Starting a career or switching careers is overwhelming at any stage of life. Whether you are graduating and about to step into the practical world or you are going through a midlife crisis and desperately want to switch careers for your sanity, the pressure is always frantic.
Things are more complicated and seem impossible if you are starting from scratch. You have no experience. You are not sure if you will be able to make enough money to get rid of that toxic 9-5 job.
You find yourself stuck in the vicious circle of – you need experience to get a job and you need a job to get experience.
The good news is, the aforementioned statement is not true.
Smart people create their own experiences. They don’t need an official work commitment to fill up their resume.
I am sharing some tips from my own experience that will guarantee your first client in less than a week if you promise to follow each step.
1- Choose a Niche
Choosing a career can be confusing. One day, you feel like you want to be a Graphic Designer and the next day, you want to do Copywriting because you heard that can make you more money.
The Internet is full of lucrative opportunities. It’s your job to find what’s right for you. Don’t choose something only because it can make you more money. Rather choose a career that doesn’t feel like work, something that you enjoy doing. That’s what matters in the long run and once you find something that you are passionate about, money will pour in ways that you can’t even imagine.
It’s even better if you find a sub-niche at an early stage. It will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, if copywriting is your niche then email copywriter can be your sub-niche. It’s more specific and sounds more authoritative.
2- Learn the Skill
Once you have found your sub-niche, it’s time to learn the skill at a deeper level. You cannot become a pro in a week because that needs years of practice. But if you spend even 3 days studying the skill with deep concentration then you are good to go. Cut down all distractions and just study. You will be amazed to find plenty of free courses on Youtube and it’s okay to invest some bucks on Udemy or Coursera. You won’t regret it.
3- Make a Portfolio
Now you know the skill. It’s time to work on one or two dummy projects. If you learned web development then create your website. If you learned copywriting, write copywriting samples. You should be practicing daily at least until you start getting clients. Display your best work in the portfolio.
Ask your friends around if they need your services. Offer it for free in return for testimonials. Trust me, you will need good testimonials to gain credibility to stand out in the sea of freelancers. You can send cold emails to prospects with the link to your portfolio.
5- Sign up on a Freelancing Site
Now you have a skill, portfolio and hopefully testimonials, it’s time to register on a freelancing site like Upwork or Fiverr. Create a bomb profile, optimize it as much as you can and start sending proposals. Don’t write generic proposals or use templates. Just be yourself, don’t brag about what can you offer, instead show them a similar project from your portfolio. If it’s what they are looking for, they will hook up with you.
Keep trying and stay consistent. Don’t lose hope. It’s a slow and uncertain process. You will hopefully land your first client in a week but you will probably have to work for peanuts for months. The success is in staying consistent and slowly amping up your game.
Hira is a Computer Science grad, a self-taught copywriter and a blogger on STEEM blockchain. Apart from her passion for writing, she is fond of reading fiction and landscape painting.