The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | Best Tips to Start

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

Doing freelancing for the last 6 years has given me a ton of insights into this industry.

Well, I am a Digital Marketing Professional. I freelance into all the skills of Digital Marketing, I am a full-stack Digital Marketer. As a Digital Marketing Consultant and Trainer, I have been freelancing since 2014. And therefore I have created this blog to help all the newbies out there.

This blog is divided into multiple layers. I have kept it like that for a very specific reason i.e. clarity.

Once you end up reading it, you must have a crystal clear idea of whether freelancing is your cup of tea or not.

This complete guide to freelancing is not only relevant for 2021, it’s forever. Because things I have discussed here are the roots of freelancing. It also offers tons of sources and insights about freelancing. Eventually, it helps you to understand how to become a freelancer from zero to hero.

If you want to know more about my profile, click here – www.soumendranathsome.com.

NOTE – I have also created a mind map of the same content, if you may want to download it. (You have to use Xmind App to open this file)

Let’s Start

What is Freelancing?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer

Who is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed person or a freelance businessman/businesswoman.

Why a Freelancer is not an Employee?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-freelancer-vs-employee-vs-contractor

A freelancer is not permanent to the corporate or a startup business because he doesn’t get the following benefits.

As a freelance businessman, you don’t get –

  • Employee Benefits
  • PF
  • Value Added Benefits
  • Coupons
  • Gifts
  • Getting Office Laptop/Computer
  • Internet Bills etc.
  • Tour Packages
  • Gratuity Fund

What are the Misconceptions about Freelancing?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-misconceptions-about-freelancing

There are several misconceptions about freelancing. People think it’s easy online money, you don’t need to work as a freelancer to earn money, and whatnot.

Such misconceptions or myths are listed below –

  • Freelancing is easy
  • Freelancers don’t work
  • Its easy online money
  • We can anytime start and stop
  • We don’t need to work hard
  • It’s not like a corporate job

What are the Challenges of a Freelancer?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

As freelancing is a very fantastic career opportunity to get in, there are some challenges as well.

Here are some of those challenges –

  • You may need a small/big team – If you work on a project that cannot be done single handedly, you need to create a team in that case. Working with a team is also better as you can win bigger projects and bigger projects means bigger the price.
  • Getting loans can be difficult – It is not really a drawback of freelancing. But a drawback of how much you make per year. If you have consistent income coming from freelancing then well and good. Make sure you are doing your taxes at the right time and with discipline. It is like a business, so you don’t get your company benefits for loans and health insurances. You got to do everything by your own. But if you have consistent earning at a scale that your loan demand satisfies and you do your taxes properly, then there is no burden.
  • You have to be assured with payments – Be aware of fake clients! Its a matter for newbies, as initially you might not be that smart to understand whats right and whats wrong. But down the line a year or two you become smart enough to deal with the right people.
  • Always take advance before starting the work – Take an advance of the project you have committed a deadline for and then start the work.
  • Deadlines should always be maintained – Don’t give the client a chance to complain. If you commit to a deadline, make sure to deliver.
  • Keep up-skilling yourself – Up-skilling is super important be it in whatever domain your are freelancing. When you work with a company, they assure some training and development funds for their employees. As a freelancer you yourself got to assure that. Make sure to be updated with the right skills of your industry and serve the best to your clients.

Why should I still do Freelancing?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-freelancer-dot-com

Well, having so many challenges, you might be thinking, why should you still do freelancing?

Here is your answer –

  • You set your working hours – You become a businessman, you don’t work 9 to 5. You can set your own working hours. During the busier days it might be 18 hours you are working, and sometimes it might be you just just sitting for 3 hours a day. That too your times are flexible. You don’t have to wake up, quickly finish off your breakfast and rush to somewhere.
  • You don’t have to rush on a timeline – As a freelancer, you can set your own deadlines. You are not been managed by a boss.
  • You are your own boss – As a freelancer, there is no one instructing you over the top of your head. You are your own boss and its your client who is your end customer and you have to make them happy.
  • You own your skills – While working in a company, you are bound to get the salary that they are paying you and most others at your level are getting. Freelancing gives you the exposure to set your own charges. You charge legitimate for the skills you own. So whatever project you complete, you enjoy the complete reward of the project, not just 10% or 20% of it.
  • Enough time to up-skill – Time is under your control, always. You can take our your comfort of time to up-skill yourself.
  • Up-to-date with the industry standards – As a freelancer you are a one man army. Most of the successful freelancers are super awesome with industry updates and new tools. Freelancing pushes you to get into that pro zone.
  • Like a Pro, you manage the project – You own the project you do. You are the leader, you are the manager and you are the executor. If you have a team, that too you are managing. Make sure you know the in and out of the project.
  • You enjoy the complete reward – As I said, you charge for your own skills. You get the full reward, not just 10% to 20% of the project. You bid for the project, you do the proposal, you win the project and you work it out.
  • Flexibility to work from anywhere – As a freelancer, it is very easy for you to live a laptop life. You can be a travel lover and keep traveling to different places as you freelance. Yes, you have to be mentally very stable to do that as there are lots of distractions.

How to Start Freelancing in 2021?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-fiverr

Starting freelancing is a process. And the success that you get after you start completely depends on how seriously are you taking this process.

Today in 2021 if you have a skill and you are quite a pro at it or even an intermediate you can start selling that skill as a freelancer.

There are many portals and different other ways by which you can start freelancing which we will be talking about here. But more than that, it’s important to know that are you mentally prepared for freelancing.

What all facilities you need to start freelancing?

  • A quality computer at your home
  • You can set up your work station
  • High Quality Network Connection

What skills you can have to start freelancing?

  • Websites, IT & Software
  • Marketing & Sales
  • Mobile Phones & Computing
  • Design, Media & Architecture
  • Writing & Content
  • Training and Teaching Skills
  • Data Entry & Admin
  • Engineering & Science
  • Business, Accounting, Human Resources & Legal
  • Translation & Languages
  • Other

If you are specifically looking forward to doing digital marketing freelancing, then read this article below –

Best 5+ Digital Marketing Freelancing Options after Finishing Digital Marketing Course | 25+ Freelance Websites

Mandatory soft skills for freelancing?

  • Communication Skills
  • You need to select a domain/niche or niches
  • A Good Portfolio of Your Work
  • Exp. is good / without exp. is OK
  • You need enough patience
  • You need to be competitive
  • You need to know the Market of your Domain

How the Journey of a Freelance Project Looks Like? | The Start to End of a Freelance Project

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-freelancing-skills

Creating a complete guide to freelancing is impossible without talking about the journey of a freelance project.

I know a few of the newbies out there, who desperately want to do freelancing, but don’t devote their time to understand how it’s done.

If you want to know how to become a freelancer, then read the below information.

What are the different ways to pitch, bid, apply or make a proposal for a freelance project?

Outbound

  • Bidding
  • Cold Calling
  • Cold Emails
  • Cold Messages
  • Applications

Inbound

  • Profile Creation
  • Personal Branding (The following are ways of doing Personal Branding)
  • – Website
  • – Media Social Media Presence
  • – Personal Blog Traffic
  • – Personal YouTube Traffic
  • – Landing Pages
  • Portfolio Representation
  • Networking
  • Freelance Sites
  • Free Consulting
  • Free Events / Webinars
  • Social Media Groups
  • Digital Ads

What to do when you get a freelance project? | How to start the freelance project?

  • Introducing Yourself to the Client
  • Understanding the Project Deliverables
  • Verifying the Client
  • Striking the Deal
  • Negotiation
  • Getting the MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) Done
  • Fixing the Deadline
  • Taking the Advance Min. 30%
  • Setting Milestone Payments (For Long Term Projects)
  • Putting Plans into Action
  • Delivering the Projects
  • Feedback
  • Editing Max. 2 Hits
  • Project Accomplished

What is a Portfolio for the Freelance Project? | Why Portfolio is Important for You as a Freelancer?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

complete-guide-to-freelancing-how-to-become-a-freelancer-behance

Portfolios are important for freelancer, like job experience resume or certificates are important for a full-time employee.

For a freelancer, a resume is also important as well as the experience of the specific skill.

Portfolios are like your collections of work that you have done for previous clients. You can show it while pitching for any freelance project. It makes your proposal look impressive and convincing.

Providing a complete guide to freelancing wouldn’t be possible without mentioning the idea of a portfolio.

It adds on a significant value while you try to understand how to become a freelancer.

And portfolios are not only significant for small gig-based projects. Even for a big shot million dollars project, a portfolio can be convincing.

A portfolio is a collection of projects and programs that are managed as a group to achieve strategic objectives. A freelance professional or an organization may have one portfolio, which would then consist of all projects, programs, and operational work that they have successfully done.

What to do if you don’t have a portfolio?

Create it.

If you are a newbie and you have never done projects before with any clients, I recommend you create one sample portfolio for yourself.

For example – You are a Website Designer / Graphic Designer / Content Writer etc. you can keep your own designs and creations with you. Whenever a potential client wants to see some of your work, it’s super handy to send it across to them, or show it to them then and there itself.

This shows that you are owning those skills and have worked for the same.

What are the best portfolio keeping sites?

  • https://www.behance.net/
  • https://dribbble.com/
  • https://www.artstation.com/
  • https://www.deviantart.com/
  • https://www.weebly.com/in
  • https://wordpress.com/
  • www.instagram.com
  • www.linkedin.com
  • www.fiverr.com
  • www.pixabay.com
  • https://in.pinterest.com/

How to Write a Proposal for Your Freelance Project?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

Business Writing is an efficient skill. I strongly believe every freelancer should have it. Proposal writing must be an integral part of the complete guide to freelancing.

Be it inbound or outbound clients, you need to deliver a proposal to them before you close the deal and start the freelance project.

Here is a breakdown of what all aspects your proposal should include –

  • The Overview
  • The Introduction
  • Addressing the Challenges
  • Outline the Objectives
  • Speak about Your Approach
  • Provide a Schedule & Timeline
  • Provide a Detailed Overview of the Costing
  • Writing Etiquette
  • – Know what your client wants to hear
  • – Have a great solution – and a strategy to win
  • – Follow instructions
  • – Answer the questions
  • – Skip the fluff
  • – Get your point across
  • – Make it easy for evaluators

Where to get Freelance Projects?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

All people want to know how to become a freelancer, they mostly thrive on this answer.

As a freelancer, it’s really an important question.

I, therefore, have kept all the possible ways that you can get out there to get your freelance project.

Freelance Portals / Freelance Project Stock Bidding Websites

  • www.upwork.com
  • www.freelancer.com
  • www.peopleperhour.com
  • www.toptal.com
  • www.designhill.com
  • www.weworkremotely.com
  • www.simplyhired.com
  • www.flexjobs.com
  • www.dribbble.com
  • www.udemy.com
  • www.urbanpro.com
  • www.fiverr.com
  • www.guru.com
  • www.writerbay.com
  • www.writeraccess.com
  • www.designcrowd.com
  • www.99designs.com
  • www.superprof.com
  • www.obuhi.com
  • www.truelancer.com
  • www.experts.webflow.com
  • www.worknhire.com
  • www.tapchief.com
  • www.hireable.com
  • www.skyword.com
  • www.taskrabbit.com
  • www.nettcode.com
  • www.workofy.com
  • www.workana.com
  • www.krios.com
  • https://www.consultport.com/
  • https://www.truelancer.com/
  • https://www.nettcode.com
  • https://workofy.com/
  • https://www.hireable.com/
  • https://www.tapchief.com
  • https://weworkremotely.com/
  • https://www.fiverr.com/
  • https://obuhi.com/
  • https://www.rockerstop.com/
  • https://www.onlinekam.in/
  • https://www.toogit.com
  • https://www.onbenchmark.com/
  • https://outsource.com/
  • https://workboxhub.com/
  • https://paperell.com/
  • https://www.roberthalf.com/employers/creativegroup
  • https://dribbble.com/
  • https://www.guru.com/
  • https://www.taskrabbit.com/
  • https://www.taskrabbit.com/

Best Job Portals to Get Freelance Projects

  • https://www.flexjobs.com/
  • https://www.naukri.com/
  • https://www.indeed.co.in/
  • https://www.timesjobs.co.in/
  • https://www.collegerecruiter.com/
  • https://www.simplyhired.com/
  • https://aquent.com/

Best Social Media Networks to Get Freelance Projects

  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Instagram

What are the Actions Should be Taken by Newbie Freelancers to Get their very First Gig?

~ The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | How to Become a Freelancer?

For a newbie freelancer, it might be a little difficult to get the very first gig. But once you start you get to know how it works.

I have listed some useful tips that can help newbie freelancers in the beginning.

  • Step 1 – Make a list of successful Freelancers in your vertical
  • Step 2 -Study their skills and on what type of projects they are bidding on
  • Step 3 -What were their past projects through which they made most of the money
  • Step 4 – Model my profile similar to the best Freelancers
  • Step 5 -Start applying on jobs
  • Step 6 – Communicate as soon as possible when you get shortlisted for the job
  • Step 7 – Rinse & Repeat

I hope this complete guide to freelancing could help you understand the in and out of how to become a freelancer.

Remember, starting is most important. To become a successful freelancer, you have to acquire quality skills and master them. Thrive and win projects, have to have consistency to deliver quality work. And maintain a great network that brings amazing opportunities.

To know more or to learn freelancing or digital marketing in detail you can always connect with me here at www.soumendranathsome.com

Thanks for reading.

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3 thoughts on “The Complete Guide to Freelancing in 2021 | Best Tips to Start

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mention Insolvo.com!
    That is a freelance projects (gigs) bidding platform and a truly perfect source of clients for creative individuals. As far as I know, there are not so many obstacles to get in touch with the clients, and not difficult for a newbie-freelancer to get a first gig than on other popular freelance marketplaces.

    1. Hi Olsy, I haven’t tried insolvo.com. And It also needs a subscription, although I see the subscription charge is nominal. Really appreciate your comment, I will try this out, and add it to the list. Thanks.

      1. I completely agree with Olsy about Insolvo. It’s really a good and reliable freelance platform. I’ve been using it for more than 6 months as a freelancer, and I already have a few regular clients. As for the subscription, you can get a discount on it) Just enter the promo code fp267108 to get $2 bonus. By the way, after registration you’ll also be able to share your own promo code to get an extra bonus.

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