The word freelance – it’s scary, isn’t it. To a lot of people, it invokes terror, stress, and panic. To other’s it’s the dream. But whether you love the idea of it or hate it, you know that it’s not necessarily going to be easy.

But then, whenever you want to start your own business, you’re going to find that it’ll require time, patience, and a lot of hard work. So what is it about going freelance that’s so different?

For a lot of people, deciding to become a freelance consultant or a freelancer in general, is ambitious. Because you leave the security of working for somebody else behind. And now, you’ve got to try and make a living for yourself.

Sometimes, the enormity of that is just too much. Sometimes, it stops you from even getting started! But that image is all in your mind. And instead of worrying so much about everything that you need to do, you should just break it down and work out what to first, and then next after that, and next after that. And then you can dive on in.

Because that’s the thing about going freelance, you’re very rarely just going to do it. Quit your day job and then figure out how to build your empire on day one. Instead, you work on it as often as you can – in your free time – and when you’re ready, you take the leap.

Whether you’ve not started freelancing yet, or you are a newbie and you’re looking to grow, it’s important for you to know how you’re going to make this work and find your success. So let’s take a look at 15 steps that can help you.

1. Just Start

First of all, one of the best things that you can do here is just get started. Don’t overthink it. Don’t do too much research. And don’t put it off! Just have a go at getting your consultancy up in your free time. Get a website and domain name and get set up.

2. Create A Strong Brand For Yourself

The next thing that you’re going to want to do here, is make sure that you have some kind of brand in place. You need to look professional and be able to establish yourself as experienced in the industry, and this is where branding can come in. So think about the brand elements you’d like to have. If you’re not sure, then a graphic designer can help you to bring your brand to life.

3. Read

You then also need to make sure that you’re reading up a little. And this works in two ways. The first, is on SEO or your niche in general, because it always helps for you to be knowledgeable on the subject. But you might also want to read business books too, to help you with the entrepreneurial side of things.

4. Learn More

As a step on from that, you’re going to want to make sure that you’re always learning. The SEO world is ever-changing, so you need to be on top of the latest changes and news. Reading blogs, listening to podcasts or the Amazon Alexa SEO Agency Skill, and staying up to date with search engine updates is essential. The more you can prioritize this, the more skilled you will become and this will help you to advance your career.

5. Work For Free

If you know that you may not have as much experience as you’d like to add to your portfolio online, then it’s time to get some. And to do that, you’ll want to think about working for free to get them! Offer complementary services to start with, just to make sure that you get some great pieces to add to your portfolio, then start to get the real work in.

6. Pitch

Then, of course, you’re then going to want to make sure that you’re constantly pitching. And you need to get into a rhythm with this. Pitching clients can seem intimidating, but it’s not when you just get started and build a routine. Whether you spend some time each day doing this, or you do set days, make it a habit. The most consistently you can pitch the more likely you are to get more work.

7. Network

The next thing that you’re going to want to do to advance your career, is network. Because there’s just so much that you can do by meeting others. This video on networking in the SEO industry might just give you a few tips and ideas on why you should be doing it too. Get online and put yourself out there, to see how you can expand your consulting business.

8. Attend Conferences

No matter what kind of industry you’re in, attending conferences is always going to help you to grow your business. At conferences, you can learn so much, network with other professionals, and even open up opportunities for yourself too. And there are a range of SEO conferences that you might want to attend to do that. Whether you go to one or a handful, you will find that they can help you to up your game.

9. Start A Blog

It can often be a good idea for you to think about launching a blog too. As you will know, it’s a SEO benefit in itself. But that’s not the only reason that you’ll want to do it. You can also think about using it to showcase your knowledge, discuss key topics, and demonstrate what you can do!

10. Get Creative With Your Marketing

Next up, you’re going to want to try and get a little more creative with your marketing. Don’t just stick to the same thing. Yes, you’re going to want to be on social media, but how are you going to promote your work? Are you going to work with influencers? Or create an interesting newsletter? Are you going to use video? Try to think out of the box.

11. Team Up

Or, if you want to do things differently, why not collaborate with another professional? You could do promotions with other SEO experts or even those in other areas of marketing to offer another service, conjoined, to your customers.

12. Position Yourself As An Expert

It’s also going to really help you if you can position yourself as an expert in the industry too. Because you will get more traction and be more in demand. Thankfully, most points in this list will help you to do that, but you may also want to consider speaking on SEO topics to help you here too!

13. Start A Podcast

If you’re looking for a new way to promote your consulting services and position yourself as an expert in general, then starting a podcast could be a good idea for you. As you may know, voice is huge right now. If you think you have an interesting angle or topic for your podcast, then dive right into it, and see how far your reach can expand as a result.

14. Get Personal

When it comes to social media, if you really want to make sure that you can engage your audience and start to convert the work you put into your posts, then you’re going to want to make sure that you get personal. Yes, brand yourself, but don’t be false or too professional. If you can get personal on social media, it’s going to allow you to build a more authentic relationship with your audience.

15. Go Live

But there’s also a way that you can take social media to the next level too, and it’s to go live. If you’re not currently going live with your posts, then you’re missing out. Because you’re going to find that there are lots of benefits to live steaming on sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. If you’re really looking to push your consulting to the next level, connecting with an audience deeper, and growing your client base, this is a new dimension to add to your marketing mix and do exactly that!

And that’s all there is to it. Sometimes, it can seem really hard to go freelance or to even grow your business, but you can do it.

As long as you really want for it to happen, and you’re willing to put the work in, it will. But as you can see, there will be lots of different things that you can do to look at improving how you work, the projects you work on, and the money you’re making. So if you’re willing to put the time needed in, and you’re keen to be patient and persevere, you may find that you can really make waves with what you’re doing.

So now, you’re going to want to work through the points and work out which might be right for you, and get started on the transformation of your freelance career.