How to become a successful freelancer | Mistakes you must avoid

Nowadays when anyone heard the term “freelancing or freelancer”, the first thing comes in mind is that – flexible work schedule, No Pressure of boss, No need to wake up early morning & many more things. These all are myths.

As a freelancer you have many responsibilities. Like – doing project properly, On Time Delivery, Client Satisfaction, Retention Of Client.

What is Freelancing?

Freelancing is a profession where a person works on a contract based. Instead of being recruit by any organisation, Freelancer use their skills and experience to give service to their client.

In simple terms, In freelancing you sell your skills, knowledge and experience to multiple clients and grab various assignments or projects without committing single employer.

How you can do freelancing?

Becoming a freelancer is simply as easy as ordering something over the web . You visit sites that provide freelance jobs and tasks and take them on. This is a beautiful way of starting out and getting your name out there.

Here are a few sites you can try for freelancing work:

  • Fiverr: The world’s largest freelance job marketplace. Just create a message in your account, what you can do, add some links and you’re done.
  • 99Designs: The perfect place to find a freelance job if you’re a designer.
  • Upwork: Upwork is a more professional looking freelance marketplace where you will find more business clients.
  • Freelancer.com: Freelancer.com is one of the oldest freelance job sites to choose from in your first year when you have little or no freelancing experience.

    (We’ve got a full list of the best outsourcing sites if you’d like to know about other options)

Working on a few presentations on these sites helps you understand how freelancing works and helps you figure it out.

But before heading to these freelance sites, you need to create a freelance brand for yourself. Follow these steps for the same-

  • Decide what services you will offer
  • Define your target market
  • Find platforms (freelance websites) that you will work on. Choose a single username for everyone. This will help you create your brand identity.
  • Define your rates
  • Build an online portfolio on a niche-specific portfolio platform; GitHub for Developers, Behance for Designers, etc. We also invite you to create a website with a personal portfolio to showcase your skills and talent.
  • Promote your services: Promote your services on social media, offer something for free or at a very low cost (helps get more attention), ask for recommendations, and use email marketing.

We do not recommend that you give up your existing source of income and switch to freelancing as such. Try this as a part-time business to see how it works for you in the early months.

You don’t need to be freelancing full time. It’s up to you whether you want to do this full time or keep your existing job and make money in your spare time.

If you feel like you really like the way things are going, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Next step

Once you feel you can support yourself and work this way, the next step is to complete multiple assignments to generate multiple sources of income. This should include gigs that you received in person through the methods mentioned above, as well as from freelance sites.

Another possibility is that you could make it a permanent concert. Working as a full-time freelancer also means you can generate various forms of income. You can

  • Negotiate monthly fees
  • Agreeing commissions on sales projects
  • Create referral systems to reward customers that send you new customers
  • Promote Yourself Directly: Here’s a helpful guide to marketing and building the perfect personal brand.

Freelancing As A Career

The rise in the number of freelancers has led to the development of a new concept – the gig economy. In the gig economy, instead of working full-time for one employer and receiving a fixed salary in return, a person works for several clients on their own terms and at a price that they think their job deserves.

Freelancing is an exciting profession. It solves almost all the problems of the ordinary person in the service class. According to Upwork, Americans work an average of 47 hours a week. Freelancers work on average 11 hours less per week than full-time workers. This adds up to about 550 hours per year, or 23 full days.

Traditional full-time workers spend almost an additional full month each year at the keyboard (or elsewhere).

Source: freelancermap.com

Here is the annual salary for freelancers in America from 2014 to 2018:

All of this, along with the benefits of the freedom to work from anywhere at any time of your choice, the ability to be your own boss, keep all your profits and lower operating costs, undoubtedly attracts many people to freelance careers.

But not many end up doing this on an ongoing basis.

Why do you ask?

Well, the answer is mostly in our human psyche.

The search for a guarantee is deeply rooted in our minds. Permanent work gives us the guarantee of a profession that is paid at the agreed time. You get a routine to follow. And that job also provides guaranteed benefits such as insurance, retirement benefits, savings fund, allowances and pay increases for good jobs.

By choosing freelance, you lose all guarantees. There is no guarantee that you will have repeat customers. There is no certainty that you will be able to maintain this lifestyle until retirement, and there is even no guarantee that your income will ever increase.

Moreover, you can independently manage your tax deductions, insurance and other finances.

There are other downsides to freelancing such as –

  • Work-life balance: If you don’t know how to separate your personal life from work, freelancing becomes more difficult than a regular nine-to-five job.
  • No benefits: Freelancers are responsible for their own holidays, sick days and vacations and must plan well finances and time management.
  • Difficult Clients: You may come across some clients that are extremely difficult to deal with. They may not provide the correct instructions and information to get the job done, or they may not be available to clear up any doubts. This can be frustrating and wasteful of your time.

Each profession always has its pros and cons, and it’s up to you how to balance them properly to maintain your health. If you think that freelancing can be useful for you and the cons don’t really matter. Read on to find out how to become a freelancer.

Take care of your finances

At work, most of the “money” comes from the company you work for. You receive a regular salary without asking; your taxes are automatically deducted and your employer will most likely take care of the insurance.

Everything is different when you are alone, and you have to solve the following issues on your own:

  • Getting paid: This is considered the hardest part of management, whether veteran freelancers or newbies. Negotiating and communicating correctly with your client in order to get them to pay for your service at the specified time is a big challenge. Take care of this properly and you are well placed to excel in the freelance industry. Check out this guide to negotiating like a pro for more tips and ideas.
  • Taxes: You need to deal with your personal and professional tax challenges on your own.
  • Insurance and retirement benefits. You need to choose the best insurance policy yourself and draw up a retirement plan.

It all comes down to the fact that being a freelancer and working in the gig economy means taking on a lot of responsibility for your own finances, whether it’s negotiating wages, finding insurance, or paying taxes. But if you love the freedom, flexibility, and earning potential that independence provides, then freelancing is the ideal situation.

Conclusion

Freelancing is both positive and negative. You just need to decide if you are willing to take the risk that almost always comes with it. But if you risk your stability for something more that is more in line with your professional goals than your traditional job, you have the opportunity to earn a name and reputation for yourself and achieve your professional goals.

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