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Freelancing 101: What You Need (and Don’t) to Start Selling Your Services

January 12, 2022

“How to start freelancing” in Google delivers over 26 million results.

If you’ve felt lost or confused by conflicting advice on how to start selling your own services – well, I don’t blame you.

The good news is there are very few things you actually need to start freelancing right now and after 13+ years of selling my own freelance services, I wish someone had told me to just focus on these things.

A Separate Bank Account

Keeping your freelance finances separate from your personal is important from day one.

You don’t need anything fancy and most banks will let you set up a new account online. But keeping that money separate will save you in admin headaches down the road.

A Way to Collect Payments

Stripe or PayPal is all you really need.

If you want to use an invoicing platform as well for better management, go for it. But the bare essentials will do to start.

Two or Three Samples of Work

You don’t need a massive portfolio when you’re starting out.

Most freelancers assume they need to work for free or have worked on 10+ projects but in truth, a few samples is all you really need.

A List of People in Your Network

Don’t start with attraction marketing.

Start with the people who already know you and either own a business themselves or know people who do. Create a list with their names and a way to contact them.

Time Every Day to Do Outreach

Your growth is only limited by the amount of outreach you do.

Block off time each day to contact your list. Let them know about the services you’re offering, and follow up until you get a no or a referral.

Save the Marketing for Later

You don’t need a fancy website, beautiful social media profiles or anything in the marketing realm when you’re first starting out.

What you need is sales and delivery. Since you have the skills and knowledge to handle the delivery side, that just leaves sales.

And when you’re earning money, then you can focus on all the other stuff those 26 million articles talk about.



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