The word ‘freelancing’ is gradually gaining dominance as a legit source of income because virtual jobs are rapidly gaining relevance in the society today. In a bid to diversify sources of income, many persons are finally embracing the idea of freelancing. Just with your skills and little efforts, you are sure to get a good paying job online, which may sometimes be on contract basis or otherwise. Freelancing can be really scary for beginners because it encompasses a lot. Also, almost every sector engages freelancers because they bring an array of industry skills, a reasonable sense of self-motivation and less cost than the traditional full-time workers.
Freelancing is an attractive way of life because you get to own your success in the world in an exciting new way that offers great risk and great rewards. The independence, flexibility, autonomy, unlimited financial potential and more are all inviting especially for those who are tired of their tiring work environment.
However, many questions are trapped in the hearts of potential freelancers, like how do I make money? Where can I find jobs? How do I go about freelancing? How huge are the benefits? And many other questions. In the actual sense, these questions are what typically stop people from pursuing a full-time caterer in freelancing.
If you are considering working as a freelancer, or looking for some new tips to launch you into the gig economy, or how to position yourself well as a freelancer, this article will help you walk pass your confusion and doubt about freelancing.
What is freelancing?
Freelancing means doing contracted work for multiple clients and companies remotely. A freelancer is a self-employed person who offers services to clients, and often to multiple clients at a time. As a freelancer, you work at your own pace but you must deliver at your client’s time. Freelancing is wide and versatile. Also, a freelancer’s field of expertise ranges from content creation, app development, web development to tutoring and more. A freelancer can also be referred to as an independent contractor. In addition, almost very type of service required by many businesses can be delivered by a freelancer. Be it marketing, technological support, creative works, advertising, etc.
Furthermore, before signing up for the freelancing career, you must first assess yourself. Be sure of what you want and the niche you want to carve for yourself. Are you merely looking for a flexible schedule or you are trying to double your source of income? Do you want to grow your profession or you want to escape from your boring workspace? These are questions you need to ask yourself and provide answers before diving into freelancing. Mind you, pursuing freelancing fro the wrong reason will make it really hard for you to keep on when your job gets tough.
Diving into freelancing
Freelancing career promises high salary and unlimited potential source of income. In this case, you are the one to decide what you will offer and how much you will earn. But, your income will not start coming in right away. Sometimes, it takes you days, weeks or months to hit your first gig. The first few months of freelancing is usually sacrificial because you need to set up your business, establish yourself, and build a huge client base.
However, freelancing can be uncomfortable because you don’t get to know where your next payment is coming from, you will probably be rejected more times than you can count. You will experience a few days of frustration, and uncertainty. All of these are normal. It is part of the struggle to make ends meet. While it’s possible to balance freelancing with other employment, many commit to freelancing full time. This is the most effective way to build good working relationships and an impressive portfolio.
What can you offer in freelancing?
Many people dive into freelancing without having a specific knowledge of what they can do and what they can offer as freelancers. This is a common roadblock for people who want to join the freelancing community. They are seldom sure of what to do. Before signing up for freelancing, you should know your skills, what you can do effortlessly, and what you can offer that people are willing to pay for. Although, your skill description must not have to be what you are passionate about, because there will be days where you won’t have the zeal to work but then, you have to deliver. However, there is usually one skill set or profession that brings you joy. Whatever that is, you can monetize it.
The idea of waking up and grabbing your phone or walking briefly to your laptop just to begin work sure sounds like some cartoon experience. But working from home can never be easy or rosy. Regardless of the kind of work, there are definite benefits and setbacks related to freelancing.
Advantages of freelancing
- You are your own boss – you have the liberty to choose your rates, dress code, work environment and more.
- In freelancing, you get to pay less in taxes.
- You have a better work-life balance.
- Network opportunities – as a freelancer, you get to meet and interest without people from different countries, tribes, and religion and still maintain good work ethics.
- Flexible work schedule.
- Choice and variety: whereas employees are often told which clients to work for, as a freelancer, you can pick your projects and are less confined to specific markets or sectors.
- More control: you can set your own goals and will have more say in the direction of your business.
- It teaches you discipline like nothing or no one else can. The fact that your time is yours with no creative director breathing down your neck or supervising you puts a large degree of control in your own hands. You have to consistently deliver on your best work because there’s no one to pick up your slack; no one to cover up for you.
Disadvantages of freelancing
- As freelancer, you sometimes get to work under pressure.
- Freelancing follows the rule “No work, no pay.”
- You are faces with many uncertainties.
- Your job duration is not guaranteed.
Popular Freelance Jobs and Services
There are many virtual jobs but some have gained massive audience in the freelancing community. In other words, keeping an eye on the highly sought-after skills on major freelancing platforms can offer you some guidance on where to direct your efforts to stay current and relevant. Here are some popular freelance jobs.
Writing and data entry
This is unarguable the most popular type of freelancing job. Freelance jobs in this field varies. You can be hired to write articles for blogs or websites, email copies, eBooks, product description for online stores, enter data on spreadsheets, social media advert copies or even Facebook posts and tweets. You can also try your hands on freelance journalism, writing pitches to magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Web development and programming
Graphics designing is one creative and challenging sector to join. You need the skills and imaginative ability to gain prowess in the community. If you fancy transforming your imaginations into creative ideas, then freelance graphics designing is recommended for you. You will get to create logo(s) for start-up companies, create animating videos, prepare illustrative PowerPoint presentations, design social media graphics, banners, etc.
There is fierce competition in the industry. One of the most popular tasks is called transcription, and this involves listening to recordings of conversations and typing them out. You can even be a part-time remote personal assistant or virtual assistant with the task of scheduling meetings, managing appointments, travel bookings, email and calendar management, and many more. If you are well organized, detailed and precise, you are fit for this job description.
Traits and Characteristics needed in freelancing
There are a few qualities you should possess to set yourself up for remote jobs and success in freelancing. Although, it is not an all-encompassing list, these important characteristics will give you an idea of where you should focus.
There’s no boss watching you out of the corner of their eye or colleagues to judge you when you spend an hour online shopping instead of working. Discipline is necessary to stay on track. You must display total discipline to attract client’s. Discipline will help you deliver your jobs as at when due.
Persistence is always important, but particularly when you’re just getting started as a freelancer and desperately trying to track down work. This trait will help you build a strong foundation in freelancing.
Rejection is a normal term in freelancing. You need to let it roll off your back if you must earn from freelancing. Don’t be in a hurry to give up when rejection comes. See it as a normal phenomenon while you expect the best.
As a freelancer, you will be responsible for a lot of tasks. Hence, the need to keep track of your income and expenses. You need to know what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Also, you need to keep your files sorted and arranged, and streamline your workload.
You don’t necessarily need to be outgoing in the contemporary sense, but you do need to be able to be a little aggressive in order to land new clients. If you want to grow your business, you’re going to have to be comfortable networking and approaching strangers, whether you’re doing it in person or virtually. Leverage on social media platforms, sell yourself and be open to meeting new people.
Being a freelancer involves a lot of communication. You need to be willing to have the hard conversations—like negotiating a higher rate or breaking up with a client—and handle them tactfully and professionally. There’s no boss or other colleague to take care of that dirty work for you. Be professionally friendly. Apply emotional intelligence when necessary. You must be able to communicate your terms and conditions rightly.
Some popular freelancing platforms
The two keys to make successful pitches are relevance and frequency. Only pitch to client’s who fit the niche of your skill a d constantly pitch to them. Well, if you brand yourself well then you should know exactly who to pitch. By having such a narrow focus, potential clients are far more likely to take you seriously than if you offered a general service.
Do not forget that businesses want to work with freelancers who will come into existence to serve them specifically and treat them specially. You can create this illusion through specialization.
Potential clients can be found anywhere, like from Google, social media, networking, to co-freelancers. The possibilities in freelancing are endless.
Sometimes, deciding whether or not to start freelancing is a difficult decision. Many spend months hanging on the edge, not fulfilled with their current work life, but also not confident enough to quit their full-time job. Others may have already made the leap, but started off badly. However, you can be an exception.
Whichever stage you are at, be consistent and deliberate. The world of freelancing is full of uncertainties and possibilities as well. But once you master it, freelancing can be the best way to work. Giving you the freedom and flexibility to do what you love, whilst living life to the full. Remain open to opportunities.
Also read: Business skills you need as an entrepreneur