6 Steps to Get Started As a Freelancer Without Quitting Your Day Job
You might have read blogs about how freelancers are earning more money and enjoying work-life balance in the freelance business. If you’re wondering whether those blogs spoke truly, well, yes, they do. You can definitely earn a decent income in doing freelance work and have more freedom. So, if your current plan is to enter the freelance industry, we encourage you to do so.
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6 Steps to Get Started As a Freelancer Without Quitting Your Day Job
Now, you might be worried about leaving your day job, but you don’t have to actually. Becoming a freelancer doesn’t require you to quit your day job just yet. In fact, it’s not advisable and practical to become a full-time freelancer right away. With those in mind, we’ll show you six steps to start as a freelancer without quitting your day job.
Why You Shouldn’t Go Full-Time Right Away
First, let us discuss why you shouldn’t take the plunge to full-time freelancing right from the get-go.
In freelancing, getting gigs and earning a steady income doesn’t happen overnight or after a few days since you started. In starting a regular job, you begin working a day or a week after being hired, and you receive a salary on the company’s next payday. But that’s not the case in freelancing.
To obtain clients and get more work, you need to build your reputation first. At the beginning of your freelance career, opportunities and offers may be less. You won’t encounter many clients presenting proposals and contracts to you as much as reputable freelancers do. Admittedly, you won’t have much financial security yet as a newbie freelancer—that’s the bottom line of why you shouldn’t go full-time in freelancing immediately. Freelancing is just like any other business wherein you have to start small before going all out.
Balance Your Time
Most likely, your day job’s schedule is 9 am to 5 pm, right? In that case, you can do your freelance activities from 6 pm to 10 pm at your home. Four hours of freelancing each day is a good pace towards building a solid freelancing profile. And during your days off, you can freelance for eight hours or more if you want.
Managing your time as a part-time freelancer and a full-time worker is not as hard as you think. How so? Well, that’s all thanks to one of the benefits of freelancer careers, which is having the freedom to set your own working hours. That said, you can conveniently insert your freelancing hours at any time of your day, as long as they won’t be a conflict to your day job’s schedule.
Make Your Portfolio
As we’ve mentioned earlier, you need to build your reputation as a startup freelancer. One good way to do that is to make your portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your sample works showcasing your skills in your chosen freelance niche. You’ll need it as one of your marketing tools for the promotion of your freelance services.
Your portfolio can be your primary ticket to get the attention of your target clients. And if you can present the best possible portfolio, you could meet clients who can pay extravagantly. So, go all out in making this document during your freelancing hours. Flaunt every ounce of your talent and skill if that’s what it takes.
Hunt for Freelance Gigs
Reputable freelancers sometimes receive an email from a client who wants to hire them. At times, they no longer need to do extensive marketing to get freelance work. Because of their colorful reputation, some of them obtain clients through referrals provided by their existing trusted clients. Pretty convenient, right?
You can enjoy the same type of convenience later on in your freelance career. But for now, you need to take the initiative of hunting for freelance gigs on freelance websites and other platforms. As a newbie part-time freelancer, opportunities won’t just pop on your radar. Instead, you have to seek them out on your own; nothing will be spoon-fed to you.
Study the freelance market during your freelancing hours and estimate the hiring patterns of your target clients. With the abundance of digital technology today, tracking for available freelance gigs will not be much of a hassle.
Create Your Social Media Page
Nowadays, every business might as well be an online business. Most of them have a strong presence on the internet, particularly on social media. Well, that’s not a surprise. Almost all types of market demographics are on social media. So, you should follow suit and create a social media page dedicated to your freelance services.
According to an analysis report by the Pew Research Center, 79% of internet users in the U.S. are on Facebook, 32% are on Instagram, 24% are on Twitter, and 29% are on LinkedIn. Even though that report covers the U.S. only, it’s still strong evidence that the majority of people around the world have a social media presence. A good number of these people are your target clients.
So, make sure to boost your online reputation using various social media promotional strategies. Social media can help you connect with your target clients easily and quickly. During your lunch break on your day job, you can check how many followers your social media page gained. You must also look into its total audience engagement and impressions. And during your freelancing hours, you can post or publish content to sell your freelance services on social media.
Take It Slow
We know that you’re going to exert much effort to improve your productivity and arrange a budget to progress your freelance career. That’s a good plan, but make sure to take it slow. You still have your day job, and you still need to keep your focus on it because it’s your main livelihood. Growing a freelance business is a slow process, one that involves risks and uncertainties. That said, it’s best to have something to fall back on if things don’t go as planned. That something to fall back on is your current day job.
If things don’t go as planned in your freelance career, we’re not discouraging you from indulging in it. Such unfortunate outcomes happen in freelancing. Just keep going slowly but surely, and you’ll eventually make it on top.
Assess Your Growth Along the Way
As your part-time freelance career progresses, review your checklist of goals and see how much you’ve grown as a freelancer. If you’ll find that your skills at a high level, that’s the time you can charge a higher rate to your clients and increase your income. When you see that you can be financially secured in freelancing, the choice is yours, whether or not you’ll leave your day job and become a full-time freelancer.
Freelancing is an excellent career choice despite its cons. It’s not just a career choice; it’s also a privilege because anyone can do it as long they have spare time and suitable skills. Plus, it’s a nice side hustle to have to earn some extra cash alongside your regular salary.