HR 20 July 2016

Turning freelancing into a full-time career in five easy steps

Freelancing can form a lucrative career if planned in the right way

Every day people in their millions hand in their notices, say goodbye to boring, unfulfilling jobs and start making it as freelancers.

From photographers to designers and everything in-between, turning freelancing into a full-time job is now more of an option than it has ever been.

Here, business writer Joan Herbert tells us just how easy it can be to turn your freelancing dream into a lucrative full-time career.

(1) Figure out your area of expertise

The first thing that you need to do is figure out exactly what area of freelancing most appeals to you as well as what you are most qualified to do. It is best to be honest with yourself – you might have an avid interest in photography, but if you don’t have the skills then quitting your job to play with a camera is a mistake, so take the time to figure out what most suits you and your capabilities.

When you know what field you wish to be a part of, you then need to make an extensive plan. That means creating a budget as money won’t be coming in immediately, figuring out how you are going to designate your time and researching viable contacts and freelance websites.

(2) Create a decent portfolio, with samples

The next step you need to take is creating a portfolio of sample work to showcase your skills. There are millions of freelancers out there and at this point, they are all more experienced than you, so to get ahead, you need to wow prospective clients. Look at examples of work in your field and do all that you can to stand out from the crowd while looking professional with a wide range of samples.

(3) Network

Freelancing is a bit of a flooded market with thousands of people applying for the same positions as you are on a daily basis. An excellent way to get ahead of the pack is to network as much as you can. Use social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn to show off your abilities and start building a list of contacts. Also, remember that networking and building a contact list isn’t a one-time deal, make sure that you do this weekly if you want regular work.

(4) Prepare your work space

When you quit your job and become self-employed, you become your own boss, and the freedom that comes with that can be a lot to handle. Being able to wake up when you want to is a big deal and a great gift, but it can turn into a curse if you are not careful. The best way to avoid that is preparing your workspace. Designate a room in your house, a rented office space, or your local cafe as a place where you go to work, doing so will enable you to stay active, get clients and most importantly get paid.

(5) Start securing clients

Now all that is left to do is to start securing clients. Just like networking, this is another continuous act that you need to stay on top of to turn freelancing into a full-time career. It might be slow at first, and when you get one it might take a little longer to get two and then three but if you stick with it, contact people every day and produce good work you will soon find yourself in a full-time position.

And there you have it, in just five steps you can turn freelancing into a full-time, life-long career. If you have been thinking about becoming a freelancer, take note of the five steps above and use them to turn your dream into a reality.

Joan Herbert is a freelance business writer and manager at

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