Freelancing is the big mystery job that everyone has heard about but few know anything about. Even fewer is the number of people actually freelancing – selling their skills to clients in return for a wage. Instead of working for someone else, you work for yourself on whichever project you want!
What is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is a highly skilled individual who has decided that rather than work the same boring job for the rest of his life, they’re going to take what they do in their own hands and use their skills and experiences to make their own one-person business.
Often, the freelancer will use a site like oDesk or Freelancer to get connected with potential employers and see what project need to be done. They can make their own profile and showcase exactly what they’re good at and what they are looking to do.
On these sites, as with many others, a variety of freelancers will ‘bid’ on projects: essentially they put forward a proposal as to why they should be the one hired for this job. Think of it as a mini covering letter that persuades the client to hire you.
All transactions are facilitated by the sites so there is no hassle or worries about getting paid. Of course in return for the service they often charge a small fee. The majority of this however is charged to the client and the freelancer often only has to pay a percentage of the earnings they make. Never sign up to a site with which you have to pay membership – there are plenty of ‘free’ sites out there that have seen the careers of many successful freelancers flourish.
The freedom of freelancing means that you can build up a client base and start to develop your own niche. With this in mind, you can start to offer your services for a higher premium as you become more proficient and better known.
The ‘free’ in ‘freelance’ is not there because freelancers work for nothing or next to nothing. While of course there are jobs offered at the lower end of the pay-scale, a competent and well skilled freelancer can develop a self run business from an effective and trusted client base and can see a legitimate income every month.
Why Should I Become a Freelancer?
Anyone who tells you that becoming a freelancer is easy is simply lying. While you might find it easier than others if you already have a particular niche, a lot of dedication and determination needs to be put in to make your career work.
The most important thing is being able to market yourself; to put yourself out there and make lasting connections. Not all contracts are one off’s – some can last for anything up to 6 months and some employers might like your work and make you their go-to freelance for any work in the future.
Freelancing is not a job you can just jump straight into, but with work and time you can see the benefits of working for yourself; having the ultimate freedom and doing what you truly love.