How to Become Work at Home Freelancer in 2021

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During this pandemic, more people than ever want to become a freelancer and start working at home.

Freelancing is a great option for supplemental income, side income, and of course full-time income.

There are tons of information about freelancing careers that you can start with a small investment, but not a lot of information about how to become a freelancer.

In this article, you’ll learn how to become a freelancer from scratch.

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Disclaimer: I’m not a professional career advisor. All content provided is for informational purposes only. This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no additional cost to you. Please read my full disclaimer here for more info.

Step 1.  Identify Your Profitable Skills

Become a freelancer mean you are the problem solver to others. What kind of problem can you solve for others?

In general, there are 2 types of skills:

  • Hard Skills
  • Soft Skills
Credit: Indeed

According to Indeed Career Guide, “hard skills are technical knowledge or training that you have gained through any life experience, including in your career or education. Soft skills are personal habits and traits that shape how you work, on your own, and with others.”

Here are some examples of hard skills and soft skills:

Hard Skills

  • Bilingual or multilingual
  • Database management (Oracle, SQL, etc.)
  • Adobe software suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.)
  • Network security (Firewalls, Email security, Access control, etc.)
  • SEO/SEM marketing
  • Statistical analysis
  • Data mining
  • Mobile development
  • User interface design
  • Marketing campaign management
  • Storage systems and management
  • Programming languages (Perl, Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, etc.)

Soft Skills

  • Integrity
  • Dependability
  • Effective communication
  • Open-mindedness
  • Teamwork
  • Creativity
  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Adaptability
  • Organization
  • Willingness to learn
  • Empathy

To become work at home freelancer, you need these two skills.

What are your hard skills? What are your soft skills? If you don’t have these two, then you need to learn.

If you have a list of all the skills to sell, skip the next step, and jump to 3rd step. If you are not sure what skills you want to build, read the next step.

Step 2. Find High Demand Online Job

If you are not sure what skills you want to build, let’s go backward!

Find online jobs that pay well or in high demand. Then learn skills that online jobs require!

Google “high demand online jobs 2021” and pick one online job.

Let’s assume that you picked a social media manager. Now go to Indeed and type “social media manager” and “remote” then hit “Find Jobs.”

Credit: Indeed

Pick one and analyze job responsibilities.

Note: Most people only focus on “Skills,” but read carefully the “Responsibilities.” That’s the actual job you will be doing for that project.

Credit: Indeed

For example, this project wants you to do:

  • Perform research on current benchmark trends and audience preferences.

Do you know what is “benchmark trends” and “audience preferences” on social media? If not, study these two and get ready to explain when a potential client asks. (Hard skills)

  • Set specific objectives and report on ROI

Do you know what is social media ROI? (Hard skills)

  • Communicate with followers, respond to queries in a timely manner and monitor customer reviews.

Do you have a good manner on social media? Do you know how to handle angry people? (Soft skills)

  • Suggest and implement new features to develop brand awareness, like promotions and competitions

Do you know how to create a presentation? Do you have ideas to develop brand awareness? (Mix of hard skills and soft skills)

This is one of the examples, but I did this to learn the industry’s need/demand/skill. And it works!

Step 3. Gain Experience

When you are ready to sell your skills/develop profitable skills, now is the time to gain experience.

Here are some tips to gain experience without experience:

  • Target the entry-level position
  • Take online classes (If possible, get a certificate. CreativeLive provide tons of online courses for an affordable price)
  • Start from freelance platforms like Fiverr (Collect user reviews)
  • Explore internship opportunities
  • Do volunteers

Step 4. Create Online Portfolio

Once you have freelance experience, let’s start packaging your skills into a service offering and sell it on your own website.

The importance of having a professional online portfolio is more essential than ever because it will maximize your visibility and presence. Believe it or not, people google your full name even though you are not a celebrity. An online presence can build your brand and gain credibility to attract potential clients.

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Step 5. Create Social Media Accounts

Social media is a great tool for instant communication. When I hire another freelancer, I always check their social media account and send DM to ask small questions. And also, social media is a great tool to build brand awareness. (It’s free too!)

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Wrapping Up

Working from home has pros and cons just like 9-5 jobs. However, companies are turning to freelancers to do jobs that are not directly related to their industry such as marketing, design, or content creation. As a result, over one-third of US workers participate in the gig economy, either through their primary or secondary jobs.

Working from home is not just a side hustle anymore, it’s becoming a new career. If you have interested in building your remote career, follow my Twitter. I’m sharing freelancers’ tips that might be helpful to you.

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