Freelancing Tips: 7 Incredible Tips to Help You Quit Your Job and Freelance Full-time

Last updated on July 11, 2020

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You have a daytime job that is sucking the life out of you. The pay is negligible. The hours are long and it is not even something that you like doing.

Sucks, right?

Fortunately, you have heard about working online. You desire to quit your job and freelance full-time.

In fact, you can’t wait long enough to tell your boss to go stick it somewhere.But are you sure that freelancing will be sustainable?

I’ve been there. I know how it feels: the doubts, the second thoughts, the nervous fear…

It took me a year of juggling my daytime job with freelance writing before I decided to do freelance writing full-time.  

If you are considering quitting your daytime job for a career in freelancing, these tips will help you get fired up.

1 Be sure that you are in the right category

Nothing will make you give up freelancing as fast as being in the wrong category. Your work will be highly critiqued.

It will be rejected. You will feel heartbroken on those first days when clients give you a 2-star rating for work that wracked your brains out.

And you might even end up throwing in the towel.

Let me give you an example.

I see people who are struggling with proper sentence construction, verb agreement, and what-have-you trying to fix themselves to be writers. The end result is usually catastrophic.

While you might manage to make a few dollars in some content mills, you will never be good enough to commandeer a decent pay that will help you quit your job and freelance full-time.

But how do you know that you are in the right category?

i. You do not struggle to fit in
ii. You are passionate about it
iii. You are talented in it
iv. It is what you would still do if the money factor was not in it

Freelancing is supposed to be fun. Not another job that you dread waking up to.

The only way to make it fun is to be double sure you are doing something that you are passionate about.

Something that you can do so expertly that positive reviews will keep streaming in, raising your morale and self-esteem even higher.

2 Become a Thought Leader

How many freelancers do you know who are working online and seemingly doing well in it? I can easily mention one: Danny Margulies, the Upwork guru and founder of freelancetowin.com

Now, if you go back and do a quick comparison of the popular freelancers that you know, you will realize that they have one thing in common. They are all thought leaders in their specific freelance categories.

  • A thought leader is someone who influences opinion.
  • A thought leader gives more than he receives.
  • A thought leader is the one answering questions on online forums related to their industry.

Thought leaders not only influence opinion, but also thrive in their industry too.

Thought leaders come in every shape and form. They can be of any age. Any educational background and any gender.

I know you might be thinking that you are still so young in the industry to commandeer the kind of advice the gurus give but remember you have to start somewhere.  

Unfortunately, it is hard to become a thought leader if you are in the wrong category. You will always be the one asking for advice, even from newbies!

3 Keep learning

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious- Albert Einstein

As a freelancer, there are some skills that come quite naturally to you. The passion sucks you in.

You quickly master the skill and start milking money from it. However, to be truly competent, you have to keep learning new skills.

The problem is that you sometimes feel that your brain is too full to learn any new skill, or you have probably settled in a comfort zone.

As long as you are putting meat on the table nothing else matters, right?

Wrong.

One of my most recent contracts was for a copywriting task that was outside my ballpark.

I was supposed to write a few emails for a cancer program. Needless to say, I learned quite a lot during the 30 days that the contract started.

I revisited my lessons from Copyblogger and a few other learning resources that I use. I signed up for impromptu email lists. I read every spam email in my spam folder.

And I did an excellent job that left the client totally impressed.

Here is the moral of the story.

If you want to learn anything, sometimes the secret is to take a job that demands you use the skill.

I landed a gig on how to write press releases as soon as I started freelancing, despite the fact that I didn’t know how to write one. I had to learn on the job.

Similarly, my first encounter with WordPress web design was on a job with a client who needed me to post articles in the back-end of his website.

If you want to learn a new skill, find someone who will hire you to do a job that demands that particular skill. Commit to a deadline.

Nothing pushes you to learn quite like the fear of missed deadlines and failure. Just like our counterparts in the 8-5 industry, freelancers must always be gearing towards something new.

New skills equal better rates and new clients. And better rates is just what you need when you have to quit your job to freelance full-time.

[Talking about learning, here are some great courses for freelance writers and internetpreneurs.]

4 Work for free

You are probably thinking, “Work for free? You must be crazy! How will working for free put bread on my dinner table?”

There are actually many valid reasons why you might want to work for free. And you are probably already doing it if you tweet, write status updates on Facebook, or blog.

When you work for free, you make your work and name visible to other people. You are marketing and branding yourself.

When work with your name is out in the public, it increases the chances that someone will notice it, become impressed with your writing style and decide to hire you!

Again, if the only time you find that you really want to work is when there is money on the table, you might want to reread point No. 1.

5 Work Even Harder

If you want to succeed as a freelancer, working hard is not optional. It is a must.

In employment, you could swing the whole day on your swivel chair, play Candy Crush with friends on Facebook the whole day and still get a weighty paycheck with medical insurance and other perks at the end of the month.

Welcome to the other world where wasted time equals an empty stomach.

To make it here, you will work all day and deep into the night day after day and still have work that is left to be done the following week.

But if you love what you do and if you are passionate enough, you really won’t be bothered by the long working hours.

The internet is your workplace and you must report here on a daily basis.

Wherever you source your jobs from (Upwork, Problogger, PeoplePerHour) is your office cubicle and you must be there on time, doing what you are supposed to be doing.

Have the proper discipline to work when you should be working. Make a schedule and stick to it.

6 Start a Blog or a Website (treat freelancing like a business)

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I quit my job and go freelance?” here’s another tip for you. Create your own website.

Without a blog or website, you will never turn freelancing into a business.

You will work for other startup businesses that have websites, get paid for it and that will be it.

Starting a blog or website is a step in the right direction.

Every word you put on your website and every new post that you publish on your blog, is an incredible investment.

Blogging is by far the quickest way to remove the newbie tag and become a thought leader in your freelance category.

A blog also serves as your online shop – an exhibit for your best work.

It is a perfect and ready sample for your prospective clients. This is especially true if you are sourcing your clients from platforms such as Upwork.

Sending a client a link to your blog as a sample, immediately enhances your credibility and increases your chances of winning a contract by up to 70%.

Your blog can also serve as a passive source of income by displaying advertising and recommending affiliate products.

A freelancer who does not have a website is like a business that does not have a premise. And people do not take businesses without an office very seriously.

Check out my tips on how to start a blog on http://akenyanblogger.com/

7 Get Off Social Media

If you are not working as a social media manager for a client, you need to hit the Facebook log out button. Allow me to take a few guesses.

You have been on WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter in the past 15 minutes.

You probably have a Facebook tab open on your browser right now. You have gained nothing significant for the time you have been logged in.

Social media has quickly evolved into one of the most successful online marketing tools, but it also tends to be one of the greatest time wasters of all.

It is even more dangerous to your self-esteem. Comparing yourself to your successful peers on Facebook and Twitter is killing your self-esteem.

Make a deliberate resolution about what you want to do with your time. Have a written down schedule.

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Account for every single minute and strike out things that are not helping you from your schedule.

As a resolution, I will rarely turn on internet on my phone until 8 P.M. despite it being the most commonly used means of communication for clients who need training, blogs and websites.

If a client is serious enough, they will find other means to get in touch with me apart from WhatsApp.

I hope you find the above freelancing tips helpful. It takes courage to quit your job and freelance full-time.

Making the transition wasn’t easy for me either. But the time came when I had to take a leap of faith. James Cameron said it best,

“There are many talented people who haven’t fulfilled their dreams because they over thought it, or they were too cautious, and were unwilling to make the leap of faith.”

I hope that you will make that leap soon. 

Recommended read: Stop Thinking Like a Freelancer: The Evolution of a $1M Web Designer

About the author

Virginia Nakitari is a work from home mom passionate about making money online. She's here to show you legitimate companies offering full-time, part-time and remote jobs from home! Stay tuned!

  • Great post Sheeroh and Patrick! I almost fell prey to #7. Thank you for sharing such great insights. Amazing pointers that I’m taking home with me. God bless.

    • Indeed Virgie, Patrick has done a great job with this! And I concur, No 7 is a challenge for many onliners 🙁

    • Thanks for the kind word, Virginia. I also concur, No 7 can be quite a challenge not only for persons looking to quit their jobs but for established freelancers as well.

  • Oh thanks Sheeroh. I recently resigned from my job as a medical representative, started with articles and doing well so far.Its been six months. Sometimes I think of going on a job hunt but the thought of being bugged by a stubborn boss holds me back. I want to take things higher with transcription. And like you always say, take the business seriously and it will pay off.

    • I get you Fridah. Employment offers some form of security, and this can be very tempting sometimes. But hang in there. Soon enough, YOU will be the one featured as a Work Online Success Story.

  • Great Post Patrick. #7 is such a challenge for most people especially Facebook and Twitter. You can waste a lot of time doing nothing on those platforms or use the same amount of time learning and networking with potential clients and freelancers alike.

    While I might not agree in completely logging out, we ought to learn how to limit the daily use of social media as well as filter our timelines from all the noise. That way you can get updates from select people.

    • That’s true, Michael. We need to use social media in moderation. And filtering our timelines of the noise. You just echoed my thoughts. I woke up today morning to clear my Twitter timeline of tweeps who never tweet anything serious. Thanks for this insight.

  • Nice article. Just raised my confidence to start working online. God Bless your efforts. Fact is I didn’t pay you a cent for me to get such inspiration from you guys so yeah, God Bless you!

    • You are welcome Shamgar. We are honored that you took the time to read through the article. And all the best as you prepare to start working online. Identify what your passion and go for it. Be persistent and consistent, and you shall surely reap the fruits of your labor.

  • Great post Patrick! The way you write…very engaging and conversational. Loved all those tips but I might echo the one about having a website. Without a website you are bound to work continuously without rest which might prove difficult at times. But with a website you are slowly scaling your business to greater heights.

  • Thanks a lot pat am a beginner and you have raised m morale , but how can you help me on how to be a good article writer.

    • Hey Vero,
      It takes practice to be a good article writer. Make sure you are writing every day. Google stuff such as how to be a good article writer/how to write a good SEO article/how to write good direct response copy. I hope you get the gist. Reading other blogs also helps.

      Lastly, apply for accounts on sites such as iwriter and upwork. Get jobs and learn as you go. And try not to focus so much at the money at first. Focus on getting exemplary experience in writing.

    • Hi Bernard. You can browse through the blog, and read the posts under the category Freelancing. Feel free to get back to me and let me know where you need clarification.

  • for years I have wanted to work online but had no idea how to get started or even what it entailed. this has been insightful and even though I still do not know where to begin I really appreciate your encouraging and insightful write up. God bless.

    • Hi Teresa. The best place to start is to find out what your skills are. Do you have great listening and English skills? Then you may want to try out transcription. Do you have a good command of the English language, have good research skills and are able to engage an audience? Then you will be a good candidate for article writing.

  • Great post guys, truly awesome. So Patrick gives me a mention and fails to alert me so I can gloat. I couldn’t have had a bigger bone to pick! Grrrrrrr! 🙂 🙂

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