A lot of people started Freelancing during the COVID-19 pandemic as they got laid off from their jobs. And a lot of professionals even got successful careers as well from freelancing and started earning even more.
Okay, I know you have questions like:
What is freelancing?
Who can do Freelancing?
How to start freelancing?
How to become a successful Freelancer?
Well, I have come up with answers to these questions you have with my personal suggestions.
Hi Guys, My name is Sanyam Jain, and I am your Digitool Master. I have created this quick guide on how to learn freelancing and everything about it.
I will be teaching almost everything you need to learn about freelancing.
Stay with me till the end and I will also tell you the best platform to start your freelancing journey.
Let’s Get Started.
What is Freelancing?
So what is freelancing? or as some people asked what is a freelance job meaning?
When a self-employed person works for a client, organization, company, or any other person to achieve a result on a particular project/work without being necessarily committed for long term employment.
You can work for an individual client without being paid a fixed salary, and to be only paid a negotiated amount for working on a particular task and achieving results within a given period of time.
For Example, if you are a graphic designer, you can work for someone and design a company logo or any other graphical design and can get paid for that.
Or if you are an interior designer, you can design a house for somebody who needs an interior designer and get paid without being working on a fixed salary and just for the particular task.
Or if you are a Digital Marketer, you can work for a client to achieve results to rank their website with the help of SEO or can help them get business leads.
In short, Freelancing is a contractual job which depends upon time and results on a particular given project/task.
Who is it For?
Are you currently unemployed and looking for a job?
Are you passionate about something but don’t work around it in your regular job?
Do you have a skill that can help others?
Do you want a side extra income other than your regular job?
Do you have extra/hours in your day that you want to spend doing a part-time job?
In general, anybody can become a freelancer.
But, if your answer is YES for any of the above questions, then freelancing is for you.
You can be unemployed, self-employed, a regular job professional, student, retired, housewife, ANYONE.
People choose to freelance because it can be the best option to value your free time with some extra cash.
You can take as small a task as possible from your client which can be completed within a few hours or day and can make you some cents or dollars. Or you can even take a bigger project as well that can take up to a month or even more deliver and get you an extra $10,000 (depending on your schedule, skills, and experience).
So if you want some extra expenses coming ahead, Freelancing can cover those for you.
How to Start a Freelancing Career?
As I said earlier, anybody can become a freelancer.
But if anybody can do freelancing and earn extra, then why isn’t everybody already doing it?
The answer is simple, competition, and lack of knowledge and information.
I have listed down simple steps of how you can start your freelancing journey.
Do the Market Research
You should first understand what is the market demand.
You need to research what problems people are facing generally. And then you need to figure out a way of how you can help them. You can search on social media, digital communities like Quora, medium, Pinterest, etc and look for the questions people are looking for the answers.
Look for the topic under your skills and interests.
Choose a Niche
Now that you have already done your research, you need to pick a niche/topic.
I suggest that your niche should be based on these 4 criteria.
- Something you are passionate about.
- Something that you have a talent for.
- Something for which there is demand in the market.
- Something which can make you money for what you work.
If your niche is covered with all these factors, I promise you that you will have financial problems in life.
You can Read This To Find High-Income Niches in Demand & Comment below if you found your money-making niche from this.
Find The Problems your Market is Facing
Once you have chosen your niche, you need to analyze the issues that your competitors are unable to fix for the market. Or how you can help the customers better than the professionals already working under your niche.
The issues can be anything like the quality of work, late deliveries, high costs, high risks, complexity, or anything related to your industry.
Find the Solution
Find a way through which you can solve these problems for those clients and reach out to them with your proposals.
Tell them how you can work more effectively.
You can provide your work samples if you have done anything similar in the past and achieved results.
Or you can even do a sample work for them to showcase your skills.
Start with Pro-Bono
A lot of people missed this important part of their professional careers.
People keep searching for their first job or project.
But in these competitive market situations, companies like to hire experienced professionals, be it in jobs or for freelance outsourcing projects.
They need to be assured that the person they are assigning their work can be trusted.
And to build their trust in you, you need to provide experience.
This cycle becomes awkward when you need work to gain experience and clients need people with experience.
The best way to break this barrier is by working voluntarily on some projects and getting results for them.
The results can be small or big, depending upon the project. This can even be a day’s task or can even be a week or month’s.
And you can get these Pro bono projects easily because, obviously, who will deny hiring anyone to work for them for free.
This way both you as a fresher and your client will get what they wanted.
You will get the experience to showcase in your profile and to nurture your skills, and the client won’t need to spend a dime for their risk of hiring you as a fresher.
I recommend you to try these voluntary projects if you are not getting projects initially to earn.
Comment below about your experience if you have ever worked on any pro bono in your career.
Comforts and Drawbacks of a Freelancing Career?
Just like every other thing, freelancing can also produce 2 types of results for you.
Either Good or Bad.
Comforts of a Freelancer
You can work from anywhere in the world.
If you have any digital niche, like graphic designing, web development, Interior designing, digital marketing, Accounting, or any other related niches which can be done without your physical presence, then you can work from anywhere in the world.
You can do freelance work from home as well, or you can even be on a vacation while you work and earn. As long as you are delivering results, it doesn’t matter where you deliver from.
Although some work demands your presence so in that case, you might have to lose this comfort.
You can work anytime according to your schedule.
If your deal with your client is to deliver the results in a particular given time, then you can decide your working schedule. You don’t stick with it like your office desk in your regular job.
As long as the work is being submitted within the given timeline, it won’t matter to your clients at what hours you work for him.
Well, yes, you still need to be able to finish the work within a time limit, but you can set your own schedule along with your other chores.
Possibilities of earning more than a regular job.
You will have all the chances in the world to earn way more than your fixed salary in your regular job. If you are efficient enough to handle multiple projects at a time or complete multiple projects in a month without hampering your other routine, then you might even end up your months with more cash than you ever expected with your fixed salary.
But I recommend that taking more projects must not affect your daily job performance (if working) and you do not ditch your boss’s trust in you just to earn something extra.
You can be your own Boss.
If you ever had that dream to become your own boss and not to be answerable to any other senior, then this can be the first step towards that dream.
Just one thing I need to add on this, Being your own boss is a myth. You will always be working for someone.
Either you will work for a boss, or for a client, community, customer.
If you are earning money with something, then someone is paying you that money.
Always have a positive approach like a leader instead of acting like a boss.
The best way for exposure and learning
Freelancing can be the best possible way of exposure and learning new things.
Every project will bring you a new client, every new client will bring you new challenges, and every challenge will open your scope of learning something new.
As you Learn, So you grow.
Also, you will have the best opportunities to work for clients across the globe and that will give you exposure.
In this digital world, you can find freelance jobs online and communicate with almost everyone with the help of the internet.
Best way to learn leadership skills by creating your outsourcing team
If at times you feel that you are not able to handle your freelance work due to a packed schedule, if you are getting high demands of projects, if you need to perform tasks which are slightly out of your skillset, then you can always outsource your work to other freelancers, experienced professionals or hire freshers but skillful people to assist you.
You can manage those people to complete the project.
That way you will be able to build your team management and leadership skills as well.
This will help you grow in your company and will help you grow as a personality in life as well.
Best way to start a successful business and understand if you are ready for it.
If you want to start a business and become a successful businessman, you should with freelancing.
Unless you have huge money with which you can take risks without having a skill, experience, and team management experience, there are very high chances that your business will fail.
Doesn’t matter how good professionals you hire, if you don’t know about that business, it’s risky.
But if you already have experience in that industry without investing in business infrastructure and employees, but by working freelance for clients, and you have also got team management and leadership skills, then the chances of your business success will increase exponentially.
Drawbacks of Freelancing
I shouldn’t call it drawbacks though, but sometimes these points that I have mentioned below discourage the young professionals and they end up quitting freelancing.
These points are so basic yet to be kept in mind before you even think of starting your freelance journey.
Sometimes it may Take Time to get your First Project.
Right when you start, it may take time for you to understand the industry you have chosen. It will take time to understand how to correctly approach the clients.
It will be a trial and error kind of start. You will need to create, change, delete and recreate the process for your approach to get the first client. And this process sometimes delays getting a first client as a freelancer.
But don’t feel discouraged, it is common for everyone.
Nobody became a millionaire or an artist overnight. It is a long journey that includes a whole process.
But don’t wait for that perfectionism. Start with the basics and keep improvising.
And you will get success one day that you will cherish with all your heart.
Initially, it might not Generate High Income.
Once you get that first client, it might not earn you a lot of money.
It might not even get you your 2 day’s expenses. But it will give experience. And if all goes well, then it will give a review from your client that can get you more clients.
Hold your grounds initially and as you keep getting more work, your value will keep on increasing.
Sometimes Clients can be the Pain for Asking Too Much.
Be very attentive and alert while discussing the details of the project with your client before taking up. Sometimes clients are so good that you even push yourselves to work extra for them.
But sometimes clients can be a pain for you. I suggest you be very focused and clear while creating terms and conditions before the project.
Job vs Freelance
I think every young and enthusiastic professional has at least had this doubt in mind.
Whether they should find a job or become a full-time freelancer.
Should they prioritize risky freelancing as the first career option or should they find a regular job with a fixed salary and low risk?
Let me solve this confusion for you.
A regular job should be your first priority if you have bills to pay.
But you can also start freelancing as a side hustle.
Unless you have a year of experience and savings in your account as a backup which can pay your bills, you shouldn’t leave your job.
I know, you might be thinking that this is a very defensive approach towards building your career.
What about all those millionaires and billionaires who left their jobs and studies and started their own to build an empire?
Well only hear of those who became successful. But the number of people who failed is much higher than the number of people who achieved success.
So, do I mean to say that we should play defensive and never start something of our own until we save?
No. I mean to say, you should learn the process with someone who already knows the business.
And while learning you can create your market and start getting something out of it in the form of experience and cash.
Once you feel that now you have started getting regular projects from multiple clients and have at least one client who keeps giving you project after project, then you can think of leaving your job and expand your freelance career as a full-timer.
This is a very important and sensitive stage where people end up failing in freelancing.
They leave their jobs for the sake of one or two projects thinking that now they can build an empire with that.
And sometimes when the project gets completed, it might take time to get further projects.
But on the other hand, monthly bills won’t take that long to slip into their mailbox.
Their bills need to be paid on time, and if they fail to pay those bills, they end up cursing freelancing and start looking for another job.
Please don’t make that mistake.
Always remember, freelancing is not a fixed income source. Sometimes you can get 5 projects in a month, sometimes it may even take up to 5 months to get another project if you haven’t established yourself till that time.
Also, the income value varies from project to project in freelance as compared to fixed salary in a job.
So my suggestion is, You take a job, start freelancing as a side hustle. And if you keep on getting projects for a regular 6 months-1 year, then you think of quitting your job and opting freelance as a full-time career.
Comment below what are your views on this topic. What do you prefer, A job or Freelancing/Business?
How much Income can a Freelancer Generate?
There is no fixed number that anyone can give on this.
A freelancing professional can make anything between $0 – $100,000, or even higher.
The Income of a freelancing professional depends on multiple factors.
Out of many, there are the 4 main factors that affect the income of a freelancer he can earn:
Skillset is the most important factor that comes in the discussion.
Every skill has different requirements and serves different purposes.
For example, a copywriter can earn way more than a data entry operator.
It depends on the kind of result the skill is able to provide to the client’s business.
The second most important factor is the Demand.
It’s Simple, if there is demand in the market, you can make money by fulfilling that demand with your skill.
Experience / Quality
Your project fee will vary with the amount of experience you have in that particular skill set.
A freelancer with the same skill set but with more experience can get paid more than the freelancer with the same skill set but less experience.
The higher the competition of service providers in the market, the lesser the amount will be offered to a freelancer to complete the project.
And the higher the number of competitors your clients have in their industry, the higher they can offer you to achieve the results for them.
These are 4 main factors I think that plays a major role in the Freelancer’s career in terms of income. Comment below your views on this, and let me know if I missed anything.
The Mindset of a Successful Freelancer
There are many differences between a freelancer and a successful freelancer.
But I have a theory to differentiate between both. According to me, the most important one is:
A Freelancer will work to get a project from multiple clients, but a Successful Freelancer will work to get multiple projects from a single client by providing quality results.
That is the difference between the two kinds of freelancers.
A successful Freelancer thinks of himself’ as a business owner.
But what are the qualities of a successful freelancer or what qualities should a freelancer have to become a successful freelancer? A first and most important one.
Focus on Providing Value rather than on Money
A successful freelancer takes the accountability of his work and is focussed more on delivering the results instead of his income. His first priority will always be the client’s business. Because if the client’s business does well, he knows that the clients will always take care of him.
Ask for Less and Deliver More
He always asks for less and delivers more to the clients. He is always focussed on setting the bar high. He is always committed to the benefits of the clients and tries to bring more to the table.
- Give Small Bonus to Clients to Retain
He always finds a way to give an extra bonus service other than delivering the project which can help the clients business. This way the client will always keep you in mind to give you another work and will understand that you know the business and are always ready to take one step ahead of the competition.
Focus on earning the Client’s trust with money
He is always focused on earning the client’s trust before money. He understands the value of trust as once trust is created, the client is retained for multiple transactions instead of just one project.
Works as a Team Member and not as a freelancer
He doesn’t work for the client, he works with the client as a team member. He respects the choices and decisions made by the clients and provides them valuable feedback and suggestions from time to time whenever required. He makes his clients feel that he is working for the benefit of the client.
Always Deliver within given Time
He always keeps the deadlines in mind. He never misses the delivery date of the projects because he understands the value of his client’s time and money.
Never Compromise with the Quality
The best quality of a successful freelancer is that he never compromises with the quality of the service. He knows the better services he provides, the more projects he can get from the same client.
Value Himself / Herself
Once every criterion is matched, he never forgets to value his own work, time, money, and efforts.
He will always keep the clients first but will never let himself down in front of clients as well.
His mindset and thought process make one of the best in the industry.
Comment below, out of 8 mentioned above, how many qualities do you already have or what qualities do you need to build in yourself to become a successful freelancer.
Platform to Get Freelance Projects
Alright! So now we have come to the best part.
After learning all this, from where can we start getting our freelance projects and how to start freelancing?
These are some of the best freelance websites for beginners where you can start your freelancing career with.
You can create your profiles on all these platforms and create the portfolios of your sample worlds.
Slowly start approaching the gigs/projects posted by clients.
Post your gigs as well so that what services do you offer so that clients can see and contact you.
Make the profile as professional as possible.
How to find Freelance clients on Facebook and other social media?
You can also create your freelancer profile on your social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram, and keep posting your work as a sample so that if somebody needs your service they can contact you.
You can also create your blog or website which defines your work.
Replying to the social community questions with a solution can be a bit handy as well.
Though the ratio will be so low for getting clients from these ways, it will keep you updated about the trend and will help you expand your network.
If you think you have skills with which you help people with something, go out there and find the people who you can help and make some extra cash.
Do some market study, find your niche, pick a niche, strengthen your skills with experience.
Always value your clients. One client will create many. And value your work even more.
And this is it for freelancing.
I will see you again with another topic that can add value to your life and career.
Till then, keep learning & keep exploring.