I often get asked what is the best way to approach becoming a freelancer or getting more freelance work.
Whenever someone asks me this I sit and think of the answer that will work for them. I consider their current skills and assets and craft a response that will make an impact and get them to take action.
With all that said, the more I think about it the more I realize the answer is quite simple.
Do the work.
Want to learn something? Do it.
— Chris Hufnagel (@ChrisHufnagel) March 28, 2017
If you want to become a freelance web designer, build websites. If you want to become a freelance videographer, make movies. Want to become a writer? Write stuff.
It won’t be perfect at first but every time you do the work it will get better. All those early projects will help you fine tune your process and improve your skills.
Start with side projects that pay nothing. Build a website for a friend. Help a family member with a writing project. Get some work under your belt and learn what it takes to please clients.
Share your work
Share everything you are doing. If you want to improve you need to put yourself out there. Make a great design in photoshop? Share it on Instagram. Let people know this is a skill you have and you enjoy doing it.
Once you have a little experience and your skills have improved a bit you can find a paying customer. Your prices will have to be lower as you are starting, but get that first customer.
And when you get that first paying customer, do the work. Do what you say you are going to do. Don’t disappear, don’t burn the bridge. Do the work.
Upgrade your skills
This works for upgrading your current skill set as well. Recently I wanted to learn ways to add micro interactions using CSS animations.
So I created a personal project and tried them out. I started to learn how transitions and animations worked and even started adding them into my paid client work.
Put in the effort
If you want to become better at something, do it. Find designs or writing styles you like and try to recreate them. I am not saying to then pass this work off as your own, but instead, use it as a starting point. It gives you a goal, a recipe to follow.
If you want to be a freelancer, start freelancing.