I have made introduction to freelancing in a most simplified manner.
Before some days I published a article on how to make money using fiverr.com. The people work on fiverr (a freelancing platform) are usually called Freelancers and the process is known freelancing. The freelancing is not limited to fiverr.com, actually it is one of a freelancing platforms. There are more freelancing platforms.
I wanted to give you more options on how millions of people are making money online. One option is “freelancing” and here you’ll learn about it.
Introduction to Freelancing
The term ‘freelance’ simply means performing a service for anyone who was willing to pay the price for it. It doesn’t mean you are a bounded employee of that person. It can be only a one-time task for the ‘freelancer’.
Today, many people are working as freelancers from the comfort of their home and doing jobs offered by millions of people online through freelancing websites.
Technically, the meaning behind this term denotes an independent contractor who offers his services to people in exchange for getting paid. According to a recent study, India ranks as the number one country in the freelance race, which just goes to show the increasing speed with which Indians have embraced freelancing.
Freelancing has been receiving an increasing amount of popularity due to the several factors – a decrease in job opportunities, an increase in internet accessibility, and companies opting for freelance services are some of the few factors that have resulted in the immense status of this industry.
What are the advantages of freelancing?
So, why should you opt for the freelancing option instead of staying true to your 9-5 job?
- You’re your own boss – One of the worst things of working in a job is that you’re answerable to your boss. Every task you do is chosen by your boss. You have to work according to what he wants, when he wants. This is one of the major reasons why people are more and more going for the freelance path. By becoming a freelancer you can become your own boss. Choose assignments you like, work with clients that you like, work the hours that you like, set the price you want and so on.
- Timings depend on you – This is a great incentive for students, house wives, and people who can’t work at a fixed time due to their various engagements. As a freelancer you can make your own schedule. If you feel that you’re your most creative self at 10:30 PM in your pajamas, then you can easily do your work at that time. As a student, you can earn quite a bit of extra income working after school hours. As a mother, you can see your kid grow right in front you, and still earn money. You don’t have to conform to a rigid schedule of a traditional job. Moreover, if you travel a lot, then you can easily juggle freelancing with your traveling as you can work from anywhere; all you need is your laptop and an internet connection, and the money will come rolling in.
- You can expand your business – Expanding a business requires a lot of effort and money. Freelancing allows you to start a new business and take it to great heights. Mainly because all the profit you earn is going to go in your pocket which can then be used to expand your business. This business can in the long term be quite an asset which will not only provide you with an income presently, but also earn you some additional income if you sell it in the future.
How to start freelancing journey?
First and foremost you need to choose a craft, a service you can provide. It can be anything. Make a list of all the things you like doing and that you’re good at. It can be anything from writing and designing, to programming or even consulting. So, for instance, if you possess strong writing skills, then you can build a freelance writing business.
Once you’ve selected the craft (or even crafts as freelancing allows you to indulge in multiple different jobs) you want to pursue, the next step is to brand yourself. Branding basically means to give the services that you’re planning on providing a name. This brand name will become an identity for your business over all marketing channels, such as social media platforms, freelancing websites, etc. A few tips that will help you choose the perfect brand name are:
- Choose the name that’s easy to remember
- Make sure the services you’re offering are mentioned in that brand name so that it can immediately identify you and your services.
- Easy to spell. Try not to put in a lot of (if any) underscores or dashes.
Making a portfolio is very important. A portfolio basically consists of the work you’ve previously done which the clients can see prior to hiring. Many employees are not particularly concerned with your qualifications; they just want to see examples of what you’ve done before. And this is where your portfolio comes in. Along with a portfolio, positive testimonials also go a long way in convincing potential clients to hire you. However, both of these things are not pre-requisites to getting work. You can get freelance work without a portfolio and testimonials as well.
So, now that you’re done branding your business, start looking for places where you can get work. There are several online platforms, which includes freelance websites, job boards, forums, etc., that provide freelance work, and you can join in any or all of the in order to receive a steady stream of work.
Getting the first job is usually the toughest task, especially if you don’t have a portfolio. You’ll need to talk to people, use your contacts, and basically just let everyone know that you’re available for hire. You may need to offer your services for free in order to build a solid clientele base, but it usually pays off once you’ve built it. However, with time it gets relatively easier, and you can get clients based on the reviews you received from your previous work and the portfolio you build job by job.
Start networking. Networking is one of the essential parts of freelancing. In order to build a business you need to get your presence known, and that can only be done by networking. So sign up for the LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook and build a social media presence for your brand.
Pitching is equally important once you’ve somewhat established your name in the industry. Exactly who should you pitch to, should become clear once you’ve gained some experience working in the industry. Businesses are likely to work with contractors whose expertise lies in the services they offer, so you’ll have a greater chance of being successful if you offer generic services. Like for instance if you’re a content writer, then offering content writing services for a single industry, say the health industry only, will help you land bigger contracts and better jobs. And potential clients are available everywhere; from your doorstep to social media and Google.
Websites to start freelancing from
One of the best and easiest ways to start your freelancing journey is by signing up for one of the several freelance websites available online.
Elance is an online platform for freelancers. It is the oldest and one of the most trusted websites that was introduced in the year 1999.
How it works
Make an account by signing up and then complete your profile by filling in all the required details. Once you’ve added all the details, you can browse through jobs and bid on the jobs that you feel you can perform well in. Bid realistically; if you’re better than all other applicants in either your skill or bid, or both, then the client will hire you to work for. Payments will be done through Elance.
Rich Pearson, chief marketing officer at Elance, says, “India ranked as our second-highest freelance earning country last quarter with about one lakh freelancers and another one lakh Indians offering jobs.”
Odesk is another website that provides ample opportunities for freelancers.
How it works
Make an account by signing up and then browse through the plethora of jobs available based on your skills. Fill out applications for jobs that you like, and once you’re hired you can easily track the hours or your project status through Odesk. Payments are done through Odesk.
Freelancer was launched in the year 2003, and since then it has become one of the biggest players in the freelance industry.
How it works
Click sign up in order to make an account. Complete your profile, and browse through jobs to find ones that you like. Bid on them in order to get hired. Payment is made through the website itself.
If these 3 websites haven’t helped you out in finding jobs that match your skills, then try one of the several freelance websites mentioned below.
- People Per Hour
7 best freelancing jobs for beginners you can choose from
- Content Writing
There are a number of online platforms available which provide a plethora of job opportunities for content writers. You can choose from amongst the vast amount of jobs available – fiction, non-fiction, articles, blogs, greeting cards, short blurbs, etc. – and apply for them. Furthermore, you can even create a website or a blog offering content writing services in the niche you prefer.
- Graphic designing
Graphic designing is another field that provides a lot of job opportunities for freelancers. All you need is a computer, an internet connection, good graphic designing skills, and you’re good to go. You can do anything; from providing graphic illustrations to websites, to designing blogs, etc. And let’s not forget the current rage for infographics and gifographics. Creativity is the only requirement that people are looking for in a graphic designer, so don’t be afraid to use your creative skills.
- Video Creation
The old adage ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, is the current mantra for the online world. This means that visuals carry a lot of weight in this world; therefore the scope for video creation is huge. Companies see a lot of worth in creating promotional and instructional videos for their products and services, so make sure you look into it if you’re a video creator.
- Website development
Websites are becoming a norm for companies planning on increasing their online presence. With so many companies looking out to outsource web development to freelancers, the potential for online web developers is huge. Plus, web development pays a lot if you possess good skills. Most online freelance platforms – such as Elance, Odesk, Freelancer, etc. – present a lot of job opportunities for web developers. So if you’re a computer enthusiast, then look into web development.
- Digital or Online Marketing
Another popular task that companies have been outsourcing on a fairly regular basis is online marketing. Online marketing guru’s, such as Neil Patel, etc. started off with pretty much nothing, and presently have huge empires; hence, success is almost guaranteed if you have a good online marketing sense. Social media marketing email marketing, and affiliate marketing are just a few popular branches of online marketing you can specialize in. So take advantage of this ever-growing need of entrepreneurs to market their services and products online, by honing up your skills and finding good clients via various online platforms.
Photography is another such skill that has been gaining momentum in the online world. If you’re a good photographer, you can easily find jobs that pay good money. Also, with having an online presence on popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, you can build up your brand name with quite ease. Wedding photography is all the rage these days, so this is one area you can definitely earn a good income from.
- Search Engine Optimization
With Google updating and changing its algorithm every few days, it has become immensely important for companies to invest in good SEO services. It is a high paying job, which can offer you recurring work if you provide good results. Even if you’re a novice in this field, you can quickly pick up necessary skills and start earning. So keep up with the updates and changes in this field, and you’ll get far.
As you can see, freelancing is not only easy but can also provide you with a hefty monthly income if you do it right. You just need to seize the job opportunities that come your way, and keep networking on social media websites. These two things along with good skills, will lead you to success
I hope this article helped you know more about Freelancing. If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask by leaving a comment below.
Have I missed something in introduction to freelancing?
I tried my best to introduce you to freelancing in the simplest manner but if I missed something I would love to hear from you below.