Overcrowded offices, daily meetings and awkward lunch breaks isn’t everybody’s idea of a normal work day. You probably would love to find flexible work from home but so far you didn’t have any freelancing experience and you don’t know where or how to start.
There are many known ways to start earning money online. You can start a blog, work as a graphic or web designer. The list is long.
The hard part is getting started and the fear of not having a steady pay check.
So, let’s begin and see how you can start.
Beginnings are scary
At this point, you are sure that you want to have a flexible job and from home (or from wherever you desire) but you still don’t know what to do.
Define your strongest skills and ask yourself in which industry you want to work in. Do you want to work in publishing, marketing or maybe video and audio production?
When you have no experience and you’re starting from zero you want to start from the very beginning.
It is not easy to get hired for a big and complete project when your portfolio is empty and you don’t have a network.
Thinks about small, specific and less demanding projects which you can offer to clients.
When you think about design for example you might think of working on an advertising campaign for a major brand.
What I find helpful is to look behind all the process that is going on behind a certain job. When you do the research, you will see that there are many specific tasks which can be done.
To run a blog for example, you need to understand SEO, setting up the website, writing, editing an article, creating the blog cover, preparing content for social media, managing the social media accounts and the list goes on.
Focus on these “smaller jobs” at the beginning.
Smaller is faster
When you’re just starting out it is hard to find clients and build your portfolio, especially if your offer generic and big projects. The more specific services you can offer, it’s easier to find clients and establish yourself as the go-to person in the desired area.
And if you’re still stuck with your day job, you can work on your freelancing career in your free time.
These are my favorite flexible work from home ideas:
#1 Create visual content for blogs (graphic design)
Pinterest blog covers
There are many blogs out there and majority of them uses Pinterest to promote their new articles. If you are good with graphic design you can offer your skills to bloggers.
Research what makes a good Pinterest photo. There are many articles providing information on this subject. It is a specific side job which can help you meet potential clients and promote your portfolio as a graphic designer.
Infographics play an important role in the online publishing world as a way to visually attract the audience and businesses will happily pay for someone to design them.
Same as with Pinterest it is more of a side job and because of the lower competition you can find customers easier that just promoting yourself as graphic designer.
#2 Edit articles (writing)
If you are great with words then you can offer your skills to edit articles before they get published. This can include checking for grammar mistakes, deleting unnecessary parts, adding information where it is needed, checking the facts stated and similar.
#3 Become an SEO editor (content marketing)
Instead of checking articles for grammar mistakes you can edit text so it is search engine friendly and optimize it before it gets published. For online publications it is important that the text is SEO friendly because if it isn’t, they won’t appear on top of search engines – and we all know how rare we go to the second page of the results.
Knowing your away around keywords, structure, and keyword density can help business in a marketing way for which you can start as a career or side hustle.
#4 Do voiceovers (audio production)
Recording voiceovers for others can be a fun job and the competition isn’t so great on the freelance market. You can narrate audiobooks, videos, commercials, podcast, etc. For this you will need a home recording studio.
As a beginner you can start with a good microphone, headphones and pop filters to record your vocals. You can get your beginners recording equipment for around 300 dollars.
#5 Earn money making podcasts (entertainment)
Podcasts became really popular in the past few years because they fit well in today’s lifestyle. You can listen to a podcast while you’re on the bus, stuck in traffic, in the gym or even at work. If you have a topic that you are really interested in you can try to make money from home podcasting.
You can earn by placing ad breaks during your podcast and depending on how many downloads you get, you can increase your revenue. The good thing is that you don’t need fancy equipment to start your own podcast show. Alternatively, you can record podcasts for other.
#6 Sell your music
If you love making music why not start making money with it. Create background music or earn passive income by creating your own beats and leasing it to others for commercials, intro or background music.
Robin Wesley from Urban Masterclass created a great guide for those who want to get started in the beats industry https://urbanmasterclass.com/how-to-sell-beats-online/.
#7 Start a YouTube channel without showing your face
Maybe you have many interesting topics to talk about and would love to start your own YouTube channel but don’t like the idea of standing in front of a camera. Similar to a podcast you can share your knowledge and ideas through videos. If you dream of making money this way, you can still create interesting content through animations.
As with careers such as blogging, this is not an instant way of being paid for the delivered work. You will need a lot of patience and constant work for it to make money.
#8 Edit YouTube videos (video production)
If you know how to edit videos and don’t want to create your own content you can offer your skills for other YouTubers to help them prepare their video for publishing. Not everyone is good at it or has the time to do it, so a helping hand can come in handy for them.
#9 Create intro videos
This is something that can be your go to gig. Having a unique intro adds branding elements to a video makes it more professional. By offering this type of services, you can attract content creators that are looking for upgrading their videos.
#10 Earn money managing Social media platforms (public relations)
Social media marketing became essential even for traditional business like supermarkets, banks and restaurants. For this type of business, social media is a tool like advertising on TV or radio.
They often hire people just to manage their online presence through social media and it is something they like to outsource. You can work for a company remotely or work as a freelance social media manager.
Research companies in your area and see if they’re looking for a social media manager.
#11 Facebook ads (advertising)
Are you seeing yourself running a creative advertising company like Don Draper from Mad Man? Getting a job in an advertising agency is tough and if you don’t have any experience then forget about it.
What you can do to practice your copywriting skills and stepping a foot in this industry is to help businesses create Facebook ads. You won’t create a billboard but it is a less demanding way to find projects and prove your skills.
Finding the first one
Finding your first client is the difficult part – besides knowing what you want to do in your life. Here are some ways how to find clients and promote your work.
#1 Direct approach
Approaching companies directly sounds a bit pushy but if you can offer your skill to improve someones business then it won’t make you look like a spammer.
Research companies in your area and find out which of these could benefit from your skills. You can introduce yourself and briefly present how you can help them.
#2 Freelancing platforms
Freelancing platforms like Fiverr are an easy way to get started. You set the terms, and you can be specific about the job offer.
Starting on a freelancing platform can feel overwhelming at the beginning, because there are a lot of people who offer their skills for a very low price and it can feel like you can’t compete with that.
If you think that you are ready to deliver a good job then set your price higher. Serious clients aren’t looking for the cheapest solution.
#3 Self promotion
If you’re confident enough about your experience, you can create your online portfolio and social media accounts. And even if you didn’t have any paying customers yet, you can invent your own projects in a form of “concepts.”
#4 Word of mouth
If you’re not talking about your skills and what you’re passionate about then how can anyone hire you? I’m not telling to constantly talk about yourself but if it comes up naturally don’t be afraid to talk about yourself. Freelance opportunities can come from connections.
It is actually the best marketing tool – a recommendation. If you’re a introverted or shy person this may seem scary but don’t stress yourself. If an opportunity arises, make it work for you.
Working for free may sound like a waste of time but the connection you can make and experience you gain can be priceless. Look for internships in your area or ask a company if they can hire you as an intern.
Even as an intern you want to come prepared because nobody wants to teach you how to tie your shoes.
How much is the fish?
You may feel like you can only charge pennies at the beginning. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Research the market standards and don’t go too low because cheap services don’t sound attractive.
Having a flexible job and working from home is something many people dream of. You do the work you love and create a schedule that suits your lifestyle. It takes a lot of effort and patience to get to the point where you can live financially stable as a freelancer but in the end it is worth it.
Would you trade your day job for a freelancing career? Let us know.