Per Google, one of the most SEARCHED questions we see people ask is:
“How can I start freelancing without any experience?” OR
“How can I freelance as a beginner?”
In this blog – we’re going to answer those exact questions with our top recommendations & resources to get the ball rolling.
The truth is – sifting through the sheer amount of information out there is where most people get stuck. There are literally thousands upon thousands of articles, blogs, videos, and guru advice – all that will leave you feeling overwhelmed & unable to take action.
To kick this off – let’s quickly define what freelancing is?
Freelancing: By definition, freelance comes from Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe – which a lord refers to his paid army of “free lances.” [Sourced from merriam-webster.com]
Broken down, this means that being a “free lance” meant that you would fight for whatever nation or leader paid the most. 👀 [Let’s say that 200+ years later – things haven’t changed.]
Fast forward to 2023, most people are entering the gig/freelancing world due to an increasing concern of layoffs/recessions from companies – and for the total freedom to work from anywhere! [Mind you, it’s reported that more than 78% of freelancers claim to make MORE as a freelancer than they did as a salaried employee.]
So even if you are looking to freelance – without ever working in the “9-5 world” – chances are you’re going to make more than the other path offered anyway….👀
Now, if you’ve spent time Googling “freelancing” – chances are you’ve come across Upwork. Upwork is the world’s largest freelancing platform – generating over $2 billion in yearly revenue.
Given that they are the GOAT of freelancing sites – we’re going to lean on their insights to see what freelancing services are the most requested on their platform. [Click here to read this published article from Upwork directly.]
Now, after reading through this massive list….you’re probably still wondering….”Okay, so now how in TF do I learn any of those skills?” K, we’ve got you covered. ⬇️
[Small Intro: If you haven’t heard of us before – HerHQ specializes in helping women defy the 9-5 status quo by creating & scaling their OWN digital freelancing business. We’ve helped thousands of women since 2020 create unimaginable success all from the comfort of their homes.]
We may shock you with this one….but at HerHQ, more than 85% of our students claim to be “self taught.” 👀
Meaning they did not “learn” the digital skill that they offer through college, work experience, or any other prior exposure. They learned through the same methods we’re going to walk you through below.
Alright, so when you start browsing through the list of freelance service options provided by Upwork – stop…pick a few…and Google them. Check them out…learn what the service entails….see what kind of content appears. You’re going to NATURALLY be drawn more towards certain skills & you’ll be drawn AWAY from others.
Follow this gut instinct. The things that sound fun – are often the things that you’ll enjoy, find intriguing, and actually LIKE doing day to day!
Now, once you’ve narrowed down your focus – we’re going to push you to REALLY dive into ONE. Yes. One. [We’ll explain in future blogs why having ONE skill is the key to running a successful freelance business]. Pick ONE thing. And google the HECK out of it.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say out of the skills listed – you find Web Design interesting. You Google it. All SORTS of things are going to come up….and out of those things – you’re going to start seeing the PLATFORMS that you COULD offer web design services are [ShowIt, WordPress, SquareSpace, Shopify, Wix, etc.]
Now, Google these platforms! Which seems the most fun/naturally interesting to you? Pick that ONE to go down a rabbit hole. Let’s say for you – Shopify seems really cool, you like the integration options, and you decide you want to learn more.
Now, YouTube the literal sh!t out of Shopify. Everything you can. Screen-shares of people setting up accounts. Use the actual Shopify website & browse through their help center documentation/etc. Heck, I’d even recommend signing up for a trial Shopify account for YOURSELF to get in there, play around, and see how it feels to navigate.
While it may feel weird & different to anything else that you’ve done – THIS is the kind of “self taught” that our students have experienced….and that you can experience as well.
[You can apply this to ANY kind of freelance skill listed on Upwork’s report. But for this article, we’re going to continue down the path of web design ➝ SquareSpace to keep the story consistent.]
Now, after you’ve spent a good few HOURS down YouTube rabbit holes – and after you’ve signed up for a trial on Shopify for yourself – now it’s time to really get after it.
The best way to learn [in our opinion here at HerHQ] is to “give it a go!” Literally, to offer to do this for someone [for free] to get your feet wet & to learn the actual ins & outs of the platform.
What’s crazy – is that MOST of us have someone in our direction network [or one degree outside] who is looking for help on the EXACT thing we are looking to offer. What we like to do – is use the network/connections we have to build our portfolio/testimonials – while also being allowed to “learn as we go.”
We recommend posting on places like your personal Facebook – or even LinkedIn to tell folks that you are learning a new skill – and while you’re learning – you’d love to offer to BUILD a Shopify account for someone. [You can also join Facebook groups that are specific to the service/industry/niche you’re looking to help.]
Once you have 2-5 folks raising their hands for help – you’ve now built up your portfolio WHILE you’ve gained experience along the way. A win/win for everyone!
Now, as you build out your portfolio – you’re also going to build up your confidence. You’re going to learn new things along the way – and you’re going to see that you CAN do this & people LOVE the work that you do.
Now it’s time to JUMP IN & get things rolling! A few things that we recommend doing from the start:
For pricing, on Upwork – we’re here for the “no brainer pricing” strategy – which means that you price yourself purposefully low for your first few clients/bids – to get the ball rolling & to pick up traction!
As far as your own clients/referrals – here’s what normally happens. You know those few folks that you offered to build their website for free in trade of a testimonial? They tell everyone about you. They tell everyone how awesome you are….and they’re BOUND to be connected to someone else – doing what they are doing. So they’re going to start sending you referrals 👀 The “free” work you did initially – turns into real paid opportunities simply based on word of mouth referrals & lasting impressions.
While you may not have any “experience” – if you have the ability to research, search for answers, and TRY hard things – you can do this.
Can you snap your fingers & suddenly have a ton of high paying freelancing clients? No.
But can you dig in, pick ONE service, research TF out of it, build up your portfolio, and then monetize what you’ve learned on Upwork? AB-SO-FREAKING-LUTELY
Don’t let your “lack of experience” hold you back from building the life [and business] of your dreams. We help women achieve the unimaginable on a DAILY basis.
If you’re actively looking to start freelancing online – but you’re not sure how in the heck to navigate this journey by yourself? YOU DON’T HAVE TO.