Working is something most of us do. Many of us associate the very word work with a place you go to in the morning and come home from in the evening. Work is something we have to do to have food on the table and get money for the rent.
But work does not have to mean being tied to a particular place or even any specific job. We can even become our own boss and decide completely over both working hours and tasks.
Does that sound too good to be true? It is not. For those who have freelance jobs, this is in fact everyday. Making money online working as a freelancer is not that difficult.
What is a Freelancer?
The word freelancer actually means “free lance”, which was a term used in the past about mercenaries.
Today’s mercenaries are precisely soldiers who take part in wars against payment. They are thus independent and hire themselves out for a task.
Being a freelancer now does not mean that you go to war and get paid for it. On the other hand, in the same way as mercenaries, they are not tied to a specific place or task.
Instead, they earn their living by renting out their services to anyone who needs labor and is willing to pay for it.
The difference between a freelancer and a substitute
It may be easy to confuse freelance work with temporary work. However, these are two completely different things.
Of course, the freelance worker can jump into temporary vacancies, but then it is no longer even about freelance work.
The substitute is still attached to a position, albeit temporarily, is paid for his work or hours worked and must comply with the conditions at the workplace.
As a freelancer, you have no job to go to, you have no boss who decides over you and you have no fixed working hours and no fixed salary.
You decide it yourself, at least in such a way that you are free to decide for yourself whether you want to accept a certain payment or not.
In short, working as a freelancer means that:
- You have no fixed salary.
- You do not have a permanent job.
- You have to find work yourself and sell your services.
- You choose which tasks you want to take on.
- You have no paid vacation.
- You may not even have a vacation, it’s entirely up to you.
Tips for those who work as freelancers
Working as a freelancer may sound like a pure dream. You can sleep and eat whenever you want, work whenever you want and have many free hours. But is that so, really? The answer is no.
Having a freelance job is admittedly free and unbound, but in return it often means longer working hours and harder work than if you had had a job.
Especially at the beginning of a freelance career. For those who want to reach somewhere in their job as a freelancer, it is not possible to sleep half the day and think that you can sit and work for a few hours after lunch before sinking down on the couch in front of a movie.
No, freelance means early mornings, intense work and sometimes just a cup of coffee for lunch because you simply do not have time for anything else.
However, in order to still have a somewhat regular existence, certain rules can be introduced.
Get routines. Set the alarm clock and get up at a certain time. You do not have to step up early if you are an evening person, but still make sure to get up every day at a specific time. Adhering to the clock makes it easier for routines and to really get things done.
Take your job seriously. Your job is important. Then it is important to handle it responsibly as well. If you have been given an assignment, then you do the job. Not all freelance jobs are about going on assignments to foreign countries and writing home about thrilling news. On the contrary, most freelance jobs are ordinary and not very exciting at all. But still they are important. So stick with a certain professional pride!
Do not do a lot of other things during working hours. When you work, then you work. Do not run and water flowers, sort laundry or talk for hours on the phone. If you work from home, it can be tempting to pull out the vacuum cleaner instead of finishing that tedious editing job. But do not do it! Work during the hours you have set aside for your work. Alternatively: work until you are done with what you need to finish.
Free time. Even freelancers need to rest and have time off. Be sure to try to get the evenings off, at least a few per week. Also try to take a whole day off per week. It does not have to be Saturday or Sunday, a free Monday goes just as well, you decide. In order to be able to take these free moments, it is important that you plan your time well. So fill in the calendar when you are going to do what. Then you also get a better overview of your equal jobs and do not risk missing anything.
How to become a freelancer?
If you want to work as a freelancer, you should first think about what skills you can sell and which industries may actually be interested in them. Having a clear plan can help you get started as a freelancer.
Then you have to decide if you want to open a sole proprietorship or if you want to invoice without a company.
There are advantages to both options, but if you are new to the freelance world, it may be easiest to get help from an established self-employment company.
The next step is also the most important – finding customers. You can, for example, search among job advertisements, use your contact network or place advertisements yourself on what you can help companies with.
You can also contact companies directly and explain why they need your services.
When you work as a freelancer, there is one important thing to be aware of: no jobs will come flying to you.
On the contrary, a large part of the job is spent finding work. Especially in the beginning when you do not have a work portfolio to show, it takes an extra lot of strength and cunning to convince people if they actually need your services.
But there are some concrete tips to keep in mind when it comes to finding a freelance job:
Make use of any of the online services available. (More specifically about these below.) These are sites online where freelancers can offer their services and where buyers can order them.
Get yourself a website where you introduce yourself and show what services you can undertake to do.
Call around! Get in touch with companies that and places that may need help with the services you offer.
Go there! Do you freelance as a photographer? Bring your work samples and visit the local newspaper.
You never know, maybe right now they need someone who can take those kinds of pictures that you’re so good at!
Do you get no assignments? Do some work for free! It may sound inconsolable to work without pay, but giving evidence of what you can contribute pays off in the long run.
If you only get your first assignment, this will open up for many more! So do not be greedy. Share generously with you, this is well invested time!
Do not wait for someone to ask you to write that article! Write it! And sell it when it’s ready. (Or, if you are new to the field, give it a try!)
Be humble. As a freelancer, you are also a salesperson. That means you have to have a certain feeling to negotiate. In addition, you will always meet a customer from time to time who is not happy with your job.
Then it is important not to be carried away by the emotions. There is a saying that “the customer is always right”. So let the customer be right and try not to convince him or her that you have done the world’s most amazing job, even if you have.
The taste is different, and sometimes personal chemistry may not work. Let it stop there. Realize that the customer is right, even if it is not a bit true.
Make sure you get paid “right”. What this means, however, is not always so easy to know. To find out which payments apply to your particular services, search online, go to other freelancers’ pages and try to get an idea of what your work is worth.
As a freelancer, you certainly have no rules to follow here, you can charge just as little or as much as you want. Still, it is wise to have some guidelines. Too low a payment means you can not afford it.
An overpayment can mean that you do not receive any assignments. So try to try yourself. And remember: buyers are people too. It is possible to negotiate and have a dialogue.
At the beginning of your freelance job, it can be good to be lower in what you pay. Over time, you will then notice what is reasonable payment. If you get many assignments, then you can increase your prices gradually.
Last but not least, the most important thing of all: Do a good job! This is the very foundation for you to succeed in your job as a freelancer. Get a reputation for being the one who does the very best jobs. Then you will also, quite naturally, get the demand for your services.
6 popular freelance jobs
Some freelance jobs are more popular than others, especially for those who want to be able to work from home or travel and work at the same time. Below we will take a closer look at six of the most common freelance jobs.
1. Freelance web developer
Web developers are more sought after than ever, which is mainly due to more and more companies becoming active on the web. As a freelance web developer, you work with programming and designing websites for companies.
The job of course requires some knowledge, but as an experienced web developer you can get a monthly salary that is above average. In addition, there will always be a need for web developers, so the risk of being without assignments is relatively small.
However, something that can be a bit of a struggle for freelance web developers is the rising competition, as the profession is very popular.
2. Freelance journalist
Many people dream of becoming journalists, but getting a full-time job as a journalist today can be difficult. Then it might be a good idea to try life as a freelance journalist. Here you write your own texts which you then sell to newspapers or magazines.
Of course, the competition can be fierce even in the freelance industry, but if you have good knowledge in a certain area, it can be easier to find long-term partners.
If the companies are happy with you, you will get a good reputation, which can lead to more well-paid jobs. In some cases, you can even earn better as a freelance journalist than as a hired journalist.
3. Freelance in graphic design
Freelance graphic design is also popular today. This profession is creative and suitable for those who like to create. Graphic designers work with designing everything from fonts and logos to layouts and printed matter, such as flyers or brochures.
It can be said that graphic design is about developing designs that suit different companies. Since much of the graphic design takes place with the help of various programs on the computer, there are good opportunities to find freelance jobs in this industry.
Again, it is a great advantage when it comes to freelance that you who work as a graphic designer have the opportunity to take on as many assignments as you want.
4. Freelance as an IT consultant
The concept of IT consultant is very broad and includes web development, but also a number of other areas within IT.
As a freelance consultant, you usually work on site with different clients, for example as a project manager or as a kind of bridge between the company and an IT team.
The salary is mainly based on the hours you spend with the customer, not on the assignments you do.
Freelancing as an IT consultant can be rewarding in many ways, but since you usually have to work on site, the job does not offer as much freedom as many other freelance jobs do.
5. Freelance photographer
The photography industry is said to be tough, but as a freelancer it is not too difficult to find customers. As a freelance photographer, you either sell photographs that you have taken yourself or you pay for specific photo assignments, such as wedding photographs.
If you want to work as a freelance photographer, it is extra important to create a portfolio where customers can see your previous work. Social media accounts can also help customers find you instead of the other way around.
A disadvantage of working as a freelance photographer – at least if you sell assignments, is that you can not travel and work at the same time.
6. Freelance in content writing
Freelance jobs in content writing are easy to find, especially if you have knowledge in SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Content writing means that you write articles and posts for companies. The goal is often for you to help companies strengthen their position among the search results.
In principle, all web-based companies today need content writers to be visible to potential customers. As a freelancer, you bill either for a certain number of articles or for a certain number of words.
Since the work only takes place via the computer, there are good opportunities to work from home or to work while you travel.
5 Most common freelance websites
Fiverr. One of the largest international sites for freelancers. Here you put out a gig where you describe what kind of work you do. All kinds of work are posted here. The name comes from the fact that freelancers initially did jobs for $ 5. It is still done, but you choose your own payment and negotiate with buyers.
Toptal. A professional site that also caters to professional freelancers. Here are the most specialized jobs in IT and the like, and there are none of the more odd and funny jobs you find on, for example, Fiverr. But for those of you who have the necessary experience, the site is well worth using!
Freelancer. Also one of the great sites for freelance jobs. Here, sellers and buyers from all over the world meet. Buyers often post what they are looking for for a job, and freelancers can sign up and state what they want paid for the job and tell why they are suitable for it.
Upwork. Based on the same idea as Freelancer. However, there are slightly higher requirements to be included here. As a freelancer, you have to show what you can do and really argue why you should be a good asset to the buyers who are there. A good site, with slightly higher demands, on both good and evil.
Guru. These too have adopted the idea from the previous two. Once you have your account, it is important to be active and look for a job and try to convince buyers that you are the one who would be the best at it.
How to find
Finding a freelance job is not always easy because most companies only advertise permanent positions. Below you will find some quick tips on how to find vacancies more easily.
- Explore websites that specialize in freelancers.
- Contact companies in your niche and describe what you can help them with.
- Use your own network of contacts! Talk to friends and family or post a “job ad” on Facebook.
Working as a freelancer means a great responsibility. You are responsible for yourself, your job and your customers. But in return you also have a great deal of freedom.
This is a job with hard work and great uncertainty, but the uncertainty you pay with, you get back in the form of a varied job and lots of meetings with new exciting people.
So if this sounds like something for you then go for it. But remember take it slow and dont just quit your 9-5 job today to start doing something you barely have any experience in.
Thats a straight ticket to finacial disaster. Do both, keep your main job and do freelancing as a side hustle and when that business is succeful then you can feel confident about quitting.
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