A Beginner’s Guide to Freelancing

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Guide to freelancing
Image by SnapwireSnaps from Pixabay

The freelancing industry has evolved a lot in the last few years. As more businesses go digital and adapt to the e-commerce model, the need for outsourcing becomes inevitable.

Businesses outsource many of the one-time tasks such as creating a website, e-commerce store, etc. Many of the recurring tasks are also regularly outsourced these days.

The freelancing world provides opportunities to the youngsters and experts equally. Young graduates waiting for internships or a first job opportunity can get their valuable first experience with freelancing. It offers great money making ways, as well as experience that polishes their skills.

What Is Freelancing?

You will be self-employed and will work for others on the main project basis. Practically, that does not imply that your working norms will be easier. You will have to showcase the same professional integrity and skills as you do in any other job.

Freelancers offer their services to clients on third-party sites like Upwork and Fiverr or directly through individual platforms. Most of the work carried out by freelancers is charged on a project basis.

The upside advantage of being a freelancer is that you’ll work for yourself and not as an employee for any other business. However, your contract terms will be as binding as in any other professional job.

What Are Your Options As A Freelancer?

There are many jobs and tasks that you can do as a freelancer. Businesses and individuals alike seek professional services and outsource regularly.

In a short description, any task that you can remotely perform for anyone will count in as a freelancing job. Professional business owners seek most of the business-related services that their regular employees cannot perform.

Some of the most commonly availed freelancing services are as below:

  • Accounting and Bookkeeping services
  • Programming, coding, and IT services
  • E-commerce store development and related services
  • Writing and Translation services
  • Web site development, web designing, Web Coding, and Customization.
  • SEO for websites and blogs
  • SEO for marketing and social media pages
  • Digital and Social Media Marketing services
  • Virtual Business Assistant Jobs
  • Graphic Designing and Branding

These are all broader categories that freelancers can choose to explore. Remember, the more you narrow down your niche selection, the better your chances will be for standing out of the crowd.

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

The common notion with freelancing is that your work independently. That is well and truly accepted fact, but that doesn’t liberate freelancers from their workload and responsibilities.

There are many perks of being a freelancer, also it comes with a few downsides.

Advantages of Freelancing

  • Flexibility:  You can choose and set your own pace while working as a freelancer. Just make sure you remain consistent enough not to lose the regular clients.
  • Set your Prices:    It doesn’t mean you can charge anything, but it surely is an advantage of being a freelancer. You can charge clients as per your expertise and value addition, unlike regular jobs.
  • Choose Your Profession:          Young graduates find it hard to match their dream job with availability. Freelancing offers you a unique opportunity to follow your dreams and chose the job that you love.
  • Control over Job:            You chose as a freelancer as to which projects you wish to work for.

Disadvantages of Freelancing

  • Competitive Market:      Each passing day poses new challenges to the Freelancing market. More young graduates are joining the freelancing markets on daily basis. Remember, you’ll be finding your place in an international marketplace.
  • Inconsistent Earnings: Unlike a day job, there are no guaranteed returns or regular income with freelancing. Especially for the starters, the earnings stream can be a bumpy road.
  • Work Management:       Many of the times your clients will push you for tasks that initially didn’t include in the project. Sometimes you’ll carry out tasks that you couldn’t feel comfortable with. All your workload will be on your shoulders as a freelancer.
  • No Employer Benefits:  You wouldn’t get any savings, retirement plans, or health insurance from your employer here. Simply because you don’t have an employer. These costs can substantially reduce your net earnings as a freelancer.

Making Money with Freelancing

There is no bar on making money with freelancing. You can earn as much as you can work. Once you groom into a professional and build a successful portfolio, you’ll reap the rewards of high earnings.

Some freelancing sites offer candidates a chance to charge on a per hour basis, others offer a project-based costing. Either way, your charges for the project or any other tasks should be competitive.

Remember, many freelancing sites take a fixed percentage of the total project cost. Also, you will have to incur the taxes outside of the freelancing sites as a self-employed.

Top Platforms for Freelancers

The freelancing industry has become rapidly popular in the last decade. Many professional platforms bring together freelancers and buyers from around the world.

The primary method of joining and finding a job as a freelancer will remain the same for you. You’ll create a seller profile, place your service gigs, put the costs, and search for matching jobs on offer. Clients have also the same flexibility and options for evaluating different profiles for the same tasks they seek.

Here is a list of top Freelancing Websites:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  •  Freelancer
  • People per hour
  • Flexjobs.com
  • Toptal
  • Guru
  • 99Designs
  • TaskRabbit
  • The Creative Group

Top Tips to Become a Successful Freelancer

Just as you seek tips on sending a perfect resume to get an interview call, there are a few ways that will earn you a client response. Freelancing is mainly about effective communication. Communicate in the best possible way to your clients, what you can offer and for how much can you offer.

Here are some top tips for you:

  • Create a selective service portfolio, never jump into everything.
  • Create compelling and unique profile description and gigs
  • Set your prices competitively
  • Do not apply for projects randomly
  • Customize your job application by matching the requirements from the client
  • Communicate effectively with your clients
  • Do not shy away from rejecting tasks and projects that violate terms and conditions of the freelancing platforms

Lastly, make your profile more SEO friendly. Seek a professional’s help if you are not comfortable doing it. Make a lasting first impression by adopting a professional tone with your clients. Consistency and providing services as promised are the keys to a successful freelancing career.

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