business

Make Money as a Freelancer with No Experience

In a culture where multi-level marketing companies are ripping off individuals by promising a “be your own boss” mentality, it’s clear the desire for work-life balance has never been greater.

But opportunities do exist where you don’t have to purchase another “starter kit” to make additional income.

Whether you’re looking to supplement your income or develop your own business, here are some strategies to start gaining additional freelance opportunities, even with no prior experience.

Focus on what you know

Freelancing may seem overwhelming, but everyone has something to offer. Think about some of the skills you may have developed over the years. Are you good at generating attention and traffic on social media by getting people to like or comment on your content? Consider social media content development and management.

Do you enjoy blogging? Look into copywriting. Are you good at organizing projects into scaleable action steps? Try project management. Do you simply find yourself telling your friends about different products or clothing you really enjoy? You can make money with affiliate marketing.

Thanks to the internet, there are opportunities to make an income doing just about anything. Find a niche, and start considering ways you can monetize your hobbies or talents.

Start a blog

Considering that search engine ranking currently only requires blogs to be about 300 words, creating content has never been simpler. Begin building a blog based on your niche to essentially create your own portfolio. Don’t have a niche just yet?

Choose a few topics that you’d like to learn more about, and use your blog as an opportunity to explore them. Though you don’t want to stay broad forever, choosing a variety of different topics will help you rank in the short term, enable you to discover topics you’re passionate about, and allow you to continue developing a portfolio in the process.

Look into certification programs

Certification programs have exploded over the last several years as more companies take on the inbound marketing methodology. And in many ways, they provide more accurate and hands-on tactics that you’ll never find in a Bachelor’s program. Find a certification program around your area of expertise, and develop your skill set to be more desirable to your prospective clients.

Create samples even if you have no experience

Though not having experience seems to discourage many people from exploring different projects, start generating your own experience. For instance, maybe you’d like to get a marketing position that’s centered around using Salesforce Pardot, but you’ve never touched it.

Instead of being discouraged, start watching their tutorials, learning the platform, and try filming a tutorial using it. Or if you’re an aspiring graphic designer, try creating mockups for companies you’d like to work for. Even if the opportunity doesn’t work out, you’ll have a portfolio to pull from, and proven initiative.

Work for free

Though this concept may sound counterintuitive, if you’re looking to change career paths or continue freelancing long term, think of your experience of working for free almost as an internship. With many internships, you train for free as a part of a program, and then can be offered a full-time salary at the end of the line.

Working for free with this mindset can give you practical experience in less time than going back to school ever would. Additionally, it will allow you to explore opportunities and learn what you do and don’t enjoy, without any obligation to continue your work.

In many ways, this is more desirable than working at a lower rate, as that rate may force you to work more for less, and continue to fulfill your obligation you may not be sure of. But if you produce results working for free, you can then either use this for referrals or renegotiate for a new rate.

Take advantage of websites like Upwork

Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, or Fiverr allow you to bid for positions and gain clients.

Once you’ve started honing your skills, look for jobs and bidding on opportunities to put them to work. Such websites will connect you to various companies and solopreneurs all looking to hire talent.

Start networking

LinkedIn is the one platform where it can become socially acceptable to elegantly slip into the DM’s of business owners. Update your profile, and start connecting with your future clients. Share a bit of what you do on messenger, post content on your profile consistent with your freelancing goals, and continue to follow up with leads.

Also, consider looking for jobs in your niche and applying. You never know when your freelance work could land you a higher paying position than your current one, or if a company would consider hiring you as a 1099 employee instead of hiring for the position depending on their needs.

Just start

All in all, it can seem overwhelming to jump into any new opportunity – especially without the background behind it. But online opportunities are seemingly endless, and with unlimited resources at your disposal, take the jump to start freelancing and see where it leads.

What’s CRM and How to Use it for a Small Business

CRM, or customer relationship management software, has transformed the way brands interact with their clients online.

Typically, one way to measure business growth is by the clients you acquire. And with more businesses growing their online presence, there doesn’t seem to be a “ceiling” when it comes to online clients.

But your growth is only significant if you care for your clients well.

Even though it may seem easy to manage your clients with a spreadsheet, as your pool of clients expands as your business grows, you’re going to need to keep better track of them.

CRM can help.

Even if you’ve only got a handful of clients at the moment, inputting them in CRM will help you better serve them. From drafting email templates to save you time, creating an automation to stay in touch, in addition to remembering the last time you connected with a client down to their daughter’s name, age, and last ballet recital, CRM can help you create personal conversations and add value to every lead that comes through your door.

So, where do you start? Here’s how to take advantage of CRM right now.

Use a free platform like Hubspot, Zoho, or Bitrix24

MailChimp is also considered CRM, but these platforms will help you create contacts and implement capabilities that will help you as you continue to grow. Though MailChimp is an excellent email marketing, platforms like above will help with segmenting and other advanced features.

Do some research, and consider the platform that will serve you best in the long haul. That way, you won’t have to learn one and then completely change gears as if your business strategy shifts.

Upload all of your contacts to your platform of choice

If you’ve got a large email list, this may take time, but optimize your spreadsheet according to the platform you plan to use. As you upload your contacts, write as many specific notes as you may have about a given client, if applicable, down to the last day or time of year you were in touch, to any personal details you may have acquired. This will make your marketing memorable and personal.

Create templates

Hubspot will allow you to create up to five free templates, so either start from scratch or modify their templates. Whether it’s a customer service email or a follow-up sequence in regard to the sales cycle, templates will bring simplicity to email marketing. Make your life less hectic by creating some templates you can quickly modify instead of hitting copy and paste 100 times, (or putting the text in your email signature and then sending it out as your actual signature by mistake).

Create Chatflows

Chatbots are everywhere, and due to the desire in customer gratification, it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere. If you sell a product or service and want to deliver a satisfying experience for your customers to get in touch with you quickly, look into creating a bot with your CRM. Even leaving a reply as simple as “we’ll be in touch shortly,” will allow your customers to be heard.

Explore landing pages and lead captures

Landing pages and lead captures convert followers to your email list, so consider developing them and advertising your free offer on Facebook or Google Ads to create more contacts. They can be instrumental in growing your business and bring you targeted clients likely to buy.

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