September 27, 2023

The Ultimate Guide to Freelancing: How to Start and Succeed

A lady on her computer working.
Courtesy: AARP

Venturing in the world of freelancing offers an excellent opportunity to seize complete control over your career. The prospect of independence, flexibility, and unlimited financial possibilities make the freelancing lifestyle highly appealing. 

Are you seeking to enhance your professional skills or transform your latent talents into a career? Or have you become accustomed to the work-from-home model and aspire to continue this pattern even after office spaces reopen? 

This article is for you if you answered yes to any of these questions. Read on to learn more about freelancing and what you need to know about bit as a beginner.

What is Freelancing?

Freelancing involves undertaking contractual assignments for various clients and companies. Freelancers possess diverse areas of specialization, which can encompass tasks such as content creation, app development, or tutoring. Freelancing has become a fresh avenue that numerous seasoned and inexperienced professionals explore to nurture their untapped passions while earning an income.

Types of Freelancing


Small businesses and independent contractors frequently require assistance with administrative duties such as virtual assistance, administrative assistance, and bookkeeping. These entities commonly engage the services of freelance professionals to fulfil these administrative needs.


E-learning is gaining popularity and significantly impacts businesses, particularly remote teams, for companies that desire to incorporate e-learning into their services may consider hiring e-learning freelancers. Hiring e-learning freelancers like E-learning consultants and Instructional designers be advantageous, especially if they lack the resources or inclination to establish a dedicated e-learning team.


Freelancing: People in a video production session.

Videographers are very vital in providing a captivating visual experience for viewers. Given the specialized nature of videography, numerous companies enlist freelance videographers’ services externally.

  • Commercial videographer
  • Director
  • Producer
  • Video Editor
  • Set designer
  • Production Assistant

Graphic Design

Graphic design plays a vital role in establishing the identity of every organization. Many companies opt to engage freelance graphic design services to assist in the creation of their brand and marketing materials. Graphic design freelance options that are available for exploration are such as;

Print designer

  • Brand identity designer
  • Packaging designer
  • Logo designer
  • Digital illustrator


A man typing on his laptop.
Courtesy: Tuko News

This freelance gig opportunity has experienced remarkable growth over the past few years. There has been a significant surge in freelance writing prospects with the introduction of job opportunity platforms like Fiverr and Upwork, among others: Writing gig has many options you can explore if you want to try it out. for example;

  • Content writer
  • Copywriter
  • Technical writer
  • White paper/ebook writer
  • Proofreader
  • Managing editor
  • Translator

Web Design

Web designing is a lucrative freelance gig that entails crafting visually appealing website layouts that captivate your client’s target audience. Below are a few typical roles fulfilled by freelance web designers.

  • User experience (UX) designer
  • Information architecture (IA) designer
  • User interface (UI) designer


Photography is essential across various domains, whether for business, publications, or weddings. Freelance photographers usually focus on one of the following specialized areas of photography.

  • Advertising photography
  • Fashion photographer
  • Wedding/portrait photographer
  • Photojournalist
  • Real estate photographer
  • Product photography

What Is Your Expected Income as a Freelancer?

To be an earning freelancer who can pay bills through it, you must first know your field of work, experience, and proficiency. Establishing a freelance business requires an initial time investment, during which new freelancers may experience limited or no earnings as they work on expanding their network and building a reputation. 

However, those who have already established contacts and potential projects before leaving full-time employment may have a head start. Irrespective of the industry, numerous studies indicate that seasoned freelancers tend to earn more than salaried employees. 

To understand your earning potential, it is advisable to conduct thorough research on the income levels of freelancers in your specific sector. Doing a bit of research in the freelance field you want to venture into will help you gauge how much you will be earning once you start working.

How to Find Freelance Jobs

Your first task as a freelancer will involve hunting for gigs and promoting your services to potential clients. It will require time to showcase your skills and offerings and gain recognition among potential clients. The following tips will help you find clients and build your brand;

Stay active on social media, like LinkedIn

logo of different social media platforms.
Courtesy: The Social Element

To expand your network and establish connections, actively participating on like Twitter and LinkedIn is advisable. Follow and engage with freelancers, influencers, and potential clients by interacting with their posts. Pose thoughtful questions or share relevant content with your network. 

This proactive approach will help you build relationships and foster meaningful connections in your professional sphere.

Join Freelance Job Sites

A image of a Fiverr logo.
Courtesy: Fiverr

Online freelance work platforms allow you to explore available jobs and projects posted by clients. These platforms also enhance your personal and business brand by offering an additional online avenue to showcase your services. Here are a few popular job sites where you can create a profile and browse through various job openings:

Join Freelance Communities

Building a network of professional contacts and fellow freelancers can greatly benefit your career by connecting you to new opportunities and potential clients. While it may appear counterintuitive, fostering positive relationships with your competitors can benefit your business.

Inform People You Are Close With About Your Freelance Business

Even if someone doesn’t require the services of a freelancer, they might think of your name when asked if they know anyone. When you have close friends or even your colleagues aware of your new business venture, you increase the number of recommendations you will get for a possible gig.

Establish Authority in Your Niche

Participate in industry events such as INBOUND, offer local courses, or conduct seminars and webinars. While this may not directly result in immediate employment, it effectively increases awareness of your business, benefiting others and encouraging them to enhance their skills.

Advantages of Freelancing

  • Ability to choose exactly which clients you work with
  • Flexible workload
  • Increased independence
  • It’s easy to set your value according to your skills
  • You could pay less in taxes

Disadvantages of Freelancing

  • Irregular cash flow.
  • Freelance life can become very lonely.
  • All your business responsibilities are down to you.
  • Instability can interrupt your work-life balance.

How to Stand Out as a Freelancer

Ensure You Deliver on Time

Meeting deadlines and consistently delivering work punctually or even before the set time is extremely crucial. It is the most effective approach to establish trust among your clients and cultivate a dependable reputation that will be spread through word of mouth. 

There may be instances when things become overwhelmingly busy; however, maintaining open communication with your clients is essential. They will be far more understanding if you proactively explain any potential delays in advance rather than having to pursue you for work long after the deadline has lapsed.

Pitch New Ideas

While it’s acceptable for some freelancers to strictly adhere to a given brief, going the extra mile can truly make you stand out. By actively engaging with the brief, asking pertinent questions, conducting additional research, and offering suggestions based on your expertise, you can elevate the quality of your work. Taking a proactive approach by presenting fresh ideas and exploring new avenues of collaboration with clients transforms your role from a temporary freelance resource to a reliable and trusted long-term partner. 

Build an Online Portfolio

A sample of an online portfolio.

Consider this as an opportunity to showcase your finest accomplishments and receive accolades. You can employ user-friendly platforms such as for a hassle-free online presence. Alternatively, you can construct a captivating website with many attractive features. Regardless of the approach, your portfolio must contain your most remarkable work and comprehensive contact information.


Freelancing presents a multitude of possibilities and advantages. It grants you the freedom to select your assignments, clients, rates, and working hours. Nonetheless, it is of utmost importance to thoroughly evaluate the advantages and disadvantages before venturing into a freelance career, ensuring that this professional path resonates with your preferences. 

While it holds true that dedicated effort is essential for generating income, it is equally crucial to steer clear of potential financial setbacks that may arise during your freelancing journey.


Hello, I am Lancederrique, a seasoned freelance writer, podcast show notes and article writer. With an impressive track record spanning three enriching years in the field of freelance writing and translation, I possess a unique blend of skills that make every word come alive on the page. My passion for the written word is beautifully evident in the captivating articles and podcast episodes I write. My talent has been recognized by renowned websites, earning me the privilege of contributing their exceptional storytelling prowess to various platforms including This one. If you are looking for a masterful touch that transforms ideas into engaging narratives, my qualities, and skills resonate with excellence in every keystroke.

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