Who is a Freelancer ?
A freelancer is someone who is self-employed. By self-employed, we mean that he/she is his/her own boss. A person, who is freelancing, may be offering his/her services to multiple clients at one time. Unlike office routines and times, the freelancer is subjected to his/her own timings, routines, and price. This is pretty much similar to being your own boss, with your own office, and your own rules. A freelancer, in short, works for a single or multiple clients at a time without being confined to a single organization. (A freely moving bird !!!)
What does a Freelancer do ?
As mentioned earlier, a freelancer is a self-employed person. The individual has the capability of earning an income by providing his services. But what does a freelancer really do? To be fair, a freelancer could be offering any sort of services. There are many who offer services such as logo designing, proofreading, writing, creating animations, developing website, drawing electrical, mechanical drawings etc.
A freelancer, with whatever expertise he/she holds, can offer his/her services to the targeted market. If you’re a website developer, there are plenty of freelancing jobs on the internet that require an expert’s touch. If you’re an engineer, you could be offering your services in drawing circuit diagrams, analyzing circuits etc. If you’re a writer, you could be offering your services in writing blogs, research, books, short stories etc.
In short, with your skills of expertise, you can land anywhere in the freelancing market. Your price of work will be determined by the client after a thorough negotiation. Once, the price is set, you complete the work and get paid for the service you provide. If they like your work, chances are that you might get retaining customers. Thus, freelancing itself is a systematic process between the client and the freelancer itself.
How can you do Freelancing ?
I have compiled a list of websites where you can properly start your freelancing career, be it in any form or service at all. If you have decided to start from scratch, start with third party platforms like People per hour or Upwork that are considered to be one of the most authentic and credible places to work. I personally work on people per hour. There are a few rules of getting registered in people per hour like completing your profile properly etc. I have been working over the the platform for almost 3 years now and I am very much satisfied from its services. Payments are properly sent to payoneer, skrill , paypal or bank transfer within a few days. What best about people per hour is its value towards the freelancers. It does not allow low charged service even if you are willing to work at a low price. Infact, you wont be allowed to publish your proposal if you type in a low price. Thus, I consider it one of the coolest places to work when its comes to third party platforms.
How to become a successful freelancer?
Being self-employed is not that easy as it may sound. Freelancing is about being independent but also being successful. You can freelance but if your goals are not being achieved, you may need to reconsider about what you are really doing in the freelancing world.
To be a successful freelancer, there are certain things you need to look after and consider. It’s not always the skills, it’s also about how you put up your proposal , deal with others, establish relations with the clients and shape your profile.
Consider the following elements before you start freelancing :
Start Low but not to low
Freelancing is not utopia. You can’t expect to have all your expenses, dues, and bills to be paid in just one hour’s work. That will take time. For a starter, go slow. This is to make sure that your name is easily earned and lives up to what you work for. On a practical side, you can’t put too much on your price. That only implies that you are not serious about your work, and, being new and asking for so much just sounds absurd. You’re not proving yourself to that level. Also, do not volunteer and expect lower than what is really the low standard. That will only undermine and certainly retard the motivation of your work. In short, start slow, but not too slow that you lag behind.
Client and Freelancer Relations
Freelancing is not an office job but there are basic ethics to oblige and understand. You must have a relationship of trust with your client. You have to make sure you are not new to your skills and you have done it a thousand times. To exhibit this confidence, you need to take the client in the fullest of confidence. This can be done by the freelancer’s professionalism. When you act professional, the client will take your skills professionally, and will pay you just how a professional is ought to be paid
Learn to say a few things before you can deal with a hectic client. You may feel conflicted with your terms and the client may be more than just condescending. Why should that let you dwarf? If there is something the client is imposing on you that goes against your terms, feel free to not choose their offer but in a way that you let the client know you are an indeed professional to them. The whole idea of saying “No” is to make sure that your worth is not let down by any means of acceptance or rejection. How would you be self-employed if you’re being forced into your skills and work and you can’t say a proper now?
It might seem awkward at the start and may be against your rules and self-dignity but it is actually not. It’s okay to ask for help from your friends who may know someone who can help. If you feel entitled to a debt by doing so, make sure you pay with all honesty. Also, the same goes for the former clients and those who’d worked with you. Let them know via email or text that if they’re interested in working again, they can let you know. Also, mention how wonderful it was working with the clients and so if they need anything, they can freely let you know.
These are some of the skills to enhance communication. It should also be observed that as a freelancer, you need to establish an equilibrium of maintenance between your services and the client’s demands. For that, your skills play a very minute role. You have to be more practical about your communication, dealing, offers, and propositions you lay out before the client.
Marketing your Skills
A freelancer cannot be known until he/she is actually understood by the clients. Everybody has got skills in them but can everybody really offer them? Can they really go up to that level where they attract the client ? This is where freelance marketing comes into play. You must know how to present yourself to the client. Because you’re reading this, that doesn’t mean you’re the only one with freelancing ideas. There are many freelancers around the world who have got the same skills, expertise as you do. The question is what makes you better than them? It most certainly is the skills and how you perform the client’s work, but how can you tell them that?
The answer is freelance marketing. You can be the master of your beloved skills. You may be the best among other freelancers. But, how can a client, who doesn’t know any of these freelancers, will be able to pick you? The only way a client can get to know you is by how you market your ideas. So, the better you market your ideas, the more clients you will be getting. The client, based on how you present yourself, will be automatically more attracted to you. It is really important to express yourself in the best words and in the best ways, as far as freelance marketing is considered.
Begin with marketing yourself in social media platforms. Try making an inforgraphic in canva or picmonkey, portraying your services and your rates. Don’t forget to provide discount and deals on specific events and be proactive at your response.
Factors to consider before you start Freelancing
This is very important to understand if you are about to enter the freelance world: you can’t get everything you want in just a week or a month. All this takes time and it is worth it. There are many factors to understand before you can take freelancing to full-time.
- Consider your basic requirements:
You are about to leave a salary based, full-time job. You may have to go back to many basic things. Freelancing is going to be your full-time thing. It won’t generate you enough like how your office job did. Obviously it will take time to develop and reach to a point where you dont have to consider working over a full time job. Which is why, it is recommended that you opt the basic modes of living. Know your basic requirements before you decide to quit everything.
- Be responsible for your actions:
If you were too dependent on your co-workers, now is the time to consider your own actions. It is better to acknowledge this before you enter freelancing, so you have an idea of what you will be doing will only be your action and reaction of things. Also, it is highly advised to have a few clients before leaving your office so you are not empty once you are on your own. Remember to hold a few savings before you enter freelancing for full-time.
Types of Freelancing
- Third party freelancing opportunities:
This involves freelancing in such a way that you remain an independent party who establishes professional relationship between the two parties under a contract. This contract may be of full-time or part time. The contract may avail your services at any time and you, as a freelancer, will be providing them.
- Sole Freelancing:
This involves you working for multiple clients on your terms. You could be working for them at any time of the day you like. You will offer your services according to your own price. Sole freelancing is possible by sending direct emails to various websites and giving a cold itch email to receive the best possible response from the owners .
How to get hired as a freelancer?
In these days, getting hired as a freelancer is relatively easy, thanks to the internet. But to do so, you have to prepare yourself well to present yourself to the client. Surely, you are self-employed and independent of the employer, but how can you be your own boss and employer? How can you find your own work? To do so, you need to recognize your skills you excel in. Once you do, you need to present yourself in a professional way so you get recognized by professionals. It is not always about your skill, but how you choose to present your skills before the clients. Once you present everything in the most professional manner, you are hired for the work.
Elements without which freelancing is not possible:
As happy and liberating as it may sound, freelancing is not utopia. Now that you are your own boss, you may have to look after a few things apart from getting a client, presenting yourself, and communicating with the whole network. The things you didn’t know about workplace from the top most hierarchy to the lower most will be put on you. As mentioned earlier, you will be responsible for everything you do. Here are a few elements which need to be considered or freelancing:
Do not start a freelance job without offering a contract first. This is to ensure that all the legal terms are being followed that you and the client are obliged to follow. This also ensures that you are paid depending on how you wish to be paid. The contract guarantees you your working hours, price, and the clients work to be on delivered on time
Tax filing, returns etc everything related to tax and expenses that you may not be able to get a hold of should be considered by an accountant. It is important to have an accountant who is able to deal with all your money problems. This way, you won’t have to worry about the tax returns, expenses, and all your work related to clients can be done peacefully. This is highly recommended if you’re dealing with a lot of money and you want to be at peace with the tax department.
- Method of payment:
Always remember to file in your method of payment. The contract should mention your method of receiving the payment. That way, the client and you are in agreement of choosing the mode of payment. The job may go horribly wrong even after everything is done and the payment is not delivered. It is best to have a mutual understanding of payment before engaging in any services.
- Laws and regulations:
Makes sure of the laws and regulations related to independent bodies. Freelancers work as independent contractors, so whatever laws there are, you have to be considerate of them. You may be limited to certain extent and it will be your duty to follow those regulations and restrictions.
Freelancing is an exciting opportunity for those who are self-driven and self-motivated about their work. Freelancing may sound liberating and free from all the hassles of the workplace but it has got its own responsibilities. Unlike workplace, you are not the only entitled to the job but also to the entire name. Your name highlights your every move and skill. However you communicate with the clients is solely your action. Also, whatever the expenses, payments, laws and regulations there are, you will be entitled to follow them by all means. In short, freelancing is about being your own boss with a lot of responsibilities.