Becoming a Freelancer: What Steps to Consider

A mom working as a freelancer
  • Freelancing provides flexibility and higher earning potential compared to traditional jobs.
  • Identify a preferred industry and build a comprehensive portfolio showcasing skills and achievements.
  • Join freelancer-specific organizations, attend industry events, and leverage social media to build a solid professional network.
  • Industries with high freelancer demand include marketing, accounting, IT/software development, and social media management.
  • By 2028, the number of freelancers in the US will reach 90.1 million.

In recent years, freelancing has become an increasingly popular option for those seeking flexible work arrangements. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Upwork, the largest global freelancing platform, the number of freelancers in the United States is expected to reach 90.1 million by 2028. This represents a significant increase from the 57.3 million freelancers today.

One of the main benefits of freelancing over a traditional 9-to-5 work setup is its flexibility. Freelancers can choose when and where they work, allowing them to balance their personal and professional lives better. They can also take on multiple projects at once, allowing them to earn more money while still maintaining a manageable workload.

Another advantage of freelancing is the potential to earn more money. According to a report by Payoneer, the average hourly rate for freelancers in the United States is $28. This is significantly higher than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Also, freelancers can negotiate their rates to ensure they are paid what they are worth.

However, starting a freelancing career is not without its challenges. You will require a lot of preparations to ensure your success. Here are some steps to consider when becoming a freelancer:

Identify Your Industry

When starting a freelancing career, it is essential to determine the industry or industries you want to focus on. Some of the most popular industries for freelancers include marketing and accounting. Here are some specifics about each sector:


Marketing is an industry in high demand for freelancers. As companies strive to reach as many potential customers as possible, they often require the skills of marketers who can create an effective online presence, increase their search engine rankings, and improve their social media engagement. Some examples of marketing freelancing services include brand consultancy, SEO optimization, and email marketing. It would be best to consider learning how to become a marketing professional to help you prepare for the career.


Another industry where freelance work is highly valued is accounting. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals often seek freelance accountants’ help to maintain their businesses’ financial health, manage their taxes, and file tax returns. Freelance accounting services include bookkeeping, tax preparation and advice, and financial analysis.

IT and Software Development

The IT and software development industry is also an excellent choice for freelancers. Freelance developers can help businesses design, develop, and implement technology solutions such as websites, mobile apps, and e-commerce platforms. Some examples of freelance IT services include web design, app development, and software consulting.

Social Media Management

Another option for freelancers is social media management. This involves managing a company’s social media presence, creating content and campaigns, strategizing to increase engagement, and monitoring analytics. Freelance services in this area include content creation, digital strategy development, and influencer marketing.

Build a Comprehensive Portfolio

Providing portfolio to potential clients

Building a comprehensive portfolio is essential for a successful freelancing career. A portfolio is like a showcase of your capabilities, skills, and experience and serves as your marketing tool to potential clients. It can give your clients the confidence to entrust their projects in your hands, and it’s often the deciding factor in whether or not they choose to work with you. Therefore, building an impressive portfolio that highlights your strengths and achievements is crucial.

A comprehensive portfolio shows your expertise in a particular industry or field and demonstrates your capabilities to handle various projects. It helps potential clients to see your work and understand your skills and the value you bring to their business. An excellent portfolio should highlight your skills, showcase your recent work, and provide insights into your processes, methodologies, and results. A well-curated portfolio can give you a competitive edge when bidding on projects or landing a new client.

Another critical aspect of building a portfolio is enabling potential clients to gauge your work style and creativity. This insight provides clients with an understanding of your skills and style, which sets the foundation for a successful working relationship. Furthermore, as your portfolio expands, it shows your evolution as a freelancer and the growth in your skills over time. This can help establish you as an experienced professional, earning you more credibility and higher rates.

Establish a Strong Professional Network

Building a strong professional network

In freelancing, you are responsible for marketing your services, and an excellent way to do this is by building a solid professional network. This enables you to build relationships with potential clients, showcase your skills and expertise, make new connections, ask questions, and receive advice from other professionals in the industry.

The best way to establish a solid professional network is by joining freelancer-specific organizations or attending meetups and events related to your chosen field. These activities can help you make valuable contacts that could benefit future projects or collaborations. Additionally, leveraging social media tools like LinkedIn can help you connect with people relevant to your industry and keep up with trends in the freelance market.

Final Thoughts

Freelancing is an attractive option for many seeking flexible and rewarding work arrangements. However, preparing and taking the necessary steps before starting a freelancing career is essential. Following these tips should help you get started on the right foot and ensure your success as a freelancer.

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