You’ve quite your job. You’ve changed your LinkedIn title to ‘freelance web designer’.
Suddenly your offended by commutes. Now all you need… are clients.
In the beginning of your freelance career. Assume that you know nothing. The best approach early on, is the shotgun approach.
Cover as much ground as possible, do everything, learn what works, continue what does and stop what doesn’t.
Within a relatively short amount of time you should start to meet clients.
The beauty of freelancing is that your bank balance will be an exact reflection of the effort you put in.
You need to be consistent with hard work over an extended period of time and don’t get disheartened if things don’t work out right away.
Freelancing is an extremely lucrative career if you do it right. I did it right off the bat out of university and now I’ve been freelancing for around 7 years and I’ve got some great clients.
I know how difficult it is to begin so I’ve compiled a list of freelancer portals. My advice to you is to take the time you need to go through every single one of these links and create a profile. Upload examples of your work, a profile picture and links to you CV and website.
This is worth the effort and you are likely to get clients by doing this.
Upward have been around for a while now. These guys are possibly the biggest company on the list. Here you can find work in everything from virtual assistants to mobile and web developers. Make sure that your freelance bio is professional and persuasive. If you can show that you’re competent at what you do then you can be pretty successful on this platform.
People per hour is very similar to Upwork. I use this platform a lot to find people to help me with marketing my side projects. There will be lots of competition here but again if you can show that you do good quality work and you speak well then you should be fine. Personally I don’t like the UI on this one but I still use it a couple of days a week.
Fiverr is great. Again they’ve been going for a long time so they have a large community. What you’ll find is that clients on these sites want good quality work done fast for a reasonable price. Fiver allows you to create your own offers which get promoted as Gigs around Fiverr. You can also add additional services for e.g. for an extra $10 I will add a contact form.
Uno Juno is slightly different to some of the other sites on this list. Yuno Juno sometimes require you to go into the office and work full time as a contract employee. This is where the big money is at as contractors can command premium rates. I have a friend who built a very good career out of this site alone.
Freelancer is a lot more digitally focused and it has over 20million users. Freelancer has been established for a long time and I hear great things from people that use this service. Make getting good reviews your top priority as this is how other clients will judge you. Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations and when you get them re-post them across your social network sites.
Guru have over 1.5 million users across the world. All have varying skill levels. Make sure that your freelancer profile page is professional, well written and with lots of examples. Presentation is key with all of this. You could even extend your services to see if there are any more strings you can add to your bow.
Now I’ve not personally used Project4Hire but i included it because I 100% believe that as a newbie freelancer you have to try everything.
Even when you start getting work from the links above, please don’t become complacent, keep pushing your profiles and try to build up a waiting list of clients. That way you can be more fussy and charge more money.
Formerly Freelance Switch this company has been bought by Envato hence the name change Envato Studio. It offers freelancers for all aspects of digital from video and animation to websites and programming. The invite community grosses over $200m so these guys re ones to watch.
I’ve done this myself and I’ve not looked back. I also work with lots of freelancers and we’re a league of our own. It really is worth the jump.
If you have any more to add to this list please just let me know in the comments.
When you start to get work please drop me a message and let me know.
Good luck on your journey to becoming a freelance web designer.
Jack O’Donoghue is a web designer and the creator of Blockety HTML website templates. He’s designed styleguides and websites for well known brands including HSBC, Vodafone, Samsung, IBM and Aviva.