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What is Freelancing and How to Become a Freelancer

What is Freelancing and How to Become a Freelancer
Photo by Daniel Thomas / Unsplash

What is Freelancing?

Freelancing is contract-based professionalism where one offers their skills and experience to provide services to various clients. Freelancing mainly involves working on a contract that does not necessarily require one to go to an office daily on a fixed schedule.

Alternative names for Freelancing:

Other terms used to refer to or describe a freelancer include:

· Contract work/job: Jobs where one is working to fulfil a short-term or part-time contract

· Independent contractor: The IRS classifies freelancers as independent contractors

· Contract consultant: Contract consultants is a term used to refer to a consultant coming under a 1099 contract for a specified- usually short period of time

· 1099: Freelancers are usually paid using a tax form known as a “1099-MISC” as opposed to a typical W2 form. 1099 is at times used to refer to a freelancer

· Contract-to-hire: Contract-to-hire is a type of contract where a freelancer is first tested for their competency before graduating to full-time employment.

How Does Freelancing Contract Work?

Freelancing involves jobs commonly referred to as gigs that allow one to work remotely. Gigs provide freelancers with a temporary and flexible work structure where organizations/companies and startups hire freelancers on a contractual basis for a specified term to complete a project for them.

Some people work full-time on a freelance basis, while others use their freelancing gigs as a way to make some extra money.

Freelancers usually work directly with their clients to provide services, although most freelancers usually rely on online platforms to get work. A freelancer may choose to focus on a specific niche while offering their services, while others provide a more general service to their clients.

What are the most common fields for freelance work?

Basically, one can work on any field as a freelancer as long as they are providing a service and working remotely. Some of the common fields for freelancers include:

· IT Support

· Copy writing

· Web Development and Design

· Graphic design

· Editing

· Data entry

· Software development

· Translation

· Transcription

· Teaching and Tutoring

· Technical support

· Project management

· Customer service

· Content creation

How do Freelancers Get Work?

Most freelancers use social networks such as Facebook, Linked In and other social platforms to find clients. Others use platforms such as Fiverr, Hiremotely, Upwork, Freelancer, Guru, where they upload their profiles, bid on projects posted by clients, do the work if selected by the clients, and get paid on the same platforms.

The freelance process usually goes as follows:

· The freelancer reaches out to a client/vice versa for a possible work contract

· They agree on a price and timeline for the project

· The freelancer completes the project

· The client for the work done

Here are the top 10 Best Freelancing Sites that most freelancers use to get clients:

· Upwork

· Fiverr

· WorkNHire

· 99 Designs

· Guru

· Youth4Work

· Outsourcely

· People Per Hour

· Working Nomads

Should I become a Freelancer?

Just like any other mode of work, there are pros and cons to Freelancing. In my opinion, when it comes to Freelancing, the pros outweigh the cons. Here are the pros of becoming a freelancer:

· There are always work opportunities: Depending on your level of expertise and the number of clients you have, you will find that you will have dozens of new jobs from different clients every hour. Even if you are just a beginner/trainee, you can still find work posted on the platforms listed above.

· You are in total control of your work schedule: As a freelancer, you get to work when, how and as much as you want as long as you deliver on time. You don’t have to wake up early in the morning if you are a person whose focus is sharpest late at night. As a freelancer, you make the best of your peak productivity without necessarily becoming tied to the office for specific hours.

· You get to choose whom you work with: If things are not working out with a client, you can always look for other clients and find one easily using the platforms listed above.

· You gain more experience: By working with different clients on different projects, you get to amass experience that would have otherwise have been impossible to come by in a traditional office setting.

Here are the Drawbacks of Freelancing:

Although there are lots of pros when it comes to Freelancing, there are some downsides to it, including:

· Work may be seasonal: As a freelancer, there are times when you will be offered more projects by different clients or even just one client than you can possibly accept, and there will be times when it seems that one is hiring. To tackle this, you will need to have stable clients before quitting your day job.

· You may have to work longer hours: As a freelancer, there will be times when maintaining a steady income and workflow means working extra hours. In fact, you may, in most cases, find yourself working longer hours than when you had a regular full-time job.

Frequently Asked Questions

a. What is Freelancing, and how does it work?

Freelancing is contract-based professionalism where one offers their skills and experience to provide services to various clients. Freelancing mainly involves working on a contract that does not necessarily require one to go to an office daily on a fixed time schedule.

b. Can I become a freelancer with no experience?

Yes! One can absolutely become a freelancer with no experience. You must focus on a service that you know you can perform and only take up tasks that you can perform with ease.

c. Which Skill is best for Freelancing?

There are several skills that a freelancer must-have when it comes to Freelancing. Some of the skills include; time management, patience, good communications skills, good grammar etc.

d. Does Freelancing count as professional work experience?

Yes, Freelancing counts as professional work experience. Any work that one does on a freelance basis counts toward their professional work experience and should be included in their resume.

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