I keep on talking about online freelancing and entrepreneurship and how you can learn new things in your journey as a freelancer. There are a lot of information scattered here and there which I have written keeping the absolute beginner in mind. I think there should be one dedicated post which will tell you clearly how to start. Let me draw a roadmap for you.

There is an old post on this blog which you may want to read too. Click here to read that post.

So, in this post today I am going to do exactly that. I will tell you what exactly you need to have to start with and then how you can proceed to build on that. I will leave you with a few best practices that I follow and some tips and tricks that will surely be handy. So, let’s get started!

WHERE DO I START?

We start at the very beginning. The beginning is the phase when we talk to ourselves, ask and find out if we really want to take up online freelancing. If yes, are we going to do it part-time or take it up full time? Are we dedicated and ready to go through all that is necessary to initiate and take our freelancing career forward? We should only take the next step if we are sure of this. Well, I do not discourage trying it out, but even if you are just here to give it a shot, ensure it is your best shot. That is all that I want.


I AM READY. WHAT’S NEXT?

Well, this is where things get moving, actually. Find your skills. This is easy as well as a tough step in the process. Easy because you are going to talk about yourself and not anyone else. So, you do not have to look outside. And it is tough because there are a lot of things to consider while doing so. Let me write this down as steps and that will make more sense:
1.   List out everything that you can do on the computer. Include even the basic tasks like searching on Google for something and browsing the internet. No skill is worthless; so, mention it in the list. And slowly, add more – spend some time and keep adding a skill whenever you remember one.
2.     Now, hit the internet and check out the freelancing portals. Find out which of these skills that you have can be used. Highlight them. These skills will define you as a freelancer. These will help in answering questions like, “what do you do?” by saying, “I am a freelance graphics designer” or “I am a freelance content developer.” Well, enough of drama. I hope you understand what I am saying here. Shortlist the skills that are high selling and are in demand.
3.    When you go through the step number 2, I am sure you will find a few skills which you are not very well versed with, but you have some basic idea of. If these skills are in demand, do not think twice to invest in learning those skills. More often than not, you will just need to sharpen your saw – that’s it.
4.    As the next step, make an online freelancing portfolio or a CV or Resume. Whatever you call it, it should have all the sellable computer skills that you have. And then, you should highlight those which you are master of and are in high demand on those freelancing portals. Write down your objectives and make your CV attractive to look at. It is your face to the world and it should look the best!
5.  At this point in time, you are ready to register at the freelancing portals. I would suggest registering with the portals where you need to bid for work. I want you to go through the grind, take a harder way and walk on it with your head held high. If you can walk on that path with confidence, and still be able to sell your services, you will stay here for a longer time. The things that you learn during these initial days of struggle will help you in the long run. I wish you get real tough clients and maneuver your way out of every storm you walk through. Truly!

I AM SET. TELL ME MORE.

Are you set? Yes and no. Yes, because you have already learned a lot by now. Probably you are earning too by selling your services.  So, you are kind of set. But you are still way far from where you would want to be – when you achieve financial freedom; and hence, no.

At this point in time, look out for more. Don’t be satisfied by the dollars that you are earning while trading your services on the freelancing portals. If you have quit your job (or if you are looking to quit your job) and want to be a full-time freelancer, you will be able to relate to what I am saying. You are still earning as much as you spend time working. Like you used to do in a traditional job. I am not going into whether you are earning more or less, but you are doing almost the same thing.

This is exactly what is known as active income. And the goal of every freelancer, who wants to move towards financial freedom sometime in the future, is to move from active income sources to passive income sources. The goal is to sell less of services and more of products. Products can be replicable, and sellable multiple times. This will actually help to make your business scalable.

MOVE TOWARDS CREATING PRODUCTS.

At this point in time find out the products of your choice which you can build and move slowly towards creating multiple income streams. Create more passive sources, as you continue earning through active sources to be able to pay your bills.

This phase can be longer or shorter depending upon a lot of variable factors. This is where you will put in your efforts and knowledge and put your passion into action. We have talked about passive sources of income in the past and we will talk about it in future as well. For now, let me just name a few passive sources or sellable products that I like which you can ponder upon. Affiliate marketing, Online Courses, YouTube videos, Blogs, and eBooks are some of the most common passive income sources that people work on.

I am sure when you reach this point in your freelancing career, you will be able to judge for yourself what you want to do from hereon. Let me tell you that there are more than a few online freelancers who spend all their life working only actively and with no product to sell. That is one way of looking at it too. My job is to tell you the possibilities and show you the roadmap. It is completely up to you to follow it or not. but if you do, and you need any help while doing so, just let me know. I will be only a message away.

I hope this post was helpful and resourceful. If it was, make sure that you share this post on social media with your friends and family and let them know about the kind of content I publish here on this blog. And stay connected.

Thanks again for your time.
Cheers!


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Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!

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The Indian Freelancer