How to Become a Pro Freelancer in UK USA? (Business Plan)

Do you have these questions in your mind?

  • How do you get started as a freelancer? 
  • Is freelancing sustainable for a lifetime? 
  • How much money can I make freelancing?
  • What are the top 10 freelance skills that are in high demand?
  • What are the pros and cons of freelancing?
  • How to Get your 1st Client?

In this article, you will find answers to all your questions. So please grab a cup of coffee, and let’s get started.

Table of Contents

What is Freelancing & Who is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a Free bird flying high in the sky!!!

Technically, freelancing is working for yourself instead of working for a company, and freelancers are self-employed professionals who work on single or multiple projects, where the client pays per project, per task, or per hour, depending on the agreement. 

Most freelance jobs are available in Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Music & Audio, Programming & Tech, Business, Lifestyle, and more.

Just do it!

Whether you want to start freelancing as a graphics designer, UI/UX designer, Programmer, Blog Writer, Web Designer, SEO / SMO manager, or 3D Animator, don’t get stuck in the loop of perfection initially.

Instead, believe in the “Power of Now” and make your freelancing career a reality today.

Just follow these 10 steps, and start on the path to becoming a successful freelancer in 2022.

Find out who you are – ‘Master of One’ or ‘Jacks of All Trades?

Everyone is not Leonardo da Vinci, the master of multiple skills.


Over my many years of 22 long years of hands-on freelancing, mentoring, and learning, I’ve concluded that to become a Master; you need years of practice.


So initially, be a jack-of-all-trades, analyze your inbuilt skills and then pick one or two skills to master. 


Initially, as a budget freelancer, you need to do multiple things simultaneously to close the projects and offer a larger service basket to your budget clients. 


Later on, as a Pro freelancer, high-paying clients always like to hire a Specialist, ‘The Master of One Trade.’ 


So, keep your eye on the long-term goal. 

Choose a freelancing Platform

As a budding freelancer, you need clarification on getting clients. As a freelancer, you need to take a super active role in finding potential clients, which is an office job, usually done by the sales and marketing team.

Voila! Welcome to the untold truth of Freelancing; you must also take care of the marketing.


Here are 11 top websites for getting Freelance Work; start with this list and filter it down to 1-2 platforms at the max.

  • Fiverr / Fiverr Pro
  • UpWork 
  • Freelancer.com
  • Toptal 
  • Flexjobs
  • SimplyHired
  • Guru 
  • 99designs
  • People Per Hour
  • LinkedIn
  • Behance

The biggest problem most freelancers face when they start is no reviews, no projects, and inability to close any projects. Over the years, freelancing sites have been saturated with countless freelancers from all over the world.

And on top; platforms like UpWork have aggressive bidding wars to win jobs; on the other hand, platforms like 99Design.com have an award system where you work for free, and only 1 designer is paid, with some compensation for top runner-ups.

Platforms like Fiverr mostly have low-cost gigs with people offering a lower and lower price to close the deals; in this turmoil, you have to build up your reputation, reviews, and projects, so you move on to Fiverr Pro for larger projects.

Always define your niche & target audience from Day 1

Now as you have officially started as a freelance service, you’ll need to find your niche and target audience for brand positioning in this cluttered market.

• Start by identifying the type of clients that will be a good fit for your service initially

• What main problems do most potential clients have & what solutions do you have?

• Will you work on various projects or in any specific vertical?

Prepare for the Perfect Storm

When you plan to start as a freelancer, most people are stuck in an infinite loop. 

So here is a bird’s eye vision of the checklist so you can Kickstart on a fast track (30-60 Days).

a. Make a date-wise milestone plan

b. Building an Emergency Fund for at least 6 months

c. Collect your Portfolio & Testimonials

d. Setup Business Email, Skype, GMeet, Phone, Whatsapp

e. Setup Bank Ac, Paypal, RazorPay

f. Collect Templates - Proposal & Invoice

g. Make a Cover Letter / Resume / Presentation

h. Start Upgrading Your Skills

i. Making Online Presence with Website & Social Media Accounts

j. Try Part-Time Freelancing as a Side-Hustle

k. Time to Quit your job

Define your freelancing service list

Potential clients are actively looking for a solution to a problem every minute you have a new search on Google or Freelancing platforms.

  • What skills are they looking for?
  • What skills do you have?
  • How can your skills help them?
  • How can you sell your skills using a service list? 


Most importantly, to impress the client and tell them what you can do for them, you need to make a “Freelancer Service Sheet,”; let it be an email, a single-page PDF, or a Portfolio Website.

That is your 1st impression, and most of the time, 1st impression is the last impression.

While making your service sheet, always stress explaining what you can do and how you have done it for other clients.

Top 10 Freelancing Jobs

Just go to UpWork or Fiverr job listings you’ll find work in almost every field; the top fields that hire the most freelancers are:

  • Logo + Graphics Design
  • Blog / Article Writing
  • Video Editing
  • 2D / 3D Animation
  • Virtual Assistant 
  • SEO
  • Social Media
  • Web Designer
  • WordPress Developer
  • App Developer
  • eCommerce Store
  • Voice Over Artist

Get your Weapons Ready

As a freelancer, you must give a quality job every time at a zapping speed. You must have a reliable, fast machine to help you deliver the projects on time.

Can you work from your Smartphone, NO!!!

It would be best if you had a powerful computer to work correctly and deliver outstanding results.

Beg-Borrow-Steal, get a decent machine, for God’s sake.

If you don’t have money, upgrade your existing machine’s components to the following priority RAM, Backup Harddisk, and Graphics Card.

If money is not a problem, and you are a travel person, buy a laptop, and keep an eye out for the following specs: 

  • Processor
  • Motherboard
  • Memory (RAM)
  • SSD Storage
  • Screen Size


Top 5 Laptops for Freelancers

  • 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021
  • Dell XPS 17 (2021)
  • Asus ProArt Studio book 16 OLED
  • Razer Blade 17 (2022)
  • Alienware m15 R4


Top 5 Desktop for Freelancers

  • 2020 Apple iMac with Retina 5K 27-inch Display 
  • 2022 Dell XPS 8940 Special Edition Desktop 
  • Dell Alien Ware Aurora R11 NEW
  • Acer Predator Orion 3000
  • Dell XPS 8940 Premium Gaming

For the Desktop, look into the nature of work in hand and future work you estimate to pitch for; if you want to avoid buying a mediocre desktop, save some money on non-branded RAM and a low-level graphics card.


You want to avoid being stuck with time-consuming rendering, long booting time, taking a nap while heavy graphics files open in Photoshop, or multi-tasking lags.

Here are the specs of my main machine:

  • Specs: 2 Dual Monitor Setup
  • DELL 27′ monitor (360 Rotate / Adjustable) and 27′ BENQ monitor
  • Processor: Intel Core i7 CPU @4GHz
  • Storage: SSD 512 & 3TB HDD 
  • 3 TB Seagate External drive + Multi 50 GB External Drives
  • RAM: 32GB
  • UPS: APC 1100
  • Video Card: Nvidia 1080 T (Yeah, it’s now old like me, but it does all my jobs)
  • Motherboard: Asus Army Grade
  • Webcam: Logitech’s HD Webcam C525
  • Headset: Audio Technica 
  • Microphone: Zoom 
  • Keyboard & Mouse: Logitech’s Wireless Mouse and Keyboard (No sound)
  • Additional Gaming Keyboard & Mouse 
  • Wifi: 100 Mbps
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • Printer – Canon Tank Printer
  • Graphics Tablet 8 inch


Here’s the kind of work I do with the above setup:

  • Heavy Graphics Design + Branding Work 
  • Video Editing
  • Audio Editing
  • Stream Labs OBS to capture screens

TIP: My Dual Monitor setup helps me to multi-task, enjoy web series, youtube content and keep my kid's just beside me watching a cartoon on youtube (it always keeps them and me bonded together).

Enjoying family & personal time was the main reason for quitting my job and switching to freelancing.

There have been studies that the use of dual monitors has increased productivity by about 42%, and I can attest to that as I've loved the dual monitor setup.

Read more at Jon Peddie Research (JPR), the industry's research and consulting firm for graphics and multimedia - https://www.jonpeddie.com/press-releases/jon-peddie-research-multiple-displays-can-increase-productivity-by-42/

Upgrade your Freelancing Skills

The most critical point of freelancing is to have an evergreen skill you can offer as the primary service, ‘your bread and butter, pursue a craft that you love and which you are good at.


To see what is in demand, go to a freelance marketplace like UpWork or Fiverr and check all the job listings.


As a new freelancer, you can’t jump right in without trying to learn the basics. But, on the other hand, as an old freelancer, you must continuously polish up your skills and keep an eye for trending / future skills that will have huge market demand.


I have seen many friends doing well but suddenly got a setback because of not upgrading themselves – Flash Animator for Web, Macromedia Director, Cold Fusion, Visual Basics, Infini-D, Pagemaker, and many others.


Whether you are a student with a degree in Design, Computer Science, or management, or a salaried person working in a corporate, if you plan to quit the 9to5 grind and start freelancing, in both cases, you need to Polish Up Your Skills or Learn Addon New Skills.


To upgrade, taking online courses is the most effective way to learn and polish a skill correctly. Watch professional video lectures by industry experts; there are Big Discount Sales on Udemy & Skill Share every week.


4 Top Online learning resources you can use are:

  • Udemy – https://www.udemy.com
  • Skill Share – https://www.skillshare.com
  • Coursera – https://www.coursera.org
  • Youtube https://www.youtube.com


Tip: As a freelancer, consistently improve your skills, adapt to future skills, and keep up with current trends. You should join some good BLOG / Newsletter to keep you updated.

Build Your Reputation & Portfolio

Unlike in a regular job where you code, design, or write, you’re no longer just focused on providing your core services as a freelancer. It would help if you also became good at marketing and branding yourself.


It doesn’t matter if you have a short-term diploma, a college degree, or are self-taught. If you can’t prove your skills to clients, they will never hire you.


When you start marketing your skills, create an impressive portfolio. 


For example, 

if you’re a graphic designer, create a portfolio website or on a platform like Behance to show off all your designs.

Or, if you are a programmer, you can show your app, website, GitHub link, and so on. 


In short, you should promote yourself with your work to the client, get client testimonials, make case studies, and get reviews; this all work on building your reputation.


An online presence is a necessity nowadays if you want to look professional. 

  • Your website
  • Social Media Accounts
  • Linkedin
  • GitHub
  • Quora
  • Behance
  • Award Website / Award Functions
  • Blog / Magazine PR Coverage

If you don't have a portfolio, it's not a problem.

Create a dummy or mock-up portfolio if you don't have any portfolio and cannot show a job portfolio due to NDA.

You can also create a portfolio & reviews fast by initially working free or at discounted rates.

Some of the things that a strong portfolio could include are case studies, video testimonials, project benefits for the client, project results, reviews, brainstorming sketches, links to work samples, and mock-ups.

And only show your best work in the portfolio.

Charge The Right Price

As you start freelancing, you must spend a lot of time pitching for work, sending proposals, answering emails, and chatting about client questions and clarifications.


On freelance websites, you’ll be competing with many other freelancers. To close a deal, being truthful, helpful, and a problem solver is essential. 

Follow these points for better results:

  • Please don’t do copy paste
  • Don’t hit in the dark
  • Don’t send 20 proposals; send five but after research
  • Don’t make silly typo mistakes
  • Don’t send portfolio links that are broken / unavailable
  • Don’t take too much time sending a proposal
  • Use professional language for communication.
  • Please mention your name and details, so it looks less like a bot
  • Customize your proposal template to look like it’s written for the specific client and project. 
  • Be Sincere, Positive, Helpful, Truthful, and Professional.


6 ways to gain clients:  

  • Freelance job posting platforms
  • LinkedIn Networking
  • Ghost Freelancing – B2B Tie-ups with Bigger Agencies
  • Online Marketing – Google Ad / Social Media Ad
  • Outreach – Cater to Local Market, Email, Cold Calls, Classified
  • Make a mini-portal website / Blog / hyper-local website

Getting your 1st Freelance Project

As you increase your brand value, you charge higher and higher. 

A perfect example is a Film Actor, who starts with a low fee at the start of their career, and with time and successful films; charges go up 2x, 5x, 10x, or even 100x

There are 2 two major pricing models that freelancers use: 

  • Hourly pricing
  • Project-based (fixed) pricing


So now it’s Time to set your price; while pricing, our main objective is to maximize the hourly rate or lump sum project amount without losing out on potential jobs by over-quoting.


It’s straightforward, start by looking at your competitors in the market, study what other freelancers are charging, and come up with an average person-hour/project pricing. 


Offer a competitive price, and sell add-ons for extra bucks. Remember, your rates are not permanent; you can change them in the future. 


And finally, Don’t Overthink and Waste Time.


In reality, there is no perfect formula for pricing your freelancer services. Many variables can impact the amount that clients will be willing to pay:

  • Experience
  • Industry
  • Project duration
  • Deliverables
  • Project complexity
  • Client’s geographic location
  • Urgency

How to accept Payments:
As a freelancer, don’t limit yourself to just freelancing platforms.

You can get direct clients from referrals, your website, and social media pages.

It would be best if you had an easy, smooth, quick payment mechanism and should be able to accept payments from international clients.

I suggest these two reputed platforms, where you can make free login for accepting payments through various methods.

• Paypal
• Razorpay

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Deliver Beyond Expectations

Once you close a job, deliver the project perfectly as per the client’s specifications, always do some value addition and go beyond their normal expectations. 


I will tell you a secret, in my early days, when I started as a freelancer, I used to make a website and do a Free Basic on-page SEO without charging extra fees for it, and when I shared screenshots with the clients, they used to love it. 


The clients gave me referrals, repeat business, and top reviews.

Also, due to SEO, the client’s Website started ranking better and got more traffic; I had my Website Designed by link, and I used to get more queries due to that also, so it was a double benefit.


As a veteran freelancer, today, more than just delivering a project, I create a relationship with your client as a mentor. So, a client account is more than just a one-time deal. 


Remember, your business will also increase if your client’s business grows. 


The main problem with 99Designs / Fiverr and other platforms is that they are mostly “Do and Forgot Jobs.” While Ad Agencies run on the 80:20 formula, 20% of regular clients give 80% of the work.

Do follow these points when creating a relationship with your clients:

  • Solve the Client’s Problem
  • Do excellent work
  • Communicate with the client
  • Build trust through consistency
  • Find opportunities to provide more value
  • Ask for Referrals
  • Send them Goodies

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

To be truthful freelancing job also has pros and cons.

Pros of Freelancing:

  • Total control over your workload; if you want to go on a vacation break, go, no boss, no approvals.
  • The more (smartly) you work, the more income you generate, not just 5 to 10% yearly increments.
  • You determine the jobs to take, the clients you want to work for, and the fees you will charge.
  • As a Pro Freelancer, working just 2 hours a day and making full-time pay is possible.
  • Flexibility and work from my location are the two top perks for me.


Many people have Asthma, Sleep Disorders, City with high rent or cost of living; freelancers can shift to less polluted locations, cheaper but better places like a lovely countryside farm, a hill cottage, or a warm beach, or travel around the world.

Cons of Freelancing:

  • As a freelancer, you are a business owner, the marketing head, the customer support, the accountant managing billing, and even the hardware person taking care of software and hardware issues.
  • Freelancers are often stuck in a Feast or Famine Cycle – a repeated pattern, one month, you will have so much work that you stop bidding and marketing for new projects. The following month suddenly, there are no inquiries or projects, keeping you sitting idle.

5 Tips for managing a freelancing job:

  • Proactive:
    To grow and get regular work, you must be aggressive on the marketing front.
  • Self-Discipline:
    No Boss, No Work Syndrome. No one is watching you, so don’t watch Netflix all day long  or play your favorite video game
  • Flexibility:
    Be ready to hear words like Revisions. Revisions. More Revisions
  • Multi-Tasking:
    You’re responsible for many tasks – accounts, client communication, family time, fitness, backups, and marketing. To manage your time, get help by using google docs, calendar, time tracker, and to-do list app
  • Communication:
    Being a freelancer involves soft skills, marketing skills, and technical communication.

The do's of freelancing:

• Start networking early

• Don’t spend too much time on unproductive work

• Have hands-on freelancing before you leave your job

• Creating your portfolio should be priority no. 1

• Always Sign a contract

The don’ts of freelancing:

• Don’t say yes to every project

• Don’t overstretch your working hours

• Don’t work for free


So you have read so far. Congratulations.

I hope you have a clear idea of full-time freelancing; you have to make up your mind to overcome the fear of Quitting your regular job and the monthly paycheck.

Go ahead, friend, and have courage; you are now ready to conquer the world of freelancing and can enjoy the freedom and flexibility it offers.

Try freelancing for a few months as a part-time side hustle. 

Good luck.

Want to Save Time in your Business Launch?

  • How to Create a Business Plan
  • What is Market Research, USP, Niche & Positioning
  • How to find a suitable name for your business
  • How to create your brand image (Logo + Branding)
  • How to Register Your Business
  • How to Register for Taxes
  • How to get Licenses / Permits
  • How to Open a Business Bank Account
  • How to Get Business Insurance
  • Which Payment Processing Terminal (POS) to buy
  • How to get Funds for your Business
  • How to do Sales & Marketing – Offline & Online
  • Why have a Website / Blog / Social Media
  • How to build & train your Dream Team
  • How to provide Excellent Customer Service
  • Buying an Old Business Vs Franchisee Vs Own Brand from Scratch

Handpicked inspirational Youtube videos for you

Working online and traveling the world – digital nomads – YT Channel ‘DW Documentary’

The Gig Economy: Can you freelance for life? – YT Channel ‘Gravitas Plus’

How to be a Freelance Designer and Artist Ash Huang – YT Channel ‘Dann Petty’

A freelancer takes projects on a contract basis, they work for themselves as self-employed, rather than for a company.

Yes! If you have skills you can earn a crazy amount of money than a regular job.

Yes! Freelancing can be considered a career if you have an evergreen in-demand skill – graphics design, web development, writing, video editing, and voice-over can give a lifelong freelance career. I have been doing it since 2003.

The sooner the better, make your portfolio and start pitching for projects as soon as you acquire a skill, you can look into:
• Internships or part-time jobs
• Pitch in Freelancing websites
• Social media and LinkedIn Network

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