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How to Become a Digital Freelancer in 2024 Selling Services

by | Apr 2, 2024 | 0 comments

Image description: A woman sitting on the floor, working on her laptop, a partially packed suitcase and clothes scattered around her.

It’s no secret that the number of digital freelancers offering online services has sharply increased in recent years.

With this surge, I’ve seen many positive changes in my decade of meandering the digital nomad space and online business space; it’s becoming more diverse and even more equitable.

Because of this increase, some may worry that there’s no room for them to shift to an online career. But rest assured that this market is not oversaturated by any means. With a committed focus and a strategic approach, starting is easier than ever.

Today, I will introduce you to the five pillars that help build a solid freelance career in 2024. More than just getting started, these pillars will help you maintain and grow your business over time.

If you clicked on this article, you’re probably ready for a change of pace in your career, so I won’t keep you waiting – let’s jump right in!

THE FOUNDATIONS

Your foundations will be the very heart of everything you do in your online business, and it has three main components: what, who, and why.

  • What: Looking at your existing skills, what service do you want to offer and be paid for? Remember that you’re building your dream career, so don’t be tempted to do something you hate just because you can, and it has a seemingly higher price tag. If you choose something you enjoy and do it well, combined with providing an excellent client experience, you’ll soon be able to charge a premium.
  • Who: Take time to decide what type of clients you want to serve. If you’re marketing yourself to everyone, you’re marketing yourself to no one. Lean into a niche and work on understanding the unique needs of these dream clients. This will also lend to the premium quality of your service and will spotlight you as an authority in your field.
  • Why: Discerning why you’re taking this career path is an essential guiding light in your journey. Your why is your motivation – are you doing this work because you want to travel more, earn more, have more freedom and time to spend with your family, or build a better life for your children or furbabies? Whatever the reason, embrace it and keep it at the forefront of your mind.

Hot tip: Don’t be afraid to change lanes!

Even though these are your foundations, it’s important that you don’t feel bound by them, as they can change often. You may offer writing services and decide to shift to graphic design down the road. You may work with personal chefs and choose to move to working with therapists. Your what, who, and even your why can (and most likely will) evolve, and that’s okay. Let these foundations fluctuate and grow with you.

BUILD A PORTFOLIO

Okay, now you know what skills you are excited to offer as a service provider, your next step is to showcase that in a way that will have clients turning heads and booking discovery calls.

Are you a writer or graphic designer? Gather up some of your best pieces. Are you offering social media services? Your own social media accounts will be the perfect portfolio. The same goes for website designers.

If you’ve never worked online, don’t overlook all your work as a non-freelancer. It also has a place in your portfolio, and testimonials from employers and coworkers only help validate your capabilities further.

Remote freelancers, especially Virtual Assistants, rarely ever have to showcase a resume of credentials to their prospective clients. That’s part of the beauty of the Virtual Assistant space and why there’s a low barrier to entry. Quite honestly, clients don’t care about your degree or how many jobs you’ve had before, all they want to know is that you have the skills to solve their problems and are capable of helping them meet their business needs. They want to see that you can do what you say you can do. 

Check out or blog post, Portfolio Hacks for VAs Working With Confidential (Or No) Clients,” for more in-depth tips!

 

MASTER THE MINDSET

Mindset, mindset – that word gets thrown around a lot, right? But it isn’t without purpose. We often say at DNK that new freelancers and Virtual Assistants need to shift their mindset from employee to business owner. Being a business owner comes with a wealth of freedom and also responsibilities – both can be tricky to manage long-term without working on your mindset.

Shifting from the mindset of someone looking to be hired, you also choose who you want to work with and under what terms. You collaborate with other business owners and set healthy boundaries to preserve your working relationships.

The Virtual Excellence Academy has its exclusive approach to tackling mindsets around money. Unconsciously, many of us have Hang-ups concerning money. Whether it was something said to us during childhood or habits that we’ve observed from family, many of us unknowingly have a scarcity mindset that keeps us from our true earning potential.

Common limiting beliefs that pop up:

  • “If you want to get rich, you have to work extremely hard.”
  • “I should never pass up an opportunity because money is too hard to come by.”
  • “No one will pay that much for XYZ.”
  • “Money is bad.”
  • “Rich people are greedy, bad people.”

These belief systems prevent us from reaching our goals. The Virtual Excellence Academy’s exclusive Money Mindset program helps you dismantle those beliefs and decide how you can and will thrive in your business.

Reminder: The mindset work goes beyond working through limiting money beliefs!

It’s worth noting that there’s also a mindset shift when you realize that you, as a freelance service provider, can create your dream lifestyle. From a cozy lifestyle at home to an adventurous lifestyle of travel and everything in between, you reclaim your time and power to build a lifestyle and life-work balance that suits your needs.

The students in our community tackle their limiting beliefs regularly and know that success can be achieved in many different ways. They understand that an ideal lifestyle looks different for any other individual. Regardless of age, gender, education, background, or sexual orientation, they are building a life that works for them.

NETWORKING & TAKING ACTION

Take action, reach out, and talk to someone. Another nescessary cliche for you – your network is your net worth – and it’s easier than ever to meet people who can be part of your support network or your pool of potential clients and referrals.

LinkedIn is an incredible hub for this very type of activity and 100% where I would recommend every VA or freelancer to be spending a portion of their time networking in 2024 and beyond. With plenty of groups on other platforms too that focus on countless niches, you’re sure to find a community that resonates with what you do and that can value your offerings.

Even though we’re working remotely, in person events are still a networking treasure-trove, as long as you come prepared.

Taking action comes in bursts and varying levels of difficulty. Starting the journey is taking action, yes, but the proactive approach in putting your business out there doesn’t end there and truly goes a long way. The internet and social media are fast-moving, with information flooding in at all hours of the day. A certain level of upkeep is necessary to keep yourself relevant and ensure you’re engaging in suitable spaces so potential clients can see you and build that much-needed “Know, Like, and Trust Factor”.

If the concept of networking scares you – simplify it in your mind. You are simply making friendships with likeminded folks online 🙂

 

Bonus tip: Go where your ideal clients are!

You might be an Instagram fanatic, but if your ideal clients are showing up on X aka Twitter, and you’re seeing lively, engaging communities on that platform, it’s worth considering to build your social presence in that space. Is it mandatory? No. But if you’re taking all the right actions in the wrong locations, you could find yourself up against an underwhemling response. Meet your clients where they are!

Image description: A woman waving at her laptop screen as she attends a virtual meeting.

ESSENTIAL SELF-CARE

Sitting in the center of the four previous pillars is an important element that doesn’t get enough recognition in the productivity-focused online business space.

Seldom talked about in business courses, we pride ourselves on being one of the most holistic freelance business courses available. We put a high level of focus on self-care and prioritizing our well-being through setting healthy boundaries, meditation, and gentle movements to avoid stagnation, plus being a part of a community that understands and shares your journey and its way of self-care.

In our Inner Circle community, Kim Gorchs holds monthly self-care sessions that specifically cover the hurdles that freelancers and remote workers face. From fighting self-doubt to embracing our worthiness and managing stress better, community members always have the opportunity for a monthly much-needed check-in and (re)alignment.

Engaging in the community as a whole is it’s own form of self-care, because you get to interract, share, and connect with people on a similar path as you. That mutual support is a game-changer all on it’s own. Self-care, and community-care is a huge proponent of a successful life, and in turn, a successful career in your chosen service area. Sure, you can get by without it, but imagine how much better things could be if you felt good – like, really good? Think “peace of mind” good, think “can handle anything thrown at me confidently” good. 

 

Let’s be honest: It’s not all sunshine and rainbow!

Being able to work from anywhere is a dream for many people, and while it all looks like paradise on social media, remote work and digital nomad lifestyles come with their their own trials and tribulations. For some, it’s a sense of loneliness that they don’t anticipate. So finding and building a self-care routine that suits you, and joining the community that supports you are both ways and keeping your spirit high so that you can continue to grow.

THE BEST WAY TO GET STARTED

All of this said, the best way to get started as a freelancer in 2024 is by joining our free 5 Day VA challenge. Why? It’s a fine-tuned challenge covering these five pillars, and more, cutting out the fluff, and getting right to the realities of what it takes to get started.

This challenge shows you that you don’t need to learn some high-tech skill or have a degree to get started as a freelancer. Because, in fact, each of us already have existing skills that can be of value to clients. Whether it’s because you know how to do something that they don’t or you know how to do something that they don’t want to do anymore. Either way, it’s marketable and something you can build your dream career around.

We don’t hold back in our 5 Day VA challenge! Every day we’re giving you actionable steps to get started, shift your mindset and help you land clients. With over 33,000 students trained, we’ve seen people landing their first (or next) client during the challenge – with “zero’ experience prior (remember, we’re not discounting all your career and life experience when you make the digital switch!).

Self-paced and easy to complete in one to two hours daily, this flexible challenge is built for results. It is the best place to start your freelance journey.

Ready to join the next 5 Day VA Challenge? Sign up right here!

And that’s it, friends! What would you do as a freelance service provider?

What type of life would you build when you had complete freedom and flexibility?

Sign up for the next 5 Day VA challenge, and if you’re ready to do a deep dive, join the waiting list for the Virtual Excellence Academy so that you are the first to know when enrollment opens. In the VEA you get access to contract templates, hours of beneficial course content, an exclusive jobs board, and an incredible member community of other freelancers: The VEA Inner Circle.

Author: Hannah Dixon
Hannah Dixon is a Business Coach, Recruiter, and Founder of Digital Nomad Kit and The Virtual Excellence Academy (VEA). The VEA is a leading educational program and diverse global community that has honed the skills and confidence of over 30,000+ virtual assistants and freelancers. Committed to ethical hiring practices, she also provides VIP recruitment services. Hannah views freelancing and self-leadership as potent tools for social change, empowering anyone, anywhere, to unlock potential and create life-changing opportunities. As a 16-year digital nomad, she speaks internationally, demonstrating progressive business and lifestyle approaches, and powerfully compelling audiences to action.

But, how?

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