A good way to start your freelancing career is to utilize the freelance bidding sites on the internet. There are several to choose from and they can help you build a portfolio of experience to start your own business down the road.
Each bidding site runs a little differently, so you'll want to check each one out to see what exactly you need to do. Most offer different levels of memberships that range from paid to free. The benefits of each membership package will vary with each one.
You will simply sign up for one of the membership packages and type in your information in the profile section to show what experience you have in a certain area. This is where the clients will see what skills you bring to the table and help them determine if you are someone they want to work with or not.
Everyday clients will post the projects they need done on the site. The freelancers who are capable of performing the task will place a bid for the project. The clients will periodically check the bids to see who has the best bid and who seems to be the most experienced for what they want done.
Some projects will have a specific time period that they will be accepting bids on the job and once that period has been met, the job posting is then closed and a decision is made. Some project postings may be closed before the time period is up, so getting your bid in right away would be helpful.
If your bid is chosen by a client, you will be notified, through the site, about the particulars the project holds. The client will probably verify the bid price with you before going any further. The account you have signed up for will provide you with a way for the client and you to contact each other while keeping your personal information safe.
Payments for the projects completed and accepted by clients are usually paid through the escrow accounts that the freelancing sites have set up. While you have the option of being paid directly with checks or through PayPal, it is recommended that you use the escrow account offered to you by the site.
In most cases, the client would have to pay the pre-determined amount for the project before you start working on it. The payment would sit in the escrow account until you complete the project asked of you. Once it's accepted, the payment can be released to your account for you.
Each site is different in how they work, but most ask you to pay a certain percentage of each project you work on. This could be paid through the escrow from your project payment. Some memberships that are paid give you the option of waiving that fee, so you will want to check each site before deciding which one works for you.
Each person that works on a project on a site will receive some type of feedback for the quality of work they performed for the client. If you did well and met the deadline asked of you, you will receive good ratings. The more you find work, the more ratings you can build up in your profile.
The highest ratings usually get the highest paid work, so be sure to do your best on every project you win through these sites. A bad rating can hurt you and could be difficult to overcome in the long run. It can make the difference in the amount of bids you win or the possible ongoing work you could have been hired for. Some employers skim through these profiles looking for freelancers to do ongoing jobs for them and aren't interested in posting them for bids.
Your portfolios can be built with the work you do on these sites, which can be useful in the future if you choose to go into business on your own.