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How to start freelancing with no experience: tips to land your first client

How to start freelancing with no experience: tips to land your first client

  • What type of freelancing work is best for beginners?
  • Writing and editing
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Bookkeeping
  • Voiceover work
  • Photography
  • How to start freelancing with no experience
  • Consider your skills
  • Choose a niche
  • Leverage your network
  • Develop a portfolio
  • Build a website
  • Search for jobs
  • Tips for landing your first client
  • Key takeaways

Do you feel stuck in the 9-to-5 grind and dream about working for yourself? Freelancing offers many benefits, but as a beginner, it can feel impossible to land your first client. That’s why we’ve put together this guide on how to start freelancing with no experience.

Whether you want to launch a side hustle or start your own full-time business, freelancing can be an exciting and lucrative venture. If you’ve never freelanced before, however, it can feel intimidating to strike out on your own for the first time. Fortunately, many freelancing opportunities exist for people with no experience. With some research and determination, you can successfully begin your freelancing career.

This guide will explain how to start freelancing with no experience in 2024. We’ll go over:

  • The best types of freelancing work for beginners

  • How to start your freelance business

  • Tips for landing your first client

Statistical Insight

Millions of people choose to freelance

Freelancing continues to grow each year in the United States. In 2023, about 64 million Americans offered freelance services, marking an all-time high, according to a recent Upwork survey. Those freelancers have a significant impact on the U.S. economy, contributing $1.27 trillion in annual earnings.

What type of freelancing work is best for beginners?

Depending on your skills, you can find many types of freelancing work without experience. These are some of the best freelancing jobs for beginners:

Writing and editing

If you have a way with words, consider becoming a freelance writer or editor. Freelance writers can create a variety of content, such as blog posts, articles, grants, technical manuals, marketing materials, and ebooks. Freelance editors read and review this content thoroughly for accuracy, style, and grammar.

Social media management

Many businesses and brands hire freelancers to manage their social media accounts. It can be a good entry-level freelancing job if you enjoy creating social media content, such as posts, videos, and graphics.

Graphic design

Do you have impressive design skills? If so, you can find work as a freelance graphic designer. These freelancers design visual concepts for companies, such as logos, advertisements, social media graphics, and websites. You can choose to provide a variety of design services or specialize in a specific area.


Bookkeeping can be an excellent freelance venture for people with analytical skills. As a freelance bookkeeper, you’ll manage financial data for small businesses. You might track a company’s revenue and expenses, process invoices, or complete payroll. 

Voiceover work

Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful voice? Put your natural talents to work as a freelance voiceover artist. These freelancers can work on a variety of projects, such as commercials, audiobooks, animations, and video games. As you gain experience, you can learn additional skills, such as how to speak in different accents.


A freelance photographer can provide services for different clients, including individuals and businesses. You can choose a specific type of photography to offer, such as family portraits or social media images. You can even sell your work on stock photography websites to earn commissions.

How to start freelancing with no experience

Are you ready to launch your side hustle or full-time business? Follow these steps to get started:

Consider your skills

Even without experience, you have skills you can use to be successful as a freelancer. Consider both your natural abilities and the transferable skills you’ve gained in other jobs. For example, if you’re a naturally good writer who has experience working in the technology industry, you can combine your skills and experience to offer freelance technical writing services.

Choose a niche

Spend some time deciding what freelance services you want to offer, also known as your niche. Be as clear as possible about your niche. If you want to start a graphic design business, for example, will you offer general services or specialize in an area, like web design?

When choosing your niche, it’s helpful if you have some relevant skills in the area. However, remember that you can continue to learn and evolve. If you dream about becoming a wedding photographer, for instance, you can start by offering general photography services and then specialize down the road after you’ve gained some experience.

  • Research the market so you understand the current demand for services in your niche. Read articles, listen to podcasts, or join online groups to research your niche.
  • Choose a niche based solely on how much money you think you can make. Market trends can change quickly, so it’s better to choose a niche that you feel passionate about.

Leverage your network

You’ve chosen a niche, and you’re ready to start freelancing. But how do you get your first job? It’s helpful to leverage your network, including friends, family, and former colleagues. Reach out to those people and tell them you’ve started freelancing. Ask if they might know anyone who could benefit from your services. When you have people who can vouch for you to potential clients, you’re more likely to get work without having experience.

Develop a portfolio

It’s essential to have a portfolio of work you can show to prospective clients. Your portfolio shows new clients the work you’re capable of doing, so they feel comfortable hiring you. Once you have one or two work samples under your belt, create a portfolio. Your portfolio can include various materials that showcase your work, such as:

  • Links

  • PDFs

  • Social media posts

  • Screenshots

  • Audio recordings

If possible, include positive testimonials from your first clients as part of your portfolio. These reviews can be a huge selling point when you discuss your portfolio with prospective clients.

Build a website

While you don’t need a website as a beginner freelancer, it can be a valuable tool to promote your services. Your website can include your portfolio and other informational pages. For example, you can create pages for your bio, services, pricing, and contact information. If you don’t know how to create a website, consider building one with an easy-to-use platform, such as Squarespace, Wix, or WordPress.

Search for jobs

As you complete your first freelancing jobs, continue to search for more work. You can often find freelance work on job boards. Search those websites for entry-level freelancing jobs in your niche. You can also research potential clients and reach out to them directly, asking if they need your services.

Be consistent as you build your business. Dedicate some time each day to applying for freelance jobs and pitching clients. Before you know it, you’ll be an experienced freelancer.

Tips for landing your first client

When launching your freelance business, landing your first client can feel daunting. Here are some additional tips for securing work:

  • Use social media. To reach prospective clients quickly, post about your freelancing services on social media. Ask your friends and followers to share your posts to reach a wider audience.

  • Offer discounted rates. When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, consider offering discounted rates for your services. While you don’t want to sell yourself short, offering lower rates can help you get your first clients. Once you’ve completed a few jobs, you can increase your rates for future clients.

  • Create sample projects. If you’re having trouble getting your first client, create a few sample projects for your portfolio. For example, you might create some mock-up website designs and include them in your graphic design portfolio.

  • Perfect your pitch. It can feel scary to pitch clients directly, but it’s an effective way to get freelancing work. Perfect your pitch by identifying clients in your niche and writing a message that explains why they should hire you. If you don’t hear back, follow up with a reminder of your services and value.

Ready to start looking for your first freelance job? Use Career.io’s Job Search Strategy tool to optimize your search and stand out from the competition!

Key takeaways

  1. Some beginner-friendly freelance niches include writing and editing, bookkeeping, social media management, graphic design, and more.

  2. As a beginner freelancer, you can find your first job by leveraging your network, searching on job boards, and pitching prospective clients directly.

  3. Create a portfolio and website to show potential clients your skills and promote your services.

  4. When you’re just starting out, use different strategies to find clients, such as offering discounted rates or creating sample projects.

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