Many industries worldwide suffered from the coronavirus pandemic as businesses had to close down and lay off employees to survive. However, the freelance market thrived as more people preferred to freelance, and more companies worked with freelancers and virtual assistant companies, including VA companies in the Philippines. Many people who left their previous jobs were reportedly even earning equal or higher wages in their full-time jobs.
Because many people spend plenty of their time in their homes, they can use this time as an opportunity to work from home as a freelancer. Written below are the steps that aspiring freelancers must follow to get started.
Define Your Business Goals
It’s essential to have a clear goal before attempting to start as a freelancer since this will become the foundation for their career. Is the freelancing gig going to be a side job, a full-time job, or a simple stepping stone for another goal?
Aspiring freelancers must also consider what kind of freelance business they want to start. Knowing what kind of business the freelancer will want to start can keep overspending to a minimum when purchasing equipment. A graphic designer’s computer can serve a writer well, but a designer’s computer components aren’t exactly necessary for someone focusing only on writing articles.
Knowing the goals allows aspiring freelancers to plan out their expenses and potentially their future. Goal-setting lets people focus on something so they can move forward while looking at the big picture.
Look for a Profitable Niche
Once there’s already a goal set in place, freelancers must look for a profitable niche since there will be plenty of competitors in any industry. Other freelancers will likely be willing to charge lower rates to either get more jobs or simply because they live somewhere with lower costs of living.
Competing with other freelancers based on the price and the platforms that most freelancers use, like Fiverr, Upwork, or other freelancing sites, isn’t a good idea since it’s tough to get clients through them. It’s more advisable to look for an industry and client that values quality actively. Some services are also more profitable than others, and focusing on them can allow freelancers to profit with relatively less competition.
Freelance graphic designers can opt to focus on infographic designs for blogs, especially if this is what they’re interested in. Graphic designers can focus on being the best in that particular niche to become invaluable in it, to the point that they can charge a premium for their services.
Identify Your Target Clients
Besides finding a profitable niche, freelancers must also identify the right clients for their business. It’s important to make initial assumptions on who the freelancer wants to work with. One way to do so is by asking for referrals from friends, family, professional contacts, and companies that the freelancer previously worked for. Working with the initial clients gives freelancers an idea of which kinds of people they want to work with and which clients they’ll target for future projects. Narrowing down which clients the freelancers will work with allows them to take advantage of their prior experience working with similar clients and have a happy and successful client base that can advocate for them.
Freelancers can determine the best type of clients for them by asking the following questions:
- Which businesses will benefit from my services?
- Which businesses can pay the prices I charge?
- Can I connect with my clients on a personal level?
Appealing to a well-selected niche and finding the right clients, a freelance Filipino virtual assistant will find that they’re the most preferred person to help such clients with their projects. These clients can also refer the freelancer to other businesses that need such services.
Set the Right Price
Setting a price is vital for every freelancer to get started in their business. No freelancer must allow their clients to dictate how much their services are worth or to base their price on how much their competitors are charging. Freelancers must charge according to the value of the services they provide.
No price is too high as long as the services are worth that much; the freelancer only needs to look for the right client to pitch their services. Freelancers must also take care not to overvalue their services since this prompts their clients to look for another freelancer who can deliver the same output at a lower price. Undervaluing must also be avoided since this can lead to others taking advantage of the low price or basing the freelancer’s value on the price and looking for a higher-priced service since they think it’s better.
Build an Online Portfolio
Having a solid online presence allows freelancers to be discoverable when companies look for the best virtual assistant services on the net. A portfolio website gives potential clients a first impression on the freelancer, their work, and their past clients’ experiences. A site allows freelancers to communicate their services and why they’re the best choice and not others.
Investing time in updating their social media profiles is also ideal as long as it is a relevant platform. The freelancer can regularly update their social media profiles to appear in relevant newsfeeds to learn about their business.
A site must be able to communicate the freelancer’s specialty through display examples of their work, highlight relevant skills and accomplishments, list contact information, display testimonials, and have updated information about their work.
Showcase Your Sample Services on Your Portfolio
Once the freelancer has an online platform they can use to showcase their work, it’s now time to create examples of the freelancer’s services. One way to do this is by creating content as if they were hired to do it on their own website.
Freelance web designers must have a well-made portfolio site since everything about it will represent what they can build for their clients. Graphic designers must feature images that are representative of what they offer clients. Writers must write blog posts that show the quality of their work.
Choose Your First Clients Carefully
An individual freelancer has a limited amount of time available for work, especially since they still need to source new clients and handle other matters that aren’t work-related. The limited time effectively keeps freelancers from accepting all of their clients’ offers. Freelancers must choose their first clients wisely to make full use of their time.
Who the freelancer works with can influence how other potential clients think of the freelancer’s brand. It’s vital to choose the right client since they can also contribute to the website portfolio’s contents and provide good referrals in the future.
Mention Your Target Clients in Your Personal Content
When freelancers write content on their personal blogs, they should make it a point to mention potential clients in their articles seamlessly. Freelancers need to plan on what content to write for the site to reach out to the clients they want to work with in the future.
Once an article mentioning a potential future client is published, the freelancer can message them to let them know about it. Most companies acknowledge the mention and reply with a short message, a thumbs up, or an edit request. The person receiving the email can also share the message to the company’s social channels, and there’s a chance that they’ll remember it and hire the freelancer in the future.
Learn to Pitch Yourself to Potential Clients
Knowing how freelancers can pitch themselves is essential to be able to convert their conversations into clients. This skill is as valuable as gold in the long run, especially when it grows and needs more clients. When starting a freelancing business, the freelancer must be able to communicate their strengths and skills to get a client.
Don’t Lose Your Day Job for Your Freelance Business
Not all freelancers depend solely on their freelancing business for their daily expenses, and many still have day jobs. Whatever you do, don’t do anything that will jeopardize your employment since you’ll still need it to sustain your freelancing business.
Do not breach any contracts you’ve signed with your employer, do not work on your freelancing business during office hours, and do not use company resources for your freelance work. These things invite disaster and will likely lead to the freelancer’s premature unemployment.
The freelancing business will need ample resources to start, likely from a stable day job.
Should hard-working Filipina freelancers have a hard time starting their freelancing business, they can opt to join a virtual assistant company Philippines and become a part of a team of virtual assistants.