Today, freelancing has gone mainstream as employers rely more on independent workers to sustain and grown their businesses. But these are particularly different kind of workers from the current cubicle crowd. In the cubicle world, workers are given assignments to complete and chase the next assignment. Freelancers never stick to just one task, they network and market to find work, complete it, and then bill for it. Gears are switched once the freelancers get paid for their work and they become professionals.
This fluid work medium of freelancing rewards nimbleness and flexibility.
There is no better feeling when it’s working well. But for growing and thriving in the freelancing business, you need to have the essential information at your fingertips. “Hisham Sarwar”
Definition of Freelancer:
A self-employed person who offers services to multiple clients while operating as his own boss. A freelancer sets his own service menu, prices, and targets the clients market. It’s just a myth that a freelancer refers to people who work for free. In many cases, freelancers earn more than their office counterparts.
When it comes to flexibility, freelancers are free to set their own hours. They can choose on working full-time or part-time on the projects of their choice. Freelancers work similar to independent contractors. For freelancers the continuity of work might be different. Some freelancers might work with the same clients over a number of years and some may higher freelancers just for one project. In the world of freelancing, it is easy to build a community that is far more than a professional network. It is where the freelancers can share their knowledge, resources, and encouragement with other freelancers.
No doubt freelancing is a profession that is on the rise, but like everything it has some advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Freelancing:
Perks of freelancing include…
It is fast to get started with. If you are aware of your skill to offer, getting hands on the first client is actually the beginning of your career.
Freelancing can be started any time as it’s very easy to start. You can use your network to find a client for work.
It is extremely affordable. With the service to offer to clients, you must be having the necessary equipment for delivering your work. You can promote your service through LinkedIn. You will only be required to invest in business building tools such as websites.
There is a huge demand for freelancers in the market. In the competitive market, the demand for reliable and quality freelancers is growing. Also many businesses prefer to have freelancers as their workforce instead of hiring typical employees.
Freelancing offers flexibility in choosing one’s own working hours and place of working.
In the beginning, you may have to work for any client who chooses you. But as you grow, it’s your own choice to pick the clients you want to work for.
While you are required to deliver the work in the way client asks, but as a freelancer it’s all your choice how you complete the project.
Disadvantages of Freelancing:
The disadvantages involve…
Setting a freelancing business takes time. Getting enough clients that can make it a business to support you and your family is not just a matter of few days.
Freelancing is not like the traditional office jobs. There can be an irregularity in the work flow of freelancers. Sometimes there will be plenty of projects to work on whereas some days will pass without even a single project.
It can be pretty challenging for freelancers to manage multiple clients and projects. It is not easy for many people to keep track of deadlines and deliver good quality work on time.
You may be paid low when starting freelancing. Beginning with lower rewards may be needed by freelancers but it’s essential to charge your worth as early as possible.
Difference between a freelancer and a home-based service business:
There is not much to differentiate between the two as both work as self-employed individuals, work for multiple clients, set their own schedules, and abide by the same self-employment tax rules. But there are few things that are different between home-based service businesses and freelancers. A business owner works under a business name whereas a freelancer works what whatever name he/she has. Usually a freelancer works according to the requirements of the market whereas a home business owner finds different ways to fill the gap in the market.
Getting started as a freelancer:
Building a freelancing career can be as easy as finding work from a freelance website. Clients can be found by networking with contacts and other spheres of influences. But before you begin, you have to decide upon few things including:
Decide what you want to offer:
Beginning with freelance work requires you to decide upon the services you want to offer to clients. Freelance work includes writing, graphic designing, web designing, social media management, marketing, photography, bookkeeping etc.
The target market:
After deciding upon the services, it is time for you to think about your brand and unique selling propositions. It is up to you to either specialize within a specific niche of your service such as copy writing or WordPress web design or within a specific market.
A social network such as LinkedIn is a good place to start with career networking. To promote your services you need to build an online portfolio. Even setting up a website will be helpful in offering you get more customization and flexibility than LinkedIn.
Always be sure to charge prices for your work that can not only cover your expenses but also help you to earn a respectful living.
You can connect with potential clients with the help of your network. Freelance websites such as Freelancer.com, fiverr, Guru or Upwork can help you finding work. For experience, testimonials, and referrals these websites are a very good source.
Freelancers have to learn, adapt, and grow with the experiences throughout their journey. Becoming an intentional freelancer is a choice that should be made consciously as it gives peace of mind when you know you can afford the life you are living.