Note: This Handbook is written for Beginner Freelancers who have little knowledge about freelancing or have joined freelancing platforms. They have basic information about job marketplaces or eCommerce portals. if you don’t know about freelancing, first go to read “Start Freelancing from Zero: Basic Freelancing Guide for Level 1 Freelancers “ _ “Shahzad Bashir” – the Author.
Words by the Author!
Before you begin Freelancing, Make sure you are not alone in the world you want to make money online millions of others are already there so what magical wand do you have to make your way in the freelance crowd? There are buttons to light you in the darkness so that others can see you stand out from the crowd. So let’s turn ON the buttons one by one.
- Turn on your first button as a “Muslim”! Before you enter the freelance, promise yourself not to hide your identity by any means so you are “Muslim” and do what you must.
- Turn on your 2nd button: Don’t hide your country name and flag because you should be proud of yourself and this is to prove. Just Remember whatever your full name is, it is incomplete on the internet because the remaining part of your name is “Pakistani” like my name is “Shahzad Bashir” but my full name on the internet is “Shahzad Bashir” Pakistani.
Once your buttons are on, you are good to go to the world of freelancing!
Table of Contents
You are supposed to be knowledgeable about the basics of freelancing so I’ll skip the primary level stuff to keep this level according to your knowledge and ability. I’ll use freelancing terminologies and some complex words that you will be facing later in your freelancing career most frequently so learning those terminologies right in your beginning will be helpful forever.
After reading this Beginner Freelancers (Level 2) Guide, You will be able to:
- Select the best skill set and suitable category to start freelancing.
- Select the best marketplace to join as a freelancer for getting outsourced jobs.
- Learn how to join a marketplace using the tips to get your account approved for the desired freelance category
- Learn how to create your freelance profile like a professional using simple tips and tricks.
- Professionally create job proposals that inspire clients.
- Learn how to search for freelance jobs and how to submit proposals for any particular job.
Level 2 is for Beginner Freelancers who already know the basics of freelancing so I’ll try to give advance information with tips and tricks to help in become a level 3 freelancer which is “Professional Freelancing“.
If you like this article and its content, please write a comment below and if you have any questions, feel free to ask or join me on social media!
_ Shahzad Bashir – the Author
Freelancing is divided into two major types
- Freelance Jobs for the Services providers who join a marketplace and pay a fee or commission
- Freelance Business men/women as individuals/teams using buying & Selling products or services
In Freelance Jobs and service providers freelancing type, a freelancer joins any job marketplace or job board website portals where other buyers and clients post their job to hire suitable freelancers in order to accomplish the job and project in a professional manner. They post the job on the job marketplace for free or pay a fee to post a job and the freelancers submit their proposals to get hired for the job.
That means the job marketplace is like a middleman for the client and the freelancer because they provide an opportunity to meet and interact and that’s why they charge a commission from both the parties in most cases. Many job marketplaces allow free job posting to the clients but charge commissions from the freelancers.
In the Freelance Business type, The freelancers don’t provide the services through the job marketplace but they either create their own Website, Web Store, Online Portal, Classified Website, Auction website, or affiliate website in order to buy and sell or only sell personal or affiliate products using different methods. This can be done as a single entity or a team of freelancers.
It means they are not bound to follow the terms and conditions because they follow their own rules as they have their own platform. But in some cases, Business people also join business marketplaces to sell the products as wholesalers or Dropshipper. I’ll explain who they are, later in the guide.
As this is Beginners Guide for level 2 freelancers who already know about freelancing a little bit but don’t have experience, let me give you a quick overview of some most frequent and popular freelance categories along with their difficulty level, Earning potential, Experience level, and job description.
Analysis of different Freelance Niches!
Which freelance category is easy, difficult, Normal and what is the earning potential of each of them?
1. Select the best skill set and suitable category to start freelancing.
Before we move on to start freelancing, We should have a crystal clear idea of the right freelance category we are going to adopt for a freelance career. In order to understand some main categories I’ve a sheet where I analyzed those categories in the light of my personal experience. Maybe the other entrepreneurs have different opinions and I respect them all.
Over the years I’ve been not only observing many freelance categories. Now I can categorize each one accordingly. So let’s take a look at the chart I created below:
|Freelance Job Category
|Dropshipping from local suppliers
|Freelancing for IT Students/Professionals
|Content Blog vs Youtube Blog/ Channel
|Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
This is the break up of each freelance category according to the difficulty level, Possible income opportunities, and Expertise level. You might be surprised by a few categories details that are different from your expectations but it’s my personal experience about each category so maybe it’s more practical than someone’s idea who just heard from here and there like social media, youtube, and articles where lots of people claimed to make you millionaire overnight but practically it’s different in reality.
2. Select the best marketplace to join as a freelancer for getting outsourced jobs.
There are lots of online marketplaces available to join these days on the internet but the top-level marketplaces are better to join because you can find their details, market structure, market size, and crowd volume of both clients and freelancers to have a better idea of whether or not you will be able to adjust according to your condition.
Always read the terms and conditions and policy of the job marketplace before joining.
In previous times there was flexibility in the terms and policies of the jobs providing websites so the freelancers used to create more than one account using different email ids and profiles without any issue. Even a huge number of freelancers created fake freelancer accounts just to cheat and eat the customer’s money in the name of up-front charges or hourly payment for low-quality work.
I still remember when I started Elance.com in 2011 which is later merged with upwork.com in 2015, there were lots of fake freelancer accounts that used fake identities and put false country flags to hide their relation to the country where they lived.
They actually provided the reason to the marketplaces for creating hard rules, strict policies, and zero-tolerance functionalities to make the site secure and keep their buyers safe from being cheated. This is the reason why they have very strict rules for everyone so you need to be careful before creating accounts you will have not a second chance if you lost your account for any reason.
Top Marketplaces for Freelancers as Service Providers
Top Marketplaces for Freelancers as a Seller
Top Marketplaces for Freelancers as a Dropshipper
According to your skill and expertise, join the suitable marketplace to start your career. but remember that you have only one opportunity to create a genuine freelancer account because if your account is rejected, suspended, or banned for any reason, You will never be able to use that marketplace again. Even if you use other email ids, false information, or use a different computer, they will find you and ban you for duplication of account.
Another must-care precaution for freelancers that you need to remember as a Freelancer
Precautions for New Freelancers for creating and using accounts:
- Don’t log in to your freelancer account in any marketplace at any cost using a different computer where someone else has created an account, rejected, suspended, banned, or even if s/he is using the same marketplace actively. Because the marketplace security system will consider both the accounts as duplicate accounts of a single user and may suspend or ban for every. In this case, no appeal will be accepted in most of the marketplace and both freelancers will no longer be able to use that marketplace ever.
- Don’t log in to your Freelancer account from your friend or relative’s mobile phone for the same reason I just mentioned even your friend or relative never used the same marketplace for working but in the future when they will try to create an account to make money online, both of you will lose freelancer accounts.
- Don’t log in or access your freelancer accounts from the internet cafe, school, college, university, or company office computer lab because someone may have already created, checked, or used a freelancer account from the computer and in this situation, the result will be the same as above.
- Another important precaution for those who buy a used internet connection from someone else like from olx or other online sites, Facebook groups, Twitter, Whatsapp, etc because the seller may have already used and suspended or banned or possibly black listed IP address and that’s why s/he sold to you a useless connection so you will be banned with the same IP address.
- These days most common mistake the freelancers do is they use a “Cable network” but don’t know that a cable network is a shared computer network system. These shared networks are not only very much unsecured and have 80% possible hack attacks, virus infections, or data stolen chances as compared to the single user connection. Also if you have given the same IP address to the cable network admin that already has used the same marketplace for jobs with a profile your account will be treated like a duplicate account.
how to keep a freelancer account safe and active:
- Avoid all the mistakes mentioned above in order to keep your account safe from being duplicated, suspended or banned.
- Don’t buy a used ISP connection, a Shared network that someone already used or may use in the future for the same marketplace account where you are or will be a freelancer.
- Always create your true account with real information showing your relation to your country and verify your phone number, location, and identity to keep your account safe and secure.
- Never buy already used freelancer accounts from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, etc because the accounts will be created possibly using fake information or already used IP addresses.
Remember there are Hawkes on social media to eat your money as well as your career for a little money but you need to be careful because you will buy a fake, false or already banned or rejected account to draken your career before starting.
What to do if your Freelancer account is rejected, suspended, or banned?
- If you already have done the mistake that I mentioned above, You have only option left to use the following tips and tricks to use the same marketplace once again but this time you need to be more careful.
- Buy a new IP connection from a genuine approved ISP if you are in Pakistan, buy an internet connection from Mobilink, Telenor, Ufone, Zong, or PTCL so you will be sure to use a brand new IP address without any fear or problems.
- Create another account with different spelling of your name if your name is “Ismail” then use Ismaeel or Esmail and keep remembering it when you submit your document for verification so you should use these spelling changes in creating another account.
- Use a different address if you already used it in your previous account.
- Use a different Paypal, Payoneer, or Bank account if you already used it in your previous lost account.
- Use a different Email address without using your name in your email id.
- Don’t add similar pictures, or portfolio items that you used in your lost account.
In short, Everything should be different from the previously used account, and avoid making similar mistakes you’ve done with your lost account.
Learn how to create your freelance profile like a professional using simple tips and tricks.
I just want to share 7 successful freelance tips that would be pretty much helpful while creating an account to use as a freelancer over different forums available for freelance jobs including Upwork, Freelancer.com, & many other popular web portals. Be careful in selecting a forum as every website has its own policies and terms. I recommend going through the website terms & conditions especially the payment method, prior to registering with the website as a freelancer.
Choosing the right place to start your freelance career is most important as I have already written the main reason why freelancers fail to get the job and that happens when people register and create their profile prior to going through the website policy and structure. So please read carefully the rules and regulations of the web portals and when you feel comfortable with everything then don’t hesitate to create a powerful complete profile because the profile is a career-building and destroying item.
Tip#1: Find Your Niche: A common question from everyone is, What should I do to start freelance? Well, you have to evaluate your level of skills to get the answer right away. Think about what you are interested in. For instance, You are a good Graphic designer, familiar with web design, write good stories, drawing sketches or vector graphics, Interested to be updated with current affairs, have knowledge of Copywriting, Press Release, have a huge crowd on Social Media like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, etc.
Just analyze your interest without focusing on the trends and demands of anything over the internet. Instead, try to concentrate on your interest and level of skill. If you are interested in WordPress but don’t have the knowledge, Doesn’t matter just schedule a month to focus on your interest and find tutorials on either YouTube for fast learning via video series available or download written content like E-Books from any website that provides the easy to learn content and tips. You can subscribe to an upcoming tutorial series on our website.
Tip#2: Freelance Job Providers: After finding your niche, find a related web portal but keep in mind that the platform you selected should be easy to use so that you could conveniently start your career without having any fix regarding Payment method, Job searching, creating profiles, managing your account or something else. I emphasize reading the terms and conditions before registering your account.
Once you are registered, you will be prompted to verify your location, phone number, or other things like that. Remember all the websites have their own verification methods. Verifying yourself is the most important part to get the job from a client who doesn’t know you at all. Every buyer relies on the platform you are getting access to the project from. None of the above websites will allow you to send a proposal or bid on any project unless you are a verified member.
Tip#3. Creating a Killer Profile: The most important thing you should focus on is, a descriptive, professional-looking Profile that you have to show the clients why they select you for their project. Remember this is the most important part while going to become a freelancer. No one sees your face or how smart you are instead, your profile tells a client about your interest, skill, expertise,, and work history. If you have a very professional, impressive profile with great content, that will compel the buyers to use your services for their project. Your profile should have:
A professional-looking Photograph: Yes, of course, customers like a profile with a professional photograph because the photographs help the client to understand you. The ratio of a professional image is higher in getting positive response from the client The photograph also describes that you are a professional freelancer and you can handle the given project by utilizing your skills and relevant knowledge and that build clients’ confidence to hire you for the job.
Tip#4. Write a descriptive “Overview”: Write a brief Overview about yourself for your profile. A descriptive overview tells a client without going through all the way, what you are. what is your area of specialization and whether you are, the client looking for? Try to write out-of-the-box content for your overview but the content should be real and relevant instead of writing content that is not relevant or based on false information. Try to show the exact figures while going to put any ranking or numbers for your profile. I recommend to write your skill level honestly and don’t try to include any skill or item, you are not familiar with or experienced in.
Tip#5. Create a Professional Portfolio: Create a professional portfolio to show your previous experience whatever you have and where ever you get from. A professional portfolio helps clients to analyze your level of enthusiasm and interest. Clients focus on portfolios to help themselves decide to award the job to the most capable and excellent freelancer who could provide independent services within the timeline and the budget. Two more things are very important for a new freelancer.
a) In the beginning, You have no previous jobs to show in your portfolio but you should add some rare artwork or something similar to show a client that no matter if you are new to “freelance”, you are skilled and expert in your niche.
b) Carefully read and understand the job requirement prior to submitting a proposal for any online project and concentrate on the buyer’s requirements. Understand each and everything that is required by the client. If you feel stronger, then design a proposal for that particular project instead of copy and paste of an already written proposal.
c) Try to show the client that you have carefully read and understand all the requirements and capable to provide professional services as per demand. Provide some pieces of the job description in your proposal. That will help a client to understand that you have informed
d) Always start your proposal with the buyer’s name, for instance, “Hi James” or ” Hi ABC-company”. Don’t try to start with “Hi there” or ” Hi Sir/Madam”. Try to personalize & you will see a positive response.
e) Create sections in your proposal to discuss everything about the project description, suggestions, solutions, your services, additional services provided by you, and featured offers, and tell why are you the best choice for that particular project.
Tip#6. Delivery within the Timeline: Time is money so analyze and focus on the time allocation. I know most of the projects fail due to crossing the Timeline. You should be very careful while giving the project delivery date. If you understand that the project would be finalized in 3 days, give the date of after 4 days. That will increase trust and cooperation with the client but you must finalize the project within the given time frame.
Tip#7. The Lower the cost, the higher the chances to get the jobs: Lastly, a very important and game changer item is “Project Cost”. I suggest new freelancers avoid demanding high prices for the project. Don’t focus on high cost, instead try to make your profile by keeping your rate lower. It will provide you more chances to get the job especially when you have no portfolio or have few things to show. Remember, no matter whether you are a professional freelancer or a beginner, Project cost does matter. for instance, If a customer is in need of creating a logo with a low budget, He must hire a freelancer who delivers within the budget instead of hiring a professional that demands more than the project budget.
These are the tips that I use to get freelance projects and I guarantee if you follow these tips you will be able to create a professional profile and get the job conveniently. Hopefully, I have concisely discussed the tips and suggested positive solutions that will help you to start your freelance career. You can visit my profile on Elance to have an idea about a professional profile. My profile is on the top of the list in “Sales & Marketing, Individual” in “WordPress” “Graphic Designer” and “Logo Designer” categories. I have used these tips for my profile and received a huge response with every single thing that I discussed in this post. If you found this article helpful, leave a comment, and don’t forget to LIKE and share this article so that more people can use these tips to start their careers.
How to get Freelance jobs by creating professional profile and quality proposal
Freelance means providing quality services to the people who need these services like if you are Article writer, this is your skill and you can cash your skill by getting the job from the people who wish to give the relevant job to any competent professional who could provide the required results. Similarly you can take jobs like Web Designing, Graphic Designing, Search Engine Optimizing, Email writing and Marketing, Social Media and so on.
Freelance jobs can be performed from home or office even if you are traveling, just turn on your Laptop and start working from any where. Freelance jobs required Skill, professionalism, Experience and capability to take responsibility for providing the best results to the client. There are some important things to consider while going to take freelance projects.
1. Finding a freelance Platform: You can get freelance jobs from the websites that acts like a middle man. They simply get jobs from the client around the world and publish on their website where Contractors (freelance professionals) bid on the project by sending their proposal.
2. Creating Professional freelance profile: A professional profile is most important in getting the freelance jobs from the client. A professional profile required the following essentials.
- Photograph: A professionally looking Photograph of yours is the most important thing your profile may have. It gives an idea about your personality and help client to take decision. You should add the Photograph at appropriate place so that client can easily see the photograph. The top left side is the most appropriate to place the photograph.
- Overview: The top most part under the name and tag line should be an overview about yourself and the services you are expert in. You should include only skills your are experienced in. Don’t include in which you have a little knowledge or in learning process. Try to focus on the key services that you could provide comprehensively.
- Skills: this section is the most important part of the professional freelance profile. You should have the skills in this section that match with the job you are applying for. If you are submitting the proposal for the job of Graphic designing, you must have relevant skills like Logo designing, banner ad designing, background, Icons and so on so that client could consider you as a professional freelance services provider.
- Portfolio: This is also the mind making part for the clients. They need to have satisfaction about their job and every client wants to give the job to a capable professional who has experience in the relevant field with hands on knowledge about the relevant job. The portfolio makes the mind after looking the demos and previously done jobs that give idea to the client about your professional experience. You should add the high quality stuff at the top of your portfolio because most of the clients don’t go all the way and after some top quality work, they decide to select you as their company insider.
- Education: Although it’s the most important part of the profile to show your Academic Education but it’s a fact that for the freelance jobs, clients don’t give more importance rather than professional Education. They want to get the desired results from the competent people so whether you are a Master degree holder or a student of intermediate level, if you have the quality and competency that matches the requirements of the job, client doesn’t hesitate to give you the project.
3. Creating a quality Proposal: Truly, The proposal is the Game changer. You are not alone who sends the proposal to the client for any specific job rather there would be a number of people who may or may not experienced and skilled more than you. So how can you get the job among those professionals? The answer is simple and you need to have a proposal that is professionally tailored and have all the necessary information and knowledge that a client needs to see for their project. You should use simple words rather than using typical industry jargon so that client could easily understand the content of your proposal.
Add some references of your previously done jobs that relevant to the project you are submitting the proposal for. Try to create some demo versions if you are new to freelancing and have not enough stuff to show. Don’t left this section blank if you have no previous examples. Instead, download some templates from the Internet and try to create some for you by taking an idea from these templates.
- Job Description: Remember whether or not you have every thing in your profile, The proposal is the mind maker object for the clients. So you need to focus on the job description that is given by the client. You should read a project description at least 2 to 3 times and note down each point that needs to be addressed in your proposal. Try to address each and every thing in your own words in your proposal so that client could understand that you have read all the requirements that are essential for the project.
- Time Allocation and Availability: You need to inform the client about your available timing so that client could have an idea about what is the most appropriate time to discuss with you whether for getting updates or directing you about any editing. You need to be available on the given time to show your professionalism and time punctuality and that will build trust between you and the client for the future relationship.
- Attachments: You should notify the client at the end of your proposal that there is an attachment with this proposal (if you have a company profile or a profile that is in specific format like PDF) and let the client know about how the client could open the profile using the relevant software.
- Closing: In the last portion of your proposal you should add your location and contact information including your email address and any real time chatting program ID like “Skype” so that client could discuss with your prior to awarding the job. This could be final phase of getting the project.
- The client could interview you on Skype and once you satisfy him/her, you are done. Keep your moral high about the project and always show confidence about the given job. Don’t use the words like “I think” I’ll do that. Instead, you should say “I assure you” or ” I am sure”. That will help client to trust you.
The level 2 is for Beginner Freelancers who already know the basics of freelancing . I tried to give information with tips and tricks to help in becoming level 3 freelancer that is “Professional Freelancing“.
If you like this article and its content, please write a comment below and if you have any question, feel free to ask or join me at social media ! _ Shahzad Bashir – the Author.