Before I talk about what is freelancing or about what is freelance culture I need to make sure you really understand who a freelancer is :
“A freelancer is anyone who fulfill or provide services to anyone who requires it for a specific period of time for a project”.
Now the services may be :
- Web Programming
- Graphic Designing
- Data Management
and many more, practically any conventional or unconventional service which can be thought of, can be provided.
I started freelancing by providing web development as a service, Read more about it here: Get Started on Web Development.
The regularity of freelancing will depend on what the project requires, designing a website is one-time job while web maintenance service requires working more than once a week.
Now let’s clear out how hiring a Good Freelancer is both similar and different than hiring an employee :
- Work on a project basis just like contractors.
- Require work to be stated, how and when to do it is our lookout unless guidelines are given or mandatory.
- Love what we do and that’s why we usually work more than 10 hours a day and sometimes even 15 hours or more, if necessary.
- Keep ourselves disciplined and we are expert in managing time and clients.
- Work practically from anywhere in the world i.e home, in a party, in a park, in a cafe….
There are several advantages and disadvantages of freelancing. Some of them are
- Start anytime: You can start now if you desire, there are a whole lot of portals online to connect people who need projects to be completed by Freelancers like us. Some of the popular ones are Freelancer, Upwork, Fiverr. Also social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit are great too.
- Easy to start: You just need a client from your network to start your own business.
- Pocket-Friendly: All portals give us free access to grab a whole lot of open projects. You just need a portfolio i.e your own website or LinkedIn profile will also do.
- Work how you want: Most of the time client specify the work and how we do it is our lookout, So we can choose to experiment or work in our own comfort zone. There are millions of people constantly requiring freelancers to complete their work. You just need to find them.
- Choose whom to work with: You can ignore projects that don’t pay well and try grabbing one with good compensation.
- Work anytime you want: This is the best part of freelancing, You can work whenever and however you want until and unless the project is being completed on time.
People usually suggest to never boast of skills which we don’t possess and always promise the service which you can actually provide.
But here, I will quote an amazing line which pretty much has made me where I stand today:
“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
― Richard Branson
This quote is valid until the client gets what he/she wants and go home satisfied.
- Irregular work: It takes a while to make a steady client list and good word of mouth networking.
- High competition: More and more people are opting for freelancing. Freelancers Union stated that 55 million Americans which is 35% of the total workforce work as Freelancers with a market cap earning of $1 trillion a year.
- Can be underpaid in the start: To get a good portfolio and earn people’s trust sometimes you will have to work on projects where you are underpaid.
- Require to manage multiple projects in one time: At some point of time, projects will start pouring in and you will need to manage them efficiently for maximum productivity.
- Bad client experience: Every now or then, every freelancer come across clients who are a pain to deal with. These clients either demand too much for very less pay, or keep changing project tasks and are very hard to satisfy and we can’t expect logical thinking out of them. Some of them either don’t pay well or some don’t pay anything at all.
How we got started in freelancing –
- We first learned web development in Php from a offline 70-80 hrs training class.
- Then we cracked our first internship from Internshala.
- Worked despite getting underpaid for almost 1 year.
- Worked at Codementor which was our first big thing.
- Started getting word of mouth referrals for web designing projects.
- Started getting projects on Freelancer.com.
- We are still growing and learning with each step we take. Weboftwo is one of those steps towards sharing our experience with you and learning on the go.
So the hot question about Freelancing is “How to Get Started as a Freelancer”?
Well starting your career as a Freelancer is a piece of cake now due to the availability of Freelance sites like Freelancer. You just need to visit them, find projects and network with your circle of influence to discover your first client. Steps to build a freelance career are:
- Decide what you have to offer. Common freelance work includes web design, content writing, photography, graphic design, social media management, marketing, bookkeeping and more.
- Determine and Analyze your target market. Ask yourself this “Who needs what I have to offer?”. Decide if you’ll specialize within a specific niche of your service (i.e. Php Frameworks or WordPress) or within a specific market (i.e. writing articles for a established blog). This is the time to decide your brand and unique selling proposition.
- Create an online portfolio. You can start at LinkedIn, a social network which is all about career networking. Build a profile that promotes the benefits and services you have to offer. Consider setting up a website, which will offer you more customization and options to highlight and flexibility than LinkedIn.
- Set your own prices. Price is the main factor which leads to selection of a Freelancer for a project. You need to make sure that you charge enough to cover your expenses such as overhead costs, time to do the project, as well as enough for your own survival.
- Start exploring to find clients. Utilize your connections and network to help you connect with potential clients. Start using a freelance site, such as Upwork or Freelancer to find projects. While they may pay less than you want, it can be a great way to get testimonials, experience and referrals
Freelancing is a fast and affordable way of getting started on working as your own boss, from home. With that said, there are pros and cons, and success comes from those who plan their business and deliver high quality work.
Now why I chose freelancing is another story:
My motto from the start was to grab a high paying job from our Engineering B.Tech Degree.
But soon I realized that my lifestyle and perception towards earning money and making a dent in the universe doesn’t include getting a proper job.
So I decided to do what I love and make money out of it. I know this is not a unique line of work but trust me in India or basically in a developing country like ours, withdrawing your name from the Placement Cell takes a lot of guts and here I would like to quote another amazing line which continues to define my state of mind during this whole journey which is “Its okay to be scared, It only means you are doing something Brave”.
So today, I answered common questions about
What is freelancing or What is freelance culture or Who is a freelancer?
Now you all must have got the overview about freelancing.
If you are in confusion of taking up freelancing as a prime or part time profession, Just remember Freelancing requires confidence and this is the only prime ingredient required to be successful.
So keep yourself updated with us and subscribe and follow us to get more posts like these in the future.
Hope your journey in freelancing be fruitful for you.
Read About: Complete Guide to Freelancing and getting your First Client.
Read About: Get Started with Web Development
Read About: Why WordPress should be your first choice for starting a blog