The time has passed for questions like:
Can I start freelancing over 50?
Should I start freelancing over 50?
You already know you need a side-hustle in retirement but how do you get started?
Freelancing online is a proven way for pre-retirees to build an extra stream of income to boost their savings. You can work part-time or just work from home during retirement, instead of spending 10+ extra years at the office.
Not convinced you’re ready/able to start freelancing? Don’t hold yourself back. According to freelancing research from Upwork, Millennials dominate the freelancing field, but the number of people in the 40’s and 50’s is growing rapidly.
Millennials freelance because they know there’s no job security with traditional employment. That’s the truth no matter which generation you belong too. Job security for any age group is a thing of the past. So start freelancing now to build a cushion in case you do lose your job or get pushed into retirement early.
If you’re ready to get started selling services this week, here are 4 simple steps to make it happen.
Step 1: Define Your Freelancing Skill
First you need to decide what service(s) you’re going to offer. Usually, this will be a skill that relates to your current work expertise. Popular freelancing areas include design, programming, administrative support, writing and translation, finance, sales and marketing.
If you need inspiration, head over to Upwork and browse their freelance skill categories. Make a list of potential areas you could work in. If you need to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one, turn to educational platforms like Udemy, Skillshare, or Teachable.
If you need a little more basic instruction check out my book ONLINE BUSINESS BASICS: FUND YOUR RETIREMENT for the basics of freelancing and consulting using your current skill set.
Step 2: Hang Out Your Shingle
Every serious freelancer needs a website. It’s your home base where you’ll showcase your skills. If you don’t have a website, you have no resource to direct your potential clients too.
No tech skills, no problem for this step. You can use a tool like WordPress to set up your pages, then hook it up to a custom domain name. I walk you through the steps in detail in my website setup guide.
Here are the elements your freelance website should have at a minimum:
-A description of your services
-Evidence of your credentials
-Examples of your work
-Testimonials (Ask your coworkers, peers, or even your family if you’re just getting started)
-Contact information (Your email, phone number, etc.)
-Fill out your website and make it look as professional as possible.
Step: 3 Start Networking To Get Clients
Once your website is set up, you’re ready to start finding your first clients. The low hanging fruit is your current network. Inform your coworkers, family and friends about your new services and ask them to spread the word.
Social media marketing is another online networking strategy that can help you build relationships and find new clients. LinkedIn and Twitter are valuable tools for freelancers in this respect. Follow people who would make great clients, share content related to your niche, and engage on the platforms.
Networking should always be your main strategy to find well-paying clients. You can turn to freelance sites and job boards to find work (more on that in step 4), but in those instances, you’ll be competing with many other applicants for the same work. Use your networking skills to get referrals and you’ll be less likely to encounter potential clients who want to drive down the price of your services.
Step 4: Search For Employment Online
You’ll never get rich freelancing if you rely solely on freelance sites and job boards to find work. But they do have a benefit: helping you find work fast. This is a great strategy to use when you’re starting out and you need portfolio clips or references to improve your networking efforts.
Here are a few freelance marketplaces where you can create a profile and start applying for work in your niche:
Those are all general options — you may also find niche sites to apply to, such as Toptal, that focuses on software development, web design and finance. Use Google search to find relevant job boards in your niche as well.
The great thing about freelancing is how easy it is to set up and start earning money for retirement. You may be over 50, but there’s still plenty of time to catch up and build a reliable stream of income for years to come. Follow these steps now, and you can start selling your services this week.
If you need some extra advice about this or want to fast track this process, join our online community to ask questions and learn more about freelancing over 50.