Becoming a freelancer is the latest trend today. About 57 million Americans are freelancing, according to Forbes. Most are working full-time, while others are freelancing as a side hustle in addition to their day job.
If you have ever thought about earning as a freelancer, this article will provide all the information you need.
Who Is A Freelancer?
A freelancer is a person offering their services to the client for a fee. Typically, there’s no permanent agreement between the freelancer and the buyer. Although the relationship can be ongoing, agreements are reached for specific jobs as they come.
For instance, if a small business wants a new logo and contacts a freelancer, they will agree on the fee for that particular task. The freelancer will then be paid before or after the completion of the job.
Why Become A Freelancer?
There are several reasons why people become freelancers either as part-time or full-time jobs, including the following.
As A Side Income: If you are currently working, but are looking to supplement your income, then you can work as a freelancer in your free time.
It Requires No Capital: You don’t need significant capital to join the gig economy. Usually, you will only need to have a sell-able skill and a computer with an internet connection.
It’s Quick To Start: You can start a freelancing career immediately after reading this article once you find a client willing to pay for your services. No processes or legislative hurdles.
It’s flexible: As a freelancer, you get to fix your schedule. You only work when you want, whether its on weekends or weekdays.
Be your Own boss: Freelancing offers great independence — no office politics or trying to please your boss. As a freelancer, you are your own boss and get to set your prices.
There are, however, responsibilities that we have to highlight.
The Responsibilities of A Freelancer
Meeting Up With Schedules: Your clients have a specific timeline when they need the job delivered. So while you set your time, you have the responsibility of ensuring you meet up deadlines.
Getting Clients: Freelancing jobs are inconsistent. Clients won’t just come to you. You have to search for them. The number of clients you get will determine your earning. There are periods when you will enjoy consistent orders, and there are times when there would be a downturn.
You are 100% responsible: while being your own boss comes with a lot of benefits, it also brings a lot of responsibilities. You are in charge of all aspects of your freelancing business, from marketing, getting clients, delivering orders, bookkeeping, and more.
What Do You Need to Get Started?
Are you interested in becoming a freelancer? Here are the steps you should take.
Choose a niche: What services would you offer to clients to earn? Your skill can be anything from your employment experience to the skills you obtained in the past. Consider taking an online course if you have no particular skill to offer.
It’s essential to determine the profitability of any niche and the possibility of finding customers before venturing into it.
Some services you can offer includes:
- Graphic design: (Logo design, Banner design, Complementary cards, T-shirt design, etc.)
- Writing: (web content, articles, eBooks, Press releases, etc.)
- Digital marketing: (Facebook ads, Google ads, etc.)
- Development: (web design, plugins, app/software development, etc.)
- Social media manager: (manage Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn account for business)
Others include teaching/tutoring, virtual assistant, account/bookkeeper, relationship advice, career advice, fitness/dieting advice, etc.
I started out offering virtual assistant services to small businesses. It’s a broad niche with various tasks like typing, transcribing, research, and others.
Identify your target market: Deciding a profitable niche is just part of the task. You also have to determine the type of client that is more likely to pay for your services. Would you focus on a specific industry? Where are you likely to find paying clients who will need your services?
Decide your rates: Freelancing all boils down to your earnings. How much are you looking to charge for your services? Your prices should, however, reflect the industry prices. Look at what other freelancers in the same niche as you are charging for their services. It’s often ideal to charge lower when starting. But of course, you are the boss, and it’s up to you to decide.
Build a portfolio: Having a fantastic portfolio can help boost your freelancing profile. Clients typically want to see proof of what you can do. The sort of portfolio you build will depend on the type of service you offer. If you offer logo design services, for instance, you can create multiple unique logos to show clients.
Marketing Your Freelance Services
Freelancing work can be found anywhere. You have two options; create your platform to sell your freelance services or work on a freelancing platform.
Building Your Freelance Website
You can build a freelance website with WordPress or create social media account on Facebook, LinkedIn, or even Twitter to market your services. Having a freelancing website, however, gives you more credibility.
Using Freelance websites
There are several top freelance platforms where you can offer your services, including:
Fiverr: (my personal favorite) Fiverr allows you to provide freelance services like writing, graphics design, web development, and more. Compared to most websites, it’s easier to get freelance jobs on Fiverr if your gig ranks on Top. (Check out how you can start selling on Fiverr here)
Upwork: Upwork is another top freelancing site. It’s similar to Fiverr but mostly requires bidding for jobs.
Freelancer.com: Freelancer is one of the old guys on the block, and a fantastic platform to start your freelance career. It offers great prices and allows you to offer onsite gigs.
Peopleperhour: Just like Freelancer.com, Peopleperhour allows you to offer both online and onsite gigs. You can either charge a fixed price or on an hourly basis.
Guru.com: This website allows you to offer services like designing, writing, IT, and others. The buyer and seller have to come to terms about specific services, and the deal is sealed.
There are also niche-specific platforms like Bloggingpro for bloggers, iwriter.com for writers, Toptal for programmers, and 99design for graphic designers.
In conclusion, a freelancing business can be very lucrative. It will not be easy as the market is really competitive, but it is possible. The most important thing is to start. Then with hard work and a bit of luck, your earnings will only keep growing as you get more customers and deliver top services. Good luck!