Freelancing is one of the most modern, dynamic and hottest avenues in the world of jobs and professionals around the globe right now. In this article, we will learn about freelancing, the main attractions of entering that arena and how to go about it in steps as well. Let’s start!
Who Is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who works for a fee and normally does not expect to work with a single client on a long-term basis, however, the working relationship can continue. It’s a type of self-employment that’s comparable to running a home business instead of telecommuting. As an alternative to a home business, a freelancer can work as a contractor.
Freelancers are also hired by other companies on a part-time or short-term basis, but they do not receive the same compensation as full-time employees or have the same level of commitment to that company.
In an economy where the emphasis is on specialization and detailed services, freelancing has naturally become one of the most sought after areas.
We will now talk about the upsides and downsides of being a freelancer.
PROS AND CONS OF FREELANCING
Freelancing has some very attractive upsides to it:
- Can be done along with your main job, as a way to earn extra income.
- You can easily put your established skill to use as a freelancer at an affordable initial cost.
- It allows for greater flexibility and independence over a full-time employed job.
- Enhances work experience and adds credits to your CV.
However, there are downsides too:
- It can take time to find an established clientele or even your first client if you do not have connections beforehand.
- It cannot be relied upon as a primary and stable source of income initially and thus there is that element of risk.
- You might not get the fee that your skill deserves initially, as you do not have the name and reputation of an organization associated with you.
STEP BY STEP PROCESS TO BECOME A FREELANCER
So, if you have made up your mind about dipping your toes into the adventurous world of freelancing, we shall now move towards a step by step process on how to go about it!
STEP 1: Having the required tools
Freelancing does require a lot of hard work, but it also requires the right tools and gadgets to facilitate your path to success. Essentially, you will need to have a computer, to be able to run all the softwares that you will require in your chosen field and also reach the global community. Smartphones are a good alternative for skills that do not require a lot of computing, but it is still recommended to have a capable computer.
Other than that, all the things that your particular skill requires, you should have them ready and working with you before you start!
Image Source: FreelancingHacks
STEP 2: Building your profile and your portfolio.
This is a crucial step if you want to have a solid start in your freelancing journey.
Rather than a traditional CV, you should put your mind into producing a substantial profile that will convey your education, skills and experience in an informed way to your potential clients. You do not have to list unnecessary details, keep it attractive and concise but do not fail to mention key points from your experiences in the job that you think can give you an edge and explain why you are the best person for the job.
Now you need to have a portfolio that will have the work to show for the profile you made, like your illustrious achievements in that area. If you are relatively new in your field and do not have much to show for yet, you could take more time to create a portfolio with some free sample work for a set of clients. If you need detailed guidance for building your portfolio, you can find it here.
STEP 3: Finding a suitable platform.
Now that you have the tools, and the profile and portfolio, the next step is to find and put your details on a suitable freelancing/job platform.
LinkedIn is a great place to start and keep along with, it has an established community from all fields and a regular gateway for opportunities and community-building. So, you can only benefit from having an attractive and interactive LinkedIn profile.
Along with that, you have an array of options when it comes to freelancing websites and jobs marketplaces, as you can find here. If you find that a particular platform is too crowded or that there is too much competition then you can always consider joining and spending time on one that is relatively new and unknown, that helps everyone at the end of the day as the competition dilutes and the quality of the services increases.
To know more about how to find the platform that suits you best, you can refer to the article here.
STEP 4: Deciding on a fair but realistic price.
This is an important step, as it will majorly contribute to the kind and amount of work you will get as the price you’ll set will have an impression on any prospective client.
It can be challenging to determine the perfect price at the start itself so what you can do is go to the platforms or marketplaces you have chosen and observe the prices that other freelancers in your field or skill are charging. You will get an idea or a range from that.
Then you should consider your individual experience, say if you are a beginner in your field then you will have to determine a lower price to compensate for that reputation that you presently do not have in the market. Also, keep in mind the quality of service you will give, or an edge that you will provide over others in your service and so remember to not keep it too low!
STEP 5: Finding desired work.
Now we have all the tools, the profile and portfolio as well as a carefully determined price, the next step is to find what we started it all for, the desired job.
You will need to keep grinding till you get your first job by making as many connections as you can, presenting your profile in the most attractive way and communicating your skill and the edge you will give over others in the most convincing way.
As you build and make inroads into the freelancing community and gain a reputation and standing over time, you will get a consistent amount of interest in your work and you can also subsequently adjust the fee for your services.
STEP 6: Building and maintaining client relationships.
Once you start getting work, the onus is on you to now show them what you can do!
Deliver beyond expectations, put all your heart into performing the job and do not stop there, put in ample efforts to maintain a healthy and continuing relationship with your clients. That is the most crucial thing to achieve long term success in the world of freelancing as when your clients review you positively they are already doing your job in attracting and making your case to potential future clients.
Freelancing in itself offers several avenues and roles to choose from. Each of these roles has its own specifications and you might need to find the best fit for yourself, which you can explore here.
There are several resources and courses available to help and compliment you throughout your journey. You can introduce yourself to the intricacies of the subject through courses like Top Freelancing Resources on Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Courses for Freelancers on Coursera.
At the end of the day, freelancing, like any other approach to jobs, has its own challenges and risks. So, the decision lies with you to decide the best approach for yourself. Take an informed decision rather than rushing into leaving your day job or entering into freelancing without the necessary prerequisites.
It might be a struggle at the start but if you are determined to excel and stay committed, then success will be yours!
Many Many Thanks a lot, brother. it helps me to get the freelancer exams for free. I will come back again to your website to learn more. So keep posting this type of article.
Great blog, Shreya! I found the information on stepping into the world of freelancing very useful and comprehensive. It’s not always easy to make the transition from a traditional 9-5 job to freelancing, but with the tips and guidance provided in this blog, it feels more manageable. I especially appreciated the advice on building a strong portfolio, networking, and setting realistic expectations for income. I am definitely going to keep this blog handy as a reference as I take my first steps in the world of freelancing. Thanks for sharing!