The idea of Freelancing can seem a little overwhelming.
Owning your own business.
Being your own boss.
Maybe you've thought about it but are scared to go out on your own.
Maybe you don't know where to begin.
Below are ways that you can start, so the idea of working for yourself can become more feasible.
Click hereto read what Freelancing is and continue reading to find out the 7 Ways to Start Freelancing.
1. FIGURE OUT WHAT AREA/INDUSTRY YOU'RE INTERESTED IN.
This doesn't have to be specific. It's OK to have a broad idea of where you want to start, even if it includes what role you want to fill. The steps that follow are there to help you narrow this down.
2. FIND YOUR MENTORS
One of the best pieces of advice I’ve heard on this subject was at an event I attended last year called One Spark. Jack Welch, the former Chairman and CEO of GE (General Electric), was a speaker and he said:
"Make everyone and everything your mentor.
The idea of mentorship is that you're an idea drainer.
So take the good shit and leave the bad."
Here’s my take:
- Have more than one mentor.
- Ask questions from those around you, specifically about how they got their start and what their path was to where they are now. If I've learned anything about finding mentors, it’s that people love to talk about themselves.
So strike up a conversation with someone you're working with or someone you admire (when the timing is right of course) and here’s the important part:really listen. People can tell when you’re engaged and when you’re off in la la land.
See the links below for some resources to help you out:
- And of course take everything with a grain of salt. What your mentor(s) says or advises isn't the final word. They aren't there to make decisions for you, they are there to challenge you and give you that extra push. So feel free to use your brain.
3. VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
I don’t know if this is feasible for every industry, but if you can then you definitely should.
Now, I know that this can be tricky as everyone's time is precious (insert sarcastic eye roll here)…but guess what, that's exactly why you should be volunteering your time. Because your time is valuable and not everyone wakes up one day knowing exactly what they want to do and how to get there.
Personally, I found this step to be extremely valuable as I was able to slowly figure out what I wanted to do and what I didn't want to do.
Here’s why you should volunteer:
- It feels good.I’ve been volunteering with the Celebration Exotic Car Festival, which benefits the Make-A-Wish Foundation and others, for 5 years and I can’t begin to explain how amazing it feels to see first hand the difference you make in those children's lives.
- The connections I made were just as good if it had been a paid opportunity.
- You aren’t wasting anyone’s time (including yours) as you could just as easily be going from job to job and role to role.
4. ATTEND NETWORKING EVENTS
Networking can sometimes cost money but here are some options:
- If there is an organization that you want to get involved in that has events you would like to attend, reach out to the Board and see if someone will sponsor you for an event or two. I thought that this was a crazy idea, but it worked!
5. BRAND YOURSELF
This includes business cards, your website, LinkedIn, and cleaning up social media.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised.
What I mean by cleaning up your social media is that you are now your own brand. In addition to your job, you are a salesman selling yourself.
And again, you would think this goes without saying, but people are checking your social media when they hire you. They are not going to want to hire someone who’s Facebook profile pictures go all the way to those college days with you holding a solo cup. We get it. You went to college and partied. Cool. Now quit it and delete it.
This was one of the first things that I did when I was thinking of Freelancing. I wanted to make sure that when I put myself out there I was putting my best self out there.
I made a simple logo on my own in Keynote (if you don’t use this already, trust me, it’s SO much better than PowerPoint), made myself a website using Wix.com (there’s free versions and versions you can pay for), and then made sure my resume, CV, invoices, expense reports, etc. were branded to match as well.
The jobs/gigs you want won't come flooding in right to your inbox. You'll have to do the steps above and find different ways to get jobs, including online.
My tip: Get into a routine to find your jobs. You’ll be working for yourself now, so there isn’t anyone to breath down your neck and keep you motivated (which to me is a good thing). Try starting off your mornings by checking your job sources and job postings.
There are so many Facebook Groups out there to help answer your questions, to help you build your brand, and help you stay motivated.
Maybe you can even find a community in your area of people Freelancing in the industry that you are.
I find these very helpful not only a professional level, but a personal one because when you Freelance you’re kind of solo dolo. It's nice to have like minded people around you (even if it's virtually).
Now get out there and PREPARE YOURSELF TO WORK WORK WORK WORK WORK.