Are you looking to start a freelance business in India? If you answered yes, then probably the idea of working from the comfort of your home, freedom, and timely money might seem tempting to you. However, starting a freelance business in India is not as easy as it seems.
Studies have estimated that by the end of 2020, 50% of the workforce will start freelancing.
At the same time, startups, as well as established enterprises, prefer hiring freelancers. This means that starting a freelancing business can be a great source of income in the long run. Freelancing requires dedication, hard work, commitment, and determination. This article poses as a quick guide to kickstart your freelance business.
7 steps to start a freelance business in India
Step 1. Define your goals
You must first have clearly defined goals with measurable milestones. Having clear goals will help you understand how far you want to take your freelance business. Consider answering questions like:
- Is freelancing a source of extra income alongside your day job?
- Do you want to make freelancing a full-time business?
- Will the freelance business eventually lead you to a different goal?
Whatever your ultimate goal, you need to make it very clear. Take the time to understand you want to start a freelance business and ensure that this decision will help you achieve the bigger picture.
Step 2. Find a profitable niche
Taking the time to find a profitable niche for your freelance business will help you actively seek out the industry and the kind of clients that you want to cater to.
For example, if you are a graphic designer, there could be many competitors in that industry who would also charge clients at a lower rate than you. In such a case, you are essentially competing over the price of services rather than quality.
Let’s say that you solely focus on infographic designs – a specific niche within graphic designing. This will help you focus on the quality of work and choose clients who appreciate the value of quality rather than prices. Find a niche that genuinely interests you and focus on becoming the best in that space.
Once you have built these skills, you can also charge premium prices for your services later.
Step 3. Identify your target market
Since you are just starting your freelance business, your main focus is to initially take on a few clients. However, you need to make a few assumptions about who you want to work with and target them, and after you have executed the services, you will develop a better sense of whether or not you want to pursue similar clients.
This process of narrowing down your target clients will help you achieve better results in the long run. Once you have a few clients willing to speak out about you, the momentum will pick up. Your goal should always be to build your authority and be regarded as the go-to resource for clients.
To better determine your target clients, consider answering questions like these:
- Which business will find my services valuable?
- Which business can afford the price to help achieve my income goal?
- Who are the decision-makers in the industry, and how do their interests affect my business?
- How can I connect with authorities in the industry at a personal level?
When you have all of this information, you will be in a better position to understand who your target audience or clients are, what their pain points are, and how your freelance business can add value or resolve those challenges.
Step 4. Set prices for your services
Many online tools can help you find the average charges in your niche and even recommend charging enough. However, you must keep in mind that you should price yourself based on the quality of the value you deliver rather than your competitors’ charging.
The general observation is that selected target clients who have big budgets are willing to spend more and invest in your services. On the other hand, smaller clients don’t have a huge budget and cannot sustain losses when their projects don’t deliver returns. Your prices will always be too high or too low for different clients.
But if you know the key to pitching your services and targeting selected clients, then you are essentially selling exactly what your clients need for a price they are ready to pay. Therefore, don’t charge for above your value but don’t undervalue what you are doing for your clients.
Step 5. Design a high-quality portfolio website
One of the main purposes of creating a portfolio website is that the first impression that a potential client will have of you is your work style, previous clients, feedback from previous clients, etc. You need to communicate the services you offer and the clients you want to work with.
The best part is that you can get 65% off on Bluehost hosting along with a free domain and SSL certificate.
- Consider including the following in your portfolio:
- Your specialty and examples of your work
- Your contact information
- Relevant skills, education, certifications, accomplishments, etc.
- Client testimonials, feedbacks, recommendations, etc.
- Showcase new clients by updating your portfolio frequently.
Step 6. Define your path
Now that you are all set to showcase your freelance business. But before that, you need to devise a plan for yourself. This includes considering the following to run your freelance business smoothly:
- How much time can you invest in how many projects in a said period?
- How many clients can you take up simultaneously at a given time?
- Which platform will you use to communicate with the clients?
Having such an organized plan will help you keep away from the overburden of work and focus on the quality of work.
Step 7. Learn how to pitch yourself
Since you want to start a freelance business, you must know how to pitch or sell yourself. It is an asset that will prove to be useful to your business in the long run. You could be the best skilled at your craft, but if you fail to communicate these strengths, you will not convert your conversations into paying clients.
Here are a few tips to help you land with a strong pitch and clients:
- Make a strong entrance that provides value and shows your research.
- Showcase your strength
- Anticipate questions and have prepared answers
- Display relevant projects and work sample to show your expertise
- Use a visually attractive layout for your proposal.
Remember that your pitch should convince and convert new clients for your freelance business.
An essential aspect of starting a freelance business is that you are your own boss. Look at this as an opportunity to make deeper relationships with your clients by delivering value. Such relationships can last for a lifetime and can extend far beyond just your freelance business.
Want more tips to start a freelance business in India? Are you a freelancer? Share your experiences in the comments below!