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How to Start Freelancing in 6 Steps

Behance dashboard and search tools page.

How to Start a Freelance Business in 5 Simple Steps

However, if you succeed, freelancing gives you the opportunity to work a job where you choose your own hours, do work you love, and potentially make a much higher salary than that of a 9-5.

This is especially true for the technical aspects of the business, like setting up your social media, or website. Most social media platforms have the option to create a business account, so you can optimize your profile for work and use it to attract clients.

And creating a website can be done in a day – with web hosting providers offering templates for every industry and even including stock photos and examples of web copy. Bluehost even offers marketing services alongside its web hosting, so you can get everything set up using their expertise within a few hours:

Bluehost marketing services request a consultation page.

The Difficult Parts of Starting a Freelance Business

If you don’t have a background in marketing or sales, reaching out to clients and convincing them to hire you can be a big step out of your comfort zone. It’s also difficult to compete with other freelancers who may have more experience or lower prices (or both).

Of course, it’s not impossible to find clients as a new freelancer, but you do have to be prepared for a lot of rejection. It takes a thick skin and a lot of patience to keep working to start a business that might not yield immediate results.

It can also be hard learning how to navigate the workload and be your own boss. If you haven’t worked for yourself before, you’ll have to learn how to say “no” to work that isn’t a good fit, how to manage your time efficiently, and how to stay organized with multiple clients and deadlines.

It might take a while for you to find a system that works for you, and to feel like the time you’re investing is worth the money you’re making. Patience is an essential skill in freelancing, but it’s not always an easy one to learn.

Wondering How to Start Freelancing? Take It One Day at a Time.

Freelancing is one of those pursuits in life that must be experienced to be understood. Each time you encounter a new challenge and find an appropriate solution, you’re that much stronger. But you have to go through this process. If you were to airdrop into an established freelancer’s career, you’d be overwhelmed. There’d be invoices, networking meetings, and tax-related obligations.

In this way, your freelancing career is similar to starting a family. When an infant or fur baby comes into your home, there’s a long list of new skills and insights that you’ll acquire. Then you might have a second child or bring another pet into your home. Your prior knowledge will greatly serve you during this transition, and you’ll also master some new aspects of having a larger family.

Incremental learning is the best way to tackle these new and exciting parts of our lives. If you were to go from 0 to 60 and suddenly have a few children or pets in your home, the shock would be intense. In fact, burdened by all the things you didn’t know, you’d probably lack the awareness and mental clarity to naturally pick up on the necessary nuances as you go.

Start creating new advocates

It is so much easier to find clients amongst people who already know, like, and trust you. So be absolutely sure you’ve talked to everyone you can before doing any direct outreach to strangers.

Cold outreach vs. warm introductions

Have you heard the phrases “cold outreach” or “warm introduction?” When someone says “cold” outreach it means there is no previous conversation or connection to the person you’re reaching out to.

The goal of direct outreach

Choose your outreach targets

So start reaching out to people you truly want to work with. Reach out to well-connected people in your community. If you can create an advocate out of someone who is well-connected, that’s a powerful advocate to have.

How to perform effective outreach

I’ve been following your Instagram for a while now, and it really looks like you do an incredible job finding dream homes for your clients! They all have such great things to say about you.

I’m a little new to the real estate space, and I’m trying to talk with some realtors to learn a little more about it. I’d love to ask you a few questions to get your perspective. Do you have 20 minutes some time in the next few weeks to get on the phone?

But first and foremost, these conversations are about making a great first impression. You need to be interested in that person (just like any of your advocates) and ask them questions about their work.

Outreach requires patience

But if you have enough advocates for your business walking around the world talking to people in their own lives, chances are that one of them will refer someone to you. The more advocates you have, the higher your odds.


You should have some clarity around the skills you’re going to leverage as a freelancer. You should know how you’re going to package them as a service, and sell them as a solution to your target clients.

Start building your portfolio to show your potential clients. Whether you plan to work with clients directly, subcontract, or work through freelance jobs websites, you will need to show off your skills.

You’ll need to spend a lot of time building and rebuilding relationships with your advocates. Reach out to them – line up some conversations to find out what they’re up to and let them know that you’re beginning to freelance. Use that Elevator Speech whenever anyone asks what you’re up to.

And once you’ve reconnected with your advocates, it’s time to create new advocates. Outreach can feel scary and difficult, but remember it’s not about selling a project – it’s about selling a conversation.