If you have come to read this guide, you would surely have heard about the word “online earning” and you probably would have witnessed people earning money by staying in front of their laptop screens as well. Right?
Working their own hours and being their own boss. Using the skills they have either learned from school or a job to now convert that into their own business freelancing.
Well in this article, we’ll be covering the following:
Table of Contents
- What is Freelancing?
- Benefits of Freelancing
- 6 Tips to Start Freelancing
- Top 5 Freelancing Platforms
- Freelancing Statistics: The Boom of Freelancing
- Types of Work in the Freelance Marketplace
- How Freelancing Empowers Women and Students in this Era?
- Final Remarks
What is Freelancing?
Well, a freelance job is one in which individuals work for themselves instead of any corporation. The freelancer is responsible for a variety of tasks that regular workers are not, including scheduling their own work hours, keeping track of time spent on different projects, billing clients, and paying their own employment and business taxes.
Although freelancers do work for firms and organizations on a contract basis, they are ultimately self-employed.
Freelancers are often referred to as contractors rather than employees by companies that hire them.
Benefits of Freelancing
Freelancing has become popular in recent years. More and more people are choosing freelancing due to the amount of freedom and flexible lifestyle it offers.
Following are the major benefits of freelancing.
Freelancing offers more freedom.
As a freelancer, you can turn down a job if he/she finds it complex or difficult.
Freelancing offers flexible working hours.
You can choose a working time based on your personal preferences as compared to working 9 to 5 in ordinary office work.
3. Choose Where to Work
Location doesn’t matter.
All you need as a freelancer is a laptop or similar device and an internet connection.
4. No “Raises”
You are in charge of your salary.
You can raise your rates according to your own will.
5. Constantly Improving
You are always upgrading your skill-set.
As you take on different types of jobs, you upgrade your skills gradually.
6. Your Own Boss
You are your own boss.
You schedule tasks, manage rates, and choose the amount of work according to your own will.
6 Tips to Start Freelancing
Although starting as a freelancer can be an easy task.
All you need to do is sign up on freelancing platforms, update your profile and apply for jobs related to your skillset.
But there are still some things that you should keep in mind before starting a freelancing career.
Here we have outlined things that you should keep in mind before starting your freelancing career:
1. Have a Goal in Mind
Every day, you’ll have to motivate yourself to find clients and do great work for them – and the first step is to understand why you’re doing it in the first place.
Pose the following questions to yourself:
- What drew you to freelance employment in the first place?
- To supplement your current income?
- To replace your full-time income?
- How much do you hope to make as a freelancer?
Your motivation for becoming a freelancer will serve as your compass for determining whether or not you are successful.
2. Decide Your Niche
Freelancing is a whole new world. It has enormous skills, therefore it is essential to identify what you want to offer.
It is recommended to choose a skill in which you are an expert and are passionate. Because you will be managing yourself, therefore it is essential to choose something you like.
Also, make sure the niche you choose has good demand in the market.
Some popular freelancing niches are data science, freelance writing, freelance photography, graphic designing, digital marketing, and web development.
3. Have Good Command on a Specific Niche
After you have selected the niche you are interested in and want to work in. Learn almost everything about it to master it.
Take the help of online courses and of course, YouTube is the best resource to learn new skills.
The good practice at the beginning is to drill down your niche and work on specific aspects.
For example, Graphic designing is a wide niche, so instead of focusing on everything focus on one thing like social media graphics.
And gradually improve on it by learning poster designing, logo designing, illustrations, and so on.
Have a look at how choosing specific niches in graphic designing can help you pave your freelance journey.
4. Build a Network
A social networking site like LinkedIn is a wonderful location to start networking for a job.
Create an online portfolio to promote your services.
Even creating a website will be beneficial as it will provide you with more control and flexibility than LinkedIn.
5. Polish Your Communication Skills
Now, this is the most important asset to have as a freelancer because here you are supposed to sell your services through your words.
When you are starting as a freelancer, there is no doubt that your skillset is one of the most crucial factors.
When you get into freelance you realize that communication skills matter a lot. Think of communication skills and professional skill-set in terms of the 80/20 principle.
80% is your communication and 20% is your skill.
After all, if you fail to get a reply and convince your client that you are the ideal candidate, what benefit will the skill have? Therefore it is essential to polish your communication: both verbal and written.
6. Start Pitching Potential Clients
After you have selected your niche and your skill. It’s time to get into the ground. Signup for freelance platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, people per hour, etc.
Create a profile, update it and start sending proposals to potential clients. Use your LinkedIn profile and other social media profiles to find clients and write formal proposals.
Throughout their journey, freelancers must learn, adapt, and evolve as a result of their experiences.
Becoming an intentional freelancer is a conscientious decision that provides peace of mind when you know you can afford the lifestyle you’ve chosen.
One most important thing to keep in mind is always updating yourself to changing trends.
Top 5 Freelancing Platforms
Due to the increase in the popularity of freelancing over the previous decade, hundreds of freelancing platforms are present on the internet.
We conducted some research online and discovered the following 5 finest freelance websites that are revolutionizing the global freelance scene.
Toptal is ideal for experienced software engineers.
Because their screening procedure is quite rigorous – they only accept the top 3% of developers – it’s not as simple to get started on a project as it is with some of the other sites featured here.
It’s a very good setup if you can get through the screening stages, though. The service pays quite well, with rates that are higher than all of the other sites on our list.
They can connect you with a variety of projects, from short-term to long-term, and will pair you with projects that are a good fit for you and your skills.
Upwork, which arose from the combination of oDesk.com and Elance.com, has grown to become the world’s largest marketplace.
In the middle of 2015, the world’s two largest freelance websites, oDesk, and Elance, merged to establish Upwork.com, a major competitor to Freelance.com.
But, despite the outcry from those opposed to their choice, we believe it is still an excellent resource for discovering employment and hiring freelancers.
Fiverr is the largest marketplace for small businesses in the world.
The best part is that you can start creating gigs for as little as $5. Even if you don’t know anything about coding or designing, Fiverr can be a money-making system for you.
Simply look at the gigs that others have created and see if you can do the same.
You can make a lot of money here if you can accomplish something fairly common that people would be ready to pay $5 for.
It is one of the most established players on the market. It has now evolved into the world’s largest outsourcing destination since its inception in 2003.
It just bought major freelancing marketplace behemoths, vWorker, and Scriptlance, and is now bigger than ever.
Freelancer.com is an ideal place to start if you’re looking for a place to kick start your journey.
Signing up as a freelancer is simple, and you can start earning right away. It is greatly recommended for newcomers.
5. People Per Hour
This website connects people who are looking for or offering writing, web development, design, social media, and business development services.
It is a UK-based organization that operates on a system that is very similar to that of other freelancing sites.
On this site, you’ll find both online and on-site freelancing opportunities. There are two types of jobs: fixed price and hourly.
Freelancing Statistics: The Boom of Freelancing
Over one-third of the workforce in the United States is self-employed. This adds up to about 59 million people in the US workforce.
According to projections, 86.5 million individuals will be freelancing in the United States in 2027, accounting for 50.9 percent of the overall employment.
Amidst the pandemic, the numbers are rapidly increasing, and more experts are opting to freelance rather than take a full-time 9-5 job.
People are beginning to enjoy this new lifestyle and explore improved income prospects as they become accustomed to working remotely.
The self-employed workforce is quickly expanding, with a total value of $1.2 trillion this year alone.
Not every one of the world’s 59 million professionals works as a freelancer full-time.
Some people remain loyal to their employers and full-time jobs, while four out of ten people are exploring becoming self-employed in the gig economy and wish to be their own boss.
People appear to believe that being self-sufficient provides them with more freedom and, possibly, security.
Types of Work in the Freelance Marketplace
As companies prefer to hire more and more freelancers for their work, the freelancing marketplace has added a variety of roles to their platforms. These roles are as follows:
1. Graphic designer
Grapher designer includes the following type of work:
- UX/UI Design and Art
- Illustration Animation
- Presentation Design
- Motion Graphics
- Video Production
2. Creative writer
Freelance writers have to do the following type of work:
- Blog writing
- Academic writing
- Technical writing
- Resume writing
- Technical writing
3. Software developer
The freelancer software developer has to perform the following tasks:
- Software development
- Product development
- Game development
- Web development
- Mobile application development
- Web design
4. Online marketer
A freelance marketer has to perform the following jobs:
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Search engine optimization(SEO)
- Search engine marketing(SEM)
- Social media management
- Lead generation
5. Data scientist
A data scientist has the following types of roles and jobs:
- Data visualization
- Data mining
- Data analytics
- Data processing
- Machine learning
- A/B testing
6. Freelance translator
An online freelance translator has to perform the following roles:
- Teaching language
- Written translation
- Medical translation
- Technical translation
- Legal translation
7. Legal advisor
A freelancer advisor has the following roles to perform:
- General counseling
- International law
- Corporate law
- Taxation law
- Immigration law
8. Online store – eCommerce
An online freelance e-Commerce expert has to perform the following roles:
- Amazon Product Listing Images
- Enhance brand content
- Amazon virtual assistant
- Listing optimization
How Freelancing Empowers Women and Students in this Era?
Freelancing has much to offer to everybody, including women and students of young age. In the traditional workplace, there are many challenges for women, like in-person attraction, workplace sexual harassment, and other problems as well.
Similarly, previous students have to get a degree too and be able to earn, but this has changed due to freelancing. We will discover this below.
Freelancing for Women
The number of women freelancers is increasing day by day. Women are slowly but steadily infiltrating the formerly male-dominated freelance economy.
According to a recent poll by PayPal, women account for 48 percent of freelancers who receive money through the site.
Women who work as freelancers have control over their jobs and the path they want to take.
They are not obligated to postpone having children to pursue their careers or vice versa.
They also don’t have to worry about sexual harassment in jobs where in-person encounters are minimal.
Furthermore, the freedom it provides, the potential to have many sources of income at the same time, improved opportunities for higher pay, and unrestricted career progression are just a few of the many reasons why more and more women are leaving their professions and going freelance.
Freelancing for Students
Freelancing has enabled students to take care of their expenses while studying. Many students take freelancing as part-time work.
Due to the merits of freelancing like flexible working hours and more freedom, many students are taking freelancing as a permanent career.
Students are making their pocket money through freelancing. Freelancing provides work experience to students which would play a great role in their future.
To conclude, freelancing has much to offer people of every age regardless of gender.
Companies consider freelancer workers as this would reduce their office costs.
Covid-19 has greatly boosted the trend of freelancing as physical jobs seem a risky investment.
Seeing the world trend and tremendous benefits of freelancing, it is justified to conclude that freelancing is the future.
Nate Torres is an entrepreneur, growth marketer, and photographer and writes mostly on those topics. Nate used to run his own professional photography business called Nate Joaquin Photography but has since focused on the marketing and business aspect of photography although he still enjoys taking photos. Nate enjoys learning about new digital marketing strategy and new ways to think creatively. He is also a photography speaker and author on Photofocus.com.