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4 Ways to Turn Your Freelance or Side Job into a Career

Person working at computer - Tulane School of Professional Advancement

Regardless of your particular industry, knowledge, and skills, having a freelance side job is a great way to earn extra income. As your client base grows, however, you may want to expand your side hustle into a full-fledged business with the help of entrepreneur-focused professional certificates from the Tulane School of Professional Advancement. Here's how finding your niche, establishing an online presence, attracting long-term clients, registering your business, and building a solid foundation in business fundamentals can turn your side job into a rewarding full-time career.

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Finding Your Niche

The first step to making your side business stand out is figuring out what makes your services different from the competition. By finding your niche and tailoring your business to your unique interests and skills, you'll attract customers who want the job done correctly and quickly. For example, if your side job involves web design, you may choose to focus your efforts on designing for clients in the hospitality industry or clients in a particular geographical area. You may also consider earning a digital media certificate or degree.

Establishing an Online Presence

No matter how impressive your skills are, your business won't get very far without a professional and robust online presence. At the very least, you should have a website for your business that features a portfolio of your work, a list of the services you offer, and your contact information. If you want your website to be truly professional, register your own domain name and employ Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to help potential clients find you more easily.

Attracting Long-Term Clients

Once your side business begins growing, you will likely find that you spend more time searching for and attracting new clients than serving existing clients. Instead of pursuing an endless stream of one-off clients, work on identifying and securing clients who will have an ongoing need for your services. It's much easier to keep existing clients happy for the long term than to constantly bring in new, short-term clients.

Registering Your Business

Once your side job becomes your main job, it's time to register your business so that it becomes a distinct legal entity. Registration can help you establish an optimal structure for your company and make you appear even more legitimate to potential clients. You may also choose professional liability insurance, which can help protect you from a variety of legal pitfalls.

At the Tulane School of Professional Advancement, we offer professional certificates in Small Business Development and Applied Business Studies to help you turn your freelance side job into a career. Learn more about our bachelor's degree, master's degree, and professional certificate programs today.

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