Learn how to make money as a freelancer, and earn as much as you can. If you are thinking of quitting your corporate job to pursue a freelance career, well, think no more because freelancing is a very promising career and it can take you to heights if you get really serious about it. Also, you just need to know the basics to really excel in this line of industry.
Being a freelancer comes with a lot of benefits. It allows you to work anywhere – you can be at the comforts of your home, at a coffee shop, or even while you are away for a vacation. It allows you to work at your most convenient time. You don’t need to worry about timing in or waking up early to catch the bus or drive down the traffic just to get to work.
For parents, especially stay-at-home moms, freelancing means more time to be with their kids. They get to earn a living, at the same time, witness the little and major milestones in their kids’ lives.
However, while there are a lot of good things about freelancing, there are also some downsides. Among them are not having the security of tenure. Unlike regular jobs, you get to work for a client or clients at a certain time or times only. No such thing as getting regularized. No leave benefits, no bonuses (although there are some clients who are generous enough to give bonuses), no retirement benefits, and the like. It’s typically living like a nomad. You constantly move from one client to another, one project to the next.
Well, as they say, nothing in this world is perfect or that nothing is constant apart from change. It goes that way when pursuing a freelancing career. But then again, take away all the negatives, it still is very promising and very competitive, to say the least. There are endless possibilities in freelancing, to be honest.
Thus, we came up with this. Writing about how to make money as a freelancer for those who are interested to see what is in store for them should they pursue this path.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A FREELANCER?
Whether you are looking into learning how to make money as a freelance writer, virtual assistant, data entry specialist, etc., one thing’s for sure – all of these boils down to one thing you have to know the basics.
Before digging into the world of freelancing, it is but right to know first how to be one or in a more straightforward manner, how to make money as a freelancer.
Let’s start with…
– Choose and Focus on a Niche.
For beginners in freelancing work, what they usually do is apply for any freelancing job there is. Jump in here and there. There is nothing wrong with that. It’s understandable for anyone to try and try until you eventually find your expertise.
As you go through one freelance job to another, you get to discover yourself – what you are good at, what bores you, what interests you, what doesn’t fit in your taste, all that. Eventually, you will just wake up one day realizing that you want to just focus on writing or maybe as a virtual assistant or graphic design, etc.
It is actually best when you reach this point. Because it means, you are confident in doing the job. You already know what specific jobs to take and what clients, in particular, are you looking for. By finding and focusing on a single niche means being a master or expert at it. It means you know the ins and outs, the dos and don’ts in that field. It also means being ahead of everyone else.
It is also good to note that clients would rather go for someone who’s been doing the job for a long time rather than have someone who does different things every time.
Settling for a single niche is a way of branding yourself as well. Branding is important in the freelancing world. It will get you ahead of your competitors. Yes, freelancing is very competitive especially nowadays.
– Decide and Package the Services You Offer
For instance, you chose to do freelance writing. Writing per se is very broad. You have to know the specifics. You can choose to be a technical writer, an essay writer, a resume writer, a cover letter writer, a creative writer, and the list go on. The more specialized you’re the service you offer, the better. Again it will boil down to your personal branding. In this case, your personal branding as a writer.
Being clear on the service you offer also helps you control how potential clients think about you, and the opportunities you wish to take to help build your portfolio. For example, you want to be a highly paid and recognized freelance resume writer, then you will only take contracts or work that focuses on resume writing alone. By doing so, you hone your skills in the process, you learn the dos and don’ts, you discover what is effective and what is not, and eventually, become an expert in doing resumes.
Having clarity in your services also means being clear with how much you to charge your clients.
– Keep Your Eye on Your Ideal Client
What is good about being into freelancing is that you get to choose who and who not to work with. Yes, you have the freedom to choose your clients. Unlike regular jobs, you can hardly choose who your boss would be, right? In freelance jobs, you have the power to choose.
As a starter, think about the kind of client you wish to work with. It helps to come up with a list of what your ideal client would be. You may also come up with a questionnaire you can ask yourself as you look into prospective clients.
You don’t get it yet? Say you want to work on web development. Who do you want to work for? Do you target start-up companies? Big companies? Individuals? You may also take into consideration the timeline. Would you go for a client who needs someone to work on his website in just 3 months or the client that lets you decide on the timeline?
It is essential that you know who you want to work for. Furthermore, here are a few sample questions you can ask yourself when finding a client:
– What type of business needs my services?
– Where do I find this type of business?
– Can this business afford my rate?
– What are the demographics (age, gender, location, personal interests, etc.) am I going for?
The more questions, the better. This will help you choose the right one for you. Once you have figured out the answers to these questions, it’ll be a lot easier for you to look for your potential clients. It will help narrow down your choices. It actually helps save time and effort.
– Build a High-Quality Portfolio
This actually works best for those in the design or web development niches. As the saying goes, the best way to demonstrate a person’s technical expertise is by having a remarkable portfolio site.
If you aim to be seriously taken especially if you are new to freelancing, better build up a portfolio that will make you stand out from the rest. Create a website that:
– Shows who you are as an artist, as a web designer, as a graphic artist, etc.
– Showcases your expertise in the field.
– Highlights your past work experiences, projects, and other relevant works.
– Shows relevant recognition in your chosen field if there’s any.
– It contains your contact information in case potential clients would want to get in touch with you.
Let your creativity, your expertise shine in your portfolio. This will help potential clients decide whether or not to consider you for a job.
To further explain, the purpose of coming up with a portfolio is to inform, spark interest and hopefully, convince clients to choose you over the others. So, do not be afraid to go all out when doing your portfolio. Let your true self come out. Let it speak on your behalf. Invest in making one today.
– Start Freelancing as Early while Having a Day Job
Here’s a very vital tip. Before joining the bandwagon, make sure you land in one first before handing your resignation to your current job.
Let’s admit it. Not everyone is successful in any field. I am not saying this to discourage you but to help you discern. Yes, there has to be a discernment process. You have to see for yourself first if this career fits you or not.
At the same time, getting into a freelance job while working may also help you see if you can manage to do both at the same time. Well, that means having the best of both worlds – having a steady job, while earning extra as a freelancer.
In the end, you get to decide which path to take.
– Scale Your Skills Up
Like in any other career field, competition is inevitable. So the best way to stay in the competition is to always level up your skills.
Practice makes perfect as they say. So when you get into a new skill or just enhancing what you already have, continue practicing it until you are at your best.
Oh, leveling up your skills can also be translated to earning more! Yes, you can justify higher rates. You can get paid higher than other freelancers in your field if you are more advanced in terms of skills.
How do you do this? Well, don’t worry. You don’t need to go back to the university just to scale up. All you have to do is look for online courses or classes related to the field you’re in. Don’t mind the cost. It will eventually return as you land more jobs and earn more.
– Build on Your Credibility
Let’s admit it, there are a lot of fake freelancers. For some weird reasons, there are people who make business in fooling other people. Thus, the need to build up your credibility in the online world.
There are several ways to help shape up your credibility. Some are:
– Writing high-quality blog posts
– Collaborating with well-known influencers in the industry you’re into
– Writing an e-book
– Getting into speaking engagements
You can add these to your achievements list, which you can highlight in your portfolio. This will help give potential clients the impression that you are a legit freelancer.
– Decide on Your Price
This is the most crucial, at the same time, the most exciting part – deciding how much your rate is. To help you determine your charging rate, here are a few things that you need to consider:
– Your overhead cost. How much are you paying for your internet connection, your electricity usage while working, the tools and software you are using, etc?
– Your expertise or years of experience. Remember what we told you earlier, build on your skills as it will affect your price.
– Your time and commitment. How long does a project take? How much of your time does it require?
– Consider also the taxes you need to pay. Yes, even freelancers need to pay taxes. So do your societal duty by paying it right and religiously.
These are just some of the basic considerations, but as you go along, you will eventually find more reasons as to why you are asking your rate. For beginners, it’s okay to start at a minimum. You are just starting anyway. You can build up your rate as you gain more experience and months and years of working as a freelancer. Take it slow. You will eventually get to your goal.
– Sign up on Freelancing Job Sites
The basic but the best and easiest way to make money as a freelancer is by signing up and looking out for job opportunities in freelancing job sites.
Here are a few job sites where you can launch your freelance career:
Upwork is considered as one of the best websites to find a freelance job. It has a variety of work opportunities from almost all industry types. Whether you are a writer, a lawyer, financial adviser, web designer, IT specialist – name it, Upwork has it. It’s very user-friendly so no need to freak out in making an account. Upwork allows you to get charged according to your preference – could be hourly or a set price.
By just the name of it, it’s pretty obvious that it is a site where you can find freelance jobs. iFreelance has a variety of freelance work categories from photography, videography, engineering, translation, to accounting and administrative support. Setting up an account with iFreelance is easy. You can start looking for projects according to your niche as soon as you’re done setting up your account.
Freelancer is a website where you can find a wide variety of services, which are outsourced to freelancers. It covers several industries like marketing, data entry, as well as the most common freelancing jobs like writing and web design.
People Per Hour
If you are looking for a straightforward freelance job listing site, then People Per Hour is for you. Set up an account, create an interesting profile, look for job opportunities, send your proposals, and you’re done. You just have to wait until someone accepts your proposal. People Per Hour also lets you promote your services by creating a video. Cool, right?
If you are a programmer or a designer, then SmashingJobs is the way to go. They offer a lot of freelance job opportunities for these fields.
If SmashingJobs is a programmer or a designer’s haven, this one’s for writers. Freelance-Writing-Jobs-Online offers a variety of writing jobs ranging from physics and mathematics to medicine. All you have to do is sign up, confirm your email, and wait for an email that will lead you to the competency test. Once you passed it, you are on your way to earning from a freelance job.
It’s pretty obvious what this website offers. Yes, as the name suggests, this is the go-to site for those who want to pursue an online tutor career. Basically, Tutor caters to families with home-schooled children, children from military families, as well as schools. You can choose who to teach depending on grade levels and your subject expertise.
Unlike other freelance websites, being an online tutor for Tutor is quite tedious. The process includes filling out an application form, taking and passing a subject exam, submitting a sample writing, performing a mock session to gauge your teaching skills, and going through a background check. Quite tough but worth it.
Guru is an online platform that connects freelancers and companies. They are particularly looking for individuals who are interested to work for on “technical, creative or business projects”. So if you are a game developer, engineer, lawyer, or programmer, Guru is the site for you.
If you are into writing, ProBlogger is for you. It offers a variety of writing jobs like content writing, SEO copywriting, legal writing, content editors, travel and food blogging, and many more. No need to register on the site as you can apply to any of their job postings anytime.
Freelanced is a social media network where people with different expertise from gather. They share their portfolios to one another to hopefully land in a freelance job. There is a variety of job categories to choose from but basically covers almost everything.
Now that you already know how to make money as a freelancer, the next thing we will discuss are the things you need to invest in if you are pursuing a freelance job.
Get more insights on how to make money as a freelancer by checking Roberto Blake’s (a Creative Entrepreneur, Public Speaker, and Business Coach) video below:
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO LAUNCH A FREELANCE CAREER?
Now that you already know how to earn money as a freelancer, let’s proceed to the things you need to be able to kick off your freelance career.
Basically, here are the things (literally) you need to invest on to start up your freelance career:
– Internet Connection
Freelance work means working remotely. Thus the need for a reliable internet connection. For those living in first-world countries, having a reliable internet connection is not a problem. The problem arises though when you travel while working.
In this case, you may have to bring with you handy internet access. You just got to check which one will work best for you.
Please note that a good and reliable internet connection is one of the most important factors for a successful freelance career. So better invest in having the best connection there is in your area.
– Laptop or Desktop Computer
What type of laptop or whether to use one or a desktop computer depends on the kind of freelance job you are pursuing. If for instance, you are into design or programming, better invest in a laptop that caters to your job’s needs. You may also check with your clients if they have requirements or preferences when it comes to the laptop you will be using.
It is not a need, but it is something that is good to have. As we mentioned earlier, your website will serve as your portfolio. Also, it proves your legitimacy.
Contrary to what others believe in, launching or having your own website does not need a lot of money. In fact, there are free web-hosting sites that you can make use of.
– A Comfortable Work Space
Believe it or not, it helps increase your productivity. A nice and comfortable working space is a must-have! While working at the dining table or at the living room is okay, it is still better to stay away from distractions so you can focus on your work. So, take a look at your place, and look for that perfect nook that you can turn into your home office.
There you have it! Hopefully we were able to help you understand better how to make money as a freelancer and in addition, gave you an idea of the things that you need to invest in if you are pursuing a freelance job.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A FREELANCER
To wrap it up, being a freelancer is a privilege not everyone gets to have. Well, while it is just there for anyone to grab, not all become successful in it. So, if you are one of the few who gets a chance, like any other job in the world, do your best and always ensure you deliver what is expected from you.