People are losing their jobs, economies are backpedaling, and companies are going bankrupt. We’re living in hard times, and it’s times like these that make an average freelancer want to hide under their desk and not come out until it’s all over.
It’s even more intimidating when you’re a freelancer who’s just starting out. Setting foot into the freelancing job market without any prior experience is already daunting; imagine having to do all that while also being in the midst of a pandemic?
Current statistics on the current state of the employment rate may discourage you, but there are plenty of different and creative ways to gain work experience, strengthen your CV or portfolio, and get paid all at the same time!
Here’s how you can gain some work experience and build your way up to getting more high-paying clients on Ureed.com even with everything that’s been going on.
1. Niche down (and choose wisely!)
The first and most important step, finding your niche. And don’t just pick any niche, pick one that is profitable.
How do you expect to get clients who will pay when you don’t have a clue who you’re selling to?
Pick a lucrative industry that you know will benefit from your services, and then brainstorm effective and creative ways you can market yourself to them. You might need to do some research on what these industries are looking for exactly, but you can start your search off by looking into these industries that are actually flourishing these days: SaaS (software-as-a-service), education, cybersecurity, cryptocurrency, and lastly, health and fitness.
You don’t have to be an expert in any of these industries, and most clients don’t expect that anyway. One of the most valuable skills of a freelancer is research and knowing how to sell. Companies aren’t going to look at what you know, but rather what you can do to improve their current state, which has more to do with skill rather than expertise.
2. Start working on that portfolio
Whether you’re a freelance writer, web developer, or accountant, it’s important that you create a portfolio or a website that showcases your skills to potential clients.
We know what you’re thinking, and no, you don’t necessarily need any prior work experience to build a portfolio of any kind.
Once you’ve chosen a niche and done all the necessary research, create a mock-up that would demonstrate your skills to potential clients and catch their interest. This could be in the form of an article if you’re a freelance writer, an infographic if you’re a freelance graphic designer, or maybe even creating a case study for an existing company if you’re freelance marketer or consultant.
You may not have any work experience yet, but you have the talent required for the job, and a portfolio is an effective way to show that.
3. Go ahead and get educated (and get a certificate to prove it!)
If you don’t have a certain skill that’s required in your chosen profession or niche, a great way to tackle this issue is to get professionally trained or certified. It’s also a great way to boost your confidence when applying for work even when you don’t have any work experience!
There are plenty of professional institutions offering short online courses for reasonable prices. Ureed Academy, for example, offers free certification and training for translators across a wide range of industries.
Don’t ever think of the time investment you’re making in developing a new or current skill as a waste. Always think of the return-on-investment; soon you’ll be earning back all the time & money you invested in those courses and more!
4. Know how to sell your services
You could be a freelancer with 20+ years of experience under your belt, have too many certificates to fit in your resume, immeasurable talent, and still not get the job. Why? When you’re trying to win clients as a freelancer, you aren’t merely applying for different jobs, you’re selling a product, and that product is your skill set.
If you want to start somewhere, start by personalizing your pitches. This means writing to clients as if you were a concerned friend whose main goal is to help them become better. How do you do that? Do your research on the client your pitching to; what improvements do you think they should make? What do you think this client’s company lacks? What stood out to you the most on their website? What kind of value can you provide them? If they hire you, what’s in it for them?
A mistake most freelancers make when constructing their pitches is in the content itself; a client isn’t interested to hear about your expertise, your educational background, or the things you know how to do. They want to hear about what you can do for their company and how you can get them from point A to point B.
Make your pitches about them, and only them.
Lastly, don’t sell yourself short
You may not have the expertise of a seasoned freelancer, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for a job where you will be unfairly underpaid.
While it’s okay to settle for less than what you would expect to be paid at first, don’t stay there for too long. Know your worth by clearly defining what you can and can’t do as a freelancer.
Start sprucing up your portfolio now by freelancing on Ureed.com – get the chance to connect with thousands of employers, build an everlasting online portfolio, and lead a flexible lifestyle filled with the projects of your choice.