From Forbes, Abdullahi Muhammed offers his guidance on becoming a freelancer in eight steps. The following are the first four steps of Abdullah’s list:
1. Get your credentials in place
Are there licenses or other credentials that you need to have before you can go out on your own? Some industries have very specific requirements regarding these. If you are working for someone else, you may actually be working under their credentials. Likewise, you may have credentials, but those could be tied to your employer. Take some time and do some research to ensure that you are legally allowed to operate a freelancing business as your own entity.
2. Create a business plan
Develop a business plan to give structure and direction to your freelance dream. Your business plan shoulddefine your unique selling point, outline your goals, and the steps that you’re going to take to find your first few clients, market your business, decide which tools you are going to need and include a short financial plan (a.k.a. how much do I need to make per hour/week/month if I don’t want to eat noodles all the time).
For the short financial plan, let’s say you want to make $35,000 in your first year as a freelancer, you’d write: income goal + 25% rate of attrition = accrual goal. So, it’s $35,000 + 25% = $43,750. Each month, you’ll need to earn $43,750 / 12 = $3,646. Let’s say you plan to work six billable hours per day and five days a week, then you need to make approximately $912 per week. This comes down to $30 per hour. Here’s agreat video to help you refine your business plan further.3. Create your online presence
Start with creating a professional website, an active blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Also, you want to polish your profile on LinkedIn to show you’re now a freelancer. Depending on the nature of your business, it’s probably a good idea to begin working on a portfolio, and deciding where and how you are going to display it.
4. Create your pitch
How will you approach potential clients? What will you say to them that makes you stand out from your competitors, and communicates what it is that you bring to the table. For freelancers, opportunities come from a variety of sources. These include job boards and other online resources, personal or professional referrals, and cold pitching. Here are some tips to help you craft the perfect pitch.
Read the full story at An 8-Step Guide To Quitting Your 9 To 5 And Joining The Freelance Economy