Congratulations! You’ve decided to embark on your freelancing career! Now you have to figure out… pretty much everything. The easiest and least frustrating way to start making money as quickly as possible is to learn from someone who has done it before. But with so many options out there, how can you be sure you’re investing in a high-quality freelancing course?
A good course will deliver content and strategies that help you launch a profitable career. But what separates the good investments from the scams? Here are some tips to help you evaluate which courses are likely to be worth the investment—and which to avoid at all costs.
1. Look for a Self-Paced Freelancing Course
There is so much to learn when embarking on a new career. Obviously, freelancing is not an exception! Historically freelancers have been few and far between (although the landscape is slowly changing). That means there probably aren’t too many people you can turn to who have decades of experience.
Since there’s so much to learn, it’s important to have the freedom to move through the material at your own pace.
There are several reasons to prioritize the flexibility of self-paced courses:
- Transitioning into freelancing from a previous career? You need to fit the course in around your day job schedule.
- Taking care of family members, like kids or parents? A self-paced course means you really can do it all.
- Have a unique personality and learning style? (Yes, you do!) Take the time to grasp more difficult concepts.
Most of us can’t realistically dedicate three whole hours during a specific time block on Thursdays for the next 12 weeks. A good freelancing course will allow you to learn when it’s most convenient for you.
2. Be Wary of Any Freelancing Course That Promises the Moon
“Make six figures in your first year!”
“Land hundreds of quality clients with absolutely no outreach or effort!”
“Get to your first $10K month — and only work two hours a day!”
These claims are tricky because there’s the tiniest grain of truth to them.
- It is completely possible to earn six figures as a freelancer.
- You’ll probably get to a point where some percentage of your clients come from referrals.
- And eventually you’ll be able to work fewer hours while maintaining a comfortable income.
But if a freelancing course is selling unrealistically high earnings within an unrealistic time frame, run away as fast as you can.
Freelancing is a fantastic way to earn a living! But it’s not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s a real career that will yield results commensurate with the effort you put into it.
3. Make Sure the Course Will Help You Showcase Your Skills
A prerequisite of breaking into any career is proving you have the ability to do the work. You need a resume and references if you want a hiring manager to even think about considering you for an on-staff position.
In the freelancing world, your portfolio site is your resume. That’s where you prove to potential clients that you can solve their problem.
So make sure the course you’re looking at will teach you how to gain experience, demonstrate your skills, and build your portfolio site.
4. Ensure It Will Teach You How to Find and Land Clients
Now, we’re not saying a freelancing course should provide you with clients. In fact, finding your own clients is a highly valuable skill that you absolutely should develop.
But what’s the point of learning how to set up a freelance business if you don’t also learn a process for landing clients? If a freelancing course doesn’t give you the right tools (or, preferably, recommend a system) to find clients, then it’s not worth the money.
(Psst: Finding clients on sites like Upwork or Fiverr is not a strategy for landing consistent work. We didn’t freelance to have someone else control our opportunities, right? That’s exactly what you do when you’re on job bidding sites—not to mention undercutting your work. Hear more on the Freelance Success Framework limited podcast series right here >>)
5. Find Freelancing Courses Taught by Real-Life Freelancers
Did you know that some courses out there are based on theory alone? That the course creator doesn’t actually have any experience freelancing?
Less insidious, but still not a good sign, are courses taught by people who have only dipped their toes into freelancing.
Make sure you’re learning from freelancers who have cultivated a wildly successful freelancing career of their own! Better yet, the course creator will still be actively freelancing while running the course.
Freelancing today looks a lot different than it did when some of our team members began their careers 20+ years ago. And it continues to evolve. So look for a freelancing course that’s taught by someone who has learned and grown in their career, and who continues to hone their skills.
Now, you may be aware that we offer a course for freelancers, but this article isn’t about that. No matter which course you pursue, make sure you’re getting real career training. There are some fantastic courses out there, so don’t waste time or money on something that won’t help you achieve your goals!