This is a classic chicken & egg conundrum. When you first start freelancing online, do you just start working, or do you establish a brand & online presence first?

(If you were wondering eggs came first, because dinosaurs)

The answer is both. To get work online you will need to start defining your work and the value you provide to clients, you just don’t need to aim for perfection right away. The hardest client to land (especially on sites like Upwork) is the first one.

This takes a little upfront planning. 

You need a description of your work, a headshot, and at least one portfolio example. You might be able to land a job without these pieces if you have a really killer proposal and a low rate, but let’s be professionals here and focus on sustainable, decent paying work.

Yes, your rate will start out lower than established freelancers, just be careful not to undervalue your time.

In my last blog, we talked about four important pieces that will help you get started freelancing. You need hard skills, a source for clients, an online presence and a portfolio of work. You don’t even need complex skills like coding, if you’re well organized and can help answer emails and straighten out the life of a fellow businesswoman you could be an amazing virtual assistant.

Take a minute today to think about the skills you offer. Head over to Upwork and check out other freelancers profiles and the jobs listed on the site. Where do you see your skills fitting in that landscape of work?

When you find a few jobs that interest you, think about the type of content you could create that would help you land that job. What can you create this weekend, or this afternoon, that would showcase your skills and help you land that gig?

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