A Freelancer Is His Own Boss.
In freelancing, you are self-employed. You have the freedom to seek out work on a contract basis. You will not have a specific office time or any mandatory work limit set on you.
These are some of the many advantages you are entitled to for most freelancing jobs. However, it’s a very different scenario if you go to a normal workplace.
How To Start Your Freelance Career 2024 [Step By Step Guide]
Freelancing gives you the freedom to choose your own work, which you can work at your own pace. You can select as many clients and projects as you can handle. Freedom and flexibility are part of the freelance work culture.
>>>Kickstart Your Freelancing Game With Mike Volkin’s Freelancer Masterclass
Some Benefits And Drawbacks of Freelancing
Control Your Workload
Just like most things, freelance has its perks and drawbacks. One such perk is your liberty to work as much or as little as you want to.
If you are feeling up to the test, your workload limit stops only in the sky. However, if you are having one of those lazy days, you can take it slow, and work as little or as much as you can.
Freedom with Breaks
Amongst other benefits, a small one is your liberty to take breaks at a time of your choosing. You get to pick the jobs you accept, and if you don’t feel like working through winter and want to take some time off, you can do JUST that without getting into much trouble.
However, if you stay away from your work or your clients for too long, it may prove difficult to get those contacts back or even get new clients. So keep a steady workflow going. If you feel pressured, regulate the size of clients or projects you take in.
No Work-Life Balance
Choosing to freelance as a career can be daunting. It will take a lot of courage and confidence for you to pick freelancing as a full-time job. Because you won’t have any fixed or a constant salary which you would get in a regular full-time job.
There will be times when you will be overloaded with a ton of work, and at other times, you won’t have enough work to get by, unless, you build a reputation for yourself.
Another freelance occupational hazard you can and should expect is isolation. It’s both a good thing and a bad thing.
Sometimes solitude can really get to you, but at the same time, you will require ‘alone time’ to focus on work.
How Much Money Can One Person Earn by Freelancing?
Recently, a global survey was conducted by Payoneer, on freelancers’ income. The survey said that the freelance hourly rates were capped at $100 max and the lower limit was as low as $3. So the big difference in the hourly wage is a determinant of many things. Some of these are mentioned below:
Your portfolio will speak for you. The more you have worked, the more attractive your account will be to recruiters and potential clients. It’s basic human nature to trust something or someone with past experience.
Now education is not a mandatory prerequisite. However, if your choice of major or minor somehow coincides with your service that you are offering, your chances of getting hired increase significantly, you pay as well.
Some people feel reluctant to pay hefty amounts to third world countries. It’s the lack of faith in the existing skills in that particular region or the knowledge of that particular location’s cheap labor. All which will give the contractor an edge over the freelancer in terms of pay.
Demand for your Skill
Some skills have great demand but the supply is very low. So, if you happen to be a master of such fine skills, you will be flooded with new job offers, great pay, and other benefits.
Sometimes, the supply of a particular skill set is abundant, but the number of quality creators is scarce. So, if you happen to be a pro at a particular skill, you can expect great pay and demand.
The matter of great pay and attracting big enough clients is not simply limited to possessing a unique set of skills. You will have to showcase your talent. And this is where your portfolio comes in. Project all your past experience, your skills, your creativity into your portfolio. This is also one of THE most important tools for an ‘up and coming’ freelancer.
How to Start Freelancing?
The freelance world is an ever-growing industry. However, you can not dive into freelancing without preparing for it. There are a few prerequisites you should be able to maintain before you start your freelance career.
Get Yourself Prepared
Even though starting your freelance career is as simple as signing up on a freelance network platform, you will still need to enter with some preparation.
Without these, you will be vulnerable to producing mediocre to below-average services, which will mark you as incompetent.
One bad review is enough to completely destroy someone’s freelance career.
So make sure you have the following before you start:
- Good interpersonal skills
- Stable internet connection
- A strong portfolio
Have a Vision
When you start something new, it is perfectly normal for your mind to express self-doubts. But you will have to realize that at the end of the day, most things come with high risk and high reward.
The trick is to simply ask yourself why you are doing IT? Did you do IT before? Do you think IT is up to the mark?
These simple questions are more than enough to cut through any confusion clouding your mind.
Develop As Many Skills As You Can
In the world of freelancing, The more the merrier is a guideline to enhancing your overall skillset.
The more skills you have, the closer you are to developing a full-fledged product. This does not mean you should randomly start picking up new skills. Check if one goes with the other.
For instance- If you are a content/blog writer, you can always try learning SEO. This way, you can deliver a complete product, without adding as much time or effort into it, as you would need if you took 2 random jobs.
Plus having complementary skill sets can only increase your hourly rate.
Here are some of the in-demand skill sets you can master:
|Social Media Manager
Focus on Interpersonal Skill
This is very important for freelancing. When you are taking in new clients or bidding for a project, you will be required to communicate with a lot of people.
Now, just simply knowing English is not enough. You will have to understand exactly what your client needs and what he is asking for. Want & Need are two very different things.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the freelancing industry views the whole world as its marketplace, so you will be working with people from different language and cultural backgrounds.
A silly miscommunication can end up in a big hassle. So having great interpersonal skills will definitely help you with your freelance career.
Build a Strong Network around you
Even if you work completely alone, you should still maintain your contacts, network and old clients.
If you start cutting yourself from the rest of the industry, you will never be able to promote your name or your brand value to the rest of the world.
Most clients feel really safe if the freelancer they work with comes from a trusted source or even through a reference.
Plus, being outside of the network is a complete block on your chances to grow and develop as a freelancer. You can not expect to keep on bringing money for years without knowing or being up to date with the latest demand, trends, and innovations.
Moreover, being alone like this is unhealthy.
Check Out Multiple Marketplaces
Staying limited to just one marketplace will never get you half the clients you have the potential to acquire.
Simply waiting for clients to start knocking you right after you join a network is not enough.
You will have to market yourself everywhere. Think of yourself as a brand. So, promote yourself like a brand.
Seek an audience in the major freelancing networks like Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer.com and there are more. Your primary and also the majority of the work you will get will come from these freelance network giants.
Once your presence in the networks’ is stable enough, you can move on to social media to scout in potential clients. It will be your tertiary source, with the secondary being your portfolio, and referrals.
Develop a Work Plan
Call this a business plan if you will. No matter what line of work you are in, you should always have a clear vision of what your business is, who you are selling to, what are its strengths, weaknesses and what’s the pinnacle of your niche?
You will have to research your marketplace thoroughly. Find out what the marketplace wants surrounding your particular skill. Then collect stats, like the average hourly rate for freelancers offering the same service you are.
See, if you can beat their price or charge higher but for a good enough reason for people to consider you over the freelancer who is charging less.
Develop Yourself As a Brand
At the end of the day, if you hope to reach the top, you will need to have an identity that most people in the industry will recognize. So brand yourself.
If you are really good at what you do and go at it full speed, you will start getting more and more clients.
At some point in your freelance career, you will be getting more job requests than you can handle.
So, instead of turning them down, outsource the fewer priority ones to a freelancer, with a lower rate than yours.
That way, you are still maintaining your reputation, you are helping new freelancers enter the market and survive, and above all, you are making a lot more money than you would have alone.
Secure Your Position
User experience is the most vital factor when trying to grow a business, or even survive in the marketplace.
Take your criticism gracefully, and always try to finish any incomplete task you may have.
Any bad review you receive, try to solve it right away. In doing so, you are converting the bad publicity to good publicity.
Plus, this will restore any lost faith that may have been lost in the past.
Keep updating your website, social media profiles, blogs, and portfolio, so people can see your growth and decide for themselves if they want to work with you. Especially for big clients looking to outsource their company’s processes.
The last thing to keep in mind is to mention in your professional profile as to why someone should hire you? How do you stand out from the rest of the competition?
With enough practice and dedication, just about anyone can generate great service or product. You just need to find your specialty and introduce yourself as the apex of that niche.
Don’t Give Up
You will have your fair share of ups and downs, but don’t let that kill your drive to work. At the end of the day, you may be the best graphic designer in town, but if potential clients don’t even know who and where you are, you will not get any contracts.
Another thing to remember is that the more you stick to your market, the faster you will start seeing your business pick up.
A strong reason for some freelancers to quit in the early stages of entering the market is unethical clients. So always take precautionary steps so you will not fall victim to fraud. Create a contract that outlines your rates, payment schedule, kill fee, revision fee, deadlines, and other variables.
By doing so, you are staying clear of any ambitious expectations your client may have that you are not aware of. Plus, a good way to skip clients with the intent to scam.
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No matter where you live, what your condition is, how you are as a person, you can always freelance. You don’t need any degrees or certificates. All you require is a set of skills, a computer, and a stable internet connection.
There were approximately 35% of Americans freelanced in 2018, with an annual growth of 7%.
The world as we know is evolving. We are in the midst of entering the 4th industrial revolution. The freelance world will expand to greater heights, the more we get dependent on technological advancement. For instance, a great many people got out of poverty simply through freelancing.
Now that you know the basic pillars of starting your freelance career, you just have to pick a date and get started. You have every reason to. It’s free and if you have the potential, you can start your own company, and distribute your work among other freelancers or even hired people.
Kickstart Your Freelancing : How To Start Your Freelance Career 2024 [Step By Step Guide]
A very common problem for a lot of newcomers is not knowing how, when, and where to start. How to acquire new clients, and when new clients come in, a new issue arises- What to do with existing clients and all these can potentially cap your growth.
Upwork featured freelancer Mike Volkin has created a Masterclass to help everyone successfully build their freelancing career.
Freelancer Masterclass is a 9 step course that is 100% online. The videos are self-guided, so you can learn at your own pace. It is recommended that you commit 3-5 hours a week to complete the material.
The lead instructor: Mike Volkin, often referred to as the King of Freelancing, has been freelancing for over a decade with resounding success. He is a frequent contributing author to Forbes and has appeared on dozens of media appearances spanning radio, TV, and podcasts and has also been featured on the homepage of Upwork.
Mike is also a best-selling author who has built and sold 4 companies. Mike continues to inspire entrepreneurs throughout the world helping freelancers break free from the corporate rat race and spearhead their own successful careers.