When you're fresh off the boat you gotta bring in some cash money. Your little bundle of food only goes so far, and your aunt won't let you stay in the back shed forever. Here's how they do it in the New World.
"Everything is so easy in the New World!"
"Oh, you're fresh off the boat, then?"
First off, don't get it into your mind that this is going to be easy. Freelancing may be one of the hardest things you'll ever do in life. You want easy, get a job shoveling livery stables for twelve hours a day. This isn't going to be that easy. Watch the video... get inspired... and scroll down for some lessons in hard knocks.
What skills are you starting with?
If you've got an idea where your passions lie, you can probably make money off them. In the New World, you can make money off just about any passion imaginable. Somebody is probably willing to pay for those passions. But you have to figure out what those passions are, and get an idea who might pay you to excersize them on their behalf. One way to do that is craigslist.
Craigslist consulting and freelancing
Try going out to craigslist and looking for jobs and parttime gigs. You'll likely find hundreds of them. It may take some time to dig them apart and find your exact skillset. But when you do, you can search for those keywords and locate just the work for you. You'll probably see dozens of new entries every day, if you search each major city in your home country. The U.S. has thousands of cities, so you can search for gigs all day long.
"How long should I search for gigs?"
"It depends on how bad you need the income"
Reply to every craigslist gig that matches your skillset. Expect a reply from about one out of every 50 messages. Most will just be overwhelmed with responses, and will only respond to the first few, or the most likely candidates. But you'll get a few bites every day. Work those leads like a machine. Sell you services, and land a deal. You can do it. It just takes time.
Agree on a price
The client is going to ask for your rates pretty quickly. That's usually going to happy in the first few emails, so you better know what the going rate it, and whether you can live on that. Rates for every client may be different, so be ready with some software to manage billable rates for each project and each client. (see below for our recommendation)
Get some good time tracking and client invoicing software
That's what this website is all about. The best consulting app is right here. Download a copy and learn it. Watch the videos. Try things on your own machine. You'll be able to write project proposals for clients you're talking with, track billable hours, and invoice those clients. Once you start bringing in revenue, expand your use of the program into project management and client status. Everything you need is here.
Sign the deal and go to work
You're likely going to get a "Work for hire" contract from the client. That just means he owns everything you create. Don't worry; that's normal. And actually, he just owns the derivative works you create for him, not the original body of work you already own. So don't worry about bringing preexisting intellectual property to the table. You retain the rights to that, and the client gets the derived copy.
Good luck! You're consulting in the New World!
Immigrant 1: It’s the new world! What do we do now?
Conductor: Start a new business with Standard Time!
Conductor: Find clients
Conductor: Track time and expenses
Conductor: Sync with the cloud
Conductor: And invoice directly from Standard Time
Immigrant: Do clients pay in chickens or horse feed?
Conductor: It depends on how you manage projects
Conductor: Manage projects with Standard Time, and you get paid in gold
Immigrant: We like the new world!