What is Freelancing?: Steps to Get Started in This Pandemic
Pandemic is on the peak in most places around the globe. Thus, many people are forced to leave their job and it’s a great time to get started with freelancing. Of course, it’s not the best alternative to a secured and high paying job in a short time because it’s not a job.
Becoming a freelancer is a new trend, and a lot of professionals quit their job to become their boss. However, quitting a job instantly is not the best recommendation. You must try freelancing as part-time and later you can become a full-time freelancer.
Rather, freelancing is like a business. You need to have an appetite to take risks to become a full-time successful freelancer.
However, if you are having a secured job and looking for part-time opportunities or you just want to know the definition of the word ‘freelancing’, you are reading the right stuff. Let’s get started with the basics.
You may be able to earn 100k via blogging.
What is freelancing?
Freelancing refers to the services offered by a self-employed person who often works several jobs for several clients at one time.
In simple terms, it is a career option for those who are looking to work independently. It is a very trending profession having risk like any other business. However, in most cases, there is a 0 investment to start freelancing.
Before diving further, I would like to share what’s the future of a freelancing profession.
Look at these stats:
Forbes reported an 8.1% increase in those who’d undertaken freelancer work in the US, in just 3 years, which took the total number to 57.3 million.
Isn’t it tremendous? And If that trend continues, it would mean more than 50% of the US workforce would be freelancing by 2027.
Are you curious and energized to start your freelancing journey? Keep reading.
If you are entirely new to this freelancing thing, you must start it as a part-time. Because like any other business, freelancing is equally challenging and full of ups and downs.
Once you get your hands-on with a part-time freelancing profession, you can pursue it full time.
Freelancing is the right option for you?
The answer to this question is not simple. However, if you are ready to take new challenges in your life and want to become your boss, nothing is better than becoming a freelancer. What you need to know before becoming a freelancer is that it’s a lot more difficult to sustain than a regular 9-5 job.
You can’t create a window time when you are getting started with freelancing. Like you can’t say I will work only between 9-5. Because maybe you won’t find your client in those specific times and you will end up being frustrated.
Some of you may say, “I love to stay organized and work on specific time, I have my family and all”.
Well, to those people my answer is the same. It’s not a job. It’s a business. You are the one who is going to find the client, make them feel that you are the right fit for the project, and it’s YOU who is going to work and deliver the project. It’s a lot of work.
Right? That’s why you need to work harder initially, you may need to work 12-14 hours a day. Specifically, when you are just getting started and have no reviews and no freelancing experience.
Initial 2-3 weeks are the real patience checker. You may be a superb talent but your talent won’t speak for itself right. You need to prove it. No employer care about where are you coming from, they care what are you going to deliver. Most importantly, how you are going to stand out in the crowd and win that project.
These are some harsh truths about freelancing. Well, if you deal with it correctly, you will end up getting wonders. Once you get stabilized with the process, projects, and proper plan, you will be able to choose to work only for a few hours in a day. You will become your own boss.
But to become your own boss, you need to deal with a lot of unpredictable things.
One more thing, if you are looking for a fixed amount of money and don’t like new things and, you don’t like listening. It’s not meant for you. Well, my intent is not to demotivate you, in fact, I have written this series to help people get started with freelancing. I feel it’s important to know both sides of the coin beforehand.
Now let’s dive into the precise steps to become a freelancer.
5 Steps to Start Freelancing
Signing up and working on Freelancer is absolutely free. Just click on freelancer.com and sign up using your Gmail account or Facebook account and get your account verified.
Never forget to verify your payment method otherwise your account will be suspended.
Once you signup you need to set up your profile.
Your profile showcases your introduction, resume, portfolios, and skills.
Make your profile and portfolio interactive because it is a tool by which you will be judged by the employer.
You might get a good project from the employer if you impress them with a good profile.
Therefore, work out on your skills and maintain your profile as per your skills.
Finding projects on freelancer is no big deal and earning money actually starts here. There are almost 750 categories on the platform and projects are posted every second.
You just need to find a project according to your interests and skills.
When you find a certain project then start bidding.
Bidding is the process where you need to bet for the jobs. Try to add a compelling proposal.
The less time you to to place your bid on a project, the chances of getting message by the employer will increase.
Therefore, try to maintain a separate doc and write down your proposal and just copy-paste it by editing a bit according to the project.
It might take long to find a suitable project to work for but it is most rewarding step.
Before starting work, clear everything about the deadlines, type of works, and payment related issues.
Once the job is awarded make sure that you impress your employer with the timeline, work, and communication.
Earn 5 Star Rating
Aim to earn five-star feedback so that it will improve your profile for the future. Feedback given by the employer will add quality to your profile.
Once you get paid you can withdraw money using various platforms like PayPal, wire transfer, Skrill.
Steps to become a freelancer.
- Create a Portfolio.
- Finalize your worth.
- Register on freelancing platforms.
- Stay active on social media platforms.
- Create a custom proposal.
Create a Portfolio.
The first step to becoming a freelancer is to create your portfolio with all the services you offer. It’s a bit boring but a worthwhile thing to do.
Finalize your worth.
The next step is to know what’s your market value. Initially, you will have to start with free demos or even doing a couple of jobs for free until you get enough demand for your services. Get an idea of the market and know what others are charging for similar projects.
Register on freelancing platforms.
And the third step is essential; you need to get yourself register on freelancing websites like Upwork or freelancer.com. I have written a separate post on it, you will find it later on this series.
Stay active on social media platforms.
You can’t miss this step because you might also get clients through social media. That’s why create your profile and get in touch with prospective customers. Like, you may find clients on LinkedIn or even on Facebook. So stay active.
Create a custom proposal.
Don’t forget this step. Create a custom proposal and send it to the clients; once you have enough clients, you can start charging as you seem fit.
Highest Paying Freelancing Jobs
According to the Freelance Industry Report compiled primarily about North America freelancing, nearly half of freelancers do writing work, with 18% of freelancers listing writing as a primary skill, 10% editing/copy-editing, and 10% as copy-writing. 20% of freelancers listed their primary skills as design. Next on the list was translating (8%), web development (5.5%), and marketing (4%).
This definitely gives you a larger picture of how people are moving towards freelance jobs now. If you want to make that shift too, it’s imperative to select the ones which would fall into your niche and pay you the most as well.
So, to help you out in choosing the right and the highest paying jobs, we’re here with a list of ‘Top 20 highest paying freelancing jobs’. Whether you’re diving into it for full time or simply want to earn some extra income, it’s vital for you to enjoy your job, making a good amount of money.
Legal Services Expert
If you have experience with a well-known firm, you can do it all by yourself. Moreover, people are constantly on a search, seeking expert services when it comes to corporate, property, criminal, and family law.
It takes creativity to research and come up with elements that could differentiate a business or a startup and make it stand out in the market. Thus, it takes plenty of hard work and dedication to making it actually happen for your company. Entrepreneurs are looking for just those having bounds of knowledge on their side.
The average salary ranges from $70 – $120 (£49 – £85).
If you have hands-on experience in building and coding websites, then you can go ahead and make it your business. Your expertise will be of the utmost importance when dealing with clients who wish to have their own webpage. There are many out there, seeking to have one. However, they lack the skills or do not have time to figure that out. Thus, you can jump into your ‘coding suit’ and serve the purpose.
The average salary is $60 (£42) per hour.
Internet Security Specialist
Internet security skills are much needed now, owing to the rise of unethical hacking on the web. There have been several cases of hackers targeting big businesses and startups. Here, if you can provide them with internet protection, you’ll certainly end up making a lot of money.
The average salary is $50 (£35) per hour.
In this competitive world, businesses are looking forward to attracting their audiences by ranking higher on Google and other search engines. Here’s where your role as an SEO specialist would hold water. Moreover, SEO specialists are in high demand now as businesses are focussing on getting the best out of their web content.
The average salary is $50 (£35) per hour.
Don’t confuse copywriters with content marketers and writers. This freelancing job is different, specializing in writing content for website pages and giving away descriptions for products and services. However, the charge rates will greatly depend on an individual’s level of experience and skill set.
The average salary is $47 (£33) per hour.
For those having a distinct voice and having an ability to modulate it, can engage themselves as a voice artist. You can then be involved in TV shows, radio productions, adverts, retail stores, or tech companies. Moreover, we’re now shifting towards video advertising, thus creating more demand for voice actors or artists.
The average salary ranges from $46 – $52 (£32 – £36) per hour.
Don’t be in a dilemma after making it to the top 20 list if you’re an experienced recruiter. As an experienced recruiter, you’ll have the responsibility of hiring the best possible employees for your company.
If you’re seeking to span off into a one-man band, go ahead with that idea! You’ll certainly have contacts in your specialized niche and will be able to work flexibly. However, it’s important to have some sort of training as a recruiter. Mostly, freelancers who recruit for advertising, technology, marketing, and accounting companies are paid the most.
The average salary is $46 (£32) per hour.
Yes, teaching is not just restricted to school. If you have the right skill set and the ability to communicate and reciprocate your thoughts well, you can become a private tutor. Thus, giving students additional lessons and assignments after school. All you need is the correct qualifications for your chosen subject.
The average salary is $41 (£29) per hour.
You can take up this freelance job if you’re fluent in two or more languages. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for self-employed positions, provided you have the correct certification for your country.
Make sure that your grammar is on point, having a thorough knowledge of different writing styles in your native language. In addition to that, as a freelance translator, you should also be a very good writer.
The average salary is $31 (£22) per hour.
There are many developers seeking to attain the skill. At the same time, many businesses are waiting to offer these skills to someone as well. If you’re a videogame fanatic and better at building one too, you can go ahead and fill the gap.
Build your portfolio by including the progress of all the games that you’ve made. If you have none on your list, you need to start with one. As a freelance game developer, you should not miss an opportunity in letting your clients know what you can do.
The average salary is $31 (£22) per hour.
Social Media Coordinator
We know that social media has greatly impacted our lives. People aren’t the only ones getting influenced by social media though. Businesses and companies have used social media marketing to its core, expanding its reach, and creating brand awareness.
Thus, this niche has a scope and many businesses are searching for qualified hands to take over their social media outlets. What more do you need when you can use the latest technologies at your disposal and make a decent income out of it?
The average salary is $25 (£17) per hour.
If you’re an experienced writer, having skills in writing SEO-friendly articles and blog posts, then this freelance job is what you need. A number of freelance jobs are requesting writers to offer their services. Remember that ‘content is the king’, and the process of making it a king is in your hands. So, start grabbing opportunities, waiting for you to market your services.
The average salary is $25 (£17) per hour.
Graphic design was always an area of expertise and will continue to be so. The demand for these services is ever rising and if you have an upper hand over design, this is the most profitable niche for you. This also supports a large spectrum from designing webpages, infographics to developing designs for print.
The average salary is $23 (£16) per hour.
Are you into creating amazing logo designs, sketches, or graphics? If you are, then you can use this experience and skillset in becoming a self-employed illustrator. As we’re growing into this digital world, brands have also started understanding the importance of custom illustration as it’s now slowly expanding into product design.
You can start your career with a small project, charging a minimal fee. Then as you progress, you can go ahead by charging up to $250 per illustration.
A survey did help to give you a range of the average income illustrators earn. According to which, the average income of the best illustrators in New York is about $100,000 per year, however, there are many too making lower than $1000 per year. Thus, an illustrator’s income is variable depending on the projects you work on and your expertise.
The average salary is $21 (£15) per hour.
If you’re gifted with great listening skills along with typing expertise, then you can surely consider this freelance job for making some extra cash. Sometimes, it’s difficult to catch up with recording without the use of professional transcribing software. This is where you as a transcriptionist will play a major role. As an experienced transcriber, you can also insert the appropriate grammar for your clients during the course of typing.
Your set of tasks will include transcribing audio files into any type of field. So, get up and start grabbing opportunities, especially students who would earn a decent income in this field.
The average salary is $20 (£14) per hour.
Are you trained in 3D modeling and want to be your own boss in that field? Well, you can certainly be your own boss in this niche as 3D modeling is an in-demand skill in a variety of different industries such as video games, virtual reality, marketing, 3D printing, TV and motion pictures, computer-aided design, scientific and medical imaging, etc.
The average salary ranges from $18 – $20 (£12 – £14) per hour.
It’s a golden opportunity for you if you’re involved in email campaigns, social media marketing, or content marketing. Once you establish a name in your niche and work towards building a strong portfolio, you’ll be more likely to get projects on your dashboard.
Companies are always on a hunt for the one who would analyze its existing model considering the market potential and develop a strategy to achieve larger business goals. Businesses need marketing consultants to help them set well-defined goals and monitor key metrics to measure success. So, showcase your past experiences and work to grab a compelling position as a marketing consultant.
The average salary ranges from $13 – $25 (£9 – £18) per hour.
Plenty of PR specialists are self-employed, working on various campaigns and projects. However, you first need to develop a strong online portfolio showcasing your previous work and skills, which would be beneficial for your future tasks.
Your tasks will vary in different roles and may include writing, press releases, public speaking, organizing events, developing promotional strategies, etc. Companies need a PR consultant to handle the public image of their business and to make the public aware of news related to the company or a product. If a new product is developed by a company, then you’re required to create public interest and generate acceptance of the product.
The average salary ranges from $13 – $22 (£9 – £15) per hour.
Administration Support Officer
Some companies actually don’t mind from where their administration support is coming from, as long as their job is done right. However, you would of course need previous experience in an office position depicting that you can very well manage your duties.
The average salary ranges from $11 – $13 (£7 – £9) per hour.
Customer Service Support Officer
Freelance jobs in customer service are not that easy to find as compared to others in this list. But mind you, the opportunities are plenty. You need to be a good communicator to be hired in big companies and work in the comfort of your home.
The average salary ranges from $8 – $12 (£5 – £8) per hour.
Top 10 Practical Freelancing Tips.
- Be ready with a computer or laptop.
- Have non-interrupted Internet access.
- Improve your communication skills.
- Learn about the highest paying freelancing job.
- Finalize your skills and build your services around it.
- Register on various freelancing platforms and go through the guidelines.
- Build your profile and portfolio.
- Stay away from fraudulent employers or vague freelancing projects.
- Know everything about the payment methods.
- Understand the legal Agreement.
Be ready with a computer or laptop.
Freelancing is all about working online. That’s why it’s crucial to have a computer or laptop ready. These days almost everyone has one of these systems. However, if you are the one who is not yet having it, it’s time to invest in it. You may find various EMIs option on online shopping sites like Amazon.
Have non-interrupted Internet access.
Once you are all set with the above-mentioned gadget, it’s time to figure out the best internet access to start freelancing. If you are in India, Jio is the affordable and best option to get started with. However, if you can afford there is nothing better than to have a WIFI connection.
Improve your communication skills.
Communication skill is something that you can work side by side. You will excel by practicing. However, you must know the basics of communication skills. I have written a separate post on how to improve communication skill. You can have a look at that.
Learn about the highest paying freelancing job.
I have written a separate post on the highest paying freelancing job. However, why is it necessary to go through it? Because there are specific jobs that companies need for the short term or which they need from an expert in that domain.
Like building a website for small business is a one-time thing, that’s why the owner or the startup hire freelancers to do the job for them. It’s a practical approach.
Like web-development, there are many tech and non-tech freelancing job opportunities.
Finalize your skills and build your services around it.
After going through the freelance job opportunities, jot down all your skills, and finalize your services. Suppose you are good at writing content, pick content writing. If you are good at designing, there are lots of opportunities out there to design banners, social media posts, flyers, and more.
I would like to add one more thing, no matter what you are good at, become excellent in that. There are lots of competition, and you can win only when you can beat them with your excellence. However, there is one more bitter truth about freelancing. You will find a lot of cheap or low paying jobs. I would recommend you to stay away from that.
Don’t focus on getting the various low-budget projects because even if you get one quality project, you will be able to pay your bills.
Register on various freelancing platforms and go through the guidelines.
Once you finalize your skills and services, it’s time to register yourself on freelancing sites. Please read 20 Best Freelancing Websites to get a list of all those sites. However, I would suggest picking one or two platforms only. Otherwise, you will get lost in the building and managing your profile on all those freelancing platforms.
If you have just getting started, register on freelancer.com would be a better option. If you don’t like bidding on multiple projects, you can go for Fiverr.com. You just need to build your stunning profile and upload the sample and the employer will find you. However, if you want high-ticket project Upwork.com is the best choice.
No matter which freelancing platform you pick, just stay consistent, and give your 100%.
Build your profile and portfolio.
Don’t keep your freelancing profile blank. Always, add all the necessary fields like about you, your skills, and never forget to upload your own picture.
Have a look at this profile from freelancer.com
Also have your pitch ready like if you are going to bid on content writing projects, write down a proposal so that it can be easy for you to copy-paste and edit according to the project requirement.
Have a look at this proposal from freelancer.com
You can save your proposal or cover letter in .txt or docx format.
Stay away from fraudulent employers or vague freelancing projects.
I have a ton of messages of the fraud employer who were doing a full-time job to misguide freshers on the freelancing platform.
I received 100s of such fake project requests. Initially, I wasn’t able to distinguish; however, after getting cheated many times, I get a clear understanding. I hope this freelancing tips will help you stay away from such projects and save time.
Know everything about the payment methods.
You should always follow the standard guidelines of the freelancing platform you are using to get the projects. Like most of them have a standard policy which helps both employer and freelancers.
However, if you are communicating with the employer directly then you should know the ins and out of PayPal. And you can use PayPal.Me to create your very own personalized link to get paid. Send a link to your client and tell them to pay using PayPal.Me. Once they’ve spent the agreed amount, your PayPal account gets credited.
Now that you know how to get paid, you must learn about the legal contract.
Understand the legal Agreement.
There are times when the client doesn’t want to give you any credit. Like if you are interested in writing books for clients, they often ask you to sign non-disclosure agreements.
An NDA is a contract that legally binds freelancers and clients. An example of a provision allowing a freelancer not only to take all appropriate care to secure sensitive information but also not to copy or reverse engineer that information is this sort of requirement made from an NDA provided by Elance.
I hope you find these freelancing tips useful, let’s meet in the next series of post about freelancing.
Time Management Tips For Freelancers
‘Time is money’ That’s true in the case of freelancing as well. In this series of posts about getting started with freelancing, you will get to know all about how to manage your time effectively.
There are 5 essential skills that you need to master to manage your time.
Making a schedule
Even though, as a freelancer, you often have a flexible schedule, using that as an excuse to procrastinate is a mistake. So you should be able to divide your work into schedules and stick to it the most. This is immensely beneficial, especially since your work schedule is in accordance with your client’s work schedule. So if you miss that call, you might lose an opportunity. Even if you are working on a project basis, you should be able to set your own working hours. This helps maintain regularity and makes it easier to enjoy the other part of the day doing what you love.
The bitter truth is that too many apps become productivity killers. If you are engaged in way too many apps, you lose time and focus. It is not quite possible to multitask all the time. So, try to limit checking on your email as much as possible and try to convince your clients that every task cannot be done on an urgent basis. x` that you are working on client material within your schedule and not spending those crucial hours scrolling through social media. Using task timer tools would help you keep track of your tasks and avoid distractions.
Working in short settings
The Pomodoro technique is what you should ideally try to workaround. The idea is that you must work for 25 minutes at a time. You should not be distracted and focus your complete attention on that task for 25 minutes. Once your 25 minutes are up, take a break for about 5 minutes. Stretch a bit, relax your muscles, rest your eyes, look out the window, or even brew some coffee. But do not think of work in these 5 minutes. And follow it again. This technique lets you detach yourself from work and teaches you to control your working mind at your own leisure.
Limit the intake of information
Information comes in many shapes and sizes. It could either be frivolous like a piece of news or a Reddit post. But at times, it could also be in the form of calls or meetings. Absorbing information is not a bad habit at all. But it is good to understand your limits, and as we have also discussed, eliminate distractions. So when you are trying to work and produce and output, it is vital that you focus your energy on doing just that.
Learning to say No.
It is hard and exhausting to please people all the time, especially when they are your clients. You don’t need to sacrifice your family time and especially your weekends picking up or even accepting urgent tasks. If the task does not fall under the working schedule that you created (discussed above), then you are not obligated to accept it. There are many freelancers and consultants who give away their working schedule and take up more work than they can handle. Therefore, sacrificing special moments with friends and family. So learn to say no.
Stress Management Tips For Freelancers
‘Remember that stress doesn’t come from what’s going on in your life. It comes from your thoughts about what’s going on in your life’
Thus, it’s important to keep track of thoughts. Have a look at these 5 Stress Management Tips for Freelancers.
Find a hobby
Find something that you love and turn it into a hobby. Having a hobby is quite therapeutic and gives your mind a rest from the daily hustle-bustle. Having a hobby gives you something to look forward to every time you take a break from work. Try to have a workspace and a personal space. It is very important to define these spaces because you should get out and practice your hobby. You can even join various groups on social media or join your friends to learn a new hobby.
The 80/20 principle
The 80/20 rule is also known as Pareto’s principle. It stats that 20% of your actions yield 80% of the desired outcomes. This a great guideline, and following it will help you reduce stress as a freelancer. The idea behind this rule of thumb is to stop trying to do everything. Instead, try to focus on your core tasks and get closer to achieving your goal. So, if a task is taking way too much of your time, then it should not be a priority. Or try to break it down into tinier tasks (which we will discuss next) and focus all your energy into completing without thinking of the tasks in the queue.
Batching your workdays
This is another great technique to work in a stress-free environment. If you have not heard of this technique or are not familiar with batch working, the concept simply is to break your tasks into steps and then commit to getting done with your tasks in that particular order. So let’s say that you need to write blogs. Your first step will be to research those topics and keywords and then start writing. This helps you stay productive and organized. You can also limit your client to work on certain days and commit to other projects.
The environment that you are physically in also is a contributor to stress. To reduce the work stress as a freelancer, you must stay organized. This means frequently cleaning up and declutter your workspace, home, schedule, and mind. The physical state of your home and workspace highly influence the state of your mind. So if your work table is a mess, you might not be able to focus on the tasks. Therefore, it is important to have your environment well-managed and under control.
Getting into a good sleep cycle
Your food and sleep cycle also have a great influence on your stress levels. If you have unhealthy eating habits or eat a lot of junk food, you are more perceptible to stress. Similarly, if you sleep too little or way too much, it can have adverse effects on your body and mind.
Mostly when we feel stressed, we tend to eat more. Similarly, we stay up late in the night, stressing about work and end up sleeping late into the next day. So, get started on a healthier diet, mainly consisting of organic and clean foods.