After so many workplaces let their employees work remotely, it shouldn’t be a surprise the whole industry is making a huge shift. For some, working from home is not nearly enough, though. They also want to become independent, find their customers, and build a unique daily schedule.
But how does one become a freelancer and earn a living? Read on to find out.
Contractor VS Freelancer
First, it’s important to unpack the differences between a classic freelancer and a contractor. Freelancers usually pick up different projects and jobs to complete them by the deadline. They don’t have only one employer. Instead, they’re free to pick and choose between businesses and individuals to cooperate with. While the project can take up to a few years, there’s no particular commitment to one client.
Freelancers can also work in different industries and niches. For example, they are free to do finances, information technology, marketing, and so on. It’s your responsibility to choose whether you stick to one industry or explore a few.
Some freelancers decide to work for just one company on their terms. That’s when they sign a contract and become a contractor. The terms and responsibilities they have are different from those of usual employees. Most of the time, they have deadlines instead of a set schedule, more days off, and get paid per project or piece. They also have to manage their finances, including taxes and office expenses.
Become A Freelancer
Whether you want to be a freelancer or find a company to sign a contract with, there are a few steps you need to take.
Building a portfolio
Building a portfolio is essential for any freelancer hustle. With a viable portfolio, you’ll show the four best skills and experience you already have. If you plan on working in different niches, you should have one portfolio for each niche.
Your portfolio should have the best work you’ve completed before. But don’t worry – if you’re starting as a newbie, you can still build one. Instead of piling all of your previous projects into a document, work on sample files.
Developing skills and professional experience
Depending on your starting budget, you can invest in your professional skills. For example, apply for courses or find a mentor. Thanks to additional help, you can spend a few months perfecting what you already know.
Later, you’ll have better opportunities and access to private networks and connections.
You can also find micro-tasks on gig platforms and build your experience that way. These can take from ten minutes to a few hours every day and include:
- Testing games and websites;
- Data input;
- Photo labeling;
- Product transcription;
- Internet bandwidth sharing for free money;
- Writing reviews.
There are a few benefits to starting with microtasks. First of all, you’ll be thoroughly expanding and experimenting with your skills. Secondly, you can practice time management before moving on to bigger, more advanced projects. Thirdly, it’s a great tool to connect with new clients.
You can’t begin your freelance journey without having clients. So where should you look for them? Social media and gig platforms are where you should explore first. While networking spaces are great for beginners, social media is on the rise in 2023. Building a brand and looking for work there is way more effective than using the old-fashioned approach.
Creating an account is free and easy. Both you and your clients can access the platforms from anywhere, send any files, and even communicate via videoconferencing. It just makes sense to start with social media.
Even if you already know how to budget and manage your money, freelancing will bring a few novelties into your system. You’ll have to manage all your business expenses yourself because you no longer work in the office. That means you’ll also be organizing your home office. These expenses can be:
- Mobile phone;
- Internet connection;
- Professional software;
- Sticky notes, pens and pencils, paper, and other stationery;
- Office bills;
Becoming a professional freelancer is not an easy feat. It requires a lot of dedication, professional skills, experience, additional education, and investments. Yet, you’ll be as free as a bird in your career, and sometimes, it’s very much worth it.