How To Start A Freelancing Business

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Freelancing is doing jobs – usually over the internet, but it could be in person – on a job-by-job basis. According to Forbes, between 2005 and 2015, 94% of the 10 million jobs created were either freelance or temporary gigs.

This shows that the demand for freelancers is high and continues to grow, while traditional 9 to 5 day jobs are in a steady decline. It’s impossible to say how much you would earn as a freelancer, since it will depend on what kind of work you do, how much you charge and how many jobs you take.

But according to Payoneer’s data, the average freelancer works 36 hours a week and earns $21 per hour – and it should be noted that’s not in one particular country, but across the world.

Freelancers in the U.S. make an average of $31 per hour. What can you do as a freelancer? That will depend on the skills you have now and the skills you are willing to learn, but here are some ideas:

  • 3D Artist
  • Academic Writer
  • Accountant
  • Advertising Copywriter
  • App Developer
  • Architect
  • Article Writer
  • Artist
  • Blog Writer
  • Book Designer
  • Book Editor
  • Bookkeeper
  • Business Analyst
  • Business Writer
  • C Programmer
  • CAD Designer
  • Comic Artist
  • Commercial Writer
  • Computer Programmer
  • Concept Artist
  • Content Writer
  • Copy Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Creative Director
  • Drupal Developer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Fashion Stylist
  • Fiction Editor
  • Film Editor
  • Flash Designer
  • Game Developer
  • Grant Writer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Health Writer
  • Industrial Design
  • Interior Designer
  • Interpreter
  • IT Consultant
  • Legal Writer
  • Logo Designer
  • Magazine Writer
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Media Buyer
  • Medical Editor
  • Transcriptionist
  • Writers
  • Motion Graphics
  • Personal Assistant
  • Photo Editor
  • Photo Retouching
  • php Developer
  • Product Designer
  • Professional Services
  • Project Manager
  • Public Relations
  • Science Editor
  • Science Writer
  • SEO Consultant
  • Software Developer
  • Sports Writer
  • Tech Support
  • Technical Writer
  • Textile Designer
  • Travel Writer
  • Video Editor
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Visual Merchandiser
  • Web Copywriter
  • Web Designer

To get started in freelancing, you typically need a computer or laptop, any necessary software and a way to get clients. Many freelancers start out on Upwork.com to get their first clients, but it will depend on the contacts you already have as well as your chosen niche.

You can do freelancing from almost anywhere you have an internet connection, which is why it makes a great lifestyle business.

Freelancing Tips

Freelance Work Isn’t Just One-Time Projects

Start-ups and small businesses typically hire freelancers for short-term projects, but recently the trend has begun to change. Companies are now integrating freelancers into their core business as a way of running lean. It is possible to get freelance positions that last as long as six months, meaning steady work and steady pay for you.

Local is Meaningless

Because you work over the internet, you can take clients from anyplace in the world where you speak their language. This also means you can work from anyplace you have an internet connection, from home, your local café or across the world on a working vacation.

Rejection is Part of the Job

It’s a number’s game. You go after 6 jobs and you only get maybe 2 to 4 of them. Don’t get discouraged when you get a no, just look at it as being that much closer to a yes. In the beginning it can be tough, but as soon as you start to get jobs under your belt, getting more jobs becomes easier.

You Must Build a Portfolio

Even if you’ve never done work for anyone before, you need a portfolio. For example, if you want to write articles and blogposts for companies, write several samples to show prospects. It’s much easier to sell your services once they have an idea of what you can do for them.

It’s Hard to Separate Home from Work

If you’re working at home, you will be continually interrupted by the phone, family, and those dishes that need to be done. You may find yourself putting work off to do other things, and then trying to catch up in the evenings when you should be spending time with the family. Your best bet is to block of time each day when you do nothing but work. Think of it as ‘going into the office,’ much like if you had a regular job.

This will greatly simplify things and lower your stress, as well as allowing you to get your work done.

Scheduling can be Tricky

You have no work on Monday, and Tuesday morning you have 3 or 4 clients who suddenly all need work done by Thursday. You’ll want to devise a system for dealing with this sort of thing. And you may need to sometimes say no if you simply can’t fit a job in.

You’re Probably Not Charging Enough

In the beginning you’ll want to take most any job at most any price just to get the experience and when you’ve done a few jobs and shown what you can do, it’s time to start raising your prices accordingly and consider how much value you are giving your customers, as well as how much of your own expertise and time you are investing in each job.

Let your clients know that they do indeed get what they pay for, which is why you are not the cheapest. Which brings up one last point… never market yourself or your skills on price alone.

Being the cheapest is a sure way to the poor house. You will have to take on too much work, and that means the quality will suffer, and you will lose repeat clients.

It truly is best for everyone if you learn to charge what you, your skills and your work are worth.

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