Everything You Need To Know About Freelancing As A Beginner

Freelancing is a viable choice of work, particularly in this part of the world. It not only solves unemployment problems but also allows you to work in your comfort zone.

I would advocate freelancing for everyone. It’s easily one of the best ways to build a solid foundation of skills and clarify your life goals.

Although being a freelancer has its perks, however, it also has its struggling phases. In the subsequent paragraph, we’ll divulge the different types of freelancing, its pros, and cons, and basically, every other thing you need to know about it.

Different types of Freelancers

There are different types of freelancers. Sometimes, one stage could lead to another. However, it is advisable to combine traditional work with freelancing if you’re a beginner.

  • Independent Freelancers: These freelancers don’t have a boss, but their job is project-based.
  • Diversified workers: They combine traditional employment with freelancing and have a variety of income generation sources.
  • Freelance Business Owners: Even though this set of people may have a tiny workforce to whom they outsource projects, they nevertheless view themselves as freelancers.
  • Moonlighters: These freelancers combine their day job with freelancing. 
  • Temporary workers: Although they only have a single temporary employer, their employment is project-based.

Pros of being a freelancer:

  • You work at your convenience: As a freelancer, you may work whenever you choose – it has flexible working hours. You are free to sleep in till noon if you wish. Your most effective working hours as a freelancer don’t necessarily have to coincide with traditional company hours.
  • Working in your comfort zone: Another benefit of freelancing is that you can choose to work wherever you want, whether when you’re on vacation in another country or under a tree in your compound; you could even work at a saloon if it’s convenient for you. You are no longer confined to your house or even a workplace. Find the environment where you perform best. You could carry out your work while still in your jammies in a park, a library, or even your living room.
  • Control over Jobs you do and the clients you work with – Another exciting part of being a freelancer is that you have control over who you want to work with. If you feel an offer doesn’t pay you or it doesn’t align with your personal belief and principle, you get the choice to decline the gig or client. As a freelancer, you have a choice in who you work for. That’s how simple it is.

Cons:

  • The workload might be unsteady: One thing about freelancing, especially for newbies, is that the workload might be inconsistent. One minute you might have so many gigs to work, and the next, you might have little to no work to focus on, which equals less income. 
  • Late payment from some clients: A significant difference between full-time employment and freelancing is that when you work full-time, you get paid as promised every month. It would be odd if you weren’t paid on the anticipated dates, wouldn’t it? When you are a freelancer, you must establish your payment terms and be willing to defend yourself if a customer has trouble paying you, internal delays, or other obstacles.

Everything you need to know about freelancing

Before you venture into this work, I think it’s mandatory to fill you in on some of the basic things you need to know about freelancing.

  • It could take quite a while to be successful at freelancing

For some, it could be a success story right from the onset, but this success story from the onset is not peculiar to everyone; in fact, for the majority, it’s not. Don’t anticipate being wealthy as soon as you adopt this way of life.

The demands of freelancing are highly specific, including excellent time management skills, client networking, and financial preparation, amongst other things. You will soon realise that although you are relatively skilled in your creative sector, you must develop different abilities to succeed. It will require significant effort and time to figure out how to strike a balance.

  • It could be pretty stressful

If you’ve decided to be a freelancer, then you should know that it’s pretty stressful and be prepared for the stress.  

To avoid getting knocked out by stress and demands for work, you have to be prepared and able to protect yourself from it.

Then, set up your defences with enough cash to last you for many months, a solid backup plan if things do not work out as you had hoped, and a few self-care rituals.

  • Follow the proven steps of successful freelancers 

Follow the steps of those who have trailed the parts and have been successful. Experts and trends are prevalent because they are effective. The wheel and your line of business don’t need to be reinvented. Many independent freelancers had gone before you and paved the way. You’ll significantly make things easy for yourself if you take that way and embrace it.

Study the top performers in your freelancing line and learn as much from them as you can; adopt their routines, methods, shortcuts, setups, beliefs, and some personal traits that align with you. You could also be successful in this path; you have to want it enough and study the experts in the field and incorporate the lessons learned from them into your workflow; they are pretty transparent, not hidden.

  • Don’t quit your day job right away

One piece of advice I’ll always give to newbies at freelancing is not to quit their day job immediately. It’s not every time that freelancing pays right away. Try to balance working your day job and freelancing if it’s possible. Even though this experience might be distorted, you will get a glimpse of what it’s like to work for yourself. You can test your viability for a full-time position by working on the weekends or in your free time.

Make your choice after you have a better understanding of what freelancing entails and you are confident that you are capable of doing so. 

  • Budgeting is essential

Although, it’s not easy to specify the specific amount you’d spend in a month, especially when an unexpected budget pops up. However, try as much as possible to estimate the precise amount you must spend each month. Determine how many tasks you must finish to achieve that. The best and probably the easiest way to do this is to make a list on paper. 

  • It’s not easy being your boss

Few people are aware of the amount of work that freelancers do each day. Freelancing is many things, but it isn’t quick and straightforward.

It’s easy to feel lazy, especially when you have a working lineup, but you always have to boss up and act like one if you really want to succeed at it. 

  • Build Your Credibility 

Your ability to demonstrate your skills and output most times determines whether or not you’ll be a successful freelancer. 

Your university degree or sometimes your experience doesn’t mean anything to the clients if you can’t provide relevant samples of your works. Clients won’t hire you if you can’t demonstrate your expertise in your field.

The simple logic is that you can’t claim to do something and have nothing to show. Showcase your works and expertise in the public space. In whichever freelancing field you find yourself in, keep and build a track record of your accomplishment and credibility.

  • Build a portfolio

Many freelancers build online portfolios of their work for potential employers to view on sites like Tumblr, Contently, or About.me. Ensure you have a collection of files and other previous projects available in case anyone requests to see them if you don’t have a specific online freelance presence.

A company may feel more comfortable hiring you for a freelancing position if you have a strong portfolio of previous work, but be selective about the projects you reveal. The sample writing you offer should be appropriate for your desired freelancing position.

  • Communication is vital

Although you might not be a full-time employee of the companies who engage you as a freelancer, you should consider the person who hired you as your boss. Like a typical employer, this individual expects you to complete a particular task. To make sure that both parties are receiving what they require, you must maintain effective communication now and then.

  • One aspect of the job is rejection

There is less sense of permanency because freelancers manage multiple projects for multiple clients at once. Your clients will mostly change towards you, don’t depend entirely on them. This change could come either from finances/budget, your working relationship, or whether the business needs to hire a freelancer. For whatever reason the rejection happens, it’s essential not to take it personally. Accept it as part of the job. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How Does One Begin as a Freelancer? 

A specific objective is the most crucial step in beginning a full-time or a part-time career as a freelancer. You must be sure of the number of hours you intend to work as a freelancer. 

To make this work for you, you must be completely clear on the cash reward you want to receive in exchange for those working hours. 

Additionally, you must be fully aware of the services you can offer.

Who employs contractors? 

People and businesses hire freelancers, including small and medium-sized companies, huge corporations like charities, local and central governments, etcetera.

Is Freelancing risky? 

Yes, it could be risky. Yet not any riskier than doing a regular job. 

In fact, working a typical job entails more risk than freelancing since you must rely on just one source of income to support yourself. 

If you are a freelancer doing this the appropriate way, you’ll know where to look and how much time it’ll take to find other clients if you lose one. 

Do I need a degree to work as a freelancer? 

Not at all, no. Employing freelancers frequently differs from hiring traditional employees. When recruiting freelancers, the individuals on the other end of the phone care more about your experience, areas of specialisation, and how you can assist them. Nonetheless, it might be needed if there is a necessary qualification for the project, for particular positions.

What are the highest-paying freelancing positions? 

Web development, marketing, project managers, writing, content creation, content management, accounting or bookkeeping, teaching, coaching, or tutoring, social media management, graphic design, and administrative or virtual assistants are among the most lucrative freelance positions, according to Forbes.

Final thoughts

With consistency, hard work, and following a proven method used by successful freelancers that had gone before you, you’ll eventually make it out as a successful freelancer. You might subsequently hire your 9-5 boss (that’s an aside).

Are you a newbie at freelancing? Or you’re just trying to glide towards it carefully? Read this content to have foreknowledge about everything you need to know about freelancing. I hope you find this helpful. Stay tuned for other insightful articles.