I hear you’ve been asking. What is freelance work?
Heard about freelancing? Have a friend who works from home using the internet?
Well before you quit your 9 to 5 to become a freelancer yourself, you might want to read below to learn the pros and cons (and popular trends). Then if it seems right for you jump right in.
A freelancer is a person who works for themselves. They offer their service to many clients, set their own working hours at home, and can charge by the hour or a fixed price.
As a matter fact, freelancing has become somewhat of an internet movement that started about a decade ago. With just an internet connection and a few hours on the weekend, you can set up your service and get your first client.
Are you an independent type? A creative thinker? Don’t like having one boss?
Freelancing requires that you also handle all aspects of business, including marketing your service, finding new clients each month, sending out invoices, and delivering your finished projects on time.
Thankfully, the online freelancing marketplace has matured a lot, and dozens of websites exist to handle many of the above-mentioned tasks. This is key to freeing up your time so that you focus on getting work done, rapidly increasing your income, and establishing your all-important reputation.
In this blog post, you will learn some tips to get started in freelancing as well as what you should avoid to minimize failure and having to return to a job.
Freelance Vs Gigs What’s The Difference?
You might hear the word gig when talking about freelancing. The word gig refers to a type of freelancing job. The project is usually cheaper, short term, and relatively easy. If you can complete it in 1-3 hours and earn less than $50, it’s probably a gig. Nice thing is you can do multiple gigs in a day.
You might have heard musicians or comedians talk about “doing a gig.” A freelancer who does gig work is completing a project either the same day or in less than a week. After that, they can move on and service another client.
Now, being a gig worker doesn’t mean that you only provide low-cost services. In some cases, doing gigs exclusively will make it impossible to pay your bills. Of course, where you live in the world and your cost of living will determine how viable your freelancing idea can be.
The “king of gigs” at the moment is a website called Fiverr. A popular gig, for example, is logo design. A designer can make 3 logos in under an hour and have several orders to complete per day.
The secret to succeeding on sites like Fiverr, Upwork, or PeoplePerHour is to offer low-end services as a way to gain the trust of a new client. After that, you can offer related services at a much higher price so that your average hourly earning is more realistic.
For example, a logo designer knows that their logos are being used on a new website. Naturally, they can offer website design, coding, ebooks, and other related services at higher prices. A single logo might start at $5 but a website can start at $100.
If you like the idea of doing gigs, pay attention to the extra services that your clients ask for. It’s a clue to bigger and better services to add to your menu of gigs.
Popular Freelance Jobs
Freelance jobs can include marketing and sales related projects as well as creative work. In a previous blog post, we mentioned several online freelancing jobs to help spark your imagination.
Here are some of the most popular ones.
Teaching and Tutoring
online are very popular. All you need is an internet connection and a quiet corner. Sign up with an online tutoring company and select teaching topics. Students are assigned to you and hours are flexible. With most of these companies, no degree or certification is required. Monthly earning can range between $1,000-$3,000.
Freelance Writing and Copywriting
are arguably the most in-demand freelancing job with tons of potential. If you enjoy writing from home, you can get paid to write casual blog posts for stay-at-home mommy bloggers, technical documents, entertainment articles, news stories, and more. Beginner bloggers earn $30-$50 for about 1,000 words while more experienced blog post freelance writers can earn $250-$400.
If writing words that convince readers to buy products is more exciting, you might consider getting into copywriting. This type of writing requires the use of persuasive words, human psychology, and specialization in a niche. You can get paid to write an email series or sales page plus earn commission on every sale. Copywriting has the potential to earn you six figures with the right clients.
is a world of its own. This covers designing logos, website layouts, eBook covers, presentation slides, editing photographs, etc. Software used by creative designers includes Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, landing page builders, and drag-and-drop online platforms like Canva (to name a few).
Video and Audio Editing
This is perfect for creative people. You can accept clients that need promotional website videos, YouTube videos, podcasts, or social media advertisement videos. As a beginner, you can charge $50-$150 per finished video. You should be a pro at using After Effects, Premiere Pro, and speed up your workflow with plugins and templates to help you deliver faster and keep clients happy. Know about video editing basics, as well as lower thirds, animated elements, titles, and catchy transitions.
Pros And Cons Of Freelancing
Choosing to become a freelancer can be a very liberating decision but one that also comes with risks.
- You choose who you work with
- Work when you want
- Work where you want
- Make Your own schedule
- Earn as much as you want
- You handle everything a “normal JOB would”
- Health insurance
- You’re not guaranteed a paycheck
The pros of being a freelancer can be enough to justify dumping a job – for some.
While you can’t fire your boss at a normal job, a freelancer can choose which clients to work with.
If you are a type-A personality and can handle 16-hour days, you have the freedom to push your workload to the max if you wish. Perhaps you want to do freelancing only on the weekends or Monday-Thursday and take the kids to the park for the rest of the week.
With your laptop as your “office on wheels”, you can work from a coffee shop, your backyard, or from the balcony of a hotel while traveling.
The cons of freelancing, well, include all the legal things that a job typically handles for employees.
You have to put money away for taxes, which means tracking all your income and all your expenses.
The only employment benefits are the ones you give yourself. You will have to find and fund your own health and medical insurance, as well as any savings and retirement accounts.
Instead of working paycheck-to-paycheck, a freelancer works client-to-client. You have to keep your client pipeline full all the time to keep a consistent income. You must either constantly hunt for clients or join a website that handles the client acquisition for a fee. It’s the price of freedom. Embrace the responsibility and you can succeed as a freelancer.
5 Tips For New Freelancers
While a freelancer is, indeed, in business for themselves, it helps to remember that you are providing a service to another business. From that frame of mind, you don’t want to run your freelancing service with a philosophy of “my way or the highway”. The best freelancers put their clients first. Make life easier for your clients and streamline your communication and service to accommodate your client’s need for convenience, speed, and consistency.
- anticipate needs and be prepared to offer alternatives
- remove unnecessary steps
- familiarize yourself with the latest technology and use it
- Be flexible at first
- Become the authority
If all your communication is via email, you might want to give Skype a shot. Email feels clunky while Skype is designed to be a dedicated chat window for talking to many clients at once, sharing files, and desktop notifications are built in.
Many freelancers share documents and spreadsheets using Google Docs or Google Sheets. You can pass photos and videos through Dropbox or Google. Communication can be through Zoom (group chats) or Skype (1 on 1).
Don’t chase anything and everything as a freelancer. If you are new to freelancing, it’s perfectly fine to go through a discovery phase to see what kind of work you enjoy and which clients you prefer. This phase might last a few months to a year.
Once you know what lights you up, you should consider investing in online courses to level-up your skills. There is a lot of competition and the easiest thing you can do to beat the ocean of beginners is to show clients that you are more skilled, certified, and experienced. A client will definitely choose the specialist over the generalist.
Let’s Sum This Up
Freelancing can be very rewarding. At the top of the list is probably freedom. No boss, no coworkers, and no driving.
It is very flexible and you can jump around in the beginning until you find what you enjoy. You can set your own price for services and a laptop or desktop computer is all you really need. Specializing commands higher pay, but you can offer 1-3 different types of services to avoid boredom.
Be careful with staying stuck as a gig worker who undercharges. Make sure to track expenses, pay taxes, and don’t work in isolation for too long.
You can go at it 100% alone or join a freelancing site to help take the burden of finding clients in the beginning.
All in all, it’s a personal choice and a worthwhile one for many.
Leave a comment below if you have suggestions for my next blog post or any questions regarding online income. I’ve got many more interesting articles coming out soon and I love to help!
One last thing, if you really want to explore freelancing here is a good place to start
Find Your Freedom