Freelance, freelancers, and freelance worker, are terms commonly used for a person who is self-employed and is not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. Fields, professions, and enterprises where freelancing is dominating include: music, composing, acting, PC programming, web design, graphic design, deciphering and illustrating, film and video creation and different types of piece work which some social scholars consider as vital to the cognitive-cultural economy. Cognitive-cultural economy is characterized by digital technologies combined with high levels of cognitive and cultural labor.
The freelance economy took on a life of its own with the rise of on-demand companies. These services allow people to work when and where they want and earn an income without ever becoming an employee of the company they work for. Businesses now have unparalleled access to independent, highly-skilled candidates from around the world. Freelancing represents the Future of Work and its popularity to both individuals and organizations as a preferred mode of work is growing at an exponential rate. Freelance income varies depending on the skills offered, your experience, and the market you’re targeting. It is perceived by a large section of people that self-employment is a much better way of earning one’s livelihood than being employed at an institution. Furthermore, flexible working hours and unplanned leaves are all privileges availed only by a self-employed individual.
If you want to chart a path for freelance career success, you should be certain that you’re not doing it for inappropriate reasons. Try not to do it because it’s mainstream, or you trust it’s a simpler method to get more cash-flow. Try not to do it because you think it implies you can right away transform your passion into a productive business. What’s more, unquestionably don’t pick freelancing exclusively for the guarantee of an alluring nomadic way of life. Your reasons may be as straightforward as needing to abstain from commuting, or having an increasingly adjusted family life. Or then again they may originate from the craving to work for yourself, be your own boss and have more direct enumeration from your victories and failures. The significance is understanding what you hope to get out of freelancing, and having reasonable and realistic expectations of what it will take to accomplish those goals.
So, how do those of us, regardless of age, who want to be gainfully self-employed, go about getting started with our careers as entrepreneurs? Well, choosing to start a freelance business is one of the most feasible, realistic, and attainable side businesses you can start while keeping your day job (and the security that comes along with it). We all have bills that need to be paid and expenses that don’t just magically go away overnight once we decide to chase our dreams. Choosing to become an entrepreneur comes with great responsibility. Take the time to understand why you’re considering starting a freelance business in the first place. Only after you have the clarity around where you want freelancing to take you, can you start backing into your shorter-term goals and benchmarks that’ll help your freelance business become a success. Regardless of what your ultimate goal is, you need to make it abundantly clear. This is something that the entire world’s top entrepreneurs agree upon when it comes to successfully starting a business. Without clearly defined, easily measurable goals, you’re going to have a very difficult time getting to where you want to go. Make sure this decision is the right move in your progression toward achieving your bigger picture goals. Let’s say your bigger picture goal is to become a fully self-employed freelancer. You’ll set your own hours, decide who you want to work with, and call all the shots in your business. Now, how do you get there?
Payment for freelance work depends on industry, skills, experience and location. But the two most sought after abilities for freelancing are zest and adaptability. There is no specific skill, no specific programming language that will level you up above other freelancers. There are 7 billion people in the world: rarely will you separate yourself from your competitors based on skill set alone. So you work hard, and you show your clients that you care about the overall success of their business and their cause. Demonstrate to your clients that you’re willing to go above and beyond because you genuinely want to help them by working with them; when you listen to your client stress about a small aspect of the project you’re working on that you could easily complete but isn’t in your list of official duties, offer to take it off their plate pro-bono, just to help them out; if your client is looking for further help for a project, give thought to if there’s anyone you know that could be a good fit for what they need, or if you could help yourself, even if it’s more of a learn-on-the-job scenario. Focus of competing on value, not price, everything you do in regard to starting your freelance business – especially when you have a very limited amount of free time – needs to point back to your ability to deliver the highest quality results for your clients. As one of my freelance idols, Paul Jarvis so eloquently puts it, “make your clients so happy & successful that they become your sales force.”
The other important thing is that you need to know is who your ideal clients are. You may not be able to get them right away, but you have to have a clear idea in your mind of who you’re trying to target, so the decisions you make about which clients you work for are gaining you momentum down that path. Your goal is to build your authority and eventually be seen as the go-to resource for a specific type of client(s).
When you first start out, your main objective is to gain experience. Making money — although it may be a pressing need — is a secondary concern for the long-term health of your freelance business. More experience and expertise will bring more money. You have to put in the work to build up to that goal.
The concept of creating an income from short-term tasks has been around for a long time. With allowance for face-to-face communication and digital meetings, technology favors how freelancers and clients work together. Freelancing builds the bridge to a better quality of life, and more and more people are seeing that. The freelance revolution is here, and it’s here to stay. In the past, freelancing was an option for workers between jobs with the likely goal of eventually getting back into a full-time position. Today, it has shifted into a lifestyle choice individuals make for a host of reasons, and something they may do for the long-term.