Sometimes it’s hard to get started in the freelance world. Unless you have been working in the creative industries and leave with a few of the clients your company has been working with, you have to start at zero. Maybe you already own a solid portfolio, maybe you don’t. In any case you have to spread the word, and what is better than creating work that will pay for itself. Here are a few things that you can easily do yourself without the need of finding clients.
Create a Website.
Don’t neglect the place where you start out, no matter what you do, a unique personal website is a must! It does not matter if it is just used as a business card linking to all the free services where you sell/showcase your work, as a blog or if you create a shop there. Your unique domain will make you brandable, display professionalismn and in the best case, will be easy to remember.
Start a blog.
You can start one at wordpress or blogger, join an existing blog as a co-editor or start something up at your own website. A great way to start out is to pick 3 topics you are interested in an write about them, see which blog works best and go from there.
After picking the topic you want to stick to you should create a blog on your own domain. An unique domain will make your website brandable, display professionalismn and in the best case, will be easy to remember and search engine friendly.
Showcase your skills and be aware that it’s your portfolio. A great example is skelliewag. Giving information, building trust and working at all those big blogs such as freelanceswitch, problogger,…
After some time, your blog might actually turn out to earn you some money through recommendations, advertisements, paid reviews, affiliate marketing… there are a million ways to monetize a blog, just get it up and running. In the worst case scenario you have learned how to create a blog and can offer this service, in the best case scenario you create an asset that will produce you money and potential clients en masse.
Take part in T-Shirt contests.
There are plenty of sites offering T-Shirt contests. Threadless, lafraise or designbyhumans are the ones that are really popular. In case you know how to create cool artwork people would love to wear these are your places. You can win between a few hundreds to a few thousand dollars in case your shirt is printed, can add those designs to your portfolio and be part in one of those communities. There are a few popular people such a Ray Frenden or GoMedia who use this to leverage their popularity.
Open a Shop
You don’t need some fancy software, you can simply start building a shop for your creative output. Take zazzle or cafepress for example you can create almost everything with zero budget. You design the items and get a share of the revenue. It’s a great way to find out how well your items would sell and if you should consider selling them yourself.
Create Stock items
I have a love / hate relationship with stock items. It might be cool for a lot of people, but if you are an artists who loves his work, it might be hard to sell it for such a low price. Sure the idea is cool, but somehow it does devaluate work. Besides that you need to create items that will sell well, this might be someone simple or simply high end work that can be used for plenty of things. So usually high quality artistic items sell pretty bad. It’s great for leftovers or simple things that don’t take much time to create.
Create an affiliate product
The easiest way to create an affiliate product is to write an ebook. Just look at freelance switch and their rockstar series. Create something people need to know and are willing to spend a few bucks on. Now you need to give some of your revenue away and pay it to people who are going to promote your book. It eases your marketing efforts and gives other people the chance to earn money. It’s a win-win situation for both sides. A good service to help you selling your ebook is E-Junkie as it is cheap, easy to use and there are a lot of people using it, such as freelanceswitch.