How To Start Freelancing And Become A Successful Freelancer

How To Start Freelancing And Become A Successful Freelancer: Freelancing Guide 2021

Choosing to freelance over a 9-5 job may be a good idea as a standalone gig or to supplement your income.  Your skills could help you earn from home according to your time.

A basic rule applies in freelancing; the more you work, the more you will earn. This can be a more attractive alternative to a 9-5 job where your earnings are capped according to your salary.  A career in freelancing is promising if you build it in the right way.  This article will guide you through the steps from the beginning.

Starting is difficult and the first step will always be. Once you find the right way, you start to live your dreams.

1. Choose Your Skill 

Choose your skill

As a beginner, the first and most important thing is to learn a niche skill in which you have a keen interest and enjoy enough to keep engaging with the work.

Think about your skills and the sources of where you acquired these i.e. a part-time or full-time job, a paid or unpaid internship, work as a volunteer, or your studies . This experience is like having money in the bank and building further skills is interest.

Should you want to choose a niche where you have limited experience, you will have to consider the financial investment in training before offering services.

After learning, it will be important to polish your skill. You learn everything but don’t use it anywhere then there will be no benefit of learning. Create 5-10 mockup projects, thinking about how the client would view them.  Consider their questions, any concerns they may raise, and possible outcomes.  Learn to view your skill from a consultative point of view. 

Top Paid Skills that you could choose in Freelancing

Top Paid Skills that you could choose in Freelancing


  • PR Management
  • Software Development
  • Website Development & Design
  • Finance Consultant
  • Animation
  • Content Writing
  • Script Writing
  • Graphic Designing
  • Video Editing
  • Sketch and Portrait Making
  • Translator
  • Admin Support
  • Data Entry

Learn more about Freelancing here

Note: List is in the order of high to low for income generation.  At the time of this writing, these are the the most highly compensated skills.

2. Make A Great Portfolio 

Make a Great Portfolio

Let’s suppose you have learned the skill well enough to earn projects.  The next step is to make a portfolio highlighting your offering.  A portfolio is a file or web page that puts your skill on display for the client.  These can also be constructed online using Squarespace or Wix.  As a beginning freelancer, your portfolio helps you to earn a project.  Make your content specific to the client need and personalize your presentation

To make a great portfolio, take a look at the best portfolios regarding your skills. You need to match the standard.  

3. Announce Yourself  {Voice out}

Announce Yourself

Establish a brand that is simple and easy to remember while speaking to your personality.  Promote yourself, join a group of people in the same and related fields to learn from them. Find resources to learn the art of consultation and negotiation, as well as researching the market to establish pricing.  

There are many freelancing platforms to choose from as a platform to showcase your work.  Once you reach a certain amount from a single client payment, they take less of a commission.  Choose wisely.

4. Choose Your Freelancing Platform Wisely 

Freelancing Platforms

The best freelancer platform for freelancers ,

A. Upwork 

Upwork is my personal favorite.  I have earned a lot of projects through this platform.  One advantage is that they protect the work of the freelancer by submitting the payment to you before the project commences.  The client is reassured that you are working on the given project by sending a screenshot of your work to the client every 10 minutes.  They have more than 12 million freelancers.  Competition is fierce, but they pay the highest rate for your work.  This can either be delivered as an hourly or fixed rate depending on your preference.


They charge a 20% commission if lifetime earnings from a single client is below $500.  

Commissions decrease to 10% when your lifetime earning with a client is more than $10,000. (is this correct, I’m not sure where the 5% comes in because the sentence is not complete).

B. Freelancer 

Freelancer has more than 20 skills which you can review to see if there are compatible opportunities.  This platform operates on an open bid system where you bid for a certain project without knowing what you competitors are charging.  This may be an advantage as well as a disadvantage.

Sometimes you have settled for less than the market rate, but you could potentially learn how to bid correctly for a certain project (how, if the competitor bids are not disclosed?  What do you learn about bidding?).  The commission on this platform is a flat 10% of earnings on a project.  This site is more client-friendly from my perspective.

C. Fiverr 

Know the lingo:  Fiverr labels projects as gigs.  They provide nearly everything at only $5.00.  This is suitable mainly for the student who is pursuing studies and can spare a limited amount of time for project work.  This can be a teaching tool for new freelancers to see how the process works.  Service charges of 20% are common for every transaction which can reduce your income.

D. PeoplePerHour 

A friendlier platform for freelancers who are working consistently.  A commission of 7.5%  if charged if you earn approximately $300, but anything below this amount is billed at 20% of earnings.

Additional Platforms to Research:

99design– Suitable for web and graphic designers

Freelance writing gigs– Suitable for writers– Suitable for teachers who provide online instruction

Flexjob– (In the US this is only a job board for people looking for remote work with companies).

Behance– Interesting for graphic and logo designers, sketches, portrait photographers).

Note: The rate and features are current at this writing.  Features and rates are always subject to change.  Read the policies of any platform thoroughly before starting.

5. Tips When You Become A Freelancer 

Tips When You Become A Freelancer

To grow as a freelancer, you need to have some patience.  There is no rocket science behind this, but you do have to follow some best practices.

A. Go For The Experience 

At first, you should be clear about your priorities, money or work.  Sometimes you need to do some projects that pay less to gain experience.  This builds your reputation and improves your rating on the sites.  In the future you will find clients who will pay you according to your rate.  When starting out, don’t settle for less than the minimum paid in the industry.

B. Take A Project In Which You Have Confidence 

Don’t take a project or skill in which you have limited knowledge or skill.  This will upset the client and ruin your rating. when you feel you are 100% suitable for the project, then go for the bid of it.  

C. Complete Project On Time 

Understand the value of time, time is the real money. Clients pay you for your valuable time.  Keep the principle in mind of underpromise and overdeliver.  This will solidify you as a trusted partner for clients.

D. Make More Connections 

A network of connections is very important as a freelancer.  Spend some time building new connections and always recommend those you’ve had a good experience with so the favor will be returned.

E. Increase Your Rate Slowly 

Be patient, you will earn what you want. Don’t change your rate rapidly.  As you gain more experience, your value increases and consequently your rate.

6. Pros And Cons Of Freelancing 


  • Flexible Working Hours
  • Work / Life Balance
  • You could choose when to rest
  • You can choose your hours and schedule 
  • Earning potential is capped only by your schedule
  • No need for any offices or travelling
  • Brand yourself


  • Sometimes you don’t know when to rest
  • Sometimes you miss your office environment
  • Procrastination may have effect on your work

7. At A Glance 

At Glance

Freelancing offers a range of opportunities and is an attractive alternative to working in a 9-5 role.  You may also begin as a freelancer on the side while building your business.  There is no rocket science needed to start freelancing.  As a beginner, you should master your skill and choose the right platform where you will share your talent.  

Freelancing is hard work, from building a brand to becoming more recognized as a trusted collaborator to work with.  We hope this article has helped you learn more about freelancing and inspires you to start.

Important Links

  1. Are you looking forward to growing in your freelancing career? Click here to book a Free Consultation Call.
  2. Connect with Umesh Raaj, (My Mentor on International Freelancing)? View more about Umesh here.
  3. Do you want to read Why is Freelancing is Attractive In 2021, Click here to read the Freelancing.

Are you interested to get Free E-Book on Client Success Blueprint, to know how freelancing actually works & how to help your client to achieve success? The exact blueprint is available in the Chatbot. You can claim it now.

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