The moment you decide to start freelancing, you’ll notice that there are plenty of courses willing to show you how. But, it’s important to be able to differentiate the good ones from the bad. After all, you want to know you’re investing your time and money into a quality course.
Today’s post focuses on the five things the best online freelance courses must have to stick out above the rest.
Do You Need a Course to Know How to Freelance?
You might think you don’t need a course to learn how to freelance. Or, you might know someone currently freelancing who didn’t take a course. Odds are that person is having a tough time landing clients or is experiencing feast and famine in their freelance career. Because the truth is no one is born knowing how to freelance—you need to learn it just like any other skill.
No matter how good you are at the service(s) you offer, if you don’t have a system for finding and landing clients (Upwork and Fiverr are not a “system”—you’re still leaving the fate of your business in other people’s hands), build a portfolio the right way, and manage multiple clients at once then you will likely struggle as a freelancer.
But, with the right training you’ll be able to hit the ground running with actionable steps for success. You’ll be able to go from freelancer to business owner.
1. A Freelance Course Needs to Teach You How to Land Clients
There’s no shortage of courses that seem pretty popular and come with a promise of helping you get rich quick. But, I’ve been in the business for over 20 years, and I’ve never met any freelancers who got rich overnight without putting in the work. In fact, most of those popular courses don’t even offer a system for landing clients—that’s a major red flag of any freelancing course.
The best online freelancing courses need to teach you a specific system for how to go out and land clients on repeat. Plus, it should teach you how to scale your business once you get going and how to find higher paying clients along the way.
2. The Best Online Freelance Courses Are Self-Paced
There are a lot of concepts to learn while transitioning to a career in freelance. After all, it’s pretty different from working on-staff–there’s a lot to learn.
There are aspects of freelancing that are easy to embrace (like working from anywhere on your own schedule) but there may be some things that take a bit of getting used to. That’s why the most quality freelancing courses will allow your to work at your own pace. That way, you can take all the time you need to learn about any area you’re struggling to grasp.
Not to mention the fact that you probably already have a busy enough life. So, it wouldn’t be realistic to expect to dedicate hours and hours every day to learning how to freelance. You should be able to log in and learn as your schedule allows—not at whatever pace is convenient for the company selling the course.
3. A Freelance Course Shouldn’t Make Unrealistic Promises
It really pushes my buttons when I see courses do this. There are too many out there that make empty promises and try to sell you on an impossible lifestyle.
Don’t get me wrong, freelancing is totally capable of giving you the career you’ve dreamed of, but it can’t make you a millionaire working 5 hours a week. Sorry.
But, it is more than possible to make six figures as a freelancer. And, you can do that working remotely, too. Past students have even been able to accomplish both in just one year. However, a year or two of experience before making six figures is a more realistic timeline for most. It all depends on how much time and energy you can put towards learning how to land clients and grow your business.
Freelance courses that choose to promote these illusions may trigger a lot of interest, and maybe even a lot of sales too, but they can’t deliver on the promise. The only result is would-be freelancers walk away feeling like freelancing is impossible to get into.
Freelancing is an awesome career that offers perks better than other jobs. But, it’s not a get-rich-quick vehicle. Any course that promises an easy path to the top should immediately be disregarded.
4. A Freelance Course Needs to Give You a System for Consistently Landing Clients
Like any skill, you need to have experience in your field before you can do it as a freelancer. At the very least, you should be an expert in whatever skill you’re going to offer.
So, what a freelance course will actually teach you is how to use your skill to consistently earn income. And how do you consistently earn income? By having a proven way to find and land client.
Reputable freelance courses will give you actionable steps for how you can build your portfolio, find clients early on, and then turn it all into bigger projects and a larger client list.
Please note that a great freelance course isn’t going to provide you with clients. This is actually another warning sign of a bad investment in a course. Being able to find clients on your own is crucial to building a sustainable career.
What the course should do is train you in the exact steps you need to take to identify possible clients, reach out to them, and land the work. Just because you have a skill doesn’t mean you can freelance in an instant. Without a proven method for landing clients, there’s little chance of success.
5. The Best Online Freelance Courses Come From Successful Freelancers
Shockingly enough, there are some freelancing courses out there where the course creator has never actually freelanced themselves or truly earned an income freelancing. Talk about disappointing.
And then, there are some who have been created by people who have only started to freelance, or quit freelancing entirely to only focus on marketing their course.
If you invest in a freelance course, or, even if it’s a free freelance course, it’s important that the person who builds the course is a practicing freelancer who is sharing the same experiences you’re facing. Make sure that the person has a wide variety of experiencing working for companies across different industries and someone who understands the present freelancing landscape.
Also, freelancing is a skill that can’t be mastered. So, the person teaching the course should always be trying to learn more about it and honing their skills. The marketing world is always changing; you need the support of a community that keeps up with all those changes.
As you probably already know, we offer a free freelancing course, but this article isn’t about pushing you towards that. No matter what freelance online course you choose to invest your time and/or money in, make sure that you’ll be able to get the value and career training you’re looking for from it. After all, you don’t want to start your freelance career with a setback because you took a less than quality freelancing course.