A freelancer is a self-employed person without a work dependency relationship and can do so for several clients who hire his professional services.
The work areas in which a freelancer can perform are many: From projects that can be done online, such as programming, graphic designer, web design, translation, or management of social networks. Face-to-face work such as photography, sales, private classes, event organization, and much more.
Today we will broadly address the issue of what it is like to be a freelancer since this type of work has become an increasingly viable way to gain experience when you want to work permanently or even if you prefer self-employment and entrepreneurship.
What are the advantages of being a freelancer?
A freelancer can work part or full time. Because they are not permanent employees, they can carry out their work at their own pace, as long as the client’s requirements and the established deadline are met. \It allows them more freedom than the average employee.
Unlike what happens with permanent workers, with a freelancer, the company is not obliged to provide specialized equipment or pay additional benefits, such as vacations, Christmas bonuses, etc.
For this reason, more and more businesses are inclined towards the trend of hiring a freelancer to do their work. Thus, they can save money without having to make a permanent commitment as with permanent employees.
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What does it take to work freelance?
To be able to work as a freelancer, you need:
While it is true that to be a freelancer, you can start even without having work experience in a company, and you do need knowledge in a specific professional area. Although it is not essential, it is better to have a technical degree or a university degree and specializations or masters. But you can also have certifications of courses and diplomas that accredit you as a connoisseur of the service you want to offer.
-Sales and self-promotion skills
A fundamental part of being a freelancer can promote yourself personally and seek new business opportunities. A freelancer must always be looking for new projects to work on. Besides, you must know how to develop attractive offers for customers. Another important point is knowing how to negotiate, but it is about haggling prices and handling the customer—the price yields in exchange for something and not only for discounting money. Negotiation should not be based only on price, and a freelancer must know this.
-An attractive portfolio
To support your sales efforts, you need to show your customers that you can help them with what they need. A portfolio of products and services will help you with this. It is a catalog where you show work done either for other clients or as simple samples. That is, you do not need to have done it on demand. Have you ever seen posts like “Disney Princesses if they were men,” “The Simpsons if they had been drawn as a series from the 80s,” or similar? These are ideas that an artist develops to show what they know.
You can have a portfolio of designs, writings, translations, interior remodeling, program or website improvements, etc., with things done on your own. And of course, if you have them, also work done for others, as well as testimonials and logos of companies with which you have worked.
-Online presence to make yourself known
Your portfolio shouldn’t just be in a format that can be attached by mail (like a PDF or a slide show). You should also try to have an online presence: Your blog, a website, an online catalog, or profiles on the main social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, YouTube, or others. It all depends on the nature of your work and your possibilities. Besides, it is crucial to have a presence on freelance platforms, where clients can rate the work they do with you.
If you need to know more about making and increasing your presence on the web, we invite you to read: How to improve your online reputation – 6 critical tips.
-Lots of desire and perseverance
Sure, the idea of working for yourself gets you excited right away. But keep in mind that you must be constant in your efforts. As a freelancer, you are directly responsible for your successes and failures. There is no one to blame, but most of all, there is no one else to tell you what to do or “motivate you.” It would help if you had self-motivation, organize yourself well to do it well, and not neglect the sales work.
If you do it well, you will soon be able to count on an essential portfolio of clients that will allow you to live 100% of it and achieve your personal and professional goals. After all, there is nothing more satisfying than working towards fulfilling your dreams and seeing them come true.
If you think: “It would be great, but what services can I offer?”, Remember the skills you have and the many knowledge you have in areas that are not part of your job. To give you an idea, you can see some examples of jobs that you can do freelance.
How to sell yourself as a freelancer?
The first thing you should do know what service you are going to offer. Once this is done, you should work on the portfolio that we have already mentioned, collecting samples of everything you have previously done or creating them directly for the portfolio.
Define your brand (you can even create your logo or signature) and start opening your profiles on social networks. Do not forget to detail all the information as completely as possible within each one. Put photos of your work on them. It is important because many consumers now search for the business first on social media before visiting the browser to find the website. Your profiles on networks will be their first contact with you.
Having done all of the above, the best way to start your sales process is with your natural market and referrals to gradually expand your business contacts. Another good idea is to send emails to companies where you briefly comment on what you offer and attach your portfolio.
On the other hand, you must register on a freelance platform and start bidding within it. The crucial part of bidding on or off the forum is knowing how to present a professional service proposal. In it, you must detail the price and break down everything that your services include, making the client see that you are the best to help them.
Why work freelance and not as an employee?
Being a freelancer is one of the fastest and easiest ways to start working in your area and gain professional experience.
Especially currently, since there are various opportunities on the web where potential clients publish what they are looking for to hire professional services.
An example of this is SoyFreelancer.com, where registered freelancers have the opportunity to offer a service proposal to those who publish their projects. On Jooble you can also find many freelance jobs particularly for entry level freelance writers.
1. You work on what interests you and save time
It allows you the possibility of working on the projects that you like. You can decide the workload you handle, unlike a permanent job, where you cannot say no, even if there is overload.
Of course, in a permanent job, if you are lucky enough to work for an employer that pays overtime, you can earn more money. But this payment is not always fulfilled.
Also, if what you need is time to attend to your personal affairs, working longer hours is exhausting. It can affect your performance and even your health.
On the other hand, being a freelancer can work at your own pace, schedule your daily activities, and choose the best time to work without interruptions.
Another point in favor is that many services and tasks can be performed via the internet. Therefore, you can work from home and avoid wasting valuable hours of your productive time in traffic. Or in meetings that start late and ramble on topics of little relevance.
Being a freelancer, you can work on your projects from home or from wherever you are. You make the most of your day and have more free time.
2. More experience and direct contact with the client
When you are an employee, your role is that of the intermediary between the client and the company. But by working independently, you establish a direct bond with the customer.
It allows you to customize the contract conditions and set your rates.
Besides, the profits are 100% for you to offer a better service at a more competitive price.
Working as a freelancer allows you to work with diverse clients and different types of requirements.
You will constantly be learning new things, updating yourself with knowledge and trends, and becoming more and more technical in your area.
It also translates into more opportunities, as the higher your skill level and technical knowledge, the more complimentary services you can offer.
3. Being a freelancer can be the start of your own business
Something important to note is that being a freelancer can be the first step in starting your own business.
Depending on the service you offer and the diversity of clients you get, you may start to need the help of another freelancer to outsource to for an area that is not your specialty.
It implies the coordination of a work team, which could be the basis for managing a company.
The good thing about this whole thing is that you don’t necessarily have to quit if you have a steady job. You can start your career as a freelancer by offering your services is something that you are good at. You will be able to take advantage of your talent and your free time.
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