Let’s first begin by learning about ‘Freelancers’ & ‘Freelancing’.
Who Is a Freelancer?
A freelancer or a freelance worker is a self-employed person who provide services to multiple clients and earns money on a per-job or per-task basis, usually for a short-term work in the creative, skilled, or service sector, such as in film, art, design, editing, copywriting, proofreading, media, marketing, music, acting, journalism, video editing and production, illustration, tourism, consulting, website development, computer programming, event planning, photography, language translation, tutoring, catering, and many more. A freelancer is not a permanent employee of a firm but an independent person who is assigned to complete different jobs concurrently in various firms unless contractually committed to working exclusively until a particular project is completed.
An example of a freelancer would be an independent journalist who reports on stories of their own choosing and then sells their work to the highest expression.
Another example is a web designer or an app developer who does one-time work for a client and then moves on to another client.
Typically, freelancers are considered independent workers and may do their contract work full time or as a side job to supplement full-time employment.
What Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is a job in the independent contractors and typically requires signed contracts for the job to be done and will agree to a predetermined fee based on the time and effort required to complete the task. This fee may be a flat fee or a per-hour, per-day, or per-project fee, or some other similar measure.
Freelancing usually involves gigs (jobs in freelancing are generally known as ‘GIGS’ ) that allow you to work-from-home situations. But don’t associate:
1. Freelancing doesn’t always mean that you’ll work from home. You might have to work at your client’s office too. It completely depends upon the type of work and the client’s requirements.
2. A work-from-home job involves a contract between you and a single employer who gives you a salary while freelancing doesn’t.
It is just like that many jobs are on the internet where an individual can perform without reaching the client’s office or its workplace.
Freelancing as a Career
In the gig economy, a person, instead of working for a single employer full-time and getting a fixed salary in return, works for multiple clients at the freelancer’s own terms and at a price the person thinks the work deserves.
According to Upwork, 2019, Americans work an average of 47 hours per week. Freelancers work an average of 11 hours less per week than full-time employed workers. That adds up to about 550 hours per year or 23 whole days. Freelancing is an enticing profession. It takes care of almost all the problems of a usual service-class human. All this, along with advantages like freedom to work from anywhere at a time of your choice, being your own boss, keeping all the profits, and the lower cost of operating costs, etc surely attracts a lot of people to take freelancing as a career.
How To Become A Freelancer?
Becoming a freelancer is just as easy as ordering something over the Internet. You visit sites that offer freelance jobs and tasks and take them on. This is a wonderful way of starting and getting your name out there.
But Follow these steps before heading to freelance websites, you need to set up a freelance brand for yourself:
1. Decide what services you’ll offer
2. Determine your target market.
3. Find the platforms (freelancing websites) you’ll be serving on.
Choose a uniform username on all of them. It helps you build your brand identity.
4. Decide your rates (cost per task).
5. Create an online portfolio on your niche-specific portfolio platforms. We also suggest you create a personal portfolio website for highlighting your skills and talent.
6. Market your services: market on social media, offer something for free or at a very less cost, ask for referrals, and use email marketing.
10 Perks and Benefits of Being a Freelancer
1. No Need to Travel Everyday:
We assume that you feel burnt out traveling every morning to work. Mostly, people don’t like the fact that we have to wake up early every morning to arrive on time at our respective workplaces. But it never happens in the case of freelancing jobs. Being a freelancer doesn’t require you to work in an office building or business premises. That’s because you’re not associated with a company or organization that mandates its employees to be present in the workplace each day. That said, there’s no longer any need to commute daily, which also eases the strain of your daily budget expenses.
2. Work Anywhere You Prefer
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to work in an office building or company premises in freelancing. That means you have the freedom to work anywhere you prefer. You can freelance at home, at a coffee shop, at a cafe, at a restaurant, or any place that you find comfortable. Plus, you don’t need to wear corporate attire or uniforms. You can even wear your pyjamas or simple house clothes while you’re working if that makes you more productive. You don’t have to deal with irritating workplace gossip and hectic working environments anymore.
3. You Can Choose Clients Freely
In freelancing, you have absolute control over whom you are going to do business with. If there are clients who are considering hiring you, you can refuse them courteously if you see that their offers aren’t good enough. Other than that, there’s a big chance you’ll avoid clients that are too demanding and have unrealistic expectations, saving yourself from a lot of hassle and stress. It means, since you can choose clients freely, you also have the freedom to work on projects that you’re doing comfortably.
4. You Can Negotiate Your Service Fees
Freelance services have no fixed prices that every freelancer must follow. In that case, you have the power to negotiate the costs of your service fees. You can discuss with your clients about increasing your pay if their projects are complex and have a large scope. If the case is you’re the one sending a proposal to the clients, you can even set your price outright. Just remember to negotiate reasonable service fee prices to your clients, and make sure that they’re on par with your experience and skills.
5. Multiple Income Sources
Freelancing can potentially earn you more money than your current job. How so? Well, it’s simple. Freelancers can accept as many clients as they want, for as long as they can manage. The general analysis is that if you have more clients, you have more projects to work on, which directly indicates that you’ll receive income from multiple sources. In terms of finding more clients, you can easily achieve that by posting your profile on sites for freelance work and other online platforms for job hunting.
6. No Company Rules to Follow
Whichever company we work for, a long checklist of rules is always present, and we are supposed to follow them. Sometimes, certain company rules are hard to observe, causing stress among employees and lowers their work morale. If you’re a freelancer, there are no dreaded company rules. The only rules you must follow are the instructions of your clients concerning their projects and the agreements stated on your contracts with them. Simply put, you just have to do your job, and you’re good, no rules will be broken.
7. More Opportunities for Growth
Throughout your freelance career, you’ll encounter a variety of projects that’ll test and enhance your skills. You might also meet clients who can refer you to other clients who have urgent needs for your services. A freelance website for one allows you to reach your target clients with ease. Also, being a freelancer can enable you to have time to enroll in training programs that augments your capabilities. Those things that we’ve mentioned are growth opportunities, and there are even plenty more. Freelancing is sometimes stereotyped as a career path with fewer growth opportunities, but it’s the total opposite. Because freelancing gives you more independence, there’s freedom in taking advantage of as many
opportunities as you want.
8. Work at Your Own Pace
Being a freelancer doesn’t require you to follow a strict work schedule or shift schedule. You can start working for the day at any hour you want. Early morning, noon, afternoon, evening, or midnight, the choice is yours. You can also take as many breaks as you wish. The only condition is that you must communicate with your clients from time to time and finish your tasks/projects before the deadline.
9. You Can Choose any Rest Day
There's no doubt that our respective rest days are the days we look forward to the most each week. In freelancing, you can choose any rest day you want. You have full control if you want to change it every week or every month. There’s no weekly work schedule that you must follow. You only need to inform your clients when your rest day will be for the week.
10. You’re the Boss of Yourself
In freelancing, you’re basically on your own, and you’re your own business. No supervisors, no managers, and no CEO, only you. In other words, you’re the boss of yourself. You have full control of everything, especially your schedule. This is the most likely reason why many employees are quitting their day jobs and shifting to being freelancers.
Transitioning to a freelance career is admittedly not an easy decision. It has its fair share of risks as well. But everything we do has a risk, right? So, if you believe you have a future in freelancing, go and grab it. Start preparing your profile and portfolio and submit them to various online freelance platforms and prospective clients.
There are also three more benefits of being an “Online Freelancer” :
1. Avoid city traffic and long commutes:
Online freelancing means you can work from home, which also means not getting stuck in traffic on weekdays.
In one research, it’s also been found that those who commute at least 16 kilometers a day tend to have higher than normal blood sugar and increased cholesterol levels. So, working from home is healthier too.
2. Avoid the crowd:
Generally, a freelancer gets that opportunity to free from all the crowd and work in a peaceful and interrupted environment.
3. Enjoy work autonomy:
It’s been found that a good number of employees resign from work because they have a difficult boss. With online freelancing, you rarely have this problem because you have the freedom to choose whom to work for. And when a client is becoming difficult to work with, you can just look for a new one after you’re done with your deliverables.