Everything You Need To Kickstart A Freelancing Career At Home
Many people lost their jobs because of Covid-19, as most companies worldwide were forced to shut down or reduce employees when the Government implemented social restrictions.
It was a big hit, especially to smaller businesses, since most of them did not have the capital to completely shift to a digital operation as most big corporations do.
The Covid-19 restrictions also affected the public transportations due to the limits, limiting commuters to go to places such as offices and schools.
With the sudden shift in economies, those who have lost their jobs were driven to look for high-paying remote jobs, and those who stayed with their companies were motivated to look for other income streams they could find on the internet because they may have realised how important it is to have emergency funds for health purposes. This urged people to try freelancing.
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing has been existing even before the pandemic crisis. Still, the number of people who got interested in starting a career in freelancing has significantly grown since the peak of the pandemic because they saw the opportunity in it.
Freelancing can be anything you do on the side apart from your full-time work, and it usually focuses on the skills you have.
However, some people prefer working as freelancers full-time because they find that the pay is bigger than most 9-5 jobs, especially when they’ve established a good reputation and gained stable clients.
Most freelancing jobs are remote jobs from the states, which is probably one of the reasons why people prefer this more than their old local jobs because the pay they get is in US dollars.
Another reason freelancing offers a better substitute for most 9-5 jobs is that it is primarily remote and flexible work hours.
If you seek other freelancers’ feedback, they will share how they have flexible working hours, which allows them to spend more time with their family while earning bigger than in their previous job.
I can think of why people with 9-5 jobs still outnumber freelancers because they are scared to venture into new opportunities.
Some have already acquired higher positions in their respective companies, which makes them already content with their salary. Pretty understandable, but that’s going to be another story.
If you are one of those people who lost their job during the peak of the pandemic or you are looking for other ways to earn, then freelancing might be the answer to your prayer.
However, freelancing is more than just having fast and stable internet and a reliable laptop. The question you should be asking is, how do you start?
Watching other freelancers share their experiences with their freelancing career sounds easy, but once you are there and ready to start, you don’t know how to do it. Don’t worry; we’ll help you get a list of things you need before venturing into freelancing.
Here is everything you need to kickstart a freelancing career at home:
1 – Research
If you are new to freelancing, you need to figure out what you will be doing, and research is one way to go. Research first what skills are common and in demand in freelancing so you can check if you have any of those skills.
It would help if you also researched how and where you can find clients; usually, there are Facebook groups and sites where clients go to look for someone who can do a job for them, so start there. You can read what they usually look for to check if some of their descriptions match your skills. For example, this job post on Lensa. You can go through such job posts and descriptions to get a better idea of the job role.
To help you get started, here are some of the famous sites where you can look for clients:
2 – Choose A Marketable Skill
Freelancing is a type of work where you offer people your skills to help them solve their problems and cater to their needs. Apart from experiences, skillset matters the most in freelancing.
You probably have several skills you can market to start a freelancing career; figure out those skills and choose a few that you can focus on. It’s better to have previous achievements or certifications with your skills since it will be advantageous.
If you are good at writing, then use that skill. If you are good at administrative functions, find a client who needs someone to do their administrative tasks.
To give you an idea of what skills are highly in demand in freelancing, here they are:
- Social media marketing
- Digital marketing
- Graphic design
- Video editing
- Web design
- Web development
- Website content writer
- Mobile Application developer
- Content creator
- Administrative skill
3 – Develop Your Skill
In freelancing, certification is significant because it legitimises your marketing skills.
Although some people have started their freelancing journey without certifications, it will be advantageous, especially now that the competition is challenging due to the high number of freelancers.
Here are ways you can do to polish your professional skills:
Train – to get certified for a particular skill, you need to get training to practice and apply that skill. Training could include attending workshops, enrolling in online courses, applying for a program, reading more articles and books about your skills, etc. As long as you gain more knowledge, you are training for that skill. It will be highly advantageous if you get certifications for your skills as they can be your competitive advantage when you are looking for clients.
Practice – practising your skills is another effective way to develop them. The more you practice, the more you improve and grow. You can practice by offering someone help with your skills. Some freelancers offer their services for free at the beginning so they can get feedback and have something to add to their portfolio.
4 – Prepare Your Freelancing Equipment
Since freelancing is primarily remote work, you need reliable equipment at home to provide your service to potential clients online.
Freelancing equipment is probably the part of freelancing where you have to invest a lot, but once you have established your career, it will be worth the investment as you may get double or triple what you’ve spent on equipment.
Most clients assess their freelancers’ equipment to check if they have the requirement to do the job, so having the essential freelancing equipment is an advantage.
We have listed here the top equipment you will need as a freelancer:
Laptop: In freelancing, you need a top-notch laptop, mainly if some of the skills you will market involve photo and video editing and web or application development.
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A fast and reliable internet service: the internet is crucial in freelancing, as you will be working using it. It would help if you have a fast and reliable internet connection for faster download speed and handle heavy-duty software that some of your clients will require you to use.
Most people prefer fibre optic internet as their internet service because it can reach 5,000 Mbps. Although you do not need that much, your network connection will be faster the higher Mbps you have. 50 to 150 Mbps is enough to work as a freelancer.
Headphones: some freelancers find their mobile phone’s earphones enough to engage in conference calls with their clients, but an upgrade is always welcome. Noise-cancelling headphones are good to have if you live in an area with a lot of background noise; although it may not affect your client, it will still be helpful to get rid of background noises and focus on your meeting with your client.
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5 – Build Your Portfolio
Most clients who hire freelancers look for a portfolio, as it provides tangible proof of your skills and the services you have provided. It tells your clients that you can do what you told them you could do; it’s a collection of proofs of your work.
Creating a professional portfolio can help you get more significant projects and more clients.
6 – Start As A Part-Time Freelancer
If you still have a 9-5 job, hold onto it. Freelancing may offer more significant opportunities than your current job. However, it is still a risk to submit a resignation when you do not have a backup yet, especially in today’s time where it is hard to find a job.
Start your freelancing journey with baby steps. To know whether or not it suits you, start by doing part-time freelance jobs. You can test the waters while not losing your current job, so it’s a win-win. Do not be abrupt with your decisions. Do it slowly but surely. Otherwise, you might lose your one source of income without thinking it through.
Laptop Specifications For Freelancing
We have mentioned how equipment is vital in freelancing, and in every freelancer’s gear list, a laptop is the most crucial.
Of course, when we say top-notch, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to get a Macbook right off the bat, knowing how expensive it is.
You can work as a freelancer using Windows or any other processor as long as it has the following specifications:
A Laptop’s RAM is the measurement of its gigabyte capacity to know how much it can multitask. In simpler terms, the higher RAM you have, the better your computer can handle several Google Chrome tabs open while other applications are running at once.
In freelancing, you will not be able to work correctly if your laptop can only handle 2-3 Google Chrome tabs open before it crashes. It will slow down your progress with each task, which can turn off your client.
A good laptop for freelancing should at least have 8 to 16 GB of system memory. An 8 GB RAM is a good system memory for any freelancing field, and you can upgrade to a 16 GB RAM laptop when you already have the budget for it.
A 16 GB RAM can perform seamlessly without encountering any problem no matter how many Google Chrome tabs and applications you have opened at once; it can also handle any software update, which makes it a good specification for a laptop if you are looking for an upgrade to cater more significant projects.
A laptop with an SSD may be relatively more expensive than those without, but it is helpful to most freelancers who need to install software for their clients.
A minimum of 256 GB storage capacity is enough to kickstart your freelancing journey, and if you need a higher storage capacity, go for a 512 GB SSD.
A laptop’s processor is crucial to provide a smooth performance all day, and it’s one of the laptop specifications you have to consider well as it goes together with the RAM.
The best processors for freelancers are AMD and Intel, and these are AMD Ryzen 5, 7, 9, and Intel i5, i7, and i9.
If you want to market photo and video editing skills, you need a laptop with an Intel i7 or Ryzen 5 processor. You can go with processors such as Intel Pentium, Intel Celeron, and AMD A-series for lighter freelance tasks.
The screen size should be one of the last things you need to consider in laptops, as it will undoubtedly depend on the freelancer’s preference.
Most freelancers are okay with 13-inch laptops, especially those considering portability. But if you are primarily working at home and some of your client’s tasks require a larger screen size to work better, you can go between 16-inch to 17-inch screens.
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Freelancing is an excellent way to polish your skills while earning a hefty amount of money, but always remember that all good things take time.
Once you start, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will make 5-6 digits of salary right off the bat. You need to work on it, gain more experience, and polish your skills better.
Before you jump into freelancing, ask yourself, “Is this something I see myself doing in the long run?” Your answer will help you determine if you are ready to do part-time or full-time freelancing.
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API