7 Steps on How to Start Freelancing with No Experience
Updated: Jun 8, 2021
How do you start freelancing with no experience? The same way you start anything really.
One thing at a time.
Want to Jump? Here are the steps you need to take 👇
Step 1: Take Inventory of yourself & Your Skillsets
Step 2: Set a Goal & Know the Reality
Step 3: How to Set Prices for Freelancing Services
Step 4: Create your Branding & Website
Step 5: How to Create a Portfolio (or Live Projects)
Step 6: Create Accounts with Upwork, Fiverr, & PeoplePerHour
Step 7: Use Social Media to Find Clients
There's no such thing as "no experience". Maybe you didn't get the memo but everyone "does" have "experience" with something or the other.
If you know how to use a computer, you already have the basic skills you need. Or you could always learn "how to do....[anything].
First, get that worm out of your head that you need "loads of experience" to start freelancing. You don't.
You just need to start.
Start freelancing with no experience? Here are some instant ideas for you to think about (like, Immediately):
Have you been a manager before? Do you have the knack to stay organized, follow-up with people, manage people, or manage tasks without getting overwhelmed? You could become a Virtual assistant.
If you know how to write well, you could get on a path to become a content writer, copywriting, or allied services such as social media management (you already know how to use Facebook, how to use LinkedIn, and How to use YouTube, don't you?). Now, you just have to help businesses and other individuals with their social media presence.
Know how to code? There's a world open for you. You can start "solving problems" for your potential clients such as to help "fix website problems", "help speed up their websites", or "design websites", or "design themes", or "develop WordPress plugins". The world is your oyster.
Are you a designer or illustrator? Get on the pathway to become a logo designer, a graphic designer, a branding consultant, an illustrator, and more. You could also specialize with something very specific such as to design tech packs for fashion brands like Arpitha Rai (a fellow troopertribe member, a fashion designer, and a professional YouTuber) does.
To get started with freelancing with no experience, you need to "build" that experience (much like it is when you first lookout for a job or when you first start any other business).
Here's some help for you:
Step 1: Take Inventory of Yourself & your Skill Sets
First, figure out what you're good at (you don't have to stick with anything for life. You can always change your path later. You could always "wing" it. To start, however, start with what you are good at.
Second, think about the types of jobs that would best suit your strengths and interests, then make a list of those job types.
Third, Get some experience. However, don't do the mistake of starting for "free". Don't let anyone tell you that you should provide your services for "free" and then work your way up. That's not true. I never started for free. My first project was also a paid one.
Finally, what kind of jobs can you handle on your own and which ones will need help from another person or company (accountant, lawyer, help or collaboration with someone else)?
Note: You'd want to start with freelancing projects that you can start with on your own (without any dependency). It's just easier and smoother that way (you can think about getting help, collaborating, and working with others later).
What are your skills? What kind of subjects do you know a lot about and love to talk about? Where can you offer the most amount of value for clients who need help in those areas?
Step 2: Set a Goal & Know The Reality
Why do you want to freelance? How do you think freelancing changes your life? How does freelancing help you achieve your goals? What do you want out of freelancing? How much money are you looking to make per month, what is your desired hourly rate?
Whatever your goal is, please think about the following principles of freelancing:
Freelancing is a business. You should treat it as such.
To succeed with freelancing, you'll need a power routine (you can't be lazy, ever).
Give your freelancing business time to grow and the respect it deserves.
It takes time to grow (so, stop falling for nonsense like ""How to Make $100,000 in 6 months". It just won't work.
Successful freelancing takes several types of skills -- from the actual skill you are good at to several skills that you didn't realize you needed-- to succeed)
Step 3: How to Set Prices for Freelancing Services
This is a big one (and you'll see lots of blog posts and videos on this).
Pricing freelancing services is not something that's etched in stone. It's not static. It's not something that you are destined to live with.
Pricing your freelancing services right is a long-term, experimental game.
Don't get too greedy and price yourself out of the market. At the same time, don't suffer the "imposter syndrome" and charge too less.
Strike a balance.
Find a sweet spot and start from there.
Step 4: Create Your Branding & Website
Success is all about presentation.
How will people find out that they should hire you over someone else if they don't already know who you are? Start a website and you don't need anything fancy. Just start with WordPress.
Or pick from one of these easy to use services to create your website in less than a few hours:
The first step to starting a freelancing business is branding. And no, your Twitter profile pic doesn't count as branding - unless you're the only person on there (which is certainly not true).
So, launch your website and make that website work for you.
Step 5: How To Create A Portfolio or Live Projects (even better)
Should you create a portfolio or should you focus on actual, live projects? I have a full, premium video on this in my freelancing course (check it out).
In a nutshell, it depends. For some types of freelancing, live projects make more sense. For others, a regular portfolio is more than sufficient.
Let's say you are a developer, showing off your recent "live projects" -- which are projects that you own and control -- are a great way to show your expertise making clients chase you.
Are you a writer? You should have your own blog.
Designer? Create a few sample logos or create alternative versions of logos for popular brands.
Step 6: Create accounts Upwork, PeoplePerHour & Fiverr
Starting off with freelance job boards such as Upwork, Fiverr, and PeoplePerHour is the best (and the fastest) way to get started with freelancing.
Want an overview of where to find freelancing jobs? Watch this video:
It's true that most of these freelance job boards have clients hunting for freelancers at "affordable" prices.
But it's not 100% of "all" clients who do that.
It's not true that you get "cheap" paying clients on these job boards. You also get the clients who pay what you ask for.
You need to learn how to find the right clients, have the right process in place to onboard clients, and more.
Step 7: Use Social Media to find clients
Simultaneously, also make your LinkedIn account, your Twitter account, and a YouTube Channel work for your benefit. Actively build your network on all of these platforms by dropping wisdom, experience, tips, insights, and more -- on all of these platforms.
Each social platform works differently, so adapt your social presence in a way that works for each platform.
LinkedIn: Build and maintain your network. Lookout for "jobs" on freelancing but when you send in a pitch, request the option to do freelancing (instead of working a full-time job).
Or go for LinkedIn premium and use LinkedIn InMail (LinkedIn's own version of being able to send carefully crafted emails to anyone on LinkedIn) and pitch your services. Or embrace social selling and sell your services to those looking for solutions to their problems.
YouTube: Create videos and share your knowledge (You'll not believe just how many clients come asking for your services because they found your video on YouTube.
Twitter: Chat. Talk. Network. Meet interesting people. Ask questions. Answer others' questions. Share your opinions. Share your knowledge with Twitter Threads. Join Twitter Spaces. Create Lists. You get the drift?
Again, there's no such thing as no experience.
If you think you don't have experience, you just get it. Be experienced.