How to Start Working from Home… Now!
By Holly Reisem Hanna
On any given day, I’ll receive an email asking, “How can I work from home… now!?” While I can offer up some general suggestions on different work at home paths, without knowing your background, expertise, passions, and skills it is very difficult to offer up a concrete recommendation. With this said, there is an easy way to start working from home immediately… and that’s by freelancing.
You may say, “I’m not a writer” or “I don’t know how to code websites”… well that’s okay. Being a freelancer is more than just writing, coding and designing. Freelancing is a way to sell services, whether it be writing, performing, editing, bookkeeping, translating, or consulting, without having a formal employer or boss. Freelancers work as independent contractors, filling in gaps where companies and small business owners need help, but the not service of a full-time employee.
The best thing about freelancing (besides working from home, and naming your own price) is that everyone has some sort of freelance-able skill, from software development and recruiting, to project management, sales, translation, virtual assistance… the list goes on and on.
So how can you start working from home as a freelancer when you don’t have any experience?
Get Some Cash Flow:
If you’re already working, don’t quit your day job, at least not yet. Having a ready source of income will help to alleviate a lot of stress when you’re launching your new freelance business. It will also allow you to gain the experience that you need, while allowing you to grow your business at a nice steady pace. If you’re not working, and you need money like yesterday, consider taking on odd jobs like baby-sitting, yard work, or selling unwanted items just to get you over the hump, and then immediately jump into the next step.
Gain Some Experience:
While I’m not an advocate of selling yourself short or devaluing your worth, there is a time and a place for freelance job sites. These sites are basically job boards for freelancers and businesses, it is a place to connect, shop around, and most importantly get some money into your pocket. While many of these sites offer small payouts, they are a great place to gain experience and build your portfolio.
Pull it Together:
After you’ve been freelancing for a few months, you should have some good samples, testimonials, and experience that will give you the leverage to start going after bigger and better paying freelance opportunities. Along with these new credentials, you should also establish your web presence by creating a website and getting involved with social media. Not only are these excellent ways for you to advertise your new freelance business, but they are inexpensive, easy to set up, and manage.
Market Your Business:
Now that you’ve got some momentum going, you’ll want to dedicate some time each and every day to marketing your new business. Try incorporating email marketing, social media, blogging, public speaking, and networking events into your weekly routine. This may sound overwhelming, but once you get into a groove you’ll hardly even notice that you’re actually marketing your business.
Invest in Your Freelance Business:
As your cash flow builds, you’ll want to reinvest some of it into professional development. Luckily, they are events, conferences, webinars, teleconferences, online courses, books, membership sites and coaching sessions – there is literally something to fit every budget and every niche. By investing in yourself and your business, you gain the knowledge, information, and skills to make your freelance business a success.
Celebrate Your Success:
Congratulations, you are now a work at home freelancer! Of course with any new home-based business, you’ll have your fair share of ups and downs, so remember to take time to celebrate your successes and learn from your failures. By taking time to recognize your hard work and accomplishments, you can help boost your motivation, as well as improve your goals by focusing on your strengths.
Working from home may seem like a far distant dream - but if you dare to take the first step, you can easily make it a reality.