How To Get Your First Freelance Contract

How To Get Your First Freelance Contract

1920 1265 Joaquim Miro

I remember when I secured my first freelance contract. You should have seen the look on my face! I was ecstatic, as I had pitched over 50 times before finally getting a yes. So I know where you are coming from. Here are some of the questions you are probably asking yourself:

Ever wondered how to get your first freelance contract? Are some of the following questions on the top of your mind?

  • How can I compete with freelancers that have over 100 reviews and a 5 star rating?
  • How do I get my first contract without having any reviews or social backing?

These are all questions I had at first, and after successfully passing this hurdle I can happily announce that getting new contracts gets much easier with practice and experience.

 

This article will answer the questions I had before starting out, and help you take the right steps to secure your first contract quickly and efficiently.

Step 1 – Set up a killer profile on select marketplaces

Make sure you have all the following on your profile before spending time applying for contracts.

  • A professional picture of your face smiling
  • A great summary of what you do and why you are the best at it – If you don’t know how to do this, find freelancers with many reviews and 5 stars and benchmark from their profile.
  • A link to your portfolio – If you don’t have one link to a specific project you worked on. If you don’t have a project, link to your LinkedIn.
  • A few portfolio pieces of work you have done in the past – It doesn’t have to be work, it can also be university projects, a screen shot of a testimonial or a congratulatory email.
  • Pass 2-3 tests on the freelance platform related to your expertise – these tests are either free or at a minimal fee ($5-$15 per exam). Make sure you are ready for the tests by reading on Google what type of questions you can expect.

Step 2 – Learn how the platform works & what your clients want

Understanding what clients like to hear will help you write a better pitch. Read successful freelancers’ reviews to get a better idea of what clients care most about. Is it delivering on time, having attention to detail, taking initiative, or being creative? Each industry and client is different, but there are overall trends that appear if you take an hour to do your research. It’s tedious, but very helpful.

Step 3 (Optional) – Buy your first review(s)

You can get a few friends post contracts on the platform of your choice. Then apply for them and have them pick you. This will cost you the percentage that the platform takes from you and from your friend, but it will allow you to get great reviews and put your foot through the door.

This isn’t 100% ethical and could get you penalized if you get caught, but after speaking with many freelancers I learned it’s unfortunately a common practice amongst new freelancers. I still advise against this strategy, and I was lucky enough not to have to do this, but if you are having trouble getting your first contracts this is a possible solution.

Find Remote Jobs on Indeed

 

 

Step 4 – Learn how to pitch properly

Your pitch is everything and each platform plays a different game. If you use Freelancer, you have three sentences to explain why they should pick you. If you use Upwork, you have to take a good 10-15 minutes per proposal to make sure your cover letter is an eye catcher and that the offer is exactly in line with what the client wants. Read up on how to pitch properly on the freelance platform of you choice.

Step 5 – Take time to understand what the client wants

Just like in a cover letter or job interview, you want to answer your client’s problems, offering just what they need. Don’t copy paste your offer, as there’s nothing worse than seeing a generalized pitch. You are wasting your time and your potential clients’ time by doing so.

Step 6 – Don’t give up!

In the beginning you will need to pitch a lot to hone your pitching skills and find out what works and what doesn’t. Don’t give up after the first days. Give yourself at least two weeks of pitching every day, and then reassess or change platforms.

Ever Considered a Blogging Career?

Instead of becoming a Freelancer you should also consider building a blog or niche website. This will help you gain a specific set of skills that are useful to almost every organization in the world, and will also generate side income in the long run.

Already have a blog?

If you already have a blog and have a hard time generating income, that’s completely understandable. I used to have the same problem, until I joined communities of professional bloggers who helped me learn the ins and outs of running a blogging business. Learn how to generate considerable income by blogging with Matt Kepnes professional course.

For about $400, you will get a professional course, countless email templates, professional pictures, access to private blogging networks, and most importantly mentorship from blogging gurus.

Good luck!

With a growing number of freelancers, starting out as a freelancer may not be the easiest thing to do. But by learning how to get your first freelance contract and applying what you’ve learned today, you will increase your chances of securing your first gigs. From then on, getting others will become much easier.

If you have any questions regarding the checklist or would like to add something to it, don’t hesitate to comment below!

 

Until Next Time,

The Alternative Ways

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Joaquim Miro

As a passionate traveler, pianist, paraglider, digital marketer and cryptocurrency enthusiast, I always felt the urge to travel the world, but stopped myself because of my career. So I took a leap of faith to prove that it is possible to grow your career through travel. And it worked! Now I am on a mission to help you do the same.

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Learn How To Grow Your Career Through Travel

Welcome! This website was created to help you learn how to grow your career through travel. With so much information out there, subscribe to a proven step by step guide to make your travel & work dreams a reality. We offer the best resources, advice and community support to help you travel remotely and find work abroad. Please feel free to contact me for more information if you would like!

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