I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
Earning money online is hard.
You’ll come across fraudsters asking for registration fees & surveys/PTC sites which never pay you.
Sometimes you might feel like you’re wasting your time, earning nothing.
This is why you need to know about freelance jobs.
Freelance is where you solve a client’s problems or needs with your skills and get paid for it.
Here’s the best part:
– You never have to worry about whether you’ll be paid or not.
– You don’t have to pay a single rupee to start earning.
– and you’ll earn money by doing what you’re good at.
This is the basic idea of how freelancing works:
- A client posts a task on a freelance site.
- You apply for the task telling the client why you’re suitable for the task.
- He/she review’s your profile and selects you.
- You complete the task.
- You get paid.
Freelancing has helped thousands of people make extra income, working from their home.
Many even quit their jobs once they start earning a steady stream of income via freelancing.
After reading this post, you’ll know how to start freelancing in the field you’re skilled in.
Throughout this article I’ll be using a popular freelance site called ‘upwork’. But you can apply the same method to any freelance site.
I recommend upwork for beginners because it’s the most popular site right now. Thousands of new jobs are posted there, every day.
Freelancing is perfect for people who are skilled at something.
But, even if you don’t have any skills right now, you can learn the skills needed for the field you’re interested in.
Follow the step-by-step process to get started:
STEP 1: Choose the field you want to work in
- First, go to this page. You will see a list of various fields you can work in.
- Take a look at the different categories slowly with patience. I know it’s a long list but if you take time you might find something which you truly love to do.
- Select the field in which you are most skilled or experienced in. (or simply select a field which you’re interested.)
- Take a look at all the jobs posted in that category.
- See if you can complete some of them. If you find that you can do it, proceed to the next step.
If you find that you do not have the skills required to complete the task, try picking a different category from the left sidebar.
The simplest jobs which most people can do are listed under the Writing, Admin Support & Translation section.
If you’re still not able to find anything suitable for you, consider learning the skills required for the jobs you like to do. Know that, everything and anything you want to learn is a Google search away.
STEP 2: Join Upwork & Create your Profile
Found tasks you can complete?
Now you can register and start creating your profile.
Nearly all clients, who are interested in working with you, will check out your profile page to evaluate you.
So you’ll need to make it attractive to land more projects.
Watch the video below to see this process:
To get some ideas & inspiration for building your profile, take a look at other freelancer’s profiles in your field.
To do that, first go to this page, choose your field again and select a freelancer.
Most people are lazy and write only 2 or 3 lines in their description. Such kind of profiles rarely gets hired. So this is your chance to get an easy advantage by not being lazy and win more jobs.
The image below gives a comparison of a good vs a bad profile:
- Your photo: A high quality smiling headshot of yourself.
- A Professional Title
- Overview : List your competitive advantages & strengths (i.e. things that make you unique or special). Try to write everything from client’s perspective. For example: Say what the client will get by hiring you, how will you will solve their problem?; etc. Strictly avoid typos and grammatical errors.
- Hourly rate : Select your hourly rate based on other freelancers in your field.
- Portfolio (very important): Upload some of your work samples you’ve created in the past.
If you don’t have any samples to show, start creating it now. It doesn’t have to be the work that you did for clients. It can be something which you did for practice also.
For example If you’re a writer, you simply can write an article and add it to your portfolio; or if you’re a designer, you can create a logo for an imaginary company and upload the image.
Again, if you need ideas, see the profiles of top freelancers in your field.
Don’t worry about making your profile perfect yet. You can tweak it over time.
Once you’re done, submit your profile and choose the free plan: Freelancer Basic.
After you submit your profile, upwork team will review it to check for quality. It usually takes about 3-5 hours.
While you wait for approval, try taking a few skill tests to make your profile even more attractive.
STEP 3: Bidding on Your First Job
Now comes the exciting part: Bidding on jobs
Once your profile is approved, it’s time to start bidding on jobs posted by clients.
This is done by submitting a proposal.
Since you’ll be competing with other freelancers, your proposal is easily the most important factor in winning the job.
A proposal is where you tell the client why you’re suitable for the job and the price at which you can do it for.
To submit a proposal, first click ‘find jobs’. You’ll see a list of jobs suitable for your skills. Scroll through the list to find jobs you’re interested in.
You’ll find two types of jobs:
1. Fixed price jobs:
In fixed price jobs you get paid a specific amount on completion of the task.
2. Hourly jobs:
Hourly jobs are jobs which pays based on how long you work. For example your hourly rate is $10 and you work on a job for 5 hrs, you will get paid about $50.
Once you find a job you like, click it and read the job description carefully to understand what the client needs.
If you’re interested, click submit a proposal.
Remember: You can bid on about 30 jobs per month as a free member on upwork. So keep these points in mind when you’re bidding:
- The newer the job, the better it is. If it’s a old job posted few days ago and the client is already interviewing several other candidates, then it is better to skip that job and apply for another one.
- Prefer clients with high hire rate and a good rating.
Don’t bid on every project.
Before you write your proposal, it’s very important to understand the biggest concern on every client’s mind when hiring. It is this:
“Can you deliver?”
In other words:
“Do you have the ability to do what the job requires?”
So it is very important to address the client’s needs in your proposal. Tell the client you can get the results that he is looking for.
Clients are smart enough to know the difference between a proposal written specifically for them, and a proposal that was copy-and-pasted.
Download these Proposal Examples for Free!
Download Winning Proposal Samples for Free!
Most people use a generic copy-pasted robotic cover letters. So stand out from them by personalizing your proposal as much as possible.
Here are some tips & tricks to write a better proposal & win your first project:
- Ask questions: Ask good questions if some information is missing from the job description. This lets the client know that you are knowledgeable and can execute the job correctly.
- Show you’re a good listener: If the client has asked any question, answer them in your proposal.
- Provide similar samples: Add a link to your work sample which is relevant to the job. Share only your best works.
- Tell them you’re new & give a discount: Since you’re new, it is actually better to tell the client that this is your first time on upwork even though you have a good experience in the field. Also mention you are willing to give a discount since he/she will be your first client on upwork.
- Use speed to your advantage: When you’re trying to get your first job, speed is your weapon. Try to bid on the project as soon as it’s posted and get the conversation started with the employer. The trick is to impress the client before everyone else bids. Keep refreshing your Job Feed page and wait until a project shows up that matches your skills.
- Keep it short: Keep your proposal short and to the point. Minimize talking too much about yourself and focus on what the client will get from hiring you. Talk about how you’re going to approach the job.
- Show your enthusiasm: Let the person know you want to start the project soon. Example: Tell the client you can start working on the project as soon as he/she picks your bid.
- Include time estimation: Tell the client how fast you can complete the job.
Try to do quick jobs that are easy to complete in a short period of time. This will help you get feedback quickly.
How to Choose Your Pricing:
When you’re choosing your price for the job, never give the impression that you’re a cheap freelancer.
Every client wants their project to get the best results. If you bid too low, he/she will think you’re desperate to get the job and won’t provide the same quality as other freelancers.
Bidding low prices will only attract small and petty clients who are better to be avoided.
Therefore when you start, I recommend bidding the average market rate for the job (under the client’s budget). You can also strategically place your bid slightly below the average bid. Also try using the discount trick as stated above.
Do a research on your market and get an idea of the average market rates for the job.
After submitting your proposal:
If a client responds to your proposal, always try to reply as quickly as possible. In general, try to be online as often as you can if you are looking for your first job.
STEP 4: Preparing / Setting expectations
When a potential client is interested in you, some might want to talk/chat with you before they give you the job.
A lot of clients use skype for this purpose, so make sure it’s installed on your computer.
Upwork Payment Protection:
Upwork has a feature called ‘escrow’, which acts as a protection for both you and the client.
An escrow account is essentially a holding tank. Before any work begins, the client should fund the escrow. These funds are held by upwork temporarily until the work is completed.
Once the client funds the escrow, you can start working on the project.
When the job is finished, submit your work and mark the job as ‘completed’. The client will be notified and will verify your work.
If he/she is satisfied, they’ll approve it and the funds will be released to you. You get the payment.
If the client is not satisfied, he/she might request some changes to be made. Do the revisions & submit for approval again.
In case the client refuses to pay for a completed job, they will not get back the money (unless you approve) and you have the ability to file a dispute. Upwork will then start assisting in solving the issue.
Choosing Your Payment Terms
Once you’re hired it’s recommended to clarify your payment terms and the work you’ll be delivering to the client.
Before you start working, make sure the client has funded the escrow. If not tell the client that you can start working only after he/she has funded the escrow.
Also agree on the things you’ll be delivering to the client (these are called ‘deliverables’). For example, a logo, a 500-word article, etc are deliverables.
Specify the limits for the work, such as the number of words in the article.
For large projects: Before any work begins, you and your client should break up the work into small parts (called milestones) and decide how much should be paid for completion of each milestone.
For example, if the job requires you to write 5 articles, make each article as a milestone and ask the client to release funds on completion of each article separately.
For small projects: It’s okay to work without escrow on one condition: The client should have a good rating & feedback from other freelancers. If the client is new, do not agree to work without them funding the escrow first.
Be clear on what the client wants:
Use a google doc and allow the client to list all the features they want. Specify the limits such as the number of words for article.
Clearly identify things which you cannot do and tell the client which features will cost more.
This way if the client is asking for more than agreed, you can clearly show them and request additional payment for extra features they’re asking for.
STEP 5: You’re Hired: Go do an awesome job
Once you start working, communicate with the client & keep them updated.
Your goal should be the client’s satisfaction because that will highly increase your chance of getting more work in the future.
Remember, your online reputation is a major driver in growing your business.
So be sure to go the extra mile to do a great job to get good feedback.
PRO Tip: After you complete the job & the client is satisfied, ask for more projects & referrals. Tell the client about other services you provide.
Download list of Top 5 Freelance Sites
Download PDF list of Top 5 Freelance Sites
How to receive Payments from Upwork
Upwork gives a lot of options to transfer the money to your bank account. The best option for Indians is the Local Fund Transfer option. Watch the video below to set up your payment methods.
Follow the steps below to set up payments to your bank a/c in India:
- Click the Settings and click ‘Get Paid’ on the left.
- Click setup payment and choose ‘Local Funds Transfer’
- Enter your bank’s IFSC code & click go.
- Full up the remaining details & click next.
- Choose your payment schedule and click next.
- Enter your name & click save.
Don’t worry about the minimum payout shown in the schedule options. You can get paid anytime by clicking the ‘Get Paid Now’ button once you’ve earned some money. The funds will arrive in your bank account in 2-4 business days.
Upwork also supports paypal if you need it.
Note that Upwork is a global marketplace. This means that for every job proposal you write, you will have a good amount of competition. So never get disappointed and keep sending proposals even if you don’t get any reply.
That’s all I have for you today! Be sure to download the bonus PDF by entering your email below step 3.
Thanks so much for reading all the way! I hope you enjoyed this post.
If you know someone who has the skills to freelance, share this article with him/her.
Finally I have a quick question for you.
Which job category did you pick in step 1?
Please take a few minutes to share your experience below in the comments.