Freelancing is a growing industry, and it’s not surprising that many people are considering this exciting way of working. Freelancers often have the freedom to work from home on their own schedule, and can find more fulfilling work than they would in an office setting. This article will answer all your questions about freelancing – from how to get started with freelancing for beginners to what the future holds for freelance workers!
What is Freelancing?
Freelancing can be a great way to supplement income, or it can be a radical change to the traditional work environment. Freelancers are often self-employed and have flexible hours that they control. This may not suit everyone – for example, those who rely on being in an office space with other people or would prefer a predictable schedule. But for those who are self-motivated and independent, freelancing can be an excellent choice!
You should consider freelancing if:
- You are flexible with your schedule and place of work
- You have a passion for what you do, but don’t want to be tied down by office hours or management’s rules.
- You like to work on your own terms and give yourself the freedom that freelancing offers.
If you’re not sure if freelancing is the right choice for you, here are some things to consider:
- Are you self-motivated and independent?
- Do you need an office space or do your best work from home?
- Is there a specific industry that interests you (such as design or software development)?
How to Get Started as a Freelance Worker
Figure out what you want to do – there are many types of freelancing jobs – for example, writing, editing and graphic design work all come under the umbrella term ‘freelance’. You’ll need to figure out which type of freelance job is best suited for your skillset! Once this has been narrowed down, you can start looking for work.
Make a website and portfolio of your work – if you’re serious about freelancing, you will need to make yourself known. It’s essential that clients know who they are hiring and what they offer – so if there is no one out there advertising themselves as freelance editors or writers, then this might be a good option for you.
Get some work – now that your website is all set up, it’s time to find clients or jobs and start applying. Freelance websites are often the best place to go – but make sure they’re reputable sites before posting any personal information on them! You can also look at social media as an option for finding jobs, or start networking in person.
Tips for Freelancers
Here are some tips to help you out when freelancing:
- Make sure you know your worth and don’t work for lower wages.
- Freelancers often have to be more assertive than office workers – it’s up to you how much or little time is spent looking for new jobs, but make sure they’re paying well enough! If the client isn’t willing to pay you enough, then politely decline the job.
- Make sure your work is visible! You’ll need to market yourself as a freelancer and make sure that clients know who they are hiring – this can be done by networking in person or online.
- Learn how to say no: Freelancers must set boundaries for themselves and their work. It might be tempting to take on any job that comes your way, but it will bring you more success in the long-run if you stick to what you’re really good at and focus on providing a high level of quality for every task.
- Make sure you have enough work lined up so that your schedule is full and busy – this will help to motivate you and get the best results from your freelance job!
- It’s important not to lose sight of why you’re taking on this challenge – make sure you’re freelance to supplement your income, not because it’s the cheapest way of working.
- Build up a nice buffer for when things are slow and meet with other freelancers in person so that they can offer their advice or support!
- Keep a work diary and make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
Freelance success stories:
Melissa Lock has been freelancing for 18 years, and is currently working in a range of positions – from writing to editing.
“I started my freelance business in 2007 when I was a stay at home mom.”
Salma Ahmed is a freelance graphic designer who runs her own business with the help of technology – she’s found that not having an office space allows her to work at a time that suits her and telecommute.
“At first it was so hard to get clients. I put myself out there, and worked hard at it.”
Anneliese Brennan worked in a law firm before becoming freelance – she now works from home as an accounting consultant, with the freedom to work on projects according to what interests her at the moment.
“Freelancing has been very rewarding for me. It’s not always a bed of roses but the good is so worth the bad.”
What if You’re Struggling as a Freelance Worker
Figure out what the issue is.
For example, if you’re struggling to find work as a freelancer, it might be time for some more networking or trying new avenues – and remember that not all freelance jobs are successful! You may need to reconsider your skillset or try applying for different types of positions in order to find the right fit.
Freelancing is something that you have to put in work for, but if you are diligent and determined then it’s more likely to pay off – just like any other type of job!
If you struggle to find clients, remember that it’s OK to ask for help – there are many platforms and avenues where you can look, and this may be the key to your success.
It’s important to set clear boundaries for yourself and be aware of when you’re burning out. Take regular breaks to chill out – don’t push yourself too hard!
Pros and Cons of Freelancing
Pros of being a freelancer:
- Being your own boss – so if you’re a natural entrepreneur, freelancing might be the perfect route for you.
- Getting to work when you want – this may be a great option for those who are used to working the night shift or have other commitments that don’t fit in with office hours.
- Freelancers are usually able to keep their work and social lives separate, which gives them more time for hobbies or other ventures.
- Freelancers are often able to find more work, and this opens them up to new opportunities.
- There’s no limit on what skillset you can have or the type of job that you’ll find – so if there’s a freelancing position out there for your skill set, then this may be the route for you.
Cons of being a freelancer:
- Freelancers are often required to work on their own time, and this can be difficult if you’re shy or introverted.
- It’s important that freelance workers maintain high productivity levels so as not to lose business (or any free time!) while juggling other commitments.
- The freelance life can sometimes be a lonely one – you might not have the same social benefits that come with being an employee in a large company.
- Freelancers are often required to take on more responsibility, and this may lead them down paths they’re not entirely sure of! It’s important as freelancers to stay safe throughout your work experience.
- You are the one who’s responsible for your own taxes – so you’ll have to stay on top of things in order to avoid any penalties or fines.
The Future of Freelancing
It looks as though this industry will only keep growing over time – with a recent study estimating that 40% of the workforce will be freelance by 2022.
This year, freelancers are predicted to overtake America’s traditional full-time workers for the first time in history – with 53 million people working as freelances and only 50 million on staff positions! There is a huge demand for skilled professionals who can work independently, so this is certainly an industry to watch.