Your Go-To Guide To Becoming A Freelancer: Everything You Need To Know To Land Your First Job

Being one’s own boss is the dream of many. However, not every career interest or qualification leads to the path of entrepreneurship. Instead, you may want to engage in career and daily tasks consistent with your training. Whatever your profession, you may find that choosing your work based on the individual appeal of each project and client may be more fulfilling. Furthermore, it could lead to the comfortable pursuing of other activities, hobbies or studies. 

Freelance work is said to improve one’s well-being by reducing stress and increasing job satisfaction. We believe that most young professionals are freelancers at heart. Therefore, we invite you to consider the growing ease of landing your first job as a freelancer

First Things First

A freelancer is a free-operating, self-employed agent trading service in exchange for negotiated rates. Freelancing has become relatively lucrative work, with an array of top-paid positions available in Dubai. In order to become a freelancer, you will need a network of clients to offer your services to. This will usually require signing up to a platform which provides such networking opportunities. Freelancers in Dubai use websites such as this one to register their services. You will be required to get a freelance license to begin operating as a freelancer in Dubai. 

Getting Your Freelancer License 

The UAE government is in full support of its residents opting to work as freelance agents. This makes the process of acquiring a valid freelance license in Dubai relatively easy. 

You will first need to select a free zone to get your license from. Once you have chosen your career, you will need to get a trading license from the licensing authority you have selected. 

This will require the following documents: 

  • A filled-out freelance license application form
  • A copy of your earning/business-plan
  • A passport copy
  • A signed recommendation letter from your past employer(s)
  • Your CV
  • Your qualification certificates
  • A sponsor-signed NOC to switch your residence permit to a freelance permit. 
  • A good-standing-certificate from your bank to guarantee that you have a good banking history
  • A work portfolio or samples of your completed projects.

You will then need to take the following steps: 

  • Apply to the free zone authority that has granted you your residence permit
  • Request an interim approval with the documents listed
  • Sign the confirmation letter you are expected to receive once your interim approval is granted
  • Provide this signed letter, the documents listed above and the necessary payments to your chosen Free Zone authority

What you will be provided with: 

  • A freelance permit
  • A freelance Visa
  • A flexi desk and office facilities 

This entire application process will cost you approximately AED 17,000. This approximation is non-inclusive of visa charges, the EST card, and National ID costs. 

Becoming A Freelancer 

Once you have chosen a platform to register your services on, you will need to know how to earn projects and set your rates. Here are our tips for operating as a Freelancer on our platform: 

1. Focus

Freelance work is about being able to remove all distractions from your mind as you apply yourself to your projects. This can be challenging, as many freelancers work from home or from their own office space. They work based on their own set schedules and will need to dedicate their focus to every task at hand. In freelance work, the deadline is key and it is down to the freelancer to make sure they plan out their time and concentrate to finish their projects on time. 

2. Patience

Do not despair if your proposals do not immediately get selected by clients. Freelance work requires making propositions to clients for your services or registering a profile to earn their interest. However, this often takes time. New profiles will not often inspire the same trust as older profiles. The more work you complete on the platform, however, the more prospective clients will gravitate towards you. This means that you will have to work diligently in your first few weeks of freelancing to send out propositions and communicate with prospective clients. 

3. Construct A Gleaming Profile

 Most freelancing platforms will offer you an “overview” section, where you will need to write a general cover letter for all prospective clients. 

Your profile is your opportunity to sell your skills and expertise to the world. You will want to describe your services as appealingly as possible. Make sure you include all your relevant experience and point out the situations in which you believe your services will be required. 

4. Create A Strong Portfolio 

File all your completed projects into a portfolio. Organize it based on themes and project type. Make sure your portfolio is kept in a format you can easily send and consult from all devices. You should offer every interested client the opportunity to consult your detailed portfolio to earn your first projects. 

5. Look The Part

In order to avoid looking unprofessional, every detail of your profile needs to suggest credibility and preferably, a level of sophistication. Therefore, it may be worth the investment to have professional shots taken to use as your display picture. Your avatar should be a clear, high-quality picture of your face and bust. In order to make your profile more inviting, you will need to make sure you are smiling on the picture and that your grooming is up to par. Stay clear of beach photos, family photos or pictures at venues such as restaurants or nightclubs. 

6. Engage with Your Target Audience

We could not emphasize enough on the effectiveness of LinkedIn marketing. You could land your first freelance job in Dubai, from LinkedIn. You could close a client from within LinkedIn Messenger.

Prepare

Before you reach out to your target audience through LinkedIn Messenger, you must start posting relevant content on your profile. If you are active on LinkedIn, your potential clients will eventually see you as an industry expert. Even if they do not reach out to you immediately. 

Step 1: Add New Connections

We recommend adding 100 new connections every day, make sure you add hirers and other decision-makers, e.g. CEOs, Owners, etc. 

Step 2: Introduce

Send a brief introduction to the new connections as you expand your network. Do not sell your services in the first message. 

Step 3: Create Interest

Share your past results, portfolio, useful industry insights. You could talk about the problems they are facing, which you can solve with your services. Do not talk about the price yet.

Step 4: Create Desire

Make a value-packed offer. Your offer should be all about solving the problems of your customers, it must not be about you and what you can do as a freelancer in Dubai. Before you flaunt your skills, make them talk about their problems. Then offer the right solution to solve their problems. An easy way to get them to talk about their problems is to get them on the phone for a strategy session. You could easily hire a freelance content writer in Dubai or a pitch writer to help you come up with suitable questions. At the end of the strategy session, you could disclose the price and handle different objections the customer could have.

Our Personal Tip 

Freelance has become big money. To land your first freelancer job, you will need to have a few good customer service skills. Remember that the client is always right – therefore, it is your responsibility to make certain you fully understand all required from you prior to submitting your project. You will need to be versed in professional exchange with clients. You will need to know how to contact clients, how to communicate worries or ask for further instruction on set tasks. Practice tactful conversation by writing prospective cover letters and emails. 

A Concluding Note 

Becoming one of the many high-earning freelancers in the UAE isn’t as challenging as a lot of professionals initially think. You will only need to apply to the relevant authorities for a license and register with a relevant platform. Bawabba has connected expert professionals and clients for years, with projects completed successfully in an array of industries. We believe we are in the best position to offer your services in the UAE so sign up today to start earning as a freelancer!

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