When you finally determine that you do want to become a freelancer, the most straightforward course of action is to figure out what you’re good at and do that. For example, if you liked to write papers in school, you can probably get content writing gigs. If you’re good at creating websites using self-hosted WordPress, you can do that for small business owners. If you are good at using any type of software, you can offer your services to help with that.
Whatever it is that you’re good at doing, like doing, and can easily do with what you have or with minimal additional resources, is the best thing to start with. The main thing is to figure out what you’re good at, can see yourself doing for several hours a day for the next few years, and that’s simple to start with – and start with that.
To help you figure it out, ask yourself a few questions:
What are Your Skills Now?
Knowing what you’re good at right now is going to really help you figure out what you can do right now to start as a freelancer. Using a skill that you already have is the fastest way to start. You can always start with one thing and move to another as you learn more. The point is just to get something now so you can build on it later.
Do You Want to Work Alone or With Others?
Many people like working alone, others prefer to have people around. You need to know what type of person you are because being a freelancer sometimes can make you feel like a shut-in if you don’t pick the right tasks to do that work for your needs. For example, if you have a customer service call job right now and you hate every part of it, you’re not going to like it more if you are a freelancer doing it from home.
Are You Able to Organize Your Time?
To be a prosperous freelancer, you really do need to know how to organize your time so that you do enough work and make enough money. You must be self-motivated enough to be able not to treat your freelancing business as a vacation. You still have to do the work and provide deliverables to get paid and organizing your time to fit it all in is imperative to your success.
Are You Skilled with a Particular Software?
Think about the things you already do, and the software you already use, whether in your work or for fun. If you are good at using software such as shopping cart software, marketing software, and other software that people use personally or in a business, you have a chance to become a consultant for that software, which can be very lucrative helping people get set up.
What are Your Hobbies?
You may even be able to turn your hobby into a full-time income. Many people have done it now that platforms like Etsy, Amazon Marketplace, and others exist to help freelancers and hobbyists make money off their creations. More than one college student is making six figures on Etsy selling stickers, patterns, and other creations.
Can You Do the Work You Want to Do?
When you start thinking about the type of work you want to do as a freelancer, it’s time to be honest with yourself. Is your life set up so that you can do the work you say you want to do? If you think you want to start a call center from home, but you have dogs and kids that won’t be quiet, you can’t do it. Before you even start, make sure that you really can accomplish what you want to so that you don’t waste time or money trying to do something that isn’t going to work for you right now.
How Will You Do the Work?
Try to imagine the process of the work, and how you’ll do it. As you brainstorm ideas, go through the entire thing so that you know what the product or deliverable will look like. If you can see the process, it’s going to be much more likely to work out for you and your clients.
For Whom Will You Do the Work?
Knowing that customers who need the work exist is part of figuring out what you want to do as a freelancer. It’s going to be much simpler if you provide a solution to a customer who you already know exists and where to find them than it is to create the service and then find the customer. Figure out who you want to work with first, then provide solutions to them that match your skills.
Are You Self Motivated?
When you freelance, even though you have customers and clients, you don’t have bosses. You have to do the work without anyone telling you. You have to get up each day and do the work on your own. The money isn’t going to come to you without working. Can you self-motivate yourself to do the work that’s needed even if you aren’t racking up dollars for each hour you work?
Do You Need Flexibility?
What type of lifestyle do you want to build? Do you want to be able to go help your kids, parents, or others at the drop of a hat? Do you want to be able to change things around, or are you okay with working specific hours? Yes, you can design this however you want to. Just don’t pick a service that requires you to be someplace at certain times that focuses only on deliverables, and you will have the flexibility you need.
Am I Okay Spending Long Hours Alone?
Many freelancers end up spending many hours at their computer pounding out articles, offering customer service, building marketing funnels, and more – with no interaction from anyone. Sometimes this happens for days on end. You will have to find ways to network with others if isolation and working alone doesn’t work with your desires.
Do I Need to Be Outdoors or Indoors?
Some people enjoy being outside or out of their house working. You can design a freelance business that answers the need for you to be outdoors or indoors. It’s totally up to you. For example, if you like being outside, starting a pet walking business might work for you. If you dislike being outside, you may want to stick to computer-related services.
Remember that you are designing your own life, so there are no right or wrong answers. While it’s true that every single thing you do in life has both positive aspects and negative, as a freelancer, you can try to outsource or do away with most of the negative stuff while focusing on the positives – since you get to set this up the way you want to and not the way someone else tells you to.