How-To Guide

The freelancer's field guide

Find out how to become a freelancer and what it takes to make the leap from salaried employee to sought after freelancer.

    Part 1
    How to start freelancing
    2 min read

    Starting a business is hard.

    It’s one of those things that I’d love for every person to have experienced, but I don’t know that I’d wish the process upon even my worst enemies.

    There are the sleepless nights spent filling notebooks with brilliant ideas, only to wake up and have those ideas seem crazy. Then there’s the feeling you get when you publish a post or launch a product to nothing but crickets. Sometimes questioning, self-doubt, and anxiety can quickly turn into a tailspin.

    But then there are the triumphs. The mini celebrations. The nights when you get a new client and crack open that nice bottle of wine you’ve been saving because what the hell, life is short.

    Those ups and downs are the definition of entrepreneurship. They are what lead to the sense of freedom and empowerment we’re all looking for when we set out on our own with a small seed of hope and a commitment to do whatever it takes.

    We think that we have to go all in, today, right now. Quit the job, burn the bridge, dive in head first. Make things happen. Hustle hard.

    Sometimes that very commitment is what leads us astray. The pressure that comes along with going all in can be paralyzing. It can disable your ability to make good decisions and push you away from your original goal in pursuit of money to make it through the month.

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, if I could wish one thing for every would-be entrepreneur it would be this:

    Start small, start today, and start with services.

    Yep, I’d make every entrepreneur start as a freelancer.

    Learning how to become a freelancer teaches you the fundamentals of being an entrepreneur– creating a valuable offering, finding the right clients who need what you have for sale, selling your services to real humans, and taking care of those customers like your business depends on it.

    And you can do it without leaving your job, without risking it all, and without burning any bridges. In fact, you can probably start today.

    Every hopeful entrepreneur should start as a freelancer. It’s the best first step when you want to quit your job and create more freedom in your life. This issue will give you the complete rundown on whether, why, when, and how you should start your freelancing career. From whether you should freelance, to making your services stand out on your website, to pricing your services, to earning your first $1,000 as a freelancer, it’s all here.

    Start today, but start smart.

    Sure, start a business. But be smart about it. There’s no shame in learning a few important lessons before you burn every bridge. And who knows, freelancing might just turn into a business selling eBooks, which might turn into one of the fastest growing booststrapped software businesses around… at least that’s how it worked for Nathan, ConvertKit’s founder.

    So take a fresh look at using freelancing as a jumping off point for your future. It might just be the kickstart you’ve been looking for.

    -Barrett Brooks

    Turn your side-hustle into your full-time career

    Sending your audience content they care about with ConvertKit automations not only helps you build your authority, it also helps you makes hands-off sales.

    Dani Stewart

    As a daughter of an entrepreneur, the wife of an entrepreneur, and an entrepreneur herself, Dani has lived and learned all sides of creating and growing businesses. She is excited to bring all that life experience as well as a decade of crafting content to the ConvertKit community. She is a part-time baker, dinner-party planner, and lover of good bourbon living the simple life in Nashville with her husband, Sean.