Which one comes first, the chicken or the egg, having experience or landing a job?
Becoming a freelancer with no experience is one of those catch 22 situations. You need to have some experience to land a job, and you need a job to have experience in the first place.
Freelancing has become one of the main choices to make a living, especially nowadays (no need to go to details). Like many people, you’ve realized that you can work wherever you want, especially from your home. But, you’re probably not too confident about your experience.
Anyway, you don’t need to overthink it. You don’t have to stress about acquiring experience in the internet world because you can do that whenever you want.
This article will detail the method of becoming a freelancer with no experience.
How To Become a Freelancer With No Experience
- Want to become a freelancer? Experience is not necessary
- Benefits of becoming a freelancer
- What Skills to learn
- What are you interested in?
- What’s in demand?
- What’s easy to learn?
- Where to Learn your skills
- Fiverr Learn
- How to Market your Skills as a Freelancer?
- Getting the sale and seeking feedback to improve
- Freelancing is Possibly not for You
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Want to become a freelancer? Experience is not necessary!
Experience is not necessary to become a freelancer for two main reasons:
- You can acquire experience for free from all the online courses about (literally) anything you can think of. You can also roll into premium courses; that’s super recommended.
- There are plenty of jobs that don’t require any particular expertise at all. You can just hop in, and you can do a good job just like the next person.
So, we can confidently say that becoming a freelancer is an option for everyone interested. Nothing can stop you as long as you know what you want to do.
If you already have some skills (writing, designing, music composition, sales, engineering, etc.…), there are plenty of people who need your help; they just need you to reach out.
If you don’t have any skills or you have no idea where to start, an online course and a certificate (even for free) are all you need. If you try hard enough, it might take less than a month to land your first job.
Benefits of becoming a freelancer
Being a freelancer comes with many benefits, like not waking up every morning to work from 9 to 5 on that boring job downtown.
When you’re freelancing, you can work from your bed whenever you wake up while still wearing your pajamas.
Other than freedom and control over your career, freelancing might actually pay more than a regular 9-to-5 job if you managed to establish a good reputation with your clients.
Also, when you’re freelancing and make a good amount of money, there’s nothing to stop you from adopting the digital nomad‘s lifestyle. As long as you work remotely, why not travel to all the spots you ever wanted to visit. All you need is your computer, other gadgets that you might be using, and an internet connection.
There are plenty of other benefits of becoming a freelancer; we need to dedicate a whole long article just for that.
What skills to learn
Acquiring new skills is not hard when you choose to learn something that comes naturally to you.
Since freelancing is about having the freedom to do what you love and earn money from that, learning skills that come naturally is what you should aim for.
You want your learning process to feel natural and challenging in a way that doesn’t frustrate you too much.
But, don’t forget that there’s a market, and markets are all about supply and demand. So, you have to keep in mind that not all skills are equally on demand.
1. What are you interested in?
Tapping into your inner soul is the best first step any adept freelancer would tell you. After all, a genuine freelancer wants to earn money doing something they love.
“What interests me?”
Don’t be afraid to ask yourself this question and actually wait for your mind to come up with a coherent answer. The answer will determine your course of action when learning new skills.
If you’re an extroverted person who likes to talk to people, learning communication and negotiation skills won’t be hard for you. You can land lots of jobs with those skills.
Suppose you’re a creative person who’s good with designing stuff. In that case, you can be a decent graphic designer in no time after watching a couple of YouTube videos.
And suppose you’re an introvert with a background in engineering who’s really good with tech and computers. In that case, you can learn how to become a UI/UX developer and all kinds of programming skills.
The same goes for other personality types…
You just have to find what you like, and invoke that mindset in yourself that wants to learn new things no matter what it takes.
2. What’s currently in demand?
Before you actually delve too deep into learning a new skill, you have to do some market research first. You need to know if what you’re learning is in-demand and if there are some opportunities.
Think of it as filling in a gap in the market. If a gap is already filled by too many people doing the same job, there will be a lot of competition.
You should find a niche that has a gap that you can fill in.
Upwork even posted an article about the 30 most in demand jobs and skills for the last 3 years.
3. What’s easy to learn?
As a novice freelancer, you’re not going to be blamed if you’re thinking about learning something easy that can bring you some money ASAP.
While that mindset might not be healthy for the long run, especially if you want to step up the game, looking for something easy to learn is a natural first step.
Once you identify what interests you and the gaps in the market that you can fill in, finding some 101 courses about the sort of jobs you want to apply to is the next step.
Surprisingly, a 101 course is all it takes sometimes to learn a new skill for a job, do that job successfully, and get paid good money for it.
While this might not be the case 100% of the time, it’s certainly one of the best things about freelancing; you learn as you work and you get paid for that.
Where to Learn your skills
The internet is full of courses where you can learn anything you want. You just have to type what you want to learn on Google, and millions of results will pop out.
The fact that we can learn anything we want might seem very hopeful, but it’s also crippling in some cases. If we can learn anything we want, why should we limit ourselves to only one thing?
That question is already answered in the above section.
Now, here are some of the best places where you can learn how to become a freelancer with no experience starting from now.
You can just leave this article unfinished and go learn something from one of these platforms.
One of the absolutely best places to start from as a freelancer is Fiverr. Fiverr doesn’t just offer one of the best platforms in the world for freelancers, it also has the Fiverr Learn platform, which is all you need to check out to learn skills directly from successful freelancers.
Fiverr Learn offers courses on everything a freelancer with no experience can learn and start making some cash. These are the main categories of courses you can find on Fiverr Learn:
- Graphic Design
- Video & Photography
Once you establish what you want to learn, nothing can stop you from becoming a freelancer.
YouTube needs no introductions. Many people would testify with all honesty that they learned from YouTube more than what they’ve learned from school or university.
You just type in the keywords of what you want to learn, and thousands of search results will direct you right where you want to go. And guess what, it’s for free.
Udemy has a good reputation for being one of the best platforms to learn new skills and even become an expert.
There are courses for anyone willing to put in some effort to learn new stuff.
Udemy is eclectic when it comes to the courses you can find there. You can learn everything from calculus to pet care. To put it shortly, just type in the thing you want to learn, and Udemy will take it from there.
How to Market your Skills as a Freelancer?
Part of being a freelancer is having to market yourself. Your skills are basically a product, and like any good product, they need good marketing.
While you don’t have to hire a marketing agency to take care of you, you can actually use some of their tactics to market your skills as a freelancer, especially when you don’t have a lot of experience.
Here are some of the best ways to market yourself as a freelancer:
Fiverr, Upwork, People per Hour, Freelancer, Guru…, etc are all reputable freelancing platforms where you can kickstart your gig economy. As long as you play by the rules and have valuable skills to bring to the table, you can land jobs all the time on these platforms and gain more reputation.
The rating system that these platforms use is a double-edged sword that you want to use to your advantage. Having good ratings is the best marketing you can get.
Copying what works
The best advice here is to pay close attention to how you present your profile. You can copy some of the formats that successful freelancers in your niche use.
Make sure to browse the different profiles of people in your niche to see the similarities you want to keep and the differences that make each individual stand out. After all, you don’t want just to be like anybody else.
Some simple tricks like having a professional profile picture, a fun-to-read description, or some attractive visuals can prove to be quite helpful.
Building your brand – Making a portfolio, website, Social media, etc
If you don’t have social media accounts (at least 3 different platforms), then you’re probably living under a rock.
Anyway, the point is you can use social media to your advantage. Why not market your skills on social media? All the brilliant people who realized this in the old days of web 2.0 are now millionaires.
Another essential thing for starting as a freelancer is preparing your portfolio. While having a portfolio as a freelancer with no experience might not be possible for some skills, the majority of skills allow you to put in the cart before the horse.
Let’s say, for example, you want to be a graphic designer. You can create a bunch of designs that you can showcase on your portfolio to prove to potential clients that you’re capable of doing impressive work.
Having a website is also something you might want to consider along the way. However, it’s not necessary if you have a good profile on some of the freelancing platforms mentioned above.
Getting the sale and seeking feedback to improve
Once you establish your skillset, your niche, a good profile, and some exposure, you can start applying for jobs or expect to receive orders anytime soon.
At first, it might seem hard to land jobs, even frustrating, but that’s an integral part of any startup business. It’s one of those situations where it gets easier each new day, month, and year.
The most important thing to keep in mind is the fact that you’re still learning. Seeking feedback and improving your game is the wisest thing you can do.
Also, you should only aim to land jobs that you’re capable of accomplishing successfully without having to deal with too much stress. The best advice here is to take time to communicate with any potential client very well before you start the job. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about the job before you begin.
If you face any difficulties, ask for help. If you think your work is not good enough, ask for feedback in a message and improve upon your work.
You want to do good work at the beginning of your journey as a newbie freelancer because you want to have good reviews/feedback. You want to nail that 5-star review no matter what it takes.
Freelancing is possibly not for You
The path of a freelancer is not paved with roses all the of time. Sometimes, it feels like you’re on top of the game, and nothing can stop you. Other times you feel stagnated. All in all, it’s a good lifestyle for those who appreciate the lifestyle of a bounty hunter.
Being a freelancer feels like being in an episode of Cowboy Bebop from time to time; one crazy job takes you to another one; you end up transporting yourself from this rabbit hole to the other. All of that is great for certain types of people but’s it’s not the lifestyle for everyone.
Also, suppose you appreciate working in an environment where you have actual physical contact with people other than just staring at your computer screen. In that case, freelancing on the web is probably not your thing. You should look for another career option.
Freelancing isn’t the only option if you want to seek more professional and financial autonomy. You can use many strategies to become that financial superhero you’ve always wanted to be. All it takes is to have the right questions, the right mindset, and strong willpower to drive you along the way.
Sometimes, you need to start with some good knowledge from someone with first-hand experience.