How To Start Freelancing (The Template for beginners)

Writing things down doesn’t just help you remember, it makes your mind more efficient by helping you focus on the truly important stuff


The first thing you should know is that there is no template to start freelancing.

You will learn more on the way than you would discover in this template. But you can work with a few pointers that will make your journey and planning easier.

That’s what this is all about.

You can download a copy or read it here and fill it up. I will often update the template as things change and based on feedback. So don’t hesitate to contact me if you have something to share.

How to start freelancing 

Stage 1: Understanding Your Skills 

What skills do you have? List them?


What skill do you need? List them. If you don’t know yet, continue the exercise.


What skills will you outsource? Continue the exercise if you don’t know.


Stage 2: Checking if there is a market

Step 1: Search online for the key terms (Try three or two). 

Type “web design jobs,” for instance.

Read what is required to become a freelancer in that field. 

  • Copy and paste the link here. You might need it again. 

Next, type “web design.” and search. Click on websites that show up.

Check for names of people that show up. They are the people winning in this niche. Listen to what they have to say.

Write down about 10 names. If you don’t have up to that, write 5. 


Write down names or follow them on their social media account. 

Step 2: Check jobs boards 

Examples of job boards 

  • Upwork 
  • Fiverr 
  • Toptal 

Are there people offering the same services? 


Do you think you can do it?


If any of the answers are no, you need to start all over and pick a new skill.

Stage 3: Understanding what is required to become top 10% 

 Step 1: Check communities 

Find communities related to your job. For example, if you are a web developer, check communities related to web development: 

Here is a community that you can check out

Other places you can find community include:

  • Quora 
  • Reddit
  • Facebook 
  • Twitter 

Read the comments and contributions from people. Do this for at least 7 – 30 days. 

Step 2: Follow people online: 

Follow people that do the same jobs as you. For example, if you are a designer, follow other designers.


Follow another 10 people that are your ideal clients. If you are a designer, follow individuals or businesses (mostly individuals) that need your services.


Step 3: Check every day for a minimum of 14 days

Visit those profiles and communities and see what’s discussed. Ask questions and contribute to discussions. 

Stage 4: Reevaluate

Are you in for this? 

Maybe you should try a different skill. Take your time to go over this. 

Optional: List 10 things you learn after going through the communities for 7 days. 

  • What skills do you need?
  • What mindset do you need?
  • Where, what, how will you get those? 

Describe it in 250 words.

If you are trying a new skill, go back to stage 1

If you are in for the service you have picked, then continue. 

Stage 5: Build a buyer persona 

Understand your ideal buyers: 

Who is your buyer (one person/one company)

Where does she live? 

3 problems she faces


How does your service solve her problem?

If she asks you what makes you different, what will you say?

Stage 5: part 2

Join communities dedicated to your buyers

If you write romance, you choose communities like “romance readers” & “romance books.”

Communities like “romance writers” don’t fall under this group. It falls under stage 2, groups related to your jobs. You will find your competitors, not your buyers.

Stage 6: Package your skills 

  • Create a portfolio
    • Use Google doc,, your website, 
    • You can find a list of portfolio-sharing websites on Hubspot or here
  • Write a resume 
  • Write a powerful cover letter (following the “so what” technique).

Not sure what this is. Check the article: 

How to start freelancing (building a sustainable side business)

Stage 7: Launch

Sign up on job boards

  • Remember stage 3. Write three places you have heard that people get jobs.
  • Create profiles on 2 

You can check this list if you aren’t sure: 

Stage 8: Market Yourself 

Step 1: Tell people about what you do

  • Start a blog 
  • Use social media 
  • Create YouTube content 
  • Write cold emails 
  • Pitch to your buyers 

Step 2: Write 3 things you need to build or include in your resume 

Step 3: Write 3 skills you need to learn 

At some point, you need blogging tools to help.

Stage 9: Build a brand 

Step 1:

  • Write 3 – 100 sentences on what makes you different?
  • Repeat stage 8. But this time, when you are sharing content, try to explain why you are different

If you are not sure what type of content to create, revisit stages 3 & 5 

Step 2: Update your resume after 2 – 3 months

Stage 10:  Share This 

How will you hide something helpful? 

Give it to your neighbors, your friends, and your former boss ?

Duration of Exercise 3 – 6 months 

You can download the template:

My name is Adekusibe Ogunmokun, a content writer. I offer SEO writing for tech/saas brands. I created this template for beginner freelancers to earn with the skills they already have. Read the whole article to understand. Visit for tips, guides about SEARCH Engine Marketing.