Why do you want to become a freelancer? Is freelancing an additional income stream, a chance to expand your work experience, or a replacement for your full-time employment?

Freelancing offers the freedom of choice. There are many different paths to success for freelancers in 2022. You can begin your journey in your spare time or approach it as a full-time career. Regardless of your approach, the seven steps listed below will guide you past many of the common hurdles that new freelancers face.

1) Define your service & offering

Turning your skills into a service is the first step to becoming a freelancer. To do this, you’ll need to understand how your skills can help a prospective client. Try to put yourself in the shoes of your ideal client. What problems do they have, and how can your skills be used to resolve the issue?

2) Find your target audience

Now that you have a freelance service to offer, you’ll need to find a target audience. Start by identifying the type of clients that will be a good fit for your service. Do these clients have a shared problem and common characteristics? Are they in a specific industry?

3) Develop a pricing structure

Once you have clearly defined your service and your target market, it’s time to set your price. The goal is to maximize the amount you’re paid without losing out on potential jobs. So, start by looking at your competitors in the market. What are they charging for similar freelancing services?

4) Create your portfolio with past jobs

Creating a compelling portfolio is an integral step to becoming a successful freelancer. As a freelancer, your portfolio establishes your work quality by showcasing your accomplishments and past projects. This is your opportunity to show—not just tell—clients what you are capable of doing and the value of your expertise.  

5) Write a great proposal

To ensure a successful start as a freelancer, your first project should closely match your work experience and capabilities. When you find a project that you’re confident that you can provide excellent service for, it’s time to submit a proposal.

The right proposal can mean the difference between securing a job or not, so it’s critical to have a proposal that works for you.

6) Create a relationship with your client

As a freelancer, your clients are your business. While it may seem obvious, it’s important to develop a positive working relationship with your clients. Successful freelancers establish relationships with clients rather than thinking of the work as a one-and-done deal. Building a long-term partnership can lead to repeat business and new client referrals. 

7) Continue developing your skills

Freelancers are hired for the service and skills that they offer to their clients. As a result, it’s crucial for freelancers to consistently improve their skills, adapt to changes, and expand their knowledge. Keeping up with current trends is also essential to providing your clients the highest service level. Online learning resources such as Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and even YouTube are great starting points for ensuring that your skills are always up to date.

Start your freelance career

Are you ready to begin freelancing in 2022? It’s up to you. As a freelancer, you’re in control, and you get to make the decisions for your business. Clients are actively looking for new ways to address their problems, and your freelancing services could be the solution.

By following the seven steps in this article, you can get started on the path to becoming a successful freelancer in 2022. Don’t get stuck in the planning phase. You must take action to make your freelancing career become a reality. Sign up for a freelancer account on Upwork and gain access to millions of freelance opportunities