Get Started In Freelancing: How To Profit From Your Passions

Make your own schedule. Set your own pay rate. Work as often as you like, with total creative freedom available to you. Be in charge of your own success. These are some of the benefits made possible by doing freelance work.

What is freelancing, exactly? A freelancer is an individual who sells a skill or service for a contracted rate, rather than working for one employer on a regular basis.

Freelancing can offer you a lot of professional freedom, and generate desirable extra income. It is a great way to pursue your passions without needing to quit your day job. Some people are so successful at freelancing, they turn it into a full-time opportunity!

You can get started in freelancing with these easy tips:

1. Find Your Focus

First things first, decide what kind of skill you want to sell. Writing? Design? Editing? Life or career coaching? Keep in mind that your future clients will desire a consistent product, so focus is important. Take your time to brainstorm, explore what you would truly love to do, then make a decision (and stick with it).

2. Become Active 

Get into action and hone your skills. If your goal is to become a freelance writer, for example, you can work to gain experience through blogging, submitting your writing to a local newspaper, and/or attending writing seminars. Make a name for yourself in the community you wish to become a part of- reputation is important.

3. Promote Yourself

It is important for you to gain a following and make a name for yourself. Develop your personal brand, and make sure it is consistent. If you need help developing your brand, check out this awesome workbook from PWC. Also, social media plays an incredibly important role- when becoming active on platforms such as Twitter, double check that it reflects the impression you want projected to the world. Remember, what goes on the internet stays on the internet, so make sure it’s positive.

4. Determine Your Goals

goals notebook pixy

Figure out what you want to get paid, how many hours you would like to dedicate to the project, and a final expiration date. Is this something you would like to dedicate a lot of time and head space to, or a minimal amount? The great thing about freelancing- it’s totally up to you. Give as much or as little to any project at any given time, you are your own boss! You can check out this Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator to figure out how much to charge your clients.

5. Get Hired

You’ve done the prep work, now it’s time to get paid for your efforts. There are thousands of freelance jobs available out there. Word of mouth is a great way to find new opportunity, or you can try a third party websites like Freelancer or Elance. On these sites, you can sign up as a freelancer, list the skills and projects you have for sale, or browse tons of job listings from people who are already looking for someone just like you. And after you earn all of that extra freelancer income, don’t forget about the importance of tracking you income with bookkeeping or accounting software like [amazon template=product&asin=B00MEUQ5S0].

Somewhere out there, Ms. Career Girl, the perfect freelance opportunity awaits. Go get it!

Have any tips about freelancing? Tweet them to us @MsCareerGirl

Sarah Cueto

Sarah earned her B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior from UC Davis. She is a resident of sunny San Diego, CA, and is currently working in a Sales & Marketing capacity within the biotech industry. She is focused on her blossoming career, developing her identity as a young professional, and is an avid blogger. Sarah writes regularly about her experiences as a twenty-something woman trying to figure it all out, and in the name of twenty-somethings everywhere, on her blog Twenty-Everything.

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