Freelancing refers to a type of self-employment where you deliver your services to clients on a project basis.
The concept goes as far back as the 1970s when skilled workers had to be sourced from different places to complete large-scale projects. In 2020, around 59 million people in the United States were involved with freelance work, and the number continues to rise today.
Internet connectivity and the availability of various freelancing platforms have also made this work arrangement more popular and accessible.
Pros And Cons Of Freelancing
One of the perks of a freelance career is that you get freedom of choice in the projects you work on. You set your own schedules and work at your own pace, at least while respecting project deadlines.
However, since you’re technically working alone, you’re responsible for your healthcare, tools and equipment, and taxes. All of these involve a lot of wrestling with finances.
So, if you plan to dedicate yourself to freelancing, you might want to save yourself a lot of trouble by working with an accountant. Companies like https://infinity22.co/ and many others help freelancers calculate income tax, balance statements, and generally stay out of the red.
How To Make It Lucrative
Are you interested in becoming a freelancer? Or, are you already one but need help with making bank on this type of work? You can make your freelance career choice lucrative by following these steps:
1. Find Your Niche
You have to know what you’re good at. Do you love crunching numbers? Are you into graphic design? The freelancing market is vast and diverse, and there are work opportunities in every corner. But first, you have to find your niche and begin there.
The most popular freelancing jobs involve the use of digital tools. Here are some of them:
- Web designer
- Graphic designer
- Language teacher
- Virtual Assistant
- Content writer
- Social media specialist
- App Developer
- Content Creator
2. Get Certified
Employers searching for potential hires sometimes require proof of your expertise. Even if you aren’t part of their in-house structure, they can’t just take your word for it. After all, they will still be giving you access to company assets and entrusting their products and services to you. So, it’s only right for them to check if you’re certified in the field of expertise you claim to be in.
Fortunately, there are many opportunities to get trained and certified online. Some are paid, but many experts also offer free ones. Check out the ones that employers consider valid for the position you want and sign up. Getting your certificates from them could be your ticket to landing a good, well-paying freelancing job.
3. Put Your Portfolio Together
Once you’ve gotten certified, you can now create your portfolio so you can have something to show your potential clients. A portfolio showcases your skills and displays your relevant experience, allowing customers to discern if they want to source your services.
Suppose you don’t have much experience; in that case, you can try offering your services free to people you know, like family and friends, and add this experience to your portfolio.
You can upload your portfolio on a website to make it look more professional and presentable. This usually makes a positive impression on your prospects and increases your chances of getting hired.
4. Create A Resume And Proposal Letter
Your resume should outline your education and work experience and provide a brief overview of your qualifications. Many potential employers and clients refer to resumes to gauge a candidate’s viability. Create a professional-looking one with a recent photo for every application.
As for your proposal letter, ensure that you make a specific one for the position you’re applying for. Sending out hundreds of generic proposal letters will not cut it. Potential clients will feel that you’re taking shortcuts, making them ditch your application without further consideration.
Where can you find potential clients?
Aside from freelancing platforms, social media can be a great avenue to meet employers looking for people to hire. So, when you register on freelancing platforms, try linking them with your social media pages. You can also join groups on social media relevant to your niche. A simple search using the appropriate hashtags and keywords can open up many opportunities.
6. Pitch Your Work
Send out proposals and answer invitations for interviews. You might not get many invitations at first, but don’t let this discourage you. Everyone starts slow. You can focus on growing your customer base once you get a good grasp of how to navigate the freelancing market.
7. Provide A Pricing Structure
Some freelancers work on a per-hour basis, while others work on a per-project basis. There are even some who get paid like regular employees bi-monthly. You must assess your skills and experience and how it fares with others in your niche. From there, decide how you want to be paid and what rates to go for.
Initially, some clients will be willing to pay what you ask, while others will lowball you. Just stick to what you believe suits you best. At the same time, strengthen your skills and experience to give yourself good ground for demanding higher prices.
8. Prepare For Interviews
Many interviews for freelancers are conducted on videoconferencing platforms. So, make an effort to dress well and present yourself professionally. Ensure that you have a stable internet connection and that your audio and video quality are clear. Before the interview, test your microphone, video, and Wi-Fi speed.
This can make or break your application. If your tools are not up for the interview, they may not also be up for the tasks your potential clients need you to do.
9. Improve Your Skills
Once you have landed your first client and gained more experience, it might be time to explore other niches and add more skills to your arsenal. This can make you a more desirable candidate for many employers.
Doing this opens up a lot of additional revenue streams since you can work on multiple clients and more projects. If you want to keep progressing in this line of work, you should invest time and effort into this step.
Building a lucrative freelance career can be daunting. But once you’ve set your eyes and heart on it, the journey can be pretty straightforward. Like many freelancers say, start and work your way up. Hopefully, this guide helped you figure out your way to get a lucrative freelance career.