Follow this ten-step process to learn how you can find freelance jobs with no experience.
When I decided to find a work at home job so that I could stay home with my one-year-old son, I had no idea how to start freelancing with no experience.
While I was always a pretty good writer in school, I didn’t know exactly how I would be able to translate that into an actual paying position.
What ended up happening was that I spent countless hours online studying, researching, and learning. I slowly but surely discovered how to start freelance writing and landing clients, so much so that eventually I was making thousands of dollars per month with my freelance side job.
Today, freelancing is a booming field. In fact, in 2019 there were roughly 57 million Americans who freelance in one form or another. Luckily, there are also more types of freelance positions than ever. From writers to editors to photographers (and everything in between), there are freelancers doing all sorts of work.
No matter what kind of freelancing job you want to do though, there is one commonality that links people across all professions – in order to make money, you need clients.
If you’re a new freelancer just starting out, this can be a tricky situation. Many clients won’t want to hire someone fresh out of the gate without a portfolio or good reviews to back you up.
I ran into this problem when I started, and it took me a long time to figure out the steps to success. I’d like to streamline things a bit for you, so hopefully you can achieve your goals at lot quicker than it took me.
If you follow the right steps, it is totally possible to find freelance jobs when you have no experience. You just need to focus on the right things.
Looking for a guide to help you start the best freelancing business? Find the top work at home guides here:
- How to Get Started as a Freelance Writer: The Ultimate Guide
- Editing and Proofreading Jobs from Home: The Ultimate Guide
- How to Become a Freelance Graphic Designer
- How to Start a Freelance Business From Home
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
Top Tips for Finding Freelance Work When You Have No Experience
Don’t let a lack of experience hold you back from pursuing your dreams. Use these ten steps as a guide to learn how to find freelance jobs with no experience.
1. Cement Your Mindset
Believe it or not, your mindset is of the utmost importance when it comes to whether or not you will succeed as a freelancer.
Simply put, if you believe you will fail at this, you probably will.
On the other hand, if you tell people you are a professional (writer, photographer, whatever)…they will believe you! At the same time, you will believe yourself. Don’t waffle around about this. If you want to gain clients, you need to go out there and offer your services as a professional freelancer.
Marketing yourself is a very important aspect of landing clients. Having the right mindset is crucial to successfully selling your skills and services to other.
2. Choose Your Niche
If you’re new to the freelancing world, you may be unfamiliar with the concept of a “niche,” but it can be very important to the success of your business.
Want to be a writer? Great. Excited about graphic design? Perfect. The only problem is that skills like these can serve a wide range of individuals and industries. This seems like a good thing, but it actually makes it harder when it comes to marketing your services.
You can’t be everything for everyone. Consider focusing on a specific industry, like graphic design for digital businesses or copywriting for marketers. Doing so will help you pinpoint your marketing and target the right potential clients.
In order to figure out your niche, you need to ask yourself a few questions:
- Who do I want to serve?
- What areas of my field interest me or am I particularly good at?
- What does my ideal client look like?
- What does my ideal workday look like?
3. Take a Course
Maybe you know absolutely nothing about copywriting or proofreading, but you’ve decided that heck, that’s the area you want to start your freelance business in.
If you have no experience, you’ll need another way to show prospective clients that you actually know what you’re doing.
Successful completion of a course or a class can go a long way in helping you gain entry into the workforce. This doesn’t mean you need to take time off and enroll in a class at the community college. For many freelance fields, you’ll find all the education you need online.
For instance, if you want to start working as a freelance transcriptionist, you can take the Transcribe Anywhere course online. This course will teach you everything you need to know about learning transcription and offering it as a service. It will also teach you about landing your own clients.
You’ll learn from experts everything you need to know about starting a transcription business from home. Since the course is approved by the American Association of Electronic Reporters and Transcribers, you can definitely add this to your resume as you attempt to woo new clients.
This transcription example is just one of the many courses available to prospective freelancers. These courses are a true gem if you’re wondering how to find freelance jobs with no experience. Some of the other courses I recommend for freelancers include this proofreading course and this virtual assistant course.
4. Create a High-Quality Website
If you want to offer your freelance services in today’s world, a quality portfolio website is a must. Your website offers clients the first impression of you and your work, so it’s important that it’s well-done.
If you want to land high-paying jobs from big clients, you need to look like a professional.
When you’re creating your website, it’s important to include the following information:
- The type of work you offer or your specialty
- Examples or samples of previous work
- Your contact information
- Any relevant skills or education
- A little about you (customers want to feel like they are connecting to a real person)
You can choose to purchase your own domain name and build a site from the ground up, or you can opt for an easy sitebuilder service like Weebly or Squarespace.
However you choose to make it, I can’t stress enough the importance of putting your best foot forward with a site that’s polished and presentable.
5. Maximize Your Social Media Platforms
If you want to appear professional, you need to put yourself out there. Make sure to create professional-looking pages on all the major social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn.
If your freelance profession is one that is visual (think photographer or baker), you should also make sure to have an active presence on Instagram.
These platforms serve a two-fold purpose. First, they allow you the chance to present yourself with a professional persona. The more you can do this, the more likely you’ll be able to impress clients.
Secondly, they help clients find you. I am not active on LinkedIn and have not been actively seeking new clients for quite some time, but I still have people inquire about my work on LinkedIn solely based on the information contained in my profile. Don’t pass up this opportunity!
6. Put Together a Portfolio
A portfolio is a compilation of your past work or samples to show what you can do.
I know what you’re thinking here. How do you put together a portfolio if you have no experience? Not to worry. If you have no work to show, put together some samples to represent what you’re capable of doing.
The type of portfolio you compile will depend on the type of freelance work you’re doing. For example, if you want to be a freelance writer, put together some sample articles for clients to see your writing style.
If you want to be a freelance photographer, put some of your best photos on your website for the world to see. Really put time and effort into building a thorough portfolio of some of your best work.
Don’t underestimate the importance of this step. Few people will be willing to hire you without some idea of the type and scope of work you can create.
7. Start with the Small Gigs
While there are plenty of high-paying freelance jobs out there, understand that you’ll probably have to build up to those jobs. In the beginning, your goal should be to get as many jobs as you can – even if those jobs are low paying.
These jobs are crucial to helping you build experience, and if you do a fantastic job, they’ll also be a great place where you can go back and ask for a referral or recommendation which you can later place on your website.
While money is always important, working these small gigs helps you get your name out there and get experience. This is always valuable for you as a freelancer who’s just starting out.
8. Pitch Your Freelance Services
If you want to succeed in the freelance world, be prepared to offer a pitch selling what you do. Clients want to know what you can offer them. Communicate your skills and your strengths in a way that shows how you can be a benefit to their business.
As you start to build up an active online presence, look for forums or other websites that may be relevant to you as a freelancer. If you want to be a freelance marketing writer, find forums that attract internet marketers. From there, reach out to potential clients offering your services.
Pitching your services is important no matter what type of freelance work you do. It’s not always comfortable, but it is necessary. Remember, the worst you can hear is “no.” Don’t let it get you down.
Let people know what you can offer them and why they need to hire you, and you’ll soon find yourself with paying clients (and a healthy dose of networking experience).
9. Network, Network, Network
Don’t let your networking end with a cold pitch. Once you’re ready to start working, it’s time to get your name out there any way that you can.
Update your LinkedIn profile, and start searching freelance job boards for work. Make connections with those who may be doing work similar to yours – there’s always enough work to go around, so most freelancers won’t be afraid of you “stealing” their work.
In fact, some freelance writers outsource their own work to other writers when they have too much to do.
Don’t limit your networking to the online world – I quickly found clients that I knew in real life just by mentioning my work to friends and acquaintances.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any experience – freelancing from home can be done even if you’re a total newbie. Remember that even the most successful freelancers had to start at zero, just like you. If you work hard and implement some of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a profitable freelance business.
10. Consider Freelance Jobs That Don’t Require Experience
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of brushing up on your skills or entering a competitive market as a newbie, you may want to consider one of the many freelance jobs that don’t require experience. These include the following:
- Data entry
- Chat jobs
- Social media management
- Pinterest virtual assistant
- Virtual assistant
- Search engine evaluator
Final Thoughts on How to Find Freelance Jobs With No Experience
Finding work with no prior experience isn’t limited to freelancers. In fact, everyone who’s ever tried to get a job above entry-level has had to deal with the “chicken and egg” dilemma. You don’t get experience without a job, and you may not get a job without experience.
Freelancing is no different, but as a freelancer you do have an advantage. This time, you aren’t relying on some arbitrary employer to call the shots. Instead, the ball is entirely in your court.
Follow these tips to start the process of building your business up and gaining exposure. While it may seem slow and underpaying at first, you should quickly start to reap the benefits.
Clients will always appreciate good, honest work. Additionally, a friendly attitude will go a long way. If you put these elements into practice, you should be on your way to freelancing success.