Freelancing is a term commonly used for self-employed jobs and does not require working full-time for a particular employer on a long-term and fixed remuneration.
A freelancer has the flexibility to work for multiple clients and businesses at a time. A freelancer can offer wide range of services any business would need such as social media marketing, copywriting, blogging, publicity and promotion, web programming, graphic designing, tax accountancy and bookkeeping, financial modelling, report writing, proposal writing, transcriptionists, mobile developers and a host of other services.
Freelancing allows you to choose your own working hours deciding whether to work full-time or part-time on projects that suit your interest and deadlines. Scope / specifications of work is shared by the clients with project timelines of work submission.
Further, freelancing gives you the flexibility to quote your own price. Although price commitments are mutually agreed upon between the client and the freelancer but the scope of negotiation is high depending upon your credentials.
Perks of Becoming a Freelancer
According to the Freelancers Union, “55 million Americans–35% of the workforce–have freelance careers, with a combined estimated earnings of $1 trillion a year.”
There are several perks to freelancing work. Some of them include:
- With freelancing you can maintain a healthy work-life balance and devote equal time for personal and professional well-being.
- Freelancing can be started to earn extra income at any mature age at any career point. You only need proper networks to find clients for your work. For this you can use social media channels like LinkedIn or use your personal acquaintances.
- Full-time freelancing work can be started with affordable investment without much set-up cost. Eventually, business portfolios can be built using web properties and social media. The same channels can be further used in online promotion at economical cost.
- With freelancing job you can choose your own schedule. Decide to work when and where you want. Be your own boss.
- Freelancing can be a great way to open new career opportunities.
- Freelancing gives you the comfort to work from home.
- Freelancers are not bound to any fixed working hours and schedule. They are often at liberty to choose their own holidays and plan free time.
- High demand for freelancers is growing with start-up companies who have limited funds but need quality and reliable work.
- While working full-time for an employer there is a predominant fear of losing one’s job. On the contrary, in freelancing you are at more liberty to reject your employer / client in case you are not satisfied.
- Do the work the way you see fit. While you need to deliver what the client asks, how the work is done is up to you.
- Freelancing can be a great way to satisfy your creative impulse. Many individuals are born creative and talented. But most often they do not get suitable work opportunity to satisfy their creative instincts. Freelancing provides a valuable chance to such people for making their talent employable.
- By working on multiple projects under multiple clients you get a variety of work to enjoy and learn from. You also get good opportunity to network with lots of professionals.
Getting started as a freelancer is not easy as it may initially appear to be. You will have to invest time and plan for a long term strategy. Be patient to research freelance sites for finding relevant work and building network to locate business clients for yourself.
In order to start early you will surely need a guide map or a business plan to proceed. Here are a few key steps to building a freelance career:
- Identify your area of expertise to offer a service that can add value to your end user / client. Decide strategies for mapping your unique selling proposition with market demand. Popular freelance work includes writing, web designing, graphic designing, photography, marketing, social media management, bookkeeping and more.
- Next you will need to create an online portfolio. You can create social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. to begin with. This will help you to connect with right set of business clients for career networking. You may even consider creating a website which will allow you to offer more exhaustive information on your freelance service.
- Come up with a pricing strategy. Before quoting rates for your freelance work, do some market research to gather information on genuine market price of the service you wish to offer. Set your prices at realistic level. Your pricing strategy should built-in overheads such as per hour rate of your work, expected net return / profit margin to support a living etc.
- You may check important freelancing websites such as Freelancer.com or Upwork.com to find work. These sites help you grow as you gain enough experience by building testimonials and referrals.
- Building a successful freelance business is based on good public relations. You will have to learn how to value people and nurture relationships so that you are very clear about your client’s expectations.
- Freelancing gives opportunity and convenience to work from home. You will only need basic office essentials such as a phone, internet connection, printer, stationery etc. to launch your freelance business.
- Initially, you may have to consider low paid projects to build credibility first. But once your reputation and reliability is ensured soon you can expect good payoffs and find more clients willing to pay for quality work.
All said and done, freelancing is a tough job. It requires more rigorous self-discipline and motivation to pull through than any other routine job in a company setting. You cannot be lenient and casual because you have the freedom to decide your own working hours. You will have to be more alert while managing time to set work boundaries.
Hope this blog provides you enough guidance to prepare yourself for a successful freelance career.