Freelancer is someone who is self-employed and makes money by working on temporary paid projects that he gets from different clients based on skills.
Freelancing has been around much before internet when people used to find work and get paid for doing tasks that were assigned to them. A freelancer doesn’t work permanently for any one organisation or employer and chooses to work on different projects that he gets from clients. These projects can be very small tasks like writing some article, making a website, solving a math problem and can also be large projects like engineering designs. Becoming a freelancer is suitable for people who both inclined towards self-employment and want to work from home. Even if you are already employed and spare some extra time to freelance jobs then you can easily establish a source of extra income using freelancing.
Benefits of Becoming a Freelancing
Perks of becoming a freelancer are the freedom to work only on jobs that you like and the abundance work that is in your reach.
- Freedom to work from home on any project that you like and schedule your own work hours.
- You get to pursue your personal passions that might not be possible in doing a job for some organization where you just work on things that are of interest to your employer.
- You decide what projects you like and get to decide the money you want for the performing any task.
- Your portfolio will have variety of projects and most importantly you will have opportunities to learn new things by working on interesting projects.
- Freelancers are usually paid good amount of money for their work and can choose to work only on jobs that meet their personal criteria.
- You can work from anywhere in the world so you can be travelling and working at the same time, just need a laptop and an internet connection.
Drawbacks of Becoming a Freelancer
- As a freelancer you will be dependent on getting projects and if you don’t make new clients then you will not make any money. There is no problem just as long as you have new paid freelance projects coming for you.
- Getting new clients to hire you can be challenging as there is a lot of competition out there and no matter how low you set your price, there is always someone out there who is willing to do the same work for a lower cost. So maintaining your authority as a freelancer among clients can be challenging and will take time before you start getting regular jobs.
Getting freelancing jobs can be difficult because of competition but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t choose freelancing as your career. Freelancing is a profitable industry and many online business connect freelancers with clients without any upfront cost that means you don’t have to pay anyone to get freelance jobs. Currently there are two ways to get online freelance jobs:
- Client directly contacts you and invites you to work on something by some client.
- Clients posts a new project on some freelance site and you bid on that project with your best offer.
Now, don’t get too excited about the first option because you are probably not that renowned freelancer that everyone would like to hire. Come down to the ground and first learn to get your first freelance project and getting hired. Clients would only hire you directly if you have a good portfolio and if your skills are specifically related to their project. To build a good freelancing portfolio you will need to show some good tasks that you have completed.
As a first step choose one site that you will be using to connect to clients for freelance jobs. There are three sites that I would recommend where you should register and make a good profile.
- Freelancer.com – Good for web development and writing jobs but it is too crowded and there are a lot of freelance companies that create a lot of competition. But there are a lot of projects available for you and if you make a good profile and are able to write good proposals then you have chance of getting jobs. There are a lot of established freelancers so my suggestion is to apply for relevant jobs and bid reasonably to get the attention of clients.
- Upwork.com – Previously oDesk this site is one of my favorite freelancing sites as there isn’t much competition for freelance companies and there are some good projects always available that are not just related to web development and writing. If you are looking for jobs related to your professional field then I would recommend this site. Another good this about up work is that they give boost to new freelancers and your chances of getting hired here are higher as compared to other options.
- Peopleperhour.com – Recommended for people who are comfortable with working on hourly basis as obvious by its name you get hired on hourly rate that you decide. This site offers more jobs for web development, content generation and other internet related stuff like marketing and web design etc.
Getting First Freelance Job
After you have registered on any one of the above mentioned sites, the first challenge you will have to overcome is getting your first job. Finding jobs is not difficult as there are countless clients looking for freelancers. The hard part is to make a strong proposal that will make clients hire you and convince them that you are the right man for this job. The secret to succeed in getting your first freelancing job is the basic idea to show y our clients that you are capable of completing the task better than anyone else because you have all the required skills. To achieve this you have to primarily focus on following two things;
- Your profile details – Make your profile as informative as possible and provide details about all your skills and professional qualifications. Also list a portfolio of your work that you have done elsewhere. Make sure that when someone views your profile they exactly know what are your skills and qualifications.
- Your Proposal to client is the first thing that they will see when you bid on any job so it has to be the best and briefly describe your skills and also give a reason why they should hire you . Don’t make grammar mistakes and never beg anyone to hire you because you need money. Focus on the project you are interested in and give reference to previous similar work that you have done based on your qualifications.