On my previous article, I provided a glimpse of what online freelancing is. Literally, it is working online – doing work for a client that can be done on your computer that needs to be accomplished real time, near real time, or deferred.
Since now you have a better idea on what it is, I bet you’re asking “How do I start?”
Here’s an easy guide
It’s easy if you have a guide so you’ll have a sense of direction. I have been working online for the past 2 years, I have had several jobs and have accomplished dozens and dozens of tasks online. I’d like to share what I have learned.
Here are some of my tried and tested tips on starting this type of work:
- Audit your skills – it is time to update your resume if you have not done so for a long time. If your background is from the call center your skills if dissected to tasks can be customer service, chat support, telemarketing, data entry, transcription (yes, like encoding customer info and notes to a CRM), internet research, and more. If you come from other industries, you can dissect your skills by going back to the basic daily tasks that you do; they may look like this: auditing inventory, encoding stocks, bookkeeping, etc. The key activity here is to list them down, literally. Also, you need to know what it is that you are really good at, a unique talent that you have because it will come in handy as well.
- Computer with Internet connection – you need to have one with decent speed (2MBps and up) and is reliable. If you don’t have one, be resourceful – you may work from a friend or relative’s house to start with, there are coworking spaces too. Most of the time clients will ask you to send your internet speed.
- Choose an online workplace – start with two to three (like Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, Guru, etc); create an account and update your profile. This is where your resume and list of skills will come in handy; highlight on your profile your special skills and talent. If you have a portfolio or a verifiable past job, be sure to highlight it on your profile. Reviews and proof of quality of work is “currency” in online freelancing, the more you have the higher chances you get hired. Choosing a platform is a matter of preference, so test out a few so you can see where you’re most comfortable with.
- Find Work – you’re all set, and just like looking for traditional jobs you need to apply for jobs that match your skills; that is why it is important and I have to emphasise that you have a list. I must tell you that when you start bidding for jobs it is not going to be easy, the competition is global. You need to learn the ropes of applying for jobs online. Each one has his/her own learning curve, so it’s ok. It might take you days or weeks before getting a job.
- Learn and adapt – as you browse and search for jobs, surely you’ll come across job posts that require skills that you have but you have not listed, list them down immediately. You’ll be surprised of the jobs and skills that are being sought out – most are mainstream, some quirky and interesting, and some are very odd (like “Looking for someone to coach me for my upcoming job interview”). You’ll learn the trend and you’ll learn about jobs that we thought are not jobs; my actual example is someone paid me $10 to read his short story and provide him an honest feedback. Feedback has price, huh?
You can start ASAP
So if you’re still on ropes, I hope this gave you a better sense on how to get started, hopefully when you take that leap these tips helped you.
If you’re reading this and have additional tips, please feel free to add and comment.
On my next article, I’ll share about how to figure out Upwork.