Working from home and becoming an online freelancer is something everyone is now looking into. The job can be a source of decent earnings and, if lucky, can be lucrative as well.

I’ve work as a digital freelancer for nearly 10 years now. I like the perks of not having to go to the office and waste my time commuting or to constant worry about what office clothes to wear. I highly encourage friends to become an online freelancer if they can. With the Covid-19 outbreak, everyone is considering online freelance, especially those who were laid off work and those still needs to go to the office.

How do you drop your traditional day job at the office and find work online and work from home? Here are four steps to help you become an online freelancer.

Find out what skills you can offer

There are a lot of jobs available on the digital landscape. There are administration, finance, marketing, management, programming, or creatives. The list can go on and can be overwhelming. The best thing to do is know what skills you have and what you can bring to the table. If you’re a graphic artist, you will most likely look for jobs that require that skill. If you’ve work as a call center agent, you can apply for client support roles. If you’re strength is into management, you can start as a virtual assistant or go ahead and apply for a project management role.

READ: Keeping Healthy While Working From Home

Build your online presence and portfolio

You might hear a lot of online freelancers saying “create a portfolio” and you do not know what that means. It is basically creating your presence online so potential clients can see information about you and the kind of work that you do. You can create your own website or manage an online community in social networks if you want to land a marketing position. You can also showcase your work on online portfolios for graphic artists or videographers, if you’re into that field. You can create a professional portfolio at LinkedIn and show you previous work and history of work and a list of your skill sets.

Improve your skills

One of the difficulty of landing a job online freelance positions is having a lot of competition for a position. Not only should you need to have a well-made resume, it should also reflect how versatile you can be for the job. That means should have good set of skills to begin with. One the ways to do that is pick up online classes related to your skill set or field you want to be hired in. The are courses on how to be a star virtual assistant, classes on video editing or graphics design, or certification classes for digital and social media marketing. The list is endless. Which is why every home-from-from-home veterans will say that the “I never worked (online freelance) before” line will get you nowhere. You need to be proactive.

Learn the digital landscape

Since you’re applying for an online job position, it is expected that you know your way around the internet. You can’t expect to get hired if you don’t know how to use a spreadsheet or other basic admin software. You do not have to be the best at it, have mastered using it, or know all software to relating to the work you want. You just need to familiarize yourself with it. So if the job listing says a bunch of software it uses, look it up study what it is for and how use it.

Patience in finding your first clients

Finding clients is as hard as trying to apply for a job and getting the position. However, to make this easier at your end, what you need to do your research before hand. Find what online sites you create a profile or submit your resume or the social media groups on Facebook that shares open job positions.

You can look at those job listings and find what they are looking at and see if you are a good fit for those positions. If you find that you have some lacking skills that are listed to almost all job listings, it is a good indication that you need to study and do online courses.

Be honest and confident

Most online freelancers started from nowhere. On the job interview be honest about your skills and knowledge. It will show right through that you don’t have any experience on a certain task or software. I would always say, “I don’t know how use the softwares listed. But I did read about it and found out it’s similar to what I used before. I can easily learn more about how to use that software when given a chance to.” This not only say that you’re honest about what you can do but also being open to learn new things for the job.

When you finally land your first online client, it will go easier for you after. Make sure to take care of that client and target at least 1 year or a whole project working for him. This is to build your credibility as a digital professional. Having him write a review on your work and work ethics is also a good start and way to pick more clients in the future.

READ: FAQ’s | Work From Home Career as a Virtual Assistant