Since the turn of the 20th century, the gap between the employed and unemployed has been greatly bridged following the chunks of opportunities that are now available on the internet. A staggering number of people have pitched their tents with what is commonly known as the gig economy, staggering number of people have pitched their tent with what is commonly known as the gig economy. To succeed as a freelancer, you just need to follow this guide.
Millions of people joined the train of freelancers during the peak of the covid-19 pandemic in 2020 and as you read this, more are still signing up to work as freelancers from the comfort of their homes. However, you need the right guidance to succeed as a freelancer.
Freelancing is a term used in describing a self-employed person, who offers professional services to various clients. Services offered are availing on websites created to link employers to freelancers, example includes Fiverr, Upwork, Peopleperhour, and so on. Owners of freelancing sites often have a share of what the freelancer is paid, however, a freelancer can establish a relationship with his client and bypass his service providers.
The gig economy is quite a huge marketplace for skilled people who can build a website, design blogs, graphic artists, write codes, carry out search engine optimization, edit videos, build Applications, and whatnot.
Freelancers are usually professionals of specific niches but oftentimes, they are multi-skilled. They set their own pay and earn around $20-50 per hour depending on the service they render.
Benefits of Freelancing
Like every other profession, freelancing has several pros and maybe even more because of the flexibility of the job. We are going to take a look at some of the advantages of this passive income stream which gives an idea of how to succeed as a freelancer.
- Set your time: Freelancers have the prerogative of setting the most convenient time to do any job they accept. You can still succeed as a freelancer if you take it as a side or full time job.
- Work where you want: Freelancing affords people the opportunity to work virtually and from where they decide. You can travel while working because the workspace is primary the availability of the internet.
- Independence: A freelancer is not necessarily an employee because freelancers work on their own terms, not the terms of their clients. A freelancer is a contractor, though you must satisfy your client to get paid.
- You’re paid your worth: Freelancers fix their fee depending on the quality of service they render. It is left for you to evaluate how skillful you are and based on the quality of service you can render, and set your price, which is usually more than what employees earn.
- Low Capital to start: All you need to become a freelancer is a computer device and access to the internet, which are relatively cheap.
- Huge demand: The gig economy is easily becoming the biggest employer of labour because of the enormous number of freelancers wanted on a daily basis. Freelancers are much easier to deal with and it is cost-effective for most companies to get freelancers to work for them – this is because they are not on pay-roll or they are not entitled to benefits.
- Freedom to select clients: As a freelancer, you have the choice of picking who you want to work for/with. You may agree to do jobs that wouldn’t stress you while starting out as a freelancer and with time you can take on jobs from more difficult clients
- Fewer Taxes: Taxes paid by independent contractors and employees are said to be different. For freelancers who are also independent contractors, they pay less tax.
- Increase Work/Life Balance: The advantage to choose, deciding on the work to do is one that makes everybody happy.
While we have outlined the advantages of freelancing, let’s take a look at the downside of being a freelancer:
- Conflicting schedules: While you have the freedom to fix your work schedule, the time you pick may be in conflict with that of your client, which may leave you with no choice but to budge.
There instance also where your client is in entirely different time zones and if you do not manage your time properly, you may lose certain jobs.
- Inconsistent workflow: There are instances where clients employ freelancers for specific projects and when that is done, they get off the space.
However, those that are experienced take on jobs that will last time longer periods so that they can earn regularly. There are instances where seasoned freelancers develop relationships with their clients who in turn refer them to others that would be needing their services.
- No shortcuts: It takes a level of consistency and persistence to nick jobs. A lot of freelancers pitch themselves for jobs for so many months before they eventually get hooked to a client.
Avoid a scenario where you become a freelancer and expect to become successful within a very short period. Though possible, it is not the story of a lot of people.
- Multiple clients and Projects: Freelancers that have multiple clients across various niches find it difficult to manage all of their projects. It is advisable for freelancers to take up jobs they can do per time regardless of how tempting it is for them.
- You’re Responsible for yourself and your career: Booking, invoicing, and marketing are essential aspects of freelancing. You alone are responsible for everything that concerns you and your job.
- Fend for your other Needs: Even though the pay is good, freelancers are liable to pay their medical bills and every other bill that may arise even during the cause of work.
- Self-employment tax: As a freelancer, you are self-employed. Therefore, you pay your medicare tax and social security taxes all by yourself.
How to become a freelancer:
Becoming a freelancer is much more than signing up to one of the websites that connect clients to freelancers. However, the same can be the starting point for every freelancer – Upwork and freelancer are good platforms to get your career kicking because you get referrals and testimonials from them.
In my bid to educate and expose you to the gig economy, there is a list of things you should know before embarking on the journey to becoming a freelancer.
- Pick a Niche: Copywriting, web design, programming, data entry and so on are niches on the market for freelancers. Knowing your personal skill, you should decide the kind of service you want to render and match on with it.
- Pick a target market: You may need to check the level of demand for the skillset that you possess. This will enable you to brand yourself and have a specific selling proposition.
- Determine your rates: This is one of the trickiest aspects of freelancing because some people overestimate themselves while others underestimate their worth when setting a rate. Your rate will certainly raise a perception about your skillset but take a look at what others are charging so you do not go overboard. With time, you can tweak your rate depending on the job.
- Build an online portfolio: A portfolio is like a resume that talks about you, and all the jobs that you have done. While Linkedin has offered this type of service, you may want to build a personal portfolio like a website. There is a plethora of websites where you can create a portfolio like Portfoliobox, SquareSpace, and Journo Portfolio.
Market Your Services: You can showcase your stuff on all the social media platforms. Start by offering free consultation and you’d get referred with time.