How to Crush Your First Freelancing Gig

How to Crush Your First Freelancing Gig

The good news: there’s never been a better time. There is a new generation of workers—one looking to be its own boss, work on its own time, and utilize the internet to market its many 21st century skills.

This vision may tickle your fancy, but where to start? Here are a few important pointers on your journey to occupational independence.

1. Develop a Marketable Skill

Employment works very differently in the freelance world. You’ll rarely find a permanent gig with a single company and you’ll often find yourself searching for projects.

To combat lack of job security and to curb the anxiety of denial, you must have a specialized skillset that many potential employers are seeking; experience in work like copywriting, translation, voice-acting, or web development will afford plenty of work opportunities.

If your calling isn’t so clear, check out sites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Guru to see if there are any projects posted that require skills you intend to develop or include work that piques your curiosity.


Sites like upwork can give you resources for your first freelancing gig.


2. Build a Reputation

People trust recommendations from others. Online, that means client ratings of your past work.

You don’t yet have any ratings? You don’t like selling yourself? No sweat. The best way to build rapport in the freelancing business is by offering your work “on spec” or by approaching the client with a sample of the project completed.

They’ll be more open to working with an unknown freelancer if you offer your work as proof of your aptitude. Don’t expect to make a killing the first few projects; you’re being compensated with a reputation and building relationships with clients who can supply you with further projects.


Your first freelancing gig will require you to use all gears of your brain.3. Be Your Own Manager

Being your own boss means assuming management roles—namely mental management.No longer do you have the environmental cues that it’s time to work. Your office is anywhere. This means you’re constantly tempted by non-work environmental stimuli—the bane of location independence.

A good practice is to mentor yourself with simple questions: What is most important that I get done right now? What would the most effective environment be for me to complete this work? Within what kind of time window will I be most productive?

Keeping your values straight will lead to seamless workflow. When it comes time to check in with your client regarding your work, they’ll see that your priorities are straight and trust your reliability. This is mental management, and as a freelancer, it’s the most important power you can exercise.


Be it full-time, part-time, or anywhere in between, use these practices to both leverage the responsibility and enjoy the freedom of starting your own freelance career.


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