|Posted by Mevonnie Hugh on November 13, 2013 at 6:50 PM|
A freelancer or freelance worker is an independent contractor who is self-employed and is not committed to any specific employer on a long term basis. Many employers welcome using freelancers to get work done because it saves them money without having to make a permanent commitment as they do with regular employees.
Freelancers enjoy a more flexible work schedule. It is one of the easiest and fastest ways to start working with minimal start-up cost. As a freelancer you choose the clients you wish to work with and the projects on which you work.
That said you can become a freelancer in some of these popular fields:
Acting, editing, computer programming, writing, song writing, article writing, filmmaking, tour guiding, translating, event planning, photography, music, proofreading, video editing, video production, web design, graphic design, consulting, publishing, accounting, marketing, illustrating, etc.
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Freelance work offers tremendous advantages and can represent an attractive alternative to a traditional job. If you plan to quit your traditional job and start a freelance business, be sure to plan to be self-employed. However, the best time to start a business is while you are still traditionally employed. So plan and plan some more. It is a great idea to start off on a part-time basis.
If you are considering a freelance career, you should explore the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing.
ADVANTAGES OF FREELANCING: Here are some benefits of freelance work:
Flexible hours - Working from home or from a remote workplace as a freelancer allows you to set the hours and work at times most convenient to you; you can choose the clients you wish to work with and the projects on which you work. If you have a traditional 9 to 5 job or part-time job, you can perform your freelance work around regular work hours.
Building self-asset – Having a successful freelance business allows you to build a reputation with a strong list of clients who not only appreciate your work but who will also help to increase that list, thereby increasing the income you generate, business collaborations and other opportunities.
Freedom and control - As a freelance worker, you can control your work load, particularly if you have an excess of work. While client demands can, at times, dictate your schedule, you can turn away work during busy times or accept more work during slow periods. Drop high maintenance or slow-paying clients or turn down undesirable projects if you so desire.
Independence – You basically operate on your own terms, set your own hours and rates.
Global workplace – You have worldwide job opportunities to work for clients in any country.
Learn new skills - You will learn new skills of necessity in order to operate your own business that you might not acquire if you were a traditional employee such as sales, marketing, office administration, and billing.
Eliminate commute - Working from home will save you time and money as you eliminate the daily commute to and from the office.
Unlimited income potential - Your income will be as a direct result of your own efforts not what is set by a company. With a variable income, the more you work, the greater your income. Increased self-respect – With achieved success operating your own business, you will fill your individual character with an attitude of accomplishment and respect for yourself.
Tax benefits – When you work from a home office as a freelancer, you can access some tax benefits including write-offs for your home office space, equipment and other business costs.
Relaxed dress code – If you are working from home and not meeting with clients, you can work in anything.
DISADVANTAGES OF FREELANCING: If you plan to quit your traditional job and start a freelance business, be sure to plan to be self-employed. However, the best time to start a business is while you are still traditionally employed. It is a great idea to start off part-time.
Consider the disadvantages of being a freelancer:
Start-up Cash Investment - Most new businesses require an initial cash investment to purchase equipment, web expenses, etc. If you already have the basics such as a computer and web connection, it can be very minimal indeed.
Absent Benefits - As an independent contractor or freelancer, you do not receive employer-provided benefit packages such as health insurance, vacation pay, sick pay, etc. You will require a plan for the moments when you are unable to serve your clients or meet specific deadlines.
Variable Workloads & Income - You will have to learn to manage variable workloads, time and priorities. Your workload and income may vary from month to month so it is up to you to ‘make it work’.
Accountability - Without an employer, you have sole responsibility for your success, failure or results. You must be focused, self-motivated and disciplined to be successful. Ensure that you provide quality work for your clients, abide by stated contracts and keep careful records of all your expenditures.
Compromise - Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get a job immediately. You may find yourself doing some pro bono or free work in the beginning to gain necessary experience. When you just start out as a freelancer, you can’t be too picky about the work you take on especially if you are probably in the process of building your portfolio.
So How Do You Start?
Step 1. Identify Your Skills
Take a look at your resume and ten to one you will find that you have secondary skills that are freelancing opportunities. Maybe you did not list all your skills on your resume so what are you good at? Are your talents marketable?
Identify a market where your expert skills and knowledge can be of value to clients. Choose your specialty. Specialization will make you more attractive to specific groups of clienteles and increase your chance of success. However, if you are not very good at what you do, try fixing that now. Quality is better than quantity.
Step 2. Create a Portfolio
Your portfolio represents your work. It is your asset. It demonstrates your skill and proves to clients that you are able to complete projects. It should communicate an idea of what it is that you do that makes you worthy. But, it is difficult building a quality portfolio without experience. Most artists can begin building their portfolios while they are in high school so by the time they reach a tertiary institution; they already have a head start.
Try attending a prominent college during your spare time and use some of that work to start your portfolio. Maybe you are not an artist but if you are gainfully employed, that is a great time to start. Take pictures of your completed projects, ask your boss for some positive feedback to use as testimonials. Take on work on the side and solicit testimonials from these paying clients. You can even sub-contract for other freelancers who may have a need for your skill. Produce quality work you will receive quality testimonials and even referrals. Be sure to ask for testimonials and referrals. Remember; each one tells one, that’s the power of verbal referrals.
If you find yourself doing some pro bono work in the beginning to gain necessary experience, ensure that you perform your best to receive positive recommendations.
Step 3. Promotion
Regardless of your expertise, you may have some difficulty in securing jobs but once you identify what you need to do to attract clients; you will be well on your way. Do research continually to see what kind of pricing your competitors are offering. Market yourself and your business to gain more clients. Constantly contact prospective customers through all the media services at your fingertips and present the passion you have for your skill.
Where to find opportunities?
Here are a few freelancing job sites for your perusal:
Last updated Jan. 21, 2021
Learn to identify and market your skills, find clients and keep them with Freelancing From Home
About the Author: Mevonnie Hugh is an affiliate marketer/ independent business owner who promotes business opportunities & healthy living both online and offline. Learn more at http://proearnja.com and http://mymiracleplant.blogspot.com