7 Best Steps to Becoming a Freelancer

happy, successful freelancer working, illustration, best steps to becoming a successful freelancer
best steps to becoming a successful freelancer

Freelancing provides a great chance to have control over your work. As a freelancer, you enjoy the flexibility to work from any location and at your preferred time. These appealing benefits contribute to the expansion of the freelancing industry. In fact, over one-third of the U.S. workforce is currently engaged in freelancing in some way. If you’re looking for quick steps to becoming a freelancer, you’re in the right place.

Our senior editor Amanda W. wrote a comprehensive guide on freelancing. It includes everything related to freelancing, but here we focus on the 7 best tips/steps to quickly start your freelancing journey.

7 Best Steps to Start Your Freelancing Journey

Are you considering freelancing? What motivates you to pursue this path? Is it to earn extra income, gain more work experience, or potentially replace your full-time job?

Freelancing provides the freedom to choose your own path. In 2023, there are numerous avenues to succeed as a freelancer. You can start freelancing part-time or make it a full-time career. Regardless of your approach, the following seven steps will help you navigate common challenges that new freelancers often encounter.

01. Specify your service and offerings

Defining your service and offering is the first step towards freelancing. It involves understanding how your skills can benefit potential clients. Put yourself in their shoes and identify the problems they face. Then, think about how your skills can provide solutions.

Remember, clients are seeking solutions to their problems. To succeed as a freelancer, you must grasp the client’s situation and utilize your service to address their needs. These answers will form how you present your skills as a service. Now, create a concise description that effectively communicates what you can do, how you do it, and the type of clients or businesses you serve. Don’t worry about pricing at this stage; we will address that later.

02. determine your target audience

Once you have defined your freelance service, it’s time to determine your target audience. Identify the type of clients who would be a suitable match for your offering. Are they facing similar challenges or sharing common characteristics? Do they belong to a specific industry?

As a new freelancer, simply excelling in your craft won’t automatically attract clients. It’s crucial to proactively position yourself in front of potential clients to make them aware of your services. You can pursue three primary avenues to acquire clients:

  • Freelance job platforms (Upwork, Fiverr, Guru )
  • Utilizing your existing connections and networking
  • Marketing, advertising, and outreach

Understanding which of these options works best for you is vital in finding relevant clients for your services.

03. determine your pricing

After clearly defining your service and identifying your target market, it’s time to establish your pricing. The objective is to strike a balance that allows you to maximize earnings while not missing out on potential opportunities. Begin by researching your competitors and their pricing for similar freelance services.

In reality, there is no universal formula for pricing your freelance services. Numerous factors come into play, including your experience, industry, project duration, deliverables, project complexity, client location, and urgency.

Keep in mind that your pricing can be adjusted in the future. Start with a rate that feels right for you, and avoid overthinking it.

04. Build an Impressive Portfolio

Building an impressive portfolio is a crucial step toward freelancing success. Your portfolio showcases your skills and achievements, allowing clients to see firsthand what you can accomplish and the value you bring.

When crafting your portfolio, highlight your best work that aligns with your service offering. Each portfolio piece should demonstrate your contributions and how they benefited the client. Consider including case studies, testimonials, data-driven results, images, charts, work samples, and mock-ups to strengthen your portfolio.

Remember to obtain permission from past clients before including their project materials in your portfolio. Your portfolio is your chance to demonstrate your capabilities and make a lasting impression on potential clients.

05. Make a Great Proposal

To ensure a successful start as a freelancer, finding a project that closely aligns with your experience and skills is crucial. When you come across a project you feel confident about delivering excellent service for, it’s time to submit a proposal.

A well-crafted proposal can make all the difference in securing a job. It should effectively highlight your abilities, outline the company’s needs, and showcase how you can provide valuable assistance. Remember to include your credentials and qualifications. Maintaining a professional and friendly tone is essential, so use language that conveys your expertise and stands out.

While having a template can help organize your proposal, the most successful freelancers customize it for each client and project. Investing extra time and effort upfront demonstrates your dedication, enthusiasm, and professionalism.

06. Maintain a Good Relationship with Clients

As a freelancer, your clients are vital to your business. It’s essential to foster a positive working relationship with them, going beyond one-off transactions. Building long-term partnerships can result in repeat business and referrals. Here are key considerations when establishing client relationships:

  • Deliver excellent work: Client satisfaction hinges on high-quality output. Solve their problems and provide value to lay the foundation for a lasting connection.
  • Communicate effectively: Regular and clear communication strengthens the business relationship and encourages future collaboration.
  • Build trust through consistency: Consistently meeting deadlines and delivering accurate results instills trust, showing clients they can rely on you.
  • Offer added value: Take the initiative to suggest new solutions, assume additional responsibilities, and showcase your potential value. This opens up opportunities for continued collaboration.

By following these principles, you can cultivate strong relationships with your clients, paving the way for long-term success as a freelancer.

07. Keep Improving Your Skills

Freelancers are valued for their unique services and skills. To succeed in the freelance industry, it’s crucial to continuously improve, adapt to changes, and expand knowledge. Staying current with new trends is essential for delivering top-notch service to clients. 

Online learning platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and YouTube offer valuable resources to keep skills sharp and stay informed about industry practices. By investing in continuous learning, freelancers enhance their expertise, attract more clients, and seize new opportunities. Ongoing skill development is key to thriving as a freelancer.


Freelancing offers flexibility and control over your work. Over one-third of the U.S. workforce is engaged in freelancing. To start quickly, define your service, identify your target audience, set your pricing, build an impressive portfolio, submit a great proposal, maintain client relationships, and continuously improve your skills. These steps will help you embark on a successful freelancing journey.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers (FAQs)

What are the benefits of freelancing?

Freelancing provides control over your work, allowing you to work from any location and at your preferred time. It offers flexibility and can be a source of extra income or a full-time career option.

How many people are engaged in freelancing (USA)?

Over one-third of the U.S. workforce is currently engaged in freelancing in some way, contributing to the growth of the freelancing industry.

How do I find clients as a freelancer?

You can find clients through freelance job platforms (Upwork, Fiverr, Guru), utilizing your existing connections and networking, or through marketing, advertising, and outreach efforts.

How can I enhance my skills as a freelancer?

You can continuously improve your skills by staying informed about industry practices and trends. Online learning platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and YouTube offer valuable resources for skill development.

Is freelancing suitable for everyone?

Freelancing offers flexibility and control over work, but it may not suit everyone. It requires self-discipline, time management skills, and the ability to handle the uncertainties of income and workload. Freelancing is ideal for those who value independence, have in-demand skills, and enjoy the challenges of running their own business. Assessing your preferences and circumstances before starting a freelancing career is important.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like