In 2019, American freelancers brought home $1 trillion, and that’s not even the craziest part. In 2020, 59 million Americans freelanced during the pandemic—a 22% increase from 2019. Many, many more companies are now open to hiring outside of their cities, time zones, and countries. Talented freelancers have never been in higher demand.
What does that mean for you, Ms. Freelancer? It’s time to go through one of the best freelance courses and stand out from the competition.
If you’ve made it here, you’re already convinced that improving your skills through an online freelance course is a good use of your time. There’s no one perfect way to be a freelancer, but you can avoid a lot of the mistakes and stop leaving money on the table if you invest a little time and money up front.
I’ve been a freelancer and consultant for the past 12 years, and I have never regretted investing in myself. In this post I took the quality over quantity approach. Out of approximately 1.37 kajillion options, I chose the courses and experts we trust the most.
This roundup of the best freelance courses that money can (and cannot) buy will save you time.
Free Freelance Courses
Are you looking to kickstart your freelance business, but you’re not ready to quit your 9-to-5 just yet? These no-risk, free freelance courses are for you.
Freelance Business Blueprint – $0
“If I had to go back 11 years and start from scratch, knowing what I know now, what would I do?”
That was the question I set out to answer with this free course.
This Blueprint is my personal gift to you. It distills over a decade’s worth of boneheaded mistakes, insights, and wins into a clear step-by-step plan.
If you’ve considered making extra money as a freelancer or if you’re stuck at the starting line
this free email course will help you do the following:
- Identify your skills.
- Find your niche.
- Craft a simple marketing plan.
- Set (or raise) your prices
- Get your freelance business up and running ASAP.
For those of you with more experience under your best, I share best practices. Chances are, you can use several of them right now to improve your freelance business.
You’ll walk away with a clear plan of attack that will put you ten steps ahead of freelancers doing it the hard way (i.e., alone without a course or coach).
Sound good? Good.
Contains: Blueprint PDF, 8 printable worksheets, and a 6-video course
Sign up here to start Lesson #1.
Sign up here to get the Blueprint PDF, 8 printable worksheets, and a 6-video course.
Double Your Freelancing with Brennan Dunn – $0
Listen, Brennan knows his stuff. He’s been in the freelance game for years, and I’m fortunate to count him as a friend.
Brennan’s first PDF guide turned into a full-blown business helping freelancers grow their businesses. If you follow the link above and sign up for his emails, he’ll take you through a short questionnaire that personalizes the kinds of emails he sends you.
Instead of generic do’s & don’ts, you’ll get advice tailored to the specific issues you’re facing in your freelance business: less fluff and more strategies and tactics you can use right away.
Contains: Major freelancing lessons, followed by weekly advice sent straight to your inbox
Pricing Your Work: How to Value Your Work as a Freelancer – $0
Pricing your work is one of the toughest steps for new freelancers.
Peggy Dean is an artist, best-selling author, freelancer, and teacher. She founded The Pigeon Letters to help designers and artists figure out their rates.
What’s fair to the client? Maybe more importantly – what’s fair to you?
When you’re making your forays into Entrepreneurship Land, you can ask your art professor, buddy with a business degree, or mom, but they may not give the best advice.
At the end of the day, you must decide what prices you feel good about. This course gives you a simple guide to pricing your work. And if you have questions about specific scenarios like licensing or wholesaling, you can get answers in plain English.
Own your worth and ask for what you deserve.
Contains: 10 lessons totaling 34 min
Going Freelance: Building Branding Your Own Success – $0
Are you ready to get started but aren’t sure how to brand yourself and get your work out there?
Justin Gigna and Claire Wasserman of Working Not Working, an invite-only freelancing community, created a course to help freelancers with the following:
- Develop an eye-catching portfolio.
- Market yourself on social media.
- Pitch traditional media.
- Develop skills for networking.
- Set yourself up for financial success through freelancing.
By the end of the course, you’ll find yourself more polished than you showed up.
This beginner’s guide offers action steps to kickstart your freelancing career and make yourself desirable to work with.
Contains: 9 videos totaling 50 minutes
Freelance Courses Under $100
Are you short on cash yet you still want to try out a premium freelance course? You have some options under $100, and just one big takeaway or breakthrough will justify your investment.
Playing for KEAPPS – $99
Imagine walking into Times Square with its street performers, dazzling digital billboards, and huge crowds of people.
You take a deep breath and shout at the top of your lungs, “I’m a freelancer! Someone buy from me!” In return you get stares from two tourists taking a selfie, three theatre kids on their first visit to The Big Apple, and one scantily clad cowboy.
That’s sort of what it’s like to have freelance skills without strong positioning. It’s really difficult to stand out in a very crowded market.
How you position yourself as a freelancer has a major impact on which clients you attract and what you do (or don’t) earn.
One designer charges $800 for a visual identity project while another charges $8,000, and a third, $80,000.
Where do all those extra zeroes come from?
Talent certainly plays a part, but not every designer charging $80K is 100 times better than her colleague charge $800. Another factor is at play: better positioning and the higher perceived value that comes with it.
Things are worth what people will pay, but what people are willing to pay goes up with perceived value, right?
That’s why your positioning has a major impact on what you earn.
When you take the time to make your freelance business stand out, you make yourself the easy, obvious choice for great clients.
My Playing for KEAPPS training takes you step-by-step through the positioning framework I use with my Founder Cake coaching clients. If you put in a little work into how you position yourself as a freelancer, your future self (and bank account) will thank you.
Contains: 45 minute training & companion cheat sheet
Freelancing School – $99/each
Jay Clouse is the founder of Freelancer School and host of the podcast Creative Elements. His Freelancing School offers three different courses: Business for Freelancers, Marketing for Freelancers, and Selling for Freelancers.
Each course will run you $99, but he has an option to bundle the three courses for $249.
- Business for Freelancers will teach you how to run a business. This course is for all those boring, nitpicky business things (like taxes, legal entities, and contracts) that you just need to learn as a business owner. Set it up now so you don’t have to be anxious about it in the future.
- Marketing for Freelancers covers how to build confidence, advocate for yourself, raise your rates, use the proper online channels to market yourself, and become an expert in your field. You’ll be more confident talking about yourself and ready to serve clients.
- Selling for Freelancers is the money course. Dive deep into sales, unlearn the fear you have around selling, and learn how to sell through strong relationships and referrals.
Each Contains: 18-20 videos, 14-18 lessons, and relevant templates and scripts
Freelance Courses Over $100
Don’t get me wrong, the first two categories have really good courses, assuming you actually finish them.
I’ve seen it happen over and over. People find an awesome free course or article, use it for a couple of days, and then drift back to old habits, business practices, and attitudes that keep them on the hamster wheel of frustration.
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that we show up at our level of investment. Literally buying into the process produces better results. When you pay, you pay attention. You take action.
So if you know it’s time to try something different and get different results, check out these premium freelance courses.
Freelance Cake – $449
I believe that being your own boss is the best job security. However, I know from personal experience that creatives like myself don’t learn what we need to know in college.
We learn how to craft words, push pixels, take photos, and write code, but we don’t learn how to
build profitable, satisfying freelance business.
That just isn’t taught.
Freelance Cake is a business growth course for freelance creatives that fills in the gap. This is where I teach everything I wish I had known back in April 2009.
You get access to the unedited version of my own failures and successes, as well as simple, actionable recommendations to help you make tangible progress much faster. The course strips away fluff and needless complexity.
You will transform six key areas of your freelance business:
- Pipeline (aka, Marketing)
Beyond goofing off with my three kids and writing children’s picture books like Grabbling, helping freelancers have a record year is how I maximize my own positive impact in this world.
You’ll learn that the subject of money doesn’t make me squeamish. I want to help you make $100,000 doing your most joyful, profitable work, and I want you to have more time freedom too.
How will you spend that freedom?
Contains: 22 lessons and my Vault of PDFs, templates, worksheets, email scripts, cheat sheets, guides, spreadsheets, and checklists, as well as a tutorial video and questionnaire
How to Get Started Being Freelance – $220
Steve Folland is a freelancer turned consultant who put in the hours to figure it all out on his own. This course combines wisdom from his years of experience plus that of the freelancers that he chats with on his podcast, “Being Freelance.”
Throughout the course, you’ll shift your mindset from freelancer to business professional, put a financial plan in place, better market yourself to clients, learn how to land clients, get organized, and bring balance into your life.
Contains: 2.5 hours of short training videos, important links, and guides specific to freelancing the US & UK
Founder Cake Bootcamp – $1,500
To be fair, Founder Cake Bootcamp really isn’t a course on freelancing. It combines group coaching with pre-recorded training and a fun Mastermind group.
Is the 6-week program intense? Yes. Sometimes, we need to just. make. it. happen.
One of our alumni summed up the experience nicely:
“Truly I am tearing up at how helpful all of this is. And also because to be honest, I am really proud of myself for pressing forward into this. (And not freezing and ducking and hiding until I felt like I had everything perfectly prepared, like you said.)”
If you like to move quickly or you know you need that extra nudge, you’ll love the weekly calls, deadlines, critiques on all of your “homework,” and the day-to-day support through Slack.
Have burning freelance questions you want answered? Founder Cake is your jam.
You also get access to my full resource library and the opportunity later to join a small, private community of awesome freelancers accomplishing awesome things.
We’ll break you out of the trap of perfectionism and overthinking so you can make real progress.
Contains: 6-week sprint, 1 group call each week, weekly assignments, deadlines, expert critiques, full access to resource library, private freelancer community access
The Internet is your freelance oyster.
But only if you use it wisely.
Reading this far proves that you’re serious about growing as a freelancer. If you do nothing else, sign up for the free Freelance Business Blueprint course I described earlier.
When you get the first email, block out 1 hour and just tackle the first 3 steps. You will have taken definitive steps to build a freelance business you can be proud of. You’ll be well on your way to freelance freedom.
Sign up here to get the Blueprint PDF, 8 printable worksheets, and a 6-video course.
©2020 Austin L. Church @austinlchurch