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Can you get into freelancing with no experience? Yes! Keep reading to find out how.
Are you a mom thinking about taking the plunge into freelancing but feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to start? You’re not alone!
When you’re trying to juggle life as a mom and all your other responsibilities, starting your own freelancing business may seem out of reach especially if you have no experience.
But freelancing can be life-changing. (Click here to read my story!) So I want to help you find the confidence you need to try.
In this blog post I will guide you through how to make your dream of freelancing with no experience possible, so take a deep breath and let’s dive right in. We’ll start by making sure you understand what freelancing is.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is a work arrangement where a person works independently, often on short-term projects for multiple clients.
It allows you to work on your schedule from any location, giving you more freedom and flexibility than a traditional 9-5 job. That’s why it’s a good fit for busy parents trying to make a living while still spending time with their kids. (I freelance and homeschool my large family!)
As a freelancer, you don’t have a boss to micromanage your days. Instead, you decide your rates and hours. You also can choose which clients you work with and which opportunities you pass on. That type of freedom is amazing!
What Kind Of Freelancing Can You Do?
When it comes to freelancing, the possibilities are endless. From writing and editing to design and coding, you’re sure to find something that’s a good fit.
The key is to let your talents guide your offerings. That way, you end up with jobs you’re interested in and don’t hate the business you’re creating.
Here are ten possibilities to get your mind reeling:
- Content Creation
- Virtual Assistant
- Graphic Design
- Project Management
- Software Development
- Social Media Management
The beauty of freelancing is that you can pursue work that aligns with your interests and expertise on your own terms. So, why not explore the various freelancing options and see where your talents can take you?
Benefits Of Freelancing
Freelancing is a game changer. It’s changed my entire life (you can read my story in this post.) Here are some specific benefits of this work arrangement:
- You can set your own rates: There’s no earning cap or minimum requirements. Do what works for you and your clients!
- No commute: Work from the comfort of your own home or from anywhere life takes you (I’m writing the start of this post in our 15-passenger van while traveling across the country…)
- No office politics: When I was a teacher, there was so much drama…now I can focus on what I’m doing and get more done!
- More flexibility: Work in the early morning hours or late at night. You can even work during quiet time while your little ones nap. Whenever it fits your schedule, work.
- Sets an excellent example for your kids: your children are watching you and learning that you don’t have to get a job to make money. They benefit from your business! (Read more about inspiring an entrepreneurial spirit in your kids here)
Of course, this isn’t an exclusive list. But as you can see, freelancing is pretty sweet!
Overcoming Fear And Doubt
With so many potential benefits, what’s holding you back from trying freelancing? If you’re like most of the other parents I’ve talked to about it, your hesitancy is likely rooted in fear and doubt.
You don’t believe you can do it. Or you’re scared of rejection.
Other common fears and doubts include:
- Feeling like an imposter
- Wanting everything to be perfect before you start
- Worrying that you’ll succeed (it sounds strange, but it’s a true struggle!)
- Thinking you need to take more online courses first so you learn “it all”
- Worrying that you won’t be a good parent anymore if you start a business
- Worrying about doing something “wrong”
I could go on and on. But I think you can tell from that brief list that fears and doubt manifest in different ways. And these emotions can quickly become roadblocks that stop you from taking action.
So, how do you overcome them?
First, you have to acknowledge the feelings and honestly evaluate them. Is this truth speaking? Or are you simply repeating negative self-talk and lies?
By evaluating the truth of your feelings, you can start to recognize how these fears and doubts are holding you back.
Second, it’s important to break down big goals or dreams into smaller, more achievable tasks. I call them baby steps. Setting realistic goals can help reduce fear and doubt by clarifying what steps you need to take to succeed.
I recommend taking small, baby steps to get you where you want to go. These small changes can alter the trajectory of your life.
You’ll also need to work on your fears of perfection. I highly recommend reading Jon Acuff’s book Finish if you haven’t. It’s a great read on this subject!
And remember, the hardest part is starting. Once you take that first step, you’ll be on your way to achieving your goals and overcoming any obstacles that come your way.
How to Start Freelancing With No Experience
While it might seem like every gig you encounter requires experience, everyone starts somewhere. You can use your general skills, existing experience, or even a hobby to get your foot in the door.
So now look at some practical steps you can take to start a freelancing business without experience.
Note: This information is going to be geared towards freelance writing since that’s what I’m the most experienced with. However, with a few tweaks, you can adapt the following steps to work for a different freelancing path.
Analyze Your Previous Experience
Even if you don’t have any freelacing experience, chances are good that you’ve done something in your life that’s relevant to your new business.
Take a good look at your past experiences, from jobs and internships to hobbies and volunteering opportunities. What kind of work have you done? Are there any skills that could use in freelancing? How about technical or specialized knowledge?
The answer here will be different for everyone, but the important thing is to identify the experiences and skills you already have that can help you make a successful transition into freelancing.
For more help with this step, read this post: How to Create a Resume as a Freelancing Mom
Decide What Type Of Services To Offer
Though all freelance writers write, not all of them write the same thing, in the same way. Think about everything around you that has words on it. Those books on your shelf, the social media posts you see as you’re scrolling, and those product description that entice you to buy something on Amazon…
Words are everywhere. And someone had to write them.
As a freelancer, you can create:
- Blog posts
- Online courses
- Newspaper articles
- Magazine columns
- Video scripts
- Technical pieces
- Product descriptions
- Social media posts
- Ad copy
- Press releases
- White papers
- And so much more
So which of these should you offer? Instead of trying to do everything, pick one or two services that best suit your experience and writing style. Then start from there.
For example, I almost exclusively write blog posts these days. But I have dabbled in magazine articles and online courses, among other types of writing.
Remember, you aren’t locking yourself into one thing forever. You’re just picking one place to start. You can totally pivot later.
Read A Ton
Writers improve their craft by doing two primary tasks: reading, and writing.
Once you decide what types of writing to offer, start reading. Subscribe to industry publications, blogs, and newsletters. Follow industry experts on Twitter and LinkedIn. Take advantage of any free online courses related to the writing you want to do.
This will give you an idea of what kind of content is being created, and help you develop a portfolio that stands out from the crowd.
Most clients don’t actually care about your freelancing experience. They just want to know that you have what it takes to get the job done.
And you prove that by sharing samples. So start writing.
If you want to write blog posts, get yourself a free blog (to start with – I recommend upgrading later) and start writing. Or look for blogs that allow guest posts (you may even find some that pay, like I do!)
Pro tip: Be sure to follow the directions on the site. Otherwise your pitch will end up in the trash can, where it belongs.
You can even just open a Google doc and start typing there. Then, you can share that link with potential clients.
Don’t worry about it being perfect. Just start. Once you get some better samples, you can always update your portfolio and go from there.
Find Your First Client
Now that you have a portfolio of samples, it’s time to start looking for your first client. I recommend using a freelance writing job board (like the one on ProBlogger.)
Here’s a quick tutorial I made to get you started:
And here’s a post with even more tips for getting your first client:
Once you start engaging with potential clients, here are some important questions to ask:
Deliver Great Work
After you’ve found a client and worked out all the details, it’s time to create the content. This is your chance to prove your worth and show them why they should hire you again.
Put thought and care into every project, no matter how small it is. Take time to learn more about your client’s voice and integrate their style guide.
Then deliver the work on time.
Unlike a traditional 9-5, you won’t be getting a regular pay check as a freelancer. Instead, you’ll need to send invoices. I use Wave and highly recommend it. It’s free, easy to set up, and you can even accept payments online.
As a part of this, you’ll also need to keep track of your income and expenses. This post shares my method of doing this. How to Track Income and Expenses for a Home Business
Marketing is an essential part of growing your business. Without consistent marketing, you’ll wind up exepriecing the dreaded freelance famine.
So keep marketing your business. Reach out to people in your network and offer to help them with their writing or any other services you offer. Send cold emails. Post on social media and join relevant groups.
The more you market, the more successful you’ll be!
Start Freelancing Today!
Getting started as a freelancer with no experience may seem intimidating and overwhelming. But if you take it step by step and focus on improving your skills, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed!
So don’t wait any longer – take the plunge today and start freelancing. You won’t regret it!
And if you’d like some 1:1 help to get started, check out my coaching page!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.