You have already taken the first step to becoming an online freelancer and make money online. Congratulations! Maybe it is the freedom as a freelancer that appeals to you where you are your own boss. Maybe it’s the extra revenue you find exciting. Maybe you love to try yourself with new challenges. Or maybe that’s a whole fourth reason.
Whatever it is, embarking on becoming a freelancer is a fantastic and exciting journey. No matter what kind of freelance work you have in mind. One advantage of digital freelance is a high degree of flexibility. Many online freelancers will often start their careers working in the evenings or weekends. You can easily do that too!
However, it is also clear that existence as a digital freelancer is not just danced on roses. It consists of hard work and ups and downs. But with persistence and a focus on self-development, it’s not impossible to be successful and make more money online than you ever did on your full-time job. However, the way to do this usually costs some non-payment from bad customers and other unforeseen problems. That’s part of the charm!
It is also clear that there are some classic mistakes that you can make as a newly started freelancer or some specific pitfalls you can fall into. We, therefore, recommend that you go through the 10 steps chronologically and extensively. And if you have any questions about the process, or have already made your own experience of being an online freelancer, then use the comments section at the bottom of the page.
Become an “expert” in digital marketing
Many will be put off by the first step and think that becoming an expert in digital marketing is both difficult and time-consuming. And that’s just a bonus for you! This means that the competition is not as great as it could potentially be. The other bonus is that it does not necessarily have to be time-consuming or difficult to become an “expert” in online marketing.
Online courses in online marketing (preferably with certificates)
Online learning through digital courses is super smart, the supply is getting bigger and bigger and it is effective! There is no wasted time and transportation, there are no restrictions on learning pace. And in many cases, you can also get a certificate as proof of completion – which is great for landing your first freelance job and make money online.
Certificates give confidence. Trust gives customers.
Choose your Freelance niche to make money online
It is important that you are already acquainted with some of the various branches of online marketing.
If you are happy to write – and also have a little flair for it – then you can, for example, sell copywriting. If you are more into engineering and design then you may want to consider creating websites in WordPress. If you are happy to look at data, optimize and create measurable results, then you can do performance marketing where you help others with their advertising on Facebook OR Google. If you are a little more patient, you may want to consider selling search engine optimization.
There are good earning opportunities in all branches of being an online freelancer. Simply choose the one you want to bet
What to do now:
Have you decided which freelancer you want to be? Then it’s time to get started with Step 3 as you continue to research more on the topic you have chosen.
Register on Freelance portals
You have identified your niche and you are now ready to put your knowledge into practice. A quick way to get started with freelance is to create a profile on one or more of the freelance portals available on the web. These online portals are very popular, among other things, because the customer does not commit to, for example, fixed salaries, which he or she would do if the person had to hire a new employee, which is why it has become very widespread to use of online freelance portals. It is easy and convenient for both the customer and the freelancer. But which freelance portal should you choose?
In this step, we have compiled a handful of portals and compared them so that you can get a quick and easy overview of how the different platforms differ. Depending on which niche you want to work within
English online freelance portals for make money online
Upwork offers the “normal” freelance services such as programming, online marketing and copywriting. Where they differ slightly is by offering special tasks such as 3D drawing and preparation of legal documents. Upwork also differs a little on the price because you pay less in commission the more tasks you have performed.
Here you will find the usual freelance services.
Fiverr has a reputation for being cheap. Hence the name Fiverr which hints at $ 5, which is the smallest price a job on Fiverr can cost. However, don’t let that scare you away. You might even be able to take advantage of this as you can start by offering the very small tasks, build some experience and then start raising your prices as you get better and gain more confidence within your niche. At Fiverr you keep 80% of the task price. It’s free to register as a Freelancer on Fiverr.
Start doing Freelance work and make money online
You should now have set up one or more of the freelance portals that match your online services. That means the hard work starts now! It is now that your profile (or your brand, if you will) should be started. And it starts with completing your first successful freelance job. Maybe you have already made your first request or contacted someone seeking help in your freelance niche. If not, don’t despair. This step is not easy and it is here that the sheep are separated from the goats.
The first (freelance) task you solve will be of great importance to your future success, but don’t worry too much. Initially, it starts with getting your fingers in the first concrete tasks so you can create some results. You need to get started!
And how do you get started with freelance work?
The first step is that you realize that the work is not coming to you. You have to get to it. Even if you have signed up on the freelance portals and maybe created an excellent profile, it does not help to rest on the laurels now. You must seek out the customers and bid on their listings. And you must do your best.
And most importantly: Don’t be disappointed if / when you are not selected for the assignment. It may well take time to find the first customer as an online freelancer.
However, remember to be critical when choosing which tasks you want to bid on. At the beginning of your career as a digital freelancer, it’s not about having a high hourly wage and making a lot of money. It’s about delivering good results so you get satisfied, customers. Therefore, invite in tasks that you know you can solve satisfactorily – it is also best for your confidence and understanding, as a newly started freelancer.
What to do now:
Focus on getting your first customers and creating good results. Having trouble finding some freelance work for? Then seek out your network and offer some of your services for free or for a nominal amount.
Competences, experience & CV
Hopefully, you have solved a good portion of freelance tasks now. You have had some exciting cases. Some bad ones. Someone who made you reasonable money. Think about what your resume looks like now – is it time to renew it with your businesses (courses, certificates, results, competencies, customers, etc.) as a freelancer? And then spend just a little time updating your freelance profiles and your LinkedIn with the results you arrive at.
But most importantly, take the time to take stock of your freelance experience. Which tasks are exciting and satisfying? What tasks do you make (good) money online for? Is there a certain type of customer/company that is constantly bothering you? Is it time to step up your prices? Do you need to build your own sales channels? Has it brought you greater joy to be a freelancer, or is it time to stop and focus on something else?
It is important that you force yourself to stop the endless chores every now and then and instead take the time to reflect on your situation.
What to do now:
Reflection usually does not help much if no action is taken. Focus on the choices you have made through your deliberations and start implementing them. Tired of a certain type of task? Do not take them in the future, although it may seem anxiety-provoking to say no to work – it will certainly bring you forward in the long run.
Build your own portfolio/portal
You have now delivered your first successful freelance assignments and you have made sure to provide quality work so that your customers are satisfied. Your next step is to start building some kind of portfolio so you can show future prospects that you are good at what you do and they should, therefore, choose you. It is always good to have some concrete examples so that your potential customers can more easily see what you have done in the past. It helps them in their decision on whether to choose you. Your portfolio should be used as a tool to grow your freelance career. It is, therefore (as with so much else) incredibly important to build a strong portfolio where you can showcase your past projects. At the same time, a portfolio can help motivate you in your freelance work, because by having a place to showcase your work, you force yourself to always deliver great work of high quality. You have several options when you need to start building your portfolio. We review a few of them here, and at the same time highlight the advantages and disadvantages of the various.
Portfolio of your chosen freelance portal (s)
All the major online freelance portals allow their users to tell about themselves and showcase their portfolio, resume, experience, and skills. Previous customers also have the opportunity to write reviews and give stars.
It is easy for your prospects to get a quick overview of who you are and what you can do.
You have the opportunity for good exposure as there are many visitors to the portals every day.
You do not have to spend on hosting a website.
If the portal you are on closes their site (for example, in bankruptcy), you will no longer have access to your portfolio.
You compete for side by side with many other freelancers.
Portfolio on own website
Don’t be intimidated by the headline. Fortunately, setting up a website has become very easy and fast. You have many different options but we recommend WordPress as it is easy to get started and it can be expanded if you later get some ideas for new features on the site. WordPress is a CMS (Content Management System) and it is widely used and used by many millions of websites worldwide.
Alternatively, you can hire another freelancer to make the site for you.
You own your website and all its content.
You decide the design and expression of yourself.
Easier to scale.
A little more time-consuming.
Small expenses for hosting.
What to do now:
Now you have to decide how you want to build your portfolio. You don’t have to get stuck on one option or the other. For example, you can combine the two and continuously build your website when you have some time on your hands.
CVR no. and full-time jobs to make money online
When it comes to becoming an online freelancer, you will probably at least wonder how it goes with CVR numbers and full-time jobs at least twice. The first time before starting your career as a freelancer and the second time when it all starts to run from there.
Because it’s rarely the most important thing at the beginning of the road to becoming a freelancer: First, you only need a CVR number when you sell for more than $ 50,000 a year. Secondly, your current job status should also not prevent you from doing some freelance work in the evenings or weekends. But for the sake of good order, just point out to your boss that this is one thing you want to try. It is rarely any bad idea to be open about it. Especially if you finally want to take the plunge and quit your job later in the process to become a full-time freelancer, as it will often be an opportunity to be able to get your old job as a regular customer.
Obviously, it is a requirement that you must have a CVR number if you turn over (or expect to turn over) for more than DKK 50,000 a year. But you can also do this far before – as long as you are ready to commit more to the project. Namely, there are some formalities associated with being VAT registered. For example, you must pay VAT to SKAT several times a year if you deliver a positive result (which you should very much like to do).
When it comes to terminating a full-time job, it is very individual what is right for one to do – and it is almost impossible to come up with a universal guide.
What to do:
Your choice is entirely up to you. But don’t be put off by VAT filings and full-time jobs – it can all happen if you are clear with your choices.
Expand your network and reach
A strong network strengthens your brand as a freelancer. Personal recommendations are worth the gold. If a previous customer recommends you to someone in their network who is looking for someone to perform the service you offer, you are likely to start a relationship with him or her. Therefore, it is important that you continuously work to expand and maintain your network, thus reminding your existing customers that you still exist.
As an online freelancer, you will typically work very independently and most of your communication will be via mail, chat or phone calls.
There are various approaches to expanding their network. For example, you can start being active on the many different media available today (eg LinkedIn, Facebook groups and forums).
What to do now:
Consider how you can expand your network. If you already have a good network, think about how to enable it.
Keep learning to make money online
It is important that you continue to develop within your niche. The more skilled you become and the more experience you gain, the more you can afford to take for your work. Obviously, you naturally gain more experience as you perform tasks, but it may be a good idea to supplement with outside knowledge. Then you are ready for the (hopefully) more demanding tasks of the future.
In addition to developing your marketing skills, you also need to begin to consider the skills you need to grow your business over time.
What to do now:
Consider what business skills you need to grow your business.
Outsource your freelance jobs to a cheaper freelancer
This step is for those who never satisfy you. Always facing new challenges and something bigger. But it is especially for you who can see the fun of getting others to do your work – and at the same time make money from it! And much more money than you would otherwise be able to make if you did the freelance work.
The method is relatively simple, but it does not mean that there are no disadvantages and risks involved.
In its simplicity: Get other online freelancers cheaper than you to do your work. They send a bill to you – and you send an even bigger bill to the customer. It’s smart, and it works for REALLY many online freelancers. In this step, you move from an executive online freelancer and become more of an employer in your own digital agency of freelancers. And it can be really fun financially.