Freelancing opportunities are on the rise. While 36% of the total workforce in the United States freelanced last year, more professionals are going to opt for freelance work in the future.

Want to know how to start a freelance business?

Then, this article is for you. We’ll cover everything from choosing your niche to developing a pricing strategy, finding new clients, and marketing your small business.

Let’s get started.

Starting a Freelance Business: Here’s What You Need to Do

Freelancing full time can be risky. That’s why many freelancers start freelancing as a side hustle to generate some additional income. They only decide to turn it into a full-time small business when they acquire multiple clients and long-term projects.

Though freelancing offers flexibility and a better work-life balance than traditional full-time jobs, it’s not easy to make a stable income as a freelancer.

Here’s what you should do if you want to start a freelance business:

1. Identify and Improve Your Skills

First things first, every freelancer should identify the skills that can help them get clients and start a freelancing business. You can be a writer, a virtual assistant, a data analyst, a photographer, or a graphic designer.

However, writing articles and designing graphics may not be enough to start your freelancing business. You will also need networking and marketing skills to build relationships and find short-term and long-term projects. That’s why 40% of freelancers hope to improve their networking skills.

Similarly, 33% of them want to improve their finance management skills and 28% want to work on their project management skills. These skills are likely to help you increase and better manage your freelancing income.

You should also learn how to use common software related to your field such as Google Docs, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.

2. Decide on the Services You Want to Offer and How to Price Them

Most freelancers choose to start freelancing with skills from their previous jobs or with their hobbies and self-taught skills. You can do the same.

You need to narrow down your list of skills by prioritizing the skills you want to get paid for. Find out if there is enough market demand for relevant freelance services. Otherwise, choose to capitalize on another skill to start your freelance business.

Define the services you are going to offer as a freelancer. Some of the possible options include:

  • Website design services
  • Content writing services
  • Social media content writing services
  • Social media management services
  • Guest posting services
  • Graphic design services
  • UI/UX design services
  • Product photography services

Look through freelancing networks like Upwork and Fiverr to see what type of services other freelancers are offering in your field of work and how they are pricing their services. While some freelancers get paid per hour, others choose to price their services on a per project basis.

Are you concerned about being adequately paid for the job you do? You’re not alone. 72% of freelancers are concerned about being paid a fair rate.

That’s why it is more important to research market trends and evaluate how to price your freelancing services effectively. You can also consider giving free samples to your first clients to build trust. Once you’ve got a solid portfolio, there will be no need to do sample projects for free.

3. Find New Clients

Finding your first few clients is often the most difficult part. You can consider looking for potential clients in the people you know – people you went to college with, office colleagues, LinkedIn network, etc.

41% of freelancers depend on their previous clients and networks when looking for work. Some other popular channels that can help you attract potential clients include recruitment firms, online job boards, social media, and gig economy sites/apps.

You should register yourself as a freelancer on popular sites like Freelancer.com, Upwork, and Fiverr, and build a portfolio to attract your first clients. If you deliver great work and acquire good ratings, it can help you attract more potential clients to your freelancing profiles on these platforms.

4. Register Your Freelance Business Legally

Wondering if it is too early to register your freelance business as a legal entity? Well, if you’re making enough money to pay the state filing fees and annual reporting fees, it’s high time to turn your side hustle into a legally-authorized freelance business.

Here’s what you need to start a freelance business as a legal entity:

  • Choose a unique name for your freelance business.
  • Select an entity type. The most appropriate choice for registering a freelance business is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) as it is easy to form and also provides personal liability protection.
  • File your LLC with the Secretary of the State and pay the state filing fee.
  • Get an Employer Identification Number EIN/Tax ID from the IRS. You’ll need this nine-digit number to open a business bank account to separate your freelance business income and expenses from your personal finances.

If starting your freelance business LLC sounds overwhelming, you can have us do it for you. Just fill out one, simplified application and we’ll complete both the state and federal filing processes for you.

5. Promote Your Freelance Business and Start Making Money

Start freelancing right away. Don’t forget to promote your freelance business on social media, in your professional networks, on freelance job boards, and so on.

If you have the time and budget, you should also create your own freelance business website. A well-designed website can help you display your freelancing portfolio, attract potential clients, and grow your online presence.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I start my own freelance business?

To start your own freelance business, you need to:

  • Identify and improve your skills.
  • Decide on the services you want to offer and how to price them.
  • Find new clients.
  • Register your freelance business legally.
  • Promote your freelance business and start making money.

2. What should a beginner freelancer charge per hour?

When you start freelancing, you can charge as low as $5-$10 per hour as a beginner. With experience and improved skills, you can increase the price of your freelance services.

However, how you price your freelance projects and services will also depend on the amount of work required (project deliverables) and the urgency of that work.

3. How can I start freelance with no experience?

To start a freelance business with no experience, you should leverage the skills from your previous jobs. Tap into your existing network to find clients and business owners who might need your services. Do word-of-mouth marketing to get new projects and start freelancing.

4. How much should I charge as a freelancer?

On average, freelancers charge $10-$30 per hour depending on their industry and experience. Freelancers who work as project managers demand the highest pay while freelancers in administrative roles charge the least.

5. Should I start an LLC as a freelancer?

Yes, you should start an LLC as a freelancer to separate your freelance business finances from personal finances. LLCs provide personal liability protection, make you look more professional to clients, and help you get tax deductions on business expenses.

Here’s everything you need to know about forming an LLC as a freelancer.

Ready to Start a Freelance Business?

Start freelancing, build a portfolio of clients, make money, and then take your freelance business to the next level by establishing it as a legal entity.

Do you need help starting your own freelance business? Reach out to our business formation experts to establish your new freelance business as a legal entity.

—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Start your business faster and correctly by letting our experts do the paperwork for you.

Form an LLC Today

Easy, secure, & expedited filing process