The working culture has gone through a vast phase of evolution as even a technological introduction or change in the demand of the market has reshaped how we work for a company. There used to be a time when even for a simple task, hundreds of people were hired but that is not the case now as we have become more effective and efficient with how we run a business. Now, firms are looking for different ways to bring down the headcount in their office without losing productivity and amidst the challenges, we have come up with a wide range of options.
We can surely say that technological introduction like the influx of the internet and the proliferation of mobile phones have both played an important role in the working culture. Without these changes, we would have still been working in the same traditional way.
Just like the way in which the advent of software solutions has affected the working culture, in a similar or more amplified way, the introduction of the internet has affected the working culture. Well, one of those miracles in the industries that have been made possible because of the internet is work from home culture. And every industry out there has accepted the introduction of work from home culture with alacrity.
Well, there are those people who work from home on a full-time basis. This simply means that such people are full-time employees of a firm but the only difference between them and other regular employees is they work from home. But then there are those people who work as a freelancer. If you keep tabs on how people work then you must have heard about the term freelancer at least once since it has become ubiquitous in the working culture.
If you don’t like being confined to the 9 to 5 job, if you don’t like the daily commute from work to office and if you don’t like sitting in front of the desktop according to the office hours then freelancing is what you need.
If you are looking forward to making a career as a freelancer or if you are looking forward to improving as a freelancer then you have come to the right place. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about freelancing while giving you tips to improve your freelancing capability and career.
What is freelancing?
A freelancing job is one where the person basically works for himself instead of working for a company. There is no denial in the fact that most of the freelancers out there do take on contracts from organizations but in the end, they are only self-employed.
You should know that freelancers are responsible for all sorts of things that are not necessary in the case of traditional employees. Some of these responsibilities are setting up the work hour, billing clients, keeping tabs on the time spent on projects, and even paying business taxes. Another important thing that you should know about freelancers is they are not considered as employees by any firm rather, they are considered as contractors.
An example of freelancing
The best example of a freelance job will be a content writer. You should know that a contract writer can work as a freelancer and in this case, he can work for different clients as per their request or they can get in a contract with different SEO companies and start working for them. But even in the case of contract-based freelancing, they will not be considered as employees since they will have all the features and responsibilities of a freelancer as mentioned above.
At the end of every month or after the completion of every project, the freelance writer can send an invoice to his clients and the clients will make the payment to the freelance writer as per the invoice. The freelance writer will have the privilege to work whenever he wants but still there are deadlines in the case of some clients. The freelance content writer is not bound to take up any project as all this depends on the choice of the freelancer.
Why should you work as a freelancer?
After reading the definition of freelancer and after going through the example of a freelancer, you might have started working ‘Is it really beneficial to work as a freelancer?. Well, here are the benefits of working as a freelancer;
You are your own boss
When you work as a freelancer, you don’t have to work under anyone as you are your own boss. You will never get scolded for not submitting your work, you will never have to be under pressure because of the workload and you don’t even have to report to anyone. So, if you don’t like the boss-employee work culture, then freelancing is the thing you have been searching for.
You get to choose your own working hours
You are not bound to work from 9 to 5 in the case of freelancing. You can choose to work relentlessly for 7 days and then take a break for the next 10 days as it all depends upon you. You can choose to work at night, in the evening, in the morning or even in the afternoon as deciding when to work is in your hands.
Stay at home
If you love the cozy bed of your home, evening snacks, and cooking while working on your laptop then freelancing will fit in like a glove in your needs. You should know that if you are home-sick then freelancing is the best job for you. Above all, you get the advantage of staying at home and this proves to be one of the biggest advantages for many people.
How to improve as a freelancer?
Now that you have understood the basic meaning of a freelancer and learned the advantages of becoming a freelancer, it is high time for you to learn how you can improve at freelancing. Keep reading to stay illuminated.
Think beyond local
In most of the cases, college students and laid-off employees find it difficult to get full-time employment near their home and this is why they move towards freelancing for supporting themselves. But one of the most important things that you must understand here is since most of the freelancing jobs can be easily done remotely, you don’t need to look for freelancing jobs in your nearby area only.
In most cases, all the firms out there can find better talent in the world of freelancing just by escaping the local environs and the same goes for freelancers as well. Freelancers can find better working opportunities, especially for those jobs that are rare in their locality.
This simply means instead of searching for jobs in your local area only, you should get rid of the geographical boundary. There are many companies in other states and countries that might offer you better pay as a freelancer and therefore, there is no need to be confined to your local area.
Learn time management
Just because you become the king of your own time doesn’t mean that you can start misusing the time. Losing yourself with the thought of ‘I can complete the project any time’ can push you back in the tough race of competition as there are many freelancers out there ready to take the project. So the first thing you need to do in order to become a good freelancer is to learn the art of time management.
Since there will be no one sitting on your head to make you complete the work, you will have to be self-dependent. The easiest way to do this is by making sure that you have a timeline for completing projects. Even if there are no deadlines, you should make a timeline for every project that you have taken and you should also keep tabs on the progress as well.
The moment you start missing out on deadlines and start showing delays in project delivery, you start losing your efficiency as a project manager. This is one of the most important reasons why mastering the art of time management is necessary as a freelancer.
Find a community
It is always necessary to have a community for falling back on for support, resources, and accountability since you will not have any colleagues with you while working as a freelancer. There are many different types of freelancer unions in major cities and you can benefit from joining such unions.
You should know that in addition to providing you resources and accountability, the unions can help you in making you realize your right and even protecting your rights as a freelancer. You can consider the Union as your backbone when you start working as a freelancer.
Another approach that you should use in this case is to start adding people related to your work profile and then build a community. But in this case, you will have to make sure that everyone in the community is supporting each other and everyone is committed to the community as well.
Build your pipeline
One of the most important things about the freelancing industry which most of the people forget is freelancing is a number game. The more projects you complete, the more money you will earn, and thus building a pipeline becomes necessary. So, we can say that freelancing is a number game of sending persistent letters of introductions, cold calls, and pitches.
You always have to add to your pipeline because there is no way you can sit idle in the world of freelancing and still keep on earning money. As a freelancer, you will have to keep looking for more projects even when you will be handling several projects already. This is necessary because you can’t search for a project after the completion of the existing and get bogged down with a new project instantly. Finding new projects time and this is where building your pipeline can prove to be handy.
But building your pipeline doesn’t only mean adding projects to your timeline but it also mean consistently marketing your services across different social media channels and even on your own website. You can do the same while networking with professionals offline, regardless of how much work you already have on your plate.
Highlighting the skills
Another important trend about most of the industries that you should know as a freelancer is most of the companies hire freelancers in order to fill a specific skill gap in their existing staff and you can use this thing as an opportunity to grab more projects.
Small and medium-sized businesses can’t go on hiring new employees for every skill and this is why they need services offered by freelancers. Well, in such a case, what you can do to capitalize on this opportunity is to highlight your skills for making yourself stand out of the crowd.
When a company advertises for a job-specific to a certain skill and if you have those skills then make sure to focus on what has been mentioned in the company while applying for this project. A company looking for a particular skill set will be more interested in hiring a skill-specific freelancer rather than hiring a generic freelancer. Also, wherever you mention your profile, make sure that you are highlighting your skillset, sharing your success stories, and mentioning what you have achieved throughout the years.
Freelancing has become a new normal for most of the industries and if you have found the features of a freelancing job enticing, then you should go for it without any second thoughts. But just because freelancing offers work from home for a lifetime, no bosses, no commute, it doesn’t mean that freelancing is easy.
There are many freelancers out there and to ensure that you get the project you want, you have to stand out from the crowd. You can simply use the tips mentioned in this blog post and improve as a freelancer.
Saurabh Gupta is currently working as a senior content writer at MyQBHost, a QuickBooks cloud hosting and the two things which matter the most to him are technology and writing. Cloud computing, Artificial intelligence, and cybersecurity are what he loves the most.