Ultimate Freelancing Guide: Earning A Living As A Freelancer

 This is a comprehensive guide to making money online doing various online freelance jobs. 

This post is a decision making guide for you to know whether freelancing is good for you or not.

It explains, the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing. It explains how to get freelance jobs, how to get continuous paying clients, where to look for customers, etc

CONTENT LAYOUT

  • Introduction To Freelancing 
  • Pros and Cons of Freelancing
    • Pros of Freelancing 
    • Cons of Freelancing
  • How to Begin Your Freelancing Career 
  • Five key thoughts go guide you in freelancing 
  • Where To Look For Masses Of Customers
  • The critical questions you must ask yourself before you begin
  • Recommendations 


Introduction To Freelancing 
What comes to mind first when you consider freelancing? You probably immediately think of a writer, novelist, or journalist. That is primarily because, for centuries, the only legitimate profession a freelancer could have required mastery of the written word.

However, we are not still in the early nineteenth century; rather, we are in the twenty-first century, a time that values freelancers in a variety of diverse vocations.

While you’ve definitely heard of freelance photographers and may have even met one or two in your life, what about freelance software designers, medical billing professionals, or even scientific researchers?

All of these vocations have recently seen enormous development in their respective areas as more people realize they can earn considerably more money working for themselves as freelancers than they ever could working for their former employer.

Thus, it sounds quite appealing, doesn’t it? You work in a field for several years, gaining valuable practical expertise in your chosen sector of work, and then gradually transition from 9 to 5 to becoming your own boss as a freelancer.

However, is it truly as simple as it sounds to become a freelancer and earn a living working on a freelance basis? We must bear in mind that there are a significant number of freelancers that work on a part-time basis.

Not because they earn a lot of money and just work a couple of days a week, but because they have had difficulty finding work in the past and require a much more stable career option to avoid bankruptcy.

However, if you are willing to put in the effort necessary to become a freelancer, this scenario does not have to happen to you. Your professional change may not occur immediately – but you will eventually become extremely successful at what you do.

The first step toward transitioning from office job to freelance work is determining whether or not you possess the necessary skills to succeed as a freelancer. We all want to be our own boss, but do we all possess the ambition and commitment necessary to succeed without the supervision of our supervisors?

Regrettably, we do not.

As a result, you must take some time to reflect on what makes you unique in the world of freelancers.

Do you possess a diverse enough skill set to distinguish yourself from the swarms of other job seekers?

Do you possess the time management abilities essential to run your own freelance business and fulfill all of your clients’ deadlines?

If you have even the slightest doubts about freelancing, perhaps there are other career options that might be more beneficial to you in the long term.

Now, if you are willing to go headfirst into your freelancing business, you must tread carefully on the freelance route before you can truly start raking in the cash.

Refrain from quitting your job just yet! Rather than that, you should begin your search for freelance employment in your area of expertise on the internet and see what opportunities present themselves.

Certain abilities, such as the ability to write clearly or create software for a variety of clients, are extremely marketable, and you should have no trouble finding a wealth of work.

On the other side, if you are solely capable of performing activities that are tough to market as a freelancer, you will have a lot harder time acquiring business for your freelance operation.

At the moment, some of the most popular freelance fields include writing, editing, photography, web and graphic design, software development, and architectural or drafting.

Once you’ve decided on a field in which to freelance, you’ll need to begin seeking out your first clients. Whatever you do, avoid initiating your search with any of the clients with whom you may have worked in your current position.

There are numerous regulations against this behavior, and if you are found, you could face harsh consequences. Rather, use your preferred search engine to locate forums and databases dedicated to freelancers seeking work in a particular industry.

There are numerous websites to explore, and within an hour or two, you’ll probably have at least ten or fifteen bookmarks of websites where you might find freelance work. 

When you find yourself with some spare time, all you have to do is browse each of these bookmarked websites for freelance opportunities that sound appealing to you. When you first start out as a freelancer, you will almost certainly have to accept a few low-paying projects. That is acceptable because these jobs allow you to develop your skill set. They will teach you how to manage your time more effectively, how to speed up your workflow, and even how to get more comfortable with utilizing a computer and the internet to look for answers to any questions that may arise when performing work for a customer. The low-paying projects are likely to continue for a while, as unless you amass a sizable list of satisfied clients, you will have to compete with all other freelancers in your field solely on the basis of how low your rates and fees are.

Eventually, though, you will advance into higher-paying projects until you have nearly quadrupled your existing income through freelancing.

At this stage, you should feel confident enough to consider lowering the amount of hours you spend at your current job to half time status or maybe quitting entirely to pursue a career in freelancing in your chosen industry. 

Pros and Cons of Freelancing 

You decide to stop by your neighborhood Barnes & Noble bookshop after a long day at the office to pick up a copy of your favorite magazine.

When you open it to a piece that piques your interest, you notice the author’s name and the fact that his biography indicates he is a professional freelance writer.

Upon examination of the selected images, sketches, and diagrams, it becomes clear that the story’s artwork was also created by freelance photographers and graphic designers.

As you return home from the bookshop, you decide to boot up your computer and log on to the internet to catch up on any news you may have missed during the day. At the top of your favorite technology news website’s list comes a brand-new program that appears to be rather useful.

A visit to the software programmer’s website reveals that he is also a freelancer – and appears to be quite successful at it.

Recognizing how much work is done by freelancers, you decide to spend the remainder of your evening investigating freelancing databases to determine whether you have what it takes to join this burgeoning world of self employed folks.

However, before you begin your search for work as a freelancer, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages of working for yourself on a per-client basis.

Many people will tell you that leaving the office was the best decision they ever made, while others will tell you that they couldn’t wait for each of their freelance contracts to end because they couldn’t take the stress.

To be a successful freelancer, you must carefully examine all of the advantages and disadvantages and be certain that this career path is suited for you.

Without further ado, here are some of the most frequently encountered pros and downsides of being a freelancer. 

Pros of Freelancing 

When you decide to become a freelancer, everyone you speak with will likely extol the virtues of being your own boss.

1.    You are in complete control of your work, and no one else (save your clients) has the authority to tell you what to do. If you do not choose to work on Fridays, you are not required to.

2.    Take as many days off as you wish, but make certain that your projects are completed by the deadline. By becoming your own boss, you truly have the flexibility to direct your life in any direction you like.

3.    You get to set your own schedules, pick assignments that interest you, charge whatever you want, and are virtually completely self-sufficient — a significant benefit of being a freelancer for many people wishing to escape the daily grind.

4.    Another significant benefit that you will often hear people discuss when it comes to freelancing is the ability to determine your own dress code. Who is to say that if you locate all of your freelancing job online, you can’t spend the entire day in your jammies or underwear?

5.    There is no use in getting dressed when you can simply get out of bed, have a cup of hot coffee, watch the news for a few minutes, and then flop down at your computer to begin your job.

6.    Freelancing enables you to work in your own way and in complete comfort regardless of who or what you are working for.

7.    Additionally, working freelance allows you to spend significantly more time with your family and friends.

8.    Because you are not bound by a tight schedule, you can spend time with your children when they return from school, as well as with your friends and spouse when they are not working.

9.    The flexibility of a freelance profession is unmatched, and virtually no other employment in the world provides you with both the leisure time and financial independence to do what you want, when you want.

10.                       Finally, freelancing offers nearly endless earning potential. Because you work for yourself, you retain 100% of your earnings. Nobody else receives a penny (aside from the government in the form of taxes).

11.                       Profits are entirely yours to spend anyway you like. Additionally, because you work on a project-by-project basis, you can take on as many tasks as you want and earn as much money as you want.

12.                       Because you are not salaried, the more work you complete, the more money you earn. 

Cons of Freelancing 

As with anything else in life, there are disadvantages to becoming a freelancer in any industry.

1.    The primary disadvantage is that you are not as financially secure as you are when you work for another person.

2.    You must manage all of your money, you must work on project after project if you wish to remain financially afloat, and you must provide for your own healthcare.

3.    These three variables combine to generate a sense of fiscal insecurity for many people, and because freelancing entails significant financial risk, many people believe it is not for them.

4.    Additionally, there is fierce rivalry in the area of freelancing. The internet has been both a boon and a bane for freelancers worldwide.

5.    On the one hand, it has paved the way for everyone who has ever considered striking out on their own and becoming their own boss to enter the world of freelancing.

6.    On the other hand, the internet makes it extremely easy for freelancers to connect with potential clients and potentially steal employment from beneath your feet. Due to the high level of competition created by the internet, you may have to accept very low pay for each project as a newbie freelancer.  However, as your client list grows, you will be able to earn more money in the long run. 

How to Begin Your Freelancing Career

We have all read an article, viewed a photograph, experimented with software, or visited a website developed by a freelancer.

Chances are, at some point or another, we’ve all desired to strike out on our own – to leave our current jobs and embark on a new career path as a freelancer in our area of expertise.

However, why don’t we?

What prevents so many of us from going out and doing what we want with our lives?

Why do we allow ourselves to be enslaved by our employer through the use of invisible shackles?

What talents do we need to ultimately break away from the nine-to-five grind and establish ourselves as a freelancer?

You should consider all of these factors before considering quitting your current employment in search of a freelancing position.

Each year, far too many people believe they can simply quit their employment and pursue a career as a freelancer in whatever sector they choose – and far too many of them fail, only to crawl back to their old employer in the hope of reclaiming their former position. This sad predicament occurs for a single reason: the individual wishing to strike out on his own as a freelancer had no notion what to expect.

People promised him he could be self-employed, take as many days off as he pleased, and keep 100% of the earnings from his labor. But nobody ever warned him that he might have to work long and hard to meet deadlines, manage his own finances, and compete for the same clients with thousands of others. Before you embark on any expeditions into the world of freelancing, you should understand that it is not all fun and games – real consideration must be given to your activities if you wish to succeed.

Now that you’ve considered your options and are certain that freelancing is the best road for you, it’s time to embark on your new career path and begin hunting for jobs.

Meanwhile, whatever you do, avoid quitting your current career immediately, as you will be without a livable income for at least a few months while you look for well-paying tasks. Quitting your employment will occur in due course, but only after you secure a few illustrious contracts.

With your passion and desire in hand, the first step toward a new life as a freelancer should be to get onto your computer, open your preferred web browser, navigate to one of the top three search engines, and begin searching for employment.

Utilize specific keywords that explain what you want to do with your life and you will eventually come across a vast database of websites that cater to the freelance community in your particular profession.

After all, why would a freelance writer hunt for work in freelance software programming directories? Once you’ve compiled a list of the top websites in your sector where you believe you can attract clients, check the sites regularly (or subscribe to their RSS feeds) in order to identify projects that are both fascinating and profitable.

Chances are that if you embark on a freelance career in any profession, you will discover that you can only obtain short-term, low-paying contracts and tasks that do not require any talent at all. This is because you are new to the freelance community and are somewhat unknown.

However, as time passes and you gain clients, more and more people will become aware of who you are and the type of work you will perform. You can next pursue higher-paying assignments that will enable you to significantly supplement your income.

Eventually, you may find that some new clients approach you with their work after learning how much you can achieve or how adept you are at meeting deadlines from prior clients. When you initially start out as a freelancer, it’s critical to generate a variety of different items that demonstrate the type of work you do.

Creating this portfolio may be one of the most critical steps you can do if you want to thrive as a freelancer, as it will assist you in moving up the freelancing ladder.

Include only projects that you own completely, as if someone suspects you of stealing elements of your portfolio from others, word will spread and you risk never being hired for freelance work by anyone – ever. Additionally, only include items in your portfolio that demonstrate your expertise in the sector in which you are seeking freelance work.

While you may put an article you wrote about chemistry in your resume if you are looking for freelance work as a web designer, why would someone looking for a skilled web designer care about something you wrote for a chemistry website – unless your customer also hired you to write his web copy?

Finally, global competition will be another significant impediment to your goal of becoming a self-sufficient freelancer.

Individuals from all walks of life and nearly every country on Earth will compete for the same projects as you, so you’d better be prepared to give something that no one else can match.

For instance, if you are a freelance writer or editor, the most effective strategy is to inform clients that you are a native English speaker.

Graphic and web designers, as well as software programmers, should enroll in numerous additional college courses to demonstrate their level of education in their field.

Finally, regardless of the industry in which you freelance, you should always set aside some time as an unpaid worker to generate some samples for your portfolio that truly showcase your strengths. 

In addition to the aforementioned thoughts; put these five key thoughts into consideration as this will help you to finally determine whether freelancing is right for you or not. 

1. Consider the products or services you will provide.

If you enjoy crafting jewelry, purchasing and selling real estate, or locating valuable collectibles, you may have a skill that may be turned into a full-time company. If you enjoy building ant farms or playing online poker, make sure to examine the revenue potential before quitting your day job. Do you have a marketable skill, talent, or passion you want to share with others?

2. Examine your financial strength.

This is an important step, especially if you are the primary breadwinner in your household. Is it your employment that provides the majority of your income and benefits to your family? If this is the case, you can still start your own freelance business, but you will need to prepare ahead to ensure that your family’s requirements are covered while you transition from your current work to your new enterprise. This will include not only managing your present bills, but also setting aside funds to invest in your business for equipment, supplies, inventory, staff, marketing, and so on. Are you willing to make the necessary financial sacrifices?

3. Obtain assistance.

You’ll undoubtedly want the support of your family and friends if you decide to start your own business. Take their “you can do it” mentality a step further. Request their assistance in answering the phone, sending out mailers, or spreading the word about your company to their friends and acquaintances.

In addition, seek the assistance of professional groups and organizations in your neighborhood. Most cities have a chamber of commerce where you can go once or twice before joining. You may join a women’s professional network or a marketing group in other towns. Do you have a network of people that can help you? If that’s the case, what will it take to put that network in place? 

4. Examine your personality.

While businesses vary greatly, the most successful business owners frequently share characteristics. Many of us are self-sufficient, forward-thinking, objective, and analytical, whilst others are creative, passionate, adaptable, and communicative. We understand our products and services, as well as our customers. Above all, we are at ease making difficult decisions and taking risks. The question is, are you one of them? 

5. Determine your own talents and limitations.

We have all been endowed with strengths and burdened with shortcomings as a result of education, experience, and inheritance. It is critical for any business owner to understand their company’s strengths and limitations. I recommend taking out a sheet of paper and cutting it in half. List your qualities on one side, such as “people skills,” “business acumen,” and “ability to make sound judgments.” List your flaws, such as “uncomfortable hiring and firing” or “mediocre bookkeeping abilities,” on the other side.

Once you’ve finished both lists, ask someone who knows you well (spouse, friend, peer, mentor, etc.) to objectively review them and make changes.

For example, even if you don’t think your bookkeeping abilities are up to grade, your wife is aware that your checkbook is always balanced to the penny. After that, think about your strengths and flaws. Make your finest assets your strengths. If you are good with people, for example, you should be the primary spokesperson for your organization. Assist with the design of your website and marketing materials if you are creative. Consider outsourcing some of your management chores to an outside organization if you are not extremely business knowledgeable or simply dislike working with figures. Allow someone else to employ essential personnel or handle regular bookkeeping. Are you willing to give up enough control to maximize your strengths while delegating the rest to professionals?

You should be able to make a sound decision about whether or not a freelance business is right for you after carefully evaluating these five points and assessing your resources. Best wishes for many more years of freelance success! 

Where To Look For Masses Of Customers

Finally, you’ve chosen to take the first important step toward a career transition in the world of freelancing, but there’s one catch: you have no idea where to get your first clients and consumers. Until a few years ago, you were forced to conduct all business with local firms and private individuals in the hope that someone, anybody you knew, would introduce you to a potentially lucrative client for your freelancing work.

Writers have always had it simpler, as there are hundreds of journals and newspapers that require freelancers on a daily basis — but if you were a web designer or software programmer, you were likely out of luck. However, that was before the internet began to weave its way into homes worldwide.

Finding customers for your new freelance business has never been easier than it is now, owing to the internet. Individuals and businesses searching for freelancers to assist them with a few projects are plentiful and can help you get started in the freelance sector if you are fortunate enough to find a client who will work with you often.

Additionally, as a freelancer, you may leverage the internet to promote your services on a variety of forums and other freelancing web tools. In many instances, rather than you seeking out prospective clients, they seek you out, allowing you to focus on the activities and projects for which you are presently being compensated.

As a new freelancer, the first step in obtaining business is to publicize your name. Inform them of your identity, what you do, how well you do it, and what you can do for them. Potential clients appreciate a freelancer who is willing to complete the project correctly the first time and on schedule, and if you lack past expertise, you may have difficulty earning the trust of high-paying consumers right away.

However, if you begin with a few low-paying contracts, you will immediately discover that you can fast climb up the ranks and soon be able to secure all of the projects necessary to sustain your freelance business.

There is no better approach to start your freelance career than by compiling a compact, focused portfolio of your work.

You can either provide this portfolio as an email attachment when applying for employment offered by clients, or, if you have any web design abilities, you can develop a personal portfolio blog/website that details all of the individual projects you’ve worked on for various clients over the years.

Whichever form of portfolio you develop, ensure that it is tailored toward the audience you are attempting to attract, as it makes no sense to include work you did as a software programmer if you are seeking for freelance photography job, for example. Now, if you want to find a large number of clients for your freelance business, you need to concentrate your efforts on the numerous forums and discussion boards that dot the web.

Google is an excellent resource for locating websites dedicated to your chosen freelance sector, and you should avoid advertising your services in freelance forums that are not frequented by those looking for freelancers in your field of work. Posting outside of your section makes you appear terrible and may result in you being blacklisted from many freelancing websites that could prove beneficial in the future as your business grows.

Due to the critical nature of locating freelance websites that are focused on your specific field of operation, you should first choose one or two services in which you believe you may obtain freelance employment and then expand from there. 115 virtual assistant/freelance job you can do online

If you choose a popular freelance job, such as writer, editor, photographer, web designer, or software programmer, you will have a much simpler time obtaining work online due to the abundance of freelance directories. As a freelancer of any kind, one of the finest locations to begin your hunt for international clients is fiverr.  Check out our in-depth Fiver review: The Features , Pros Cons et  >>>

This is your one-stop shop for employment opportunities in your local metro area as well as in cities and nations worldwide.

The majority of fiverr jobs allow you to work from home, although you may be required to visit the offices of some of the higher paying professions on occasion.

Another incredible resource for freelancers of all types is Truelancer, a website that connects prospective freelancers in many professions with global consumers. It is geared toward established freelance professionals, so you may want to consider it after exhausting your other freelancing possibilities.

If you are a freelance writer or editor, there are a few good websites where you can advertise your services. Among others are: ToptalElance market., upwork, Linkdin Jobs, gigworker etc.

The first is Freelance Writing, a massive database where employers and freelancers can exchange contact information in the hope of finding a suitable match on a project-by-project basis.

While you will primarily discover lower-paying work here, it is an excellent place to start if you are new to freelancing or simply looking for a few easy part-time projects to augment your present income.

Additionally, the Writer’s Market is an excellent resource for not just finding work, but also for learning the ins and outs of the writing and editing industries. You can connect with new clients while while honing your writing talents.

Those in the design and programming fields should look to ScriptLance for high-paying opportunities in their field.

As one of the most popular websites for those working in programming and design, this is perhaps the best location to locate a well-compensated job in the web and software industry. If you’re seeking for further choices, visit the Freelance Job Search, a website that will assist you in locating lesser-known, but well-compensated freelance employment in the fields of web design, graphic design, and programming.

Finally, Is Freelancing Really The Best Option?

If you’re considering quitting your current work and entering the realm of the freelancer, you’d best be pretty certain this is what you want to do. Even if you are certain you want to work as a freelancer in your chosen industry;

·       Is it financially feasible for you?

·       Can you support your family on the freelancer’s salary?

·       What about healthcare; are you willing to forego it as well in pursuit of a freelance career?

·       Can you withstand the stress that comes with meeting tight, and frequently absurd, deadlines for your projects?

·       Are you self-sufficient and able to communicate effectively with a possible client who may wish to hire you for his next project?

·       Finally, do you possess the necessary skills to consistently market yourself and your services to anyone who could be interested?

Far too frequently, individuals believe they wish to be freelancers solely because it sounds great.

After all, many individuals believe that there is no more relaxed work environment than being able to wake up late, work on your computer in your pajamas, and take as many vacation days as you like.

While they are all advantages of being a freelancer, let’s be honest – there are several trials and tribulations that you will face as a freelancer until you reach a point where you are no longer concerned about your income.

Yes, it is something that many people fail to comprehend – you cannot expect to just quit your current job and become a freelancer overnight, with hundreds of potential clients banging on your door in the goal of hiring you to work on their project.

There is much more to freelancing than that, so let’s see if you have what it takes to succeed in the freelancer’s harsh environment.

The first thing you must understand about being a freelancer is that you may struggle to make ends meet for an extended period of time just through freelancing.

Therefore, if you are considering quitting your current employment, hold off. Rather than that, test the waters and determine whether you enjoy freelancing first, as well as the amount of money you can earn as a freelancer, before even beginning to work on your resignation papers.

As a new freelancer, your best bet is to begin with clients who will pay less but will get you in the door.

True, you will have to accept jobs that you believe are beneath you – but it will pay off in the long run.

Perhaps not financially first, but by establishing your brand and adding employment chances to your ever-growing list of delighted consumers.

As a result, if you want to freelance successfully, you must be willing to accept a wage cut in the beginning in order to succeed afterwards.

Second, you must determine whether you can sustain yourself and your family on the earnings you would earn as a freelancer.

Bear in mind that you will have to accept a pay cut from your existing job when you first begin as a freelancer, and that when you finally quit your current job for good, will you be able to generate enough work to maintain your family’s current standard of living? 

These are critical questions to ask yourself before taking the plunge into the realm of freelancing.

While this is not critical if you choose to continue doing freelance work as a complement to your present income, it becomes critical if you choose to make your freelancing job your primary source of income. Following that, you must decide what you will do for healthcare as a freelancer. Without the backing of an established firm, you will be responsible for your own (and your family’s) health insurance.

This is not a big concern if your spouse is covered by his or her employer, but if your spouse is a stay-at-home parent or runs their own freelance business, this becomes a significant price to consider.

Therefore, when you become a freelancer, ensure that you can afford health insurance for all of your dependents.

Stress management is critical when working as a freelancer for you. You will encounter undertakings that will demand extensive time and effort to complete. Often, these undertakings will be incredibly challenging and will be subject to absurd deadlines, amplifying their intensity. Therefore, are you adept at dealing with high-stress situations such as these?

 After all, if you are unable to deliver the job on schedule and in good condition, you risk being discredited and having a far more difficult time securing employment in the months ahead.

Are you a team player or do you prefer to work independently? While this topic may seem trivial, keep in mind that as a freelancer, you truly have no team to fall back on if you’re unsure how to perform something.

Sure, you could scour the internet for solutions to your questions – but it would detract from your project’s essential time.

Therefore, if you are the type of person who does better in a group setting, you may want to reconsider being independent, as the highly individualized work atmosphere of a freelancer is most surely not for you.

 Finally, are you prepared to consistently advertise your services to anyone who may require your assistance?

Do you have sufficient self-esteem to sell yourself as the greatest freelancer available?

Constantly advertising your services is a significant advantage for anyone considering becoming a freelancer.

While it is possible to be shy or distant and succeed as a freelancer, you will have a much easier time presenting your services to prospective consumers if you are more outspoken.

 

Recommendation

Top Freelance website

Fiverr

Toptal,

Truelancer,

Elance market

Upwork

Gigworker

Freelancer

Guru

 Read Also: 115 virtual assistant/freelance job you can do online

 

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