How to become a freelancer in 30 days

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How to become a freelancer in 30 days

In this post, I’m going to share what I would do if I had to start all over again and become a freelancer in 30 days.

Now before I get started, the pre-requisites are that you already have a skill you can use to sell services for, and for the sake of this post, I will use the case study of becoming a freelancer selling website creation services but you can apply the pattern to your own skill and domain.

In an ideal situation, I’d take more than 30 days and would break down the whole process in more phases, but let’s say you have to be in business in 30 days, how should you approach it?

DISCLAIMER: I often review / link to products & services that I love and think you may find of interest. When you purchase a product/service through one of my link, I receive a commission, which helps me producing free content (you don’t pay anything extra!).

 

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week one

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week 1

1. Decide which services you will sell and price them

Seems obvious, but to avoid becoming a jack-of-all trades, you should decide what you are going to sell as services, and also what you are NOT going to sell.

For example, you may decide to create general websites, but not e-commerce websites. Or you may create all types of websites, but only on the WordPress platform.

Will you offer custom development? Will you offer SEO services? Website maintenance?

Create a document like a Google document or spreadsheet with 2 columns: in the left column, write down what you want to sell and in the right column, write down what you don’t want to sell that is related to your core skills.

The next step is to price your services, and for that, it really depends on your market, where you live and the cost of life there, your experience and skills level, and a bunch of other criteria. I will create a guide for pricing your services as a freelancer, but luckily for you there are dozens of freely available guides and blog posts all over the web if you just google it, or search it on youtube.

But the point is, once you’ve decided what you will sell, put a price tag on it. You can always refine it later.

2. Decide which essential tools you need and get them

To become a freelancer in 30 days, in our example, if I know I want to sell website creation services, here are the essentials in my opinion :

– a domain name and hosting for my website
– a computer to create the website
– a smartphone
– creative software
– a content management system
– images and media assets

3. Choose a name

Choose a name for your business and that of course implies research.

Now if you go by your own name, then it should cut some of the research although you will need to get creative if you have a common name.

If you decide to use a business name, do your research! Depending on where you live, you will find online databases where you can research if the business name you want to use is already trademarked or copyrighted, and if another company already uses it.

If you have the budget, the best way is to ask a legal advisor and take it from there, but if you’re on a budget, do your research with these tools and use common sense.

A quick tip is to go on a website such as namechecker.com or similar and check for a specific name, it will give you a pretty good hint at whether a name is already taken or not.

Now whatever you do, I can’t stress that enough: do your research and use common sense, but if you can afford it: pay a legal advisor to help you with that, and copyright your name.

4. Get your domain name, hosting and social media accounts

Once you’ve done your research and decided which name you will use, register your domain name right away.

At the time of recording this video, although there are many extensions out there, the .com extension is still the king, so I would try to get one, and you may need to get creative with it, and one tool I love using when it comes to finding .com domain names is a tool called Lean Domain Search.

You can then register your domain with your favourite registrar and I do recommend to get the domain name and the hosting from 2 different companies.

Why is that? Well in case of problem, it’s easier to move your website to another host when the domain name is independent, at least in my experience.

Also, I would choose a hosting plan that allows me to create several websites, because that will help down the line, for example if I need to create demos or portfolio websites.

Also, reserve your social media accounts as soon as you can, and if they offer custom URL’s, make sure you reserve the custom URL with your business account.

5. Register your business

To become a freelancer in 30 days you need to register your business.

This really depends on where you live, and the laws there, but in many countries, there are some very simple forms of starting a business, and if you’re just trying to get in business as quick as possible and possibly see if that’s economically viable, you may want to start with a sole proprietorship or another simple form of business and take it from there. You can always change later, although that will come with a cost and specific actions you’ll have to take.

Of course, in an ideal scenario, I would definitely seek the help of a professional advisor that will look at your specific situation, but this is how to become a freelancer in 30 days, so you can’t be stuck in paralysis by analysis and as long as you have a way to start a business legally, you should go for it.

That being said, in many countries, you have government services that will give you free advice when you want to start a business. Sometimes you can just go there and get advice, and sometimes, you need to make appointments or wait on a list.

So if your place of residence offers such services, you should definitely go there, and get professional advice.

In many countries, you can get started as soon as you’ve filled in the paperwork, even before you get your business identification number.

6. Start identifying portfolio candidates and contact them

If you already have a website and stunning portfolio, then ignore this step, but if you don’t, then you should identify small businesses with horrible websites, it may be businesses from relatives, friends, or just businesses you’ve come across in your area and make them an offer they can’t refuse.

What I mean by that is that you will approach those businesses and offer to re-design their website free of charge, at the following conditions:

1. You will have the final word on design decisions. It’s free of charge because you want to use it in your portfolio and as such, it should reflect the quality you want to advertise. And this being your area of expertise, the best way to ensure it showcases your work in the best possible way, is to give you the final word on design and layout.

2. They will sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) stating they are not allowed to mention the fact that the website was created free of charge. If breached, they will have to pay the price initially quoted for the re-design. Which means of course that initially you must quote the value of the offer.

Now very important: you should choose small websites, that could even be the perfect match for one page websites, 5 pages at the maximum.

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week two

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week 2

1. Craft your business plan

Business plans can be huge and takes months to craft but that’s not what I’m talking about here.

I’m talking drafting about a simple business plan (see this post) that will help you better identify who you will be serving and how, how you intend to grow, and what you should look out for.

Sounds very simplistic, but sometimes simple is better, especially if you are on a mission to become a freelancer in 30 days.

A business plan is meant to evolve over time, so craft your one page business plan and move on!

2. Craft your marketing plan

Just like for the business plan, you want to create a simple, one page marketing plan (see this post).

Basically, you want to reference your business summary, initiatives, target market, market strategy, budget and, last but lot least, your marketing channels.

Writing that down will help you stay on track and coupled with the business plan will help you see the big picture.

Since there are so many possible directions, you will need to make decisions here. But hay, if you want to be your own boss, you might as well start making business decisions because that will be your life from now on!

And as previously mentioned for the business plan, your marketing plan will evolve over time and after analyzing the market reaction, but right now, you’re on a mission to become a freelancer in 30 days.

3. Craft your brand

If you are selling website creation services you should be familiar with branding, and if not, you will either need to outsource, or you will need to learn fast!

The first step, is to define your brand values. Whether you use your own name or a business name, what do you stand for? And don’t tell me professionalism because that’s the bare minimum. Do you love minimalism? Beautiful design? Or is it beautiful code? Do you love ecology? Then make sure your brand values are clearly outlined because they will need to be present at every contact point of your brand: face to face with your clients, on your website, on the phone, everywhere!

Now once the brand is defined, you need to create a visual identity for it.

If you want to outsource, you can contract a graphic designer in your network or find someone on social media, or you could use websites like 99 designs, upwork and so on.

If you know how to do it yourself, don’t forget the less is more rule, and try to keep it simple, while beautiful.

But if you’re in the website creation services, I suppose you have the creation skills required.

4. Look for business groups in your area

Although we all want a lot of free google traffic, what I found in my experience, is that I get much better quality leads from business groups.

It could be private business groups on Facebook, but the best in my opinion, and even though I’m a digital age lover, is still the face to face local business meetups, at least in my experience.

And that ‘s simply because, even though we’re all digital, we remain flesh and blood human beings, and when we’re face to face, it’s easier to get a better feeling for first impressions. Plus, in those groups, if you know some people and they endorse you, it will act as social proof for the other professionals present and that creates trust. And trust, my friend, is the best formula for business.

Now of course, you can try to replicate that in online groups, but once again, if you want to be on the fast track to your first clients, local business groups is the best option in my opinion.

At this point, just do your research to find out which groups are in your area, what they stand for, what are the conditions to get in (sometimes it’s free but most times you have to pay a membership) and how to get invited to a first session.

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week three

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: week 3

Create your portfolio items

If you already have a stunning portfolio, then take the time in week three to spend more time on your branding, otherwise, follow along.

In week one, you have identified and contacted several businesses with an offer they can’t refuse.

It means that in week three, you should already have had two weeks of back and forth interactions, and chosen three to four candidates.

Week three is the week where you create those three to four websites, and if you chose very small businesses that are the perfect fit for one page websites, you can totally do it in 7 days, even though it will be some work… But hay, you want to be a freelancer don’t you?

Now here are some tips to get this going faster. If you are willing to sell website creation services, I suppose you master your craft, and I suppose you have already created nice websites before.

What I would do is to re-use some of my best works (not a clone, but a starting base) so that I can produce those re-designs faster and I would create 3 gorgeous one-page websites, and a four pages website with home, about us, services, and contact pages.And if the clients are happy, I would ask them if they would agree to have a testimonial published on my website.

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: : week four

1. Create your website

Well, if you are in for selling website creation services, this one should be a no-brainer.

Personally, currently I work exclusively with WordPress and use either Astra Pro + Elementor Pro, or Divi (affiliate links). But if you want a full list of my recommended resources just go to kaycinho.com/resources.

2. Setup your social accounts

If your branding and visual identity are well defined, you should have your banner and profile images ready, so now is the time to implement and make sure your social media profiles are on point.

3. Start creating content

Writing content will not only help search-engine-wise, but it will also boost your credibility, so once again you can either outsource this part if you’re not comfortable with writing for example, or get started by choosing the topics you want to be associated with and start writing.

Now talking about content, I strongly believe in the power of video marketing so if you can, use video, but if you can’t or don’t want to, at the very least, get fresh written content out of your website and social media accounts.

End of week four: tell the world

How to become a freelancer in 30 days: tell the world

1. Tell the world

Once your business is legally registered, or at least that you have filled in the paperwork and are entitled to start, you’ve defined your services, you’ve chosen a name and got your website out with a gorgeous portfolio, now is that time to tell the world you’re in business:

– spread the word on social media
– spread the word in your own network, maybe former colleagues, sportsteam teammates, chess club, whatever
– ask your family to spread the word
– ask your friends to spread the word
– spread the word on Linkedin
– register in online business directories
– go to sessions of those local business meetup groups (usually the first session when you are invited is free)

And, if you have the budget for it, start running online ads such as Facebook Ads, targeting your area and target market defined in your one page, marketing plan.

2. Register on upwork or similar websites

Although I don’t really use these kind of websites myself to find leads, you may want to do it when just getting started, even if just to get used to try and get gigs, become more comfortable with negotiating with potential clients and just get a better feel for the whole commercial side of running your business.

And you’d better be prepared to handle the commercial side of running a business if you want to become a freelancer in 30 days!

How to become a freelancer in 30 days. You are in business!

If you apply all of that (not easy I know but no one said it would be!), you should be in business and become a freelancer in 30 days.
Now that does not mean money is flowing and you are sipping gin and juice on a beach while the websites are being created by artificial intelligence, but it means that in 30 days, you have climbed a mountain that many people take months if not years to climb.

So congratulations to you, and now the hustle begins, but that will be the subject for another post.

In the meantime, go and get those first gigs rolling!

So, I hope that you enjoyed the roadmap about how to become a freelancer in 30 days shared in this post, and that it will help you start your freelancing business in such a short timespan! If you have other tips you want to share please let me know in the comments of this post. Now when do you plan to start your freelancing business or if you already did, how long did it take you from idea to launch? Let me know in the comments.

If you watch the companion video and if you liked it, please give it a thumbs up, as it really helps growing the channel and if you know someone that could benefit from it, I’m going to ask you if you’d like to share it now, because let’s face it, there are so many things to do in a day that if you don’t do it now you’ll probably forget.

Now if you want to brand, market and grow your business it in the Digital Age make sure you subscribe to my email newsletter so that you never miss your share of digital alchemy and tips, tools, services and case studies that can help you grow your business online.

So I hope to see you around here or on the Youtube channel, and in the meantime, do you know what time it is? I think you do, it’s time to invest in your success!

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