Most of my income online today comes through freelancing. I freelance web design and web development services and I make a very nice income doing it. It’s not easy work, it’s not the work I want to be doing forever since my goal is to build my passive income and become financially free, however, freelancing is a great way for me to quickly make some money that I could reinvest into myself and growing my sources of passive income.
If you’re struggling to make money online or don’t know where to start, freelancing any of your skills or services online can bring you some nice income.
The first thing you need to figure out is what services you will be freelancing. If you need ideas, I would go to Elance and take a look at all their categories and subcategories for inspiration. You can freelance nearly anything so don’t worry if you feel like you don’t have any skills. Just having time is good enough. A lot of people require help doing menial tasks like data entry or even research. A virtual assistant is a good place to start if you feel like you have no skills that you can freelance.
The next thing you want to do is buy a domain for yourself. You ideally want to have a website for yourself that will act like your online resume as well as your portfolio showcasing your experience and personality.
Get a domain like “firstnamelastname.com” or if you have a very common name or that domain is taken, append the service to the end of the domain. So “bobsmithwebdesign.com” or something similar.
After you get your domain, you will want to create a website. You also don’t need to be a web designer or even need to spend money to do this. You can use WordPress or go to a site like Wix.com and create a website easily and for free using their site builder.
This website will act as your personal website and portfolio so there are 4 pages you definitely need on this website. The first is an “About me” page which provides potential clients a little background on you, a good photo of you as well as any credentials, experience and education you have.
The next should be a services page, detailing all the services you provide and even prices if possible.
The next, and perhaps most importantly, is your portfolio or testimonials page. If you are doing services that a portfolio would make sense for, like web design, definitely show off some of your past work. If you’re freelancing accounting or something like this, try to get testimonials and reviews from past clients. This will act as your portfolio.
The last page you need to have is a “Contact me” page with your cell phone number, your location, your email, a contact form and even your Skype and BBM so that those who are not comfortable with telephone, have alternatives to contact you.
Be sure to also include on your website a downloadable resume or csv for clients who need to formally hire you and might require that.
You should definitely consider creating a LinkedIn profile for yourself if you don’t have one already. A lot of professionals use LinkedIn and will use it to either research you or find you.
Of course, you should definitely create a Facebook page as well for yourself. It will allow people to follow you but also act as a listing for your services since users can leave reviews on your page.
A good way to start making some sales quickly and generating some leads is to create a local classified on Kijiji and Craigslist. I still get about an email or two a day just from my local classified listings so it’s certainly worth doing and the best part is that they’re free.
Obviously you will want to create a profile on freelancing websites as well such as Elance and Odesk. Those are my two personal favorites. You need to have an active schedule and routine for it to work since you need to manually look through a bunch of projects and then bid on them. Be sure to complete your profiles to 100% on these websites as leaving out any little details could potentially make clients choose someone else over you.
A nice trick that I like to do is create a “video bid”. Instead of just typing out my bid and what I plan to do, I create a video of myself talking into the camera, with my bid and why I should be awarded the project. Why? Because nobody does it! It will give you a significant edge over other bidders and this can help a lot if you’re new and don’t have any reviews on your profile.
You should also include checking Kijiji and Craigslist as part of your routine since often people in your area will post classifieds looking for people to help with accounting, web design or anything else you might be freelancing.
Another trick I used to do and still do is go on Fiverr and downsize my freelancing service into a small $5 gig. For example, I created a simple web design gig like “I will transfer your website from your old host to your new host” and what this would help me do is land more clients. People are essentially paying me $5 to be my leads. Often, when I deliver the gigs to users on Fiverr, I upload a PDF detailing all the work performed and brand it with my name and a link to my website.
Once you start getting some clients you need a nice way to organize and keep track of all of your sales as well as invoice clients so that they can pay you. You might of heard of FreshBooks but I like NutCache a lot as a completely free alternative.
It allows you to create an invoice and email it to clients who can then pay you the full amount or a deposit, depending on how you work.
The last thing I will recommend is create an email just for your freelancing, don’t use your personal email. Something like email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org will work fine.
That’s it! That’s my quick crash guide on how you guys can get started freelancing anything right now and make some money online.
Freelancing can be a great way for you to make some side money in the beginning or even grow it into a full-time income if it’s what you enjoy doing. Right now, I use freelancing to supplement my income and use that money to reinvest it into myself and passive income projects.