Deciding to quit your day job to freelance full time is scary. There are a lot to worry about especially in a city like San Francisco where the cost of living is so high. However, you are really excited to turn your passion into a career.
Freelancing is really enticing. As it gives you a lot of fulfillment and freedom at the same time. The common issue is simply not knowing where to start. Fortunately, building a successful freelancing career is easier than it seems.
You can start small with your ambitious journey. Start freelancing on the side to gain some feedbacks before you quit your day job. After you feel like you are ready, it is time to make the full leap into the journey.
1. Choose Your Craft
Just about everything could be done remotely nowadays. This is why there is a strong likelihood that the skills on your resume actually contain one or more freelancing opportunities. You may be be required to think outside of the box on how to fit your skillset for a remote job. It could be discouraging as remote jobs are mostly graphic designers or programmers and we are not all graphic designers or programmers. However, you may find that your "secondary" skills can offer up freelancing opportunities. For instance, if you are a strong writer, then you have the potential to develop a freelance writing business.
Don't be paralyzed by preconception that you do not have the necessary skills or experience- you would be surprised at how little experience you need to get started. A little faith in your abilities will take you a long way.
2. Create marketing materials
Lay the groundwork by developing marketing materials. This way, you can start to establish buzz before officially launching the firm. At a minimum, set up a website, create Twitter and Facebook accounts and order business cards.
As you begin to tell family, friends, and contacts about your new journey in the weeks or months before the launch, you will want to have materials that inform them about it.
Start networking and building interest right away and start collecting business cards to set up an email list so you could inform everyone when you are ready to officially launch. You may be surprised by the amount of forwarding you might get if someone is interested in what you have to offer.
3. Keep in touch
You have probably sent out a mass launching email. Maybe there are a lot of people who have replied, or maybe you are discouraged by the lack of response. Find a few business cards that might have had interests in you and send a personal note to follow up. Maybe include a message of what you guys talked about that was interesting. When you don't want to do is to follow up with an open ended request. "We should get coffee sometime" isn't something that would make anyone rush to their calendar to block out time to meet with you.
4. Play the odds
Ultimately, securing freelancing work is a numbers game- The more prospective clients you contact, the more likely you are likely to find work. That is the equation you should keep in mind. If you have a reasonable skillset and create a quality brand, there is no reason why you cannot succeed in the world of freelancing like so many others before you.
At Treehouse Society, we have many networking events for you to meet your prospective clients. We might also have members who are looking for freelancing work. Our members are open to helping each other succeed with our skills or our contact. We aim to provide a supportive ecosystem for every working person in the 21st century.
Check out more on How to Win Your First Client as a Freelancer