Hiring freelance workers is becoming more and more globally accepted now. This is for the simple reason that freelancers can also provide the same services which regular office workers can give minus the office building and 9-5 schedule set up. Many employees, mothers, and even fathers, are also attracted to the flexibility that freelance work is offering. It just seems more reasonable, especially when one wants to have more time to pursue passions, to take care of their families, and simply to have a balanced life.
Yes, many consider it as the ideal type of employment. But before diving into this world offering freedom of time, take note of the following things you should have and know to fully say you can become a freelancer.
• Know Your Skills
What skills and knowledge do you currently have which you can offer to clients looking for freelance workers? Can you provide writing services? Do you know how to set-up or design a web site? Can you produce videos, audio recordings or do voice-overs? Do you know secretarial work like administrative tasks, data entry or typing? Freelance writers, web designers, video and audio producers, and virtual assistants are the most common type of in-demand freelance workers today. Some other freelance services you can offer if you know how are translation services, social media marketing and/or management, and transcription services.
• Sources for Freelance Work and Support
Where can you find freelance jobs? This is another thing you should first be looking for if you are going to be a freelance worker. The good news is that there are A LOT of resources now. The easiest way to find clients hiring freelancers is by doing a Google search. At the same time, there are also a lot of freelance support communities right now. It's advisable to subscribe to several sites which provide freelance advice. Often these sites are either blogs or forums where you can interact with the authors or site owners.
• An Emergency Fund
This is a crucial element in becoming a freelancer. Before going full-time and getting your bread and butter solely from freelance jobs, it's wise to have enough savings, at least 6 months worth of income, which you can depend on while looking for stable freelance gigs. This is going to be your safety net. While it's true that working freelance offers flexibility of time, it's also a must-know that many freelance jobs are only contractual, some even lasting for only days. There are, however, many clients who are also looking for long-term freelance employees, but it's not a guarantee that the first job you land will be this type of client. So it's best to have financial back-up all the time.
Many freelancers have also found it wise to take freelance jobs while still pursuing their regular 9-5 careers. This way they slowly build their freelance portfolio and when they have enough emergency fund and confidence, they are more prepared to work as full-time freelancers. Enough savings also lessen the nervousness they may feel while looking for stable freelance work.
• Patience and Determination
As I've mentioned earlier, the first freelance job you land may not always offer a long-term employment opportunity. So you have to be ready to fill your pockets with patience and determination. Patience in finding that stable job or jobs and determination to keep working on your current short-term jobs, if this is the first one you find, or the determination to keep accepting short-term contracts to have a continuous flow of jobs. This is a reality in freelancing which a freelancer must learn to embrace.
• Willingness to Learn
Your current skills set and knowledge may help you land that first freelance project but you should not limit yourself to what you currently know. The types of jobs you can apply for or accept depend a lot on your skills and talents. Hone your skills as you get more jobs. This can be via your current employers - there are clients who provide paid training to their contractors, or via your personal pursuits. Many freelancers became experts in Search Engine Optimization and Pay per Click Advertising through their own research and study. Eventually, they offered these services among others. Freelance writers also can improve on their writing skills because writing online is different from writing print materials. At the same time, there are different kinds of write ups online clients are looking for such as press releases and web copy. Investing in yourself is the best investment when it comes to freelancing.