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Thinking of Freelancing? 5 Things to Do First

If you’re not freelancing already, you will be soon.

If freelancers are happier and making more money, what’s holding you back from picking up some work on the side side or going full on solopreneur?

Well, we’re pretty sure there’s an obstacle or two:

Finding clients and having a full pipeline of work.

Before you dive into life as a freelancer, here are five things you should do to help avoid a future dry spell that lasts longer than you’d like.

1. Update your portfolio.

You’ve done great work, now show it off! When you go into the world of freelance and are pitching your services, make sure your portfolio reflects the work that you want to do. Haven’t done any copywriting work? Make a mock project for your dream company.

Quality > Quantity. Don’t be discouraged if you only have 1-2 projects under your belt. When it comes to your portfolio, having quality work that you’re proud should be the focus rather than putting everything you’ve ever done on a site.

2. Do research on your rate.

Don’t just set a rate for your services blindly. Survey fellow freelancers. Read blogs of freelancers with similar skillset. The Domino freelance community is a great way to meet other freelancers and learn from their experience. The Bonsai Rate Explorer is also a great resource to start with. Make sure you know you are valuing yourself properly before you go out and pitch your services.

3. Make it easy for people to learn about you.

Make it easy for people to learn more about you and your work by including your page in your email signature and Twitter bio. This way, when someone comes across your social media sites or you send a cold-email, someone can meet you and see all of your awesome work.


P.S. Use Gmail? Use our Chrome Extension to easily add your page into every email you send.

4. Let everyone know you are freelancing.

Your best resource when it comes to finding your first freelance gig is your network. When you decide to make the plunge into the world of freelancing, tell everyone! Tweet it out, send a mass email, post it to your Instagram – do it all so that everyone knows you’re looking for work. Don’t forget to change your Spotlight to ‘Hire me’ so that anyone interested can reach out to you directly from your page.

5. Get discovered.

To increase the chances of you finding clients, put yourself out there! Participate in Twitter chats based on your skillset, attending local networking events, or add interests to your page. When you add interests to your page, you’ll appear on our Discover Pages, where other people can discover you and learn more about you, your work, and your goals.

Zoë Björnson is an Editorial + Social Media Coordinator with She is a graduate of Tulane University. You can find her on Twitter @kzoeb.