So you’re reading this because you want to become a freelancer. You’ve thought about what you want to freelance in, you’ve got a couple of useful email addresses and you’ve even bought yourself some sweatpants that will look great with your slippers.

So you’re ready to dump that job and get cracking on your first assignment, right?

Wrong.

One of the biggest misconceptions about freelancing is that you sit at home and work comes to you. When the reality is you have to fight for it and fight hard.

As our friend Leif Kendall aptly put it:

“First: you must strive. Nothing good is ever easy.”

I hate to break it to you, but working freelance means working. And I mean really working. Unlike your 9-5 cubicle, there is nothing cushy about freelancing, nothing stable about it until YOU have made it that way.

But there are some simple secrets to becoming a successful freelancer which I am going to share with you in this blog post. Here they are in brief—feel free to select one to jump straight to it, or read on for the full story.

  1. Contact everyone you know.
  2. Work on your personal brand.
  3. Write a plan of action.
  4. Do your research and pay attention to the competition.
  5. Get yourself a mentor—and your first client.

Using these steps—and a bit of determination—I’ve seen people get out of their desk jobs and start working comfortably for themselves in 30 days.

The reason I told my friends and friends of friends, colleagues, and ex-colleagues that I was willing to take on projects straight away was for three reasons:

  • Experience
  • Contacts
  • References

And when people asked me to do a job for them that they couldn’t pay me for I would again consider:

How to Build a Personal Brand for Freelancer

  1. I opened a profile on LinkedIn.
  2. Facebook Page
  3. I did the same on Twitter.