Going freelance just because you are passionate about something isn't the best idea. You need a plan and strategy.
You need to know what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and how you’re going to get paid.
You need to know what services you’re going to offer, what your rates are going to be, and how you’re going to find clients.
You need to have a strategy.
Just because you’re passionate about something doesn’t mean you have the skills to turn it into a freelance business.
You might be passionate about writing, but that doesn’t mean you have the skills to be a freelance writer.
You might be passionate about web design, but that doesn’t mean you have the skills to be a freelance web designer.
Having passion is one thing, but knowing if you can turn that passion into a freelance business is entirely different.
This post will help you answer that question by providing a 4-step guide.
Step 1: What are you good at?
Answer this question:
What are you both passionate about and extremely good at doing?
Say, you’re passionate about web design.
Are you better at writing code or designing page elements?
Recognize your skill level and acknowledge your limitations.
It's crucial for success.
If you're unsure of your talents, ask yourself these questions:
- What do people often ask you about?
- What do people ask you to help with?
- What would a close friend say you’re good at doing?
Most of the time, the things people ask you to help with are the things you're good at and also passionate about.
Step 2: Does it have potential?
The easy part is knowing what you're good at doing.
The hard part is knowing if that skill has the potential to develop into a business.
First, check if the skill you have is in demand.
For example, say you’re a developer.
Do businesses need developers?
A simple way to check if there's demand for your skill is a quick Google search: "Do businesses need developers?" or "Hire a developer."
To get more up-to-date results, try narrowing down the search results to a custom date range, such as a year or two.
Once you've determined that your skill is in demand, go to a freelancing platform like Upwork to see if there are any active jobs for that skill.
For example, a quick search for "app developer jobs" on a job board website like Upwork, returns 6,673 active results.
This means there is high demand for freelance app developers.
You can get a sense of whether your skills are in demand by doing some simple research.
And if they are, don't stop there. Take things to the next level and get more specific. Check which exact fields of experience are most needed.
For example, developers who'd spend a few more minutes doing research would find results like The Top Growing and Declining Skills in the World of Programming.
Step 3: What is your skill worth?
Now that you know people want your skill, you need to find out how much you can expect to get paid.
To answer this question, use a site like Glassdoor.
It lets you see anonymous salary details for any job or company in the world. That way, you can learn what salary to expect for any job in any location.
When you perform your search, be sure to add the word ‘Freelance’ before your skill. For example, search for ‘Freelance Designer’, ‘Freelance Writer’, or ‘Freelance Developer’.
You could also check how much freelancers in your field charge per hour on sites like Upwork or Freelancer.
Alright, making progress.
Step 4: Should you go freelance?
Unfortunately, I can't answer that question for you. The answer will depend on your personal circumstances and multiple other factors.
But having a certain skill and being really good at it, and knowing there is demand for your skill, is a great starting point.
Here are two things to consider:
- Save enough money to last a few months if you decide to go freelance. People often recommend saving for six months' worth of expenses (or "runway") before making the move.
- It's helpful to have a small group of potential clients you can contact to let them know you're going freelance.
- You can try freelancing on the side while keeping your day job. Once the freelance business grows to a point where it will be sustainable, you can consider making the move.
One thing I can tell you for certain is this:
Going freelance isn’t just about having a skill and knowing there’s a market for it. It takes a lot more than that.
As a freelancer, you are a one-person operation. This means you need to know a lot about different business concepts, such as marketing, branding, and finance.
And to be a successful freelancer, you need more than just business skills. You also need strong communication skills, a good work ethic, and the ability to multitask.
All this isn't to discourage you. It's to motivate you to take everything seriously into consideration, so you can make the right decision.
Passion is one thing, but knowing if you can turn that passion into a freelance business is entirely different.
These are 4 steps you should take into account:
- Determine what you're good at and passionate about.
- Check if there is a demand for your skill.
- Find out how much you can expect to get paid for your skill.
- Consider all factors before deciding to go freelance.