Your 10 Step Guide to Starting a Freelance Business (Part 2)

This post is part 2 of the series, “Your 10 Step Guide to Starting a Freelance Business” If you haven’t read the first part in this series then you will definitely have to go back first, before you carry on. Your 10 Step Guide to Starting a Freelance Business (Part 1) We previously discussed 5 key points to starting your business and you will have to check them out if you want to follow the series. Head back.

Step 6 – Design your Brand’s Identity

Image by Same Old Shit
When approaching clients, you want to come across as professional and experienced right? Yes, everyone does. This part is going to be one of the toughest things to do when starting up your freelancing business, designing your stationary. Ever heard of the saying: The worst client you have is yourself? This is really true.

You have come to the place where you have decided what your business brand name will be and now you have to design the look and feel of it. This is not only going to take time, its going to be frustrating. You have to do a lot of research and then come up with something that suites you and your brand, something that compliments each other.

When you start off designing your brand’s look, I suggest you start where everyone starts by choosing your brands colors. This will not only start pointing you in a general direction for the look and feel of the brand, but might also inspire you for the next step, which is your Logo Design. This is a really big factor in your business as everything that runs through your hands is going to be marked with this logo.

Take your time on the logo and make quite a few different designs, perhaps show your friends and family and ask their opinions. Find out which appeals to them, which of those they would wear on shirts or have riding on their car doors. Its general information that will not only help you decide, but might inspire you to come up with something even better. After you have decided on your logo design and finalized that its time to design your business cards and letterheads, don’t forget your email signature either.

Step 6 – Conclusion: Do a lot of research when developing your brand face. Choose your colors off the bat and then starting working on your identity from there on. Remember this is a trademark by which you will be known, if people were to come across it on the streets they must be able to relate back to you. Take your time.

Step 7 – Build your Portfolio Site

Image by Justin Maller
Now that you have decided on your brand name and you have your brand identity created, its time to put all of those together and build your own portfolio site. I know a lot of people make use of portfolio platforms(Mentioned earlier), but to tell you the truth, you do look much professional by having your own domain based portfolio opposed to just having a free portfolio. Sure you can make use of the portfolio platforms to get jobs and interact with the community, but it all comes down to standing out in the end.

If you aren’t a web designer and can’t come up with your own portfolio site and code it, make use of Free or Premium templates that are available at your disposal. This will not only make you stand out, but it will put you one step ahead of the others. You can have your business card with your brand’s information on a without any other attachments.

Step 7 – Conclusion: Build your own portfolio site to represent your business and your work. Making sure it is attractive and easy to navigate. Remember to come across as professional and only display your best work.

Step 8 – Find your first Clients

Image by The University of West Indies
So you have your brand all set up and just launched your new portfolio site, its time to get your first real clients. Sure you did the odd small job whilst on forums and things, but this is different. These projects that you are going to start undertaking from now on is not only going to pay your bills, but be your bread and butter too. If you were previously employed(should still be employed) then you have a bit more leverage when it comes to clients, simply because you have a steady income apart from your newly established freelance business.

At least you will be secured for the next while, until your freelancing has built itself up to manage you financially. Alright, getting hold of your first clients isn’t going to be a very easy task, but if you have managed to round up a great portfolio then it should be easier than trying to find work without one. I have listed some links below, which will take you to some articles that is related to finding work as a freelancer. Hopefully you can make use of them and get your first client in as a freelancer.

Step 8 – Conclusion: Make sure you have everything in order, Branding, Portfolio etc. Go all out to obtain new clients, this is your future you are working on.

Step 9 – Invoicing your Clients

Image by Sebastian Niedlich
Now that you have set out to obtain new clients, you will be doing some work very soon. This means that you will be needing to invoice your client for the money that they ow you. In freelancing you have to keep track of your money and your expenses and the easiest way to do that by yourself is by using applications like invoice processing from Chrome River that have been built for you to use as a freelancer.

I have done the exact same thing that I did in the previous point and listed a few articles for you relating to invoicing applications.

Step 9 – Conclusion: Get familiar with the invoice app that you choose. You are going to be using it quite a lot once your freelance business starts booming.

Step 10 – Are you ready for your New Life?

There was 9 steps that you have followed up to now, that was a quick run through on how to start your own freelance business. The question now stands: Are you ready for your New Life as a Freelancer?
  • Step 1 – Organize your Life
  • Step 2 – Do not Quit your Job
  • Step 3 – Get Advice
  • Step 4 – Physically getting started with Freelancing
  • Step 5 – Establish a Brand Name
  • Step 6 – Design your Brand’s Identity
  • Step 7 – Build your Portfolio Site
  • Step 8 – Find your first Clients
  • Step 9 – Invoicing your Clients

Step 10 – Conclusion: Have you decided you are going to be a freelancer? Have you already walked the journey a year or two ago? We would love to hear from you.


Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest

  1. Reply denbagus June 28, 2010 at 1:22 PM

    nice information .. give me new think about freelance

    thank you

  2. Reply thule June 28, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Unfortunately it’s often who you know, not what you know when it comes to winning new business. In my experience, prospective clients don’t do much in the way of vetting on quality, more weighing quotes up on price only, and how well they know you…

  3. Reply Thirdsoul June 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    Great article man ! I’m thinking about freelance too , but at the moment it is very difficult for me to find work :(

  4. Reply PsdDude June 28, 2010 at 3:46 PM

    Interesting article , it is hard to succeed as a freelancer but worth trying :)

  5. Reply ????????? June 28, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    Hmm, useful steps… thanks for sharin’ :)

  6. Reply Nina June 29, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    These are some really great tips. I am just starting out in the freelance world and am looking forward to the opportunities that will arise. Perseverance is key when you’re just starting out.

  7. Reply Advertising June 30, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    The business conditions necessary to freelance differ around the world, but typically include some sort of business registration and tax setup to charge for your services. The main prerequisites to becoming a freelancer however are a high level of skill in your field and drive. Once you are out on your own there is no longer the shelter of senior employees to correct your mistakes or cover your faults. Freelancers are typically very well rounded in their skills as they need to operate as a one person team.

  8. Reply Rob Cubbon July 2, 2010 at 5:11 PM

    Great advice, don’t leave your job until you’re sure of a freelance income. Personally I would advise people to really concentrate on their own portfolio site and SEO rather than trying to get poorly paid freelance gigs from the bidding sites. Best to get clients to find you rather than expending energy trying to find work!

  9. Reply Ilie Ciorba July 3, 2010 at 1:06 AM

    Finding your fisrt client is very important because these will not only bring you money, but more attention and feedback.

  10. Reply photoshop tutorials August 9, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    I think it takes a lot of guts to go on your own, but if you do something you really like the rewards can be wonderful

  11. Reply PsdDude August 10, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    :) yap you need guts and the rewards can be great but you can also loose a lot…time, money …

  12. Reply Brian April 22, 2011 at 12:58 AM

    Where are the steps of identifying your target market? understanding your customers? pitching to prospects? selling? doing good work? communications?

    Portfolios and brand names won’t get you freelance work.

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