The reason you show up day after day at your job is because you need a paycheck. On the surface of it, this looks like a good reason to continue to drag yourself to a place you’ve quietly come to despise and to associate with people with whom you have little in common. But, when you examine your predicament a little more closely, you can be much happier, freer, and more prosperous by becoming a freelancer.
So how do you become a freelancer?
Start by deciding what it is that you love to do. Once you’ve identified what it is—writing or photography, graphic design or making videos, throwing parties or organizing spaces—then it’s time to figure out how to get paid for it from multiple clients.
Next, come up with a business plan and fill in as many details as possible.
Finally, launch the business by building a website. Theoretically, you can launch your freelance business without a website, but it’s so much easier to interest clients if you can direct them to a website that explains what you can do for them.
How to Build a Website
If you’re hesitating about building a website because you don’t know how, you probably have some misconceptions about what it takes to have a great looking website. Perhaps, you think it’s expensive to hire someone, or that it will take too long. The good news is that you can start one cheaply and quickly.
iPage is one such good hosting provider that will get you with a free drag-and-drop Website Builder and hundreds of mobile-friendly websites. A good deal with them is helping me with my simple and quick webpages requirements.
If all this sounds like geek-speak to you, all it means is that if you know how to use a mouse, you can drag-and-drop elements and graphics into a premade outline to build your website on a hosting site that will host your virtual business for you. This website will not only look good on a computer, like a desktop or laptop, but it will also automatically resize to look good when viewed from a mobile-device like a smartphone or tablet.
Recommended Website Pages
When deciding on your web pages, you shouldn’t have too few or too many.
If you have only 1 or 2 pages, then visitors might not know what it is that you’re offering because each page will be too densely packed with information and people tend to scan rather than read things in detail when they first visit a website.
Alternatively, if you have too many, say 7 to 10, then you overwhelm readers with too many options.
The sweet spot is about 5 pages. That’s the Goldilocks zone—not too many, not too few.
The following pages are recommended for freelance websites:
- An About Page to tell your readers why you are the perfect person for the work they need.
- A Services Page to detail all the work you can do and the prices you charge.
- A Portfolio Page to offer samples to prove you have the skills.
- A Testimonials Page to share what others have said about work that you’ve done for them.
- A Contact Form to make it easy for clients to get in touch with you.
You might be wondering how you’re going to fill up all the pages if you have little or no experience. The way to get around not having anything to put on your portfolio page and testimonials page is to do some free work in return for the chance to publish samples and get testimonials.
How to Break Free
As a freelancer you could be making a great income doing work that you love because you have a natural talent for it. Think about it, you’ll be doing something you love all day and get paid for it.
Incidentally, you don’t have to feel guilty for not fitting into the corporate environment. It’s not a sign that you lack a sense of personal responsibility but that you have an entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, you belong to the majority of workers around the world.
According to a 2016 Gallup survey, “A staggering 87% of employees worldwide are not engaged. Many companies are experiencing a crisis of engagement and aren’t aware of it.”
Unlike the majority of people, however, you’ve decided to do something about it—instead of sticking it out to the bitter end or shuffling from one job to another that’s equally as dissatisfying, you’ve decided to make an independent living for yourself.
There are two ways for you to break free. One, just quit and free up your time and energy to build up your freelance business. Two, ease into your new role by working on your freelance business in the evening and on weekends. Both options are equally valid ways of launching a successful freelance business.
Photo by Tran Mau Tri Tam.