Turning your job experience into a freelance career, by a web designer who made more than $200,000 in sales last year

In 2019, when AJ Camara launched his creative company, Get Aesthetic, he applied his extensive professional background to grow his business.

Courtesy Camara

Over the past 10 years, he has started a digital magazine, founded a t-shirt company, written a book, and worked as a design professional in a food technology company. Camara said each experience helped with his arsenal and his business foundation.

Today, his company offers branding and website development. Last year, he logged more than $200,000 in sales through a combination of the company and Fiverr customers, Insider documents show. This year, he expects that number to double. Camara is one of the fastest growing freelancers in the United States. In fact, 60 million Americans, or 39% of workers, have been freelancing this year, 3% from 2021, according to a report from Upwork. Also, some earn millions of dollars from their work.

“My whole process is to make sure I’m clearly communicating what I’m offering and how it will benefit you,” he said. “I specialize in strong websites that are not cookie-cutter, engaging, and memorable.” 

Camara, 34, shares his tips for turning transferable skills from old jobs into freelance work and starting your own business.

Use your past to identify yourself 

How you can get experience into freelance work, like a web developer who made over $200,000 in sales last year. 

Camara branding services and web design. 

No course what type of business you decide to start, it’s important to differentiate yourself from the market, Camara said. He adds that pointing to past jobs, employers, or skills you’ve learned in past jobs can be ways to demonstrate your value.

“Find ways to make your work unique,” Camara said. Especially in a crowded free market, he added, “you want to have some kind of face.” 

For example, when Camara started his digital magazine, he learned how to use search engine optimization, or SEO, and other search techniques to increase his brand. Now, as a website developer, he can use those skills on behalf of his clients, he said. “Show that you have a specific skill but you can apply that skill in different ways,” Camara said.

Find out about your new job, even before the change 

Before you start building a business, always improve your skills, Camara said. Rehearse the work you will be doing to familiarize yourself with it before starting the work, he added.

Before starting his company on Fiverr, Camara spent nearly a decade building websites. Having developed this skill for many years and continuing to train in new platforms and technologies, he has the confidence to offer new and comprehensive services as a freelancer.

Build your presence on multiple platforms 

Camara’s Fiverr profile. Screenshot, Fiverr.com 

Camara said freelancers should use a combination of their website and other platforms to promote their work. A personal website allows potential customers to explore you as a service provider and understand your offerings, design experience and aesthetics. But for new freelancers without a list of clients, platforms like Fiverr can be important for initial advertising. “Look for different opportunities to offer your work,” Camara said, noting that some shops offer special opportunities for advanced creators, such as Fiverr Pro.

He suggested that aspiring freelancers take advantage of these popular platforms to promote their business. Finding these other opportunities helped him grow his business to where it is today.



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