If you’re looking into how to become a freelancer, you probably already have a skill-set that you know is valuable. You’re experienced, driven, and ready to work on your own terms and make more money. The trick now is to transition to freelancing in a way that gives you the most bang for your buck with the least administration and back-and-forth with clients. This is where an online store can be a huge asset.

This week on FounderU we’re looking at ways to make the transition into freelancing as seamless as possible using an online store. While it may not seem instantly intuitive, an online store can be a powerful tool for centralizing your freelance business into a single website. Don’t buy it? Read on for an quick exploration of the ways that an online store can supercharge your freelance career.

How to Become a Freelancer Using an Online Store: 8 Hacks

  1. Know What You Want

  2. Decide What Value You Will Provide

  3. Determine What You Charge

  4. Make a Good First Impression

  5. Sell Your Services Through an Online Store

  6. Network

  7. Get Feedback and Share Your Accomplishments

  8. Keep Track of Your Expenses and Save

Pin this post for later:

 

 

  1. Know What You Want

Chances are that you are exploring how to start freelancing as a way to solve some issues with your current role. Now, we’re not saying that anything is wrong, per se. But, a lot of folks choose to go freelance in the hopes of improving their lives and careers. Think about what it is that you really hope to gain as you consider how to become a freelancer. So before we dig too far into how to become a freelancer, let’s talk about the reasons why and how those can help shape your eventual business.

For some people, being their own boss is the key to happiness. It takes them closer to running their own business, and having a greater control over their work life balance. But there are a host of other reasons you may be thinking about how to become a freelancer. Maybe you just want a side hustle to slash your student debt. Or maybe you feel that working alone or one-on-one would be less stressful than coordinating daily with a team. Perhaps you view freelancing as a strategic move than can help you shift career paths.

Whether you write content, design brilliant graphics, or develop software, your skill-set is as unique as you are. Whether or not you realize it now, there is a history to your work that sets you apart, and has already established the framework of a potential niche market. You’re great at what you do, so before you charge into this full throttle, it’s beneficial to reflect on what you hope to gain by freelancing.

Reflect on what your best-performing projects have been and where your strengths lie. Understanding these will be key as you start competing for projects against other freelancers. At the same time, consider which aspects of your work have brought you the most joy and stimulated your intellectual curiosity. Figuring out how to become a freelancer is all about taking your skill set, and making it work for you so that you can focus on projects you love.

A man pulling out a laptop on a camping trail shows how to become a freelancer to better fit your lifestyle. Selz makes selling online seriously simple.

  1. Decide What Value You Will Provide

Some folks are tackling how to become a freelancer because they want to work full time as self-employed professionals. Other individuals may want to freelance part time to supplement a stable job, a career in the arts, or even raising a family. Freelancing is great because it gives you a tremendous amount of flexibility, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know what you want going in. The driven consultant may feel disheartened if they don’t get enough clients and billable hours right away, just as an artist may feel overwhelmed by taking on too many graphic design projects once they start cutting into his or her real job. Identify how many hours you want to work before you begin, and this will allow you to keep your life in balance.

Some of your clients may want to hire you for a part-time freelance position, and this is a great opportunity if you’re looking for a little stability as you learn how to start freelancing. Other opportunities can be a little more challenging. Figuring out how to become a paid freelancer and make a good living means taking on projects with clear objectives, and defined start and end dates. When applying to agreeing to such projects, it’s important that you can clearly define the value you will provide.

Let’s say, for example, that you want to work as a consultant for social media. Will you be taking over posting on your clients’ social media accounts for a defined period of time? Will this include responding to comments? Reaching out to influencers on those platforms? If so, it’s important to outline this in your agreement. Alternately, maybe that’s not what you’re aiming for. If your goal is to create a social media strategy, and have someone within the organization actually execute, while you report on it and tweak the strategy, that’s something else entirely. Be sure to specify what actions you will be taking, and what results you aim to achieve.

Decide what range of value you will provide, and at what price points. This is where an online store can be a fantastic tool. Where projects will generally vary in scope, time-involved, and intensity, a personalized store can feature your different offerings as “packages”, essentially putting forward a price for an amount of work that you can standardize. You can offer logo design at a particular price point, say, or set a specific cost for differing lengths of content.

It’s important to figure out what exactly your labor is worth, but how do you set these prices in the first place?

A hiker with a compass represents valuable assets. How you provide value to a client is how you become a freelancer successfully. Selz and FounderU make selling online seriously simple.

  1. Determine what you charge

You’re probably going to offer different levels of value of value to different clients, and it’s important to charge accordingly. First of all, think about how much money you need to make, and how many hours you want to work weekly. If you’re down for a forty hour work week, that’s easy math. But if you’re learning how to become a freelancer part time to start, it’s going to require some wiggle room.

You may set your sights on finding a select few high-level clients who can pay a high hourly rate for the services you provide. Alternatively, you may consider working at a discounted rate with a venerable client, such as a non-profit, that can round out your portfolio nicely.

If you need a little extra guidance figuring out your hourly rate, check out Ryan Robinson’s freelance calculator. It takes your hourly rate, taxes, and expenses into consideration to help you make the most informed decision about your rate.

A woman with a fantastic manicures calcultates her hourly rate with pen and paper. How to to start freelancing and how to become a freelancer successfully hinges upon charging enough. Selz and FounderU make selling online seriously simple.

  1. Make a good first impression

It’s easy to think that freelancing is all about who you know and networking, but that’s not the whole truth. You can probably get away with not having business cards for awhile, but your online presence had better represent your skill set, and your high standards.

Nothing kills a client relationship faster than a sloppy website. Luckily Selz makes it easy create a gorgeous, functional web presence. Sleek, pre-designed templates allow you to customize a polished online home for your business. A dedicated blog page makes it easy to populate your site with content. Your contact page makes it incredibly simple for prospective and current clients to get in touch with you, eliminating navigation frustration.

A flatlay of a photographers tools of the trade including portfolio and cameras, very well organized. To master how to become a freelancer, or how to start freelancing, you have to present your wor in an organized, simple, beautiful way. Selz and FounderU make selling online seriously simple.

  1. Sell Your Services Through an Online Store

Getting new clients can be time consuming, and tricky. If you thought interviewing for a regular job was tricky, try interviewing with clients, gunning for freelance work. All those chats over coffee can really start to dig into your hours. Instead, use an online store to sell your freelance services online.

This has a few benefits. First of all, this brings clients to you, as an alternative to chasing down leads. Secondly, the ball’s in your court now. You have time to prepare for and arrange an online meeting on your preferred platform. Third, you can structure your recommendations as a pitch. Give your client valuable insights, and highlight how much could be achieved if they sign on to work with you for a longer time frame, or with a specific goal in mind. Again, this is a product you can offer through your online store- and remember, when you do this with Selz, the payment processing is already taken care of.

Even if these meetings don’t lead to longer term opportunities, you’ve still benefitted. You’ve not only made some money, but you have gained experience in researching and devising a strategy, pitching to clients, and presenting your ideas. This is a crucial element of freelancing, and the old idiom stands true; practice makes perfect.

Some freelance businesses are actually built entirely around these types of appointments. And with Selz, it’s easy to integrate a calendar or scheduling program to help give clients more flexibility. Health coaches, stylists, and personal trainers all benefit from selling one-on-one consultations online as a core facet of their business. Communication is made ever easier by using Selz Facebook Chat with potential clients. If you’re using social to grow your business, this is a great way to show clients exactly how responsive and on it you can be, by quickly responding to queries using this helpful feature. 

A woman sits on her floor with a laptop, learning how to starting freelancing and how to become a freelancer through an online ecommerce platform. Selz and FounderU make selling only seriously simple.

  1. Network

At the end of the day, freelancing is a social enterprise. You’re likely to find work from and through former colleagues, friends, and acquaintances. Working remotely is a big part of how to become a freelancer, and it’s easy for days at your desk to seamlessly transition to evenings in on your sofa. For the purpose of maintaining your sanity, and your business, it’s essential to get out of the house. Sum up what you do succinctly so that you can explain it to people you meet, without it sounding like an elevator pitch. Your next gig may come from the most unexpected of interactions.

Growing a blog on your Selz store and optimizing for SEO as well as guest posting elsewhere can be a great way to grow your reputation and become a thought leader in your industry. Remember that your community is digital as well as interpersonal and act accordingly to grow those relationships. Selz makes it easy to offer discount codes for your blog audience, creating a sense of exclusivity, community, and savings.

Two professionals shaking hands shows the importance of networking as you learn how to start freelancing and how to become a freelancer. Selz makes selling seriously simple.

  1. Get Feedback and Share Your Accomplishments

As you work with more clients, go ahead and ask for feedback. Quotes and referrals on your website make all the difference in increasing potential clients confidence in your abilities. Yotpo’s integration with Selz makes it seriously simple to feature client reviews on your site. This helps increase client confidence, and your professional authority.

You’ll also want to continually update your portfolio. As your business grows, so does your experience level, and it’s important to convey this evolution. Freelancing brings in new, unexpected, and exciting projects that can help enrich your portfolio and take it to the next level.

Happy clients clapping and praising someone who has mastered how to become a freealancer. Feedback and reviews are important! Selz and FounderU make selling so simple.

  1.   Keep Track of Your Expenses and Save

We can’t stress enough the importance of planning for your taxes when you plan how to become a freelancer. Since taxes are not being taken out by your employer, it’s your responsibility to pay them at the end of the tax year. Don’t forget, freelancers get taxed at a higher rate. You’re going to want to ensure that you declare that you don’t miss any any deductions or expenses. If you’re using Quickbooks, it’s super simple to connect this popular tool through Zapier, making it fairly effortless to track expenses and income.

For every payment you receive, it’s a good idea to immediately put a third of it into savings. Hopefully, after you record your expenses and file your deductions, you will not owe a third of your income. However, it’s always best to be overly prepared. If you have extra money after paying your taxes, you can put it towards a new computer to step up your game, or a little vacation that you’ve earned from all your hard work!

A mason jar filled with change represents saving money when you start how to become a freelancer and how to start freelancing

As you choose exactly ho to become a freelancer, you can expect to be taxed at a higher rate, and have to cover your own expenses. But it can be totally worth it. When you follow the above steps you can actually have a very lucrative career. More importantly, you set  your own hours, turn down work that doesn’t appeal to you, and take on exciting new projects on a regular basis. It’s a lot to juggle at once, but using an online store can help streamline your process, maximize your digital presence, and put you on the road to being your own boss.