Since my transition from corporate to freelance, I have been bombarded with questions about what it takes to make it on your own. It really depends on what you’re trying to sell online but here are some tips that I find helpful in my business:
1. Be Yourself
Don’t try to be someone you’re not. If you’re a goofy, casual person with an upbeat attitude, don’t try to act like an uptight, severely professional snob just to land a gig. Companies will see right through that façade whether it’s right away or further down the line. My most recent client is a Christian-based organization and during the interview, I was up front about my “coming to Jesus” story, party phase and all. Come to find out, the CEO was quite the frat guy in college so we shared a similar narrative.
2. Be aggressive
As millennials, we are trained to play “hard to get” in the dating arena and life in general. This does not apply for business. At first, I kept thinking “Am I answering this email too quickly? Do I seem desperate?” The answer is no. When it comes to business, people want to feel like their time is valued. If I need some work done on my website, my web developer better get back to me ASAP or they’re getting the boot. Nothing personal, it’s just business. 😉 (I’ve always wanted to say that).
3. Check out freelance websites
I have had great success on freelance websites. My favorite is Upwork but Fiverr and Freelancewritinggigs.com are neck and neck for second place. Remember when I suggested upping your aggression? Well, this is the place to exercise that skill. There is a ton of competition on these websites so you really have to go after the jobs you want. Optimize your profile to stand out and hit up clients through the “Find work” and “Buyer Requests” sections.
For some extra money on the side, I signed up for Rover so that I could puppy sit for cash. Not only have I gotten to snuggle the cutest doggies in the world, I have also built relationships with the humans that own them. One of my customers has offered up her business coach contacts and the other has become a marketing client of mine. Networking can happen anywhere. Vocalize your services and make your talents known! You never know where possible business opportunities are lurking.
5. Keep an open mind
Chances are, you won’t get your dream clients at first so get that out of your head. You want to keep an open mind while you’re building your portfolio and skill set. If you want to go from cubicle to freelance real f*cking quick (suh Drake), you have to suck it up and do some stuff you aren’t crazy about. That being said, put your heart and soul into every job you accept so that you can build your reputation.
If you’re interested in becoming a freelancer but can’t decide if it’s for you, check out my post on Why I Quit My Day Job Without A Plan. Also, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I love helping others discover their true passion. 🙂