7 Steps to Starting a Freelance Business

Starting a freelance business is a huge undertaking, and it’s normal to be apprehensive. However, you have to remember why you want to do it—being your own boss, having control of your time, and being able to set prices. If you’re determined and prepared enough, you can take these first seven steps to kickstart your freelance business.

Step 1: Set Your Goals

Before starting your freelance journey, you should set short-term and long-term goals. Why are you starting a freelance business? Do you want some side income or a full-time job? How many hours can you dedicate to it? Do you eventually want to hire employees? If you expand your freelance business, you might need some funding. You could try to get SBA loans, search for grants, or look into crowdfunding.

Another option would be to visit online lending websites like GetCash.com, where borrowers with varying credit ratings are matched with vetted lenders. First, you fill in a secure online loan application, and then you get matched with a vetted lender who will approve your loan request.

Step 2: Pick a Niche

After setting your goals, you can pick a niche that you’re passionate about and which would also have a massive potential to generate a steady income stream. For example, if you’re a freelance writer, you should choose a niche that you’re interested in but the one that also pays well.

Step 3: Register Your Business

Like other businesses, registering your freelance business is a must. Before that, though, you have to decide what type of business you want to have. You may change your type of business later on, but it’s good to prepare, so you can also plan for critical things like accounting and taxes. These two forms make sense for first-time freelancers.

  • Sole Proprietorship—This is simple, with lower accountancy fees, but you have to be financially liable for your business.
  • Limited Liability Company—Although this option is more complex and expensive, with higher accountancy fees, you won’t be liable for the business.

Freelancers usually don’t register their business as a corporation because it’s more expensive and complicated.

Step 4: Design a Logo

An appropriate logo for your business will help you look professional and memorable. This is a crucial step for your freelance business’s branding. You can hire a professional graphic designer or use trusted logo makers like Adobe Creative Cloud Express. Going the logo maker route is cheaper and a great option for when you’re only starting out. You can hire a professional to recreate your logo when you earn more money.

Although your freelance business needs a logo, you shouldn’t overthink it. Just design something appropriate that represents your brand.

Step 5: Create a Website and Social Media Profiles

This step is an integral part of building your business’s online presence. While email marketing will help you find jobs, you must supplement it with a website and social media profiles. This is also where potential clients can view your portfolio, so it serves as an effective marketing tool.

A well-designed website also shows clients that you’re a trustworthy and legitimate business. Before you know it, you’ll have more jobs than you can find time for.

Step 6: Set Your Pricing

Before you start contacting your leads, you should first come up with a pricing strategy. Are you going to charge an hourly rate, a flat fee, or per project?

Suppose you’re not sure what the rate is for your services. In that case, you can ask other freelancers—people you know or members of social media groups—or do some research online. Sites like Payscale and Glassdoor will give you an idea of the rates in your market.

If you don’t get the price point you want on your first few gigs, that’s okay. You’re still new and building your portfolio and experience. You’ll be able to charge a more desirable rate over time.

Step 7: Find Customers

The last step to starting your freelance business is building a client base. At this early stage, you probably can’t be too picky yet. The goal is to get some jobs to get the ball rolling. You can contact potential clients via their website, email, or social media platforms. LinkedIn is a valuable professional network you can use to reach out to clients.

Once you start working and job offers pour in, you can narrow down your target list and choose reliable and high-paying clients who provide regular work.

Author’s bio:

John Brown is a financial analyst but also a man of different interests. He enjoys writing about money and giving financial tips, but he can also dive into relationships, sports, gaming, and other topics. Lives in New York with his wife and a cat.

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Philosopher, writer, bad-pun maker and enjoyer of novelty. I enjoy bikes, video games, and beer all at the same time. When it comes to reading, I can and do.

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