There are some who say business cards are dead. It is not certain that is entirely true, but to be a professional, you don’t have to have a business card, particularly if you meet most clients online.
You do need a website of some sort. This might be your own website, or it might be a portfolio on another site in the beginning.
Create a Client Intake Process
Creating an intake process helps you look polished and professional. Looking polished and professional is how you create and grow your income stream. Your goal here should be to build trust with your client and make them feel like you have done this a million times, even if you are a newbie.
If you want to be a web designer, you need to research what other designers do first—for example, you might create mood boards on Pinterest, use Google Doc to keep contracts and other research organized, or have the client fill out a profile to get an idea of what their style is.
If you act like a professional, you will be treated like one—and you will soon be able to charge like one.
Networking can totally happen online. (Introverts rejoice!) Look for Facebook groups built around books or podcasts that you love, or search for LinkedIn groups related to your industry.
A few other suggestions: Leave meaningful answers on sites like Quora or your favorite blogs. Email people in your industry you admire and reach out to influencers on social media sites like Twitter. The key to networking successfully is to be authentic and useful.
Get a Handle on the Fear
The biggest fear is failure. What will happen if you try and it didn’t work out? The path to getting over this fear is working out the worst-case scenario.
Figure out what you need to do to get a handle on your fear. Otherwise, you risk making decisions based on fear—such as taking on clients you know you shouldn’t.