One of my favorite stories to tell is how I started freelancing because of the weird academic calendar shift in the Philippines that left me with a five-month-long summer. While that meant five months without school, that also meant five months without allowance.
So I started freelancing. Though when I look back now, I wish someone had walked me through how to find clients, how to make freelance packages – you know, the works.
So I figured there are other people currently in that stage. Because I hope you don’t need to struggle as much as I did, this 3-part series is devoted to helping you get your new freelance career off the ground.
For Part 1, we take a look at how to create those freelance packages, so you know exactly what to offer to those clients in need.
How to figure out exactly what to offer
Deciding you want to freelance is easy. Everything that comes after? Not so much.
For one thing, you’re going to want to think about what kind of freelance gigs you’re going to offer.
Now, you might already have an idea about what skills you want to put out into the creative market, and that’s great. But to make sure you don’t miss out on any important things to help you make freelance packages that are competitive and fair, here are some steps I recommend taking:
Identify your skills
I mean all your skills.
Are you not only a photographer but also a rockstar graphic designer? Or maybe you’re a graphic artist who’s also an amazing copywriter too.
Even soft skills, like organizational skills, are important too.
Don’t be shy: you know you’re an amazing multi-talented unicorn. And when you’re about to make freelance packages for those future clients, you’ll want the whole world to know.
When I first sat down to do this, I really went wild on my “what I’m good at” list. I thought I was organized enough to be someone’s virtual assistant, or even techy enough to make short videos for people.
Having that list helped me to later on decide that one of my most valuable skills was my writing. And eventually, that was exactly the service I offered to clients.
Action Step: List down all your skills. You don’t have to that advanced in all of them; as long as you know you’ve got the stuff, write it down.
Find skills that can be paired
Early in my freelancing days, I only offered one kind of service: writing. While this was all right to start, I noticed that some clients asked for infographics to go with their articles, and some would ask me to do it for them.
So I eventually started offering a package to upsell my loyal writing customers: for an extra fee, I’ll make an infographic to go with the article I write them. This worked great for a while, especially since infographics with posts were a pretty big deal a few years ago.
With the list of skills you just made, look through which ones you can bunch together to make freelance packages. The ones you make at first might not work out, but the beginning stages of freelancing involve a lot of trial and error anyway.
Come up with a few package options. If you need help figuring out exactly what your potential clients might need, ask around any friends you know who are into small business or even other freelance gigs. Who knows? You might discover ways to help those friends out too.
Action Step: Look through your list and identify possible pairings and packages. Think about what your potential clients might consider a killer combination!
Decide on your rate
Did you make freelance packages you’re confident in? Now it’s time for the part that scares even experienced freelancers: figuring out your freelance rates.
And the reason this can drive anyone nuts is because, if you ask anyone about this, they’re answer is often: “It depends!”
(I hate giving this answer myself. I know I sure hated it when I was still starting out!)
A good rule of thumb I went by was asking myself: “How much time would this project take? And how much do I want to make for that time?”
Of course, when you’re still starting out, you can’t charge as high as somebody with 10 years of experience, for example. But if it’s a skill you’ve had a lot of experience in, especially commercially, then you have every right to charge a higher amount than a totally new freelancer.
Action Step: Assign rates for those packages and ask a few friends for their opinions. Bonus if you can ask already-freelancing friends for their advice, i.e. their rates starting out and etc.
Make freelance packages that are right for you
In case you need the extra help figuring out how to make freelance packages, where you can start looking for clients, as well as how to have great freelance systems in place, read through the next couple of posts in this series:
- How to Get Your First Freelance Client When You’re Just Starting Out (coming soon!)
- How to Set Up Your Freelance Systems (coming soon!)
Bonus: Grab my free template toolkit for aspiring and current freelancers, which includes my very own Invoice and Contract templates!