The feeling of waking up at your own time, deciding on which days you going to work and which ones you choose not to, can be amazing and bring joy to your life. Freelancing is a way to work at home and be independent without needing to start an actual business. As a general rule, as long as you operate under your own name you do not need to register as a business.
You need to know that once you are a freelancer you are an independent worker, with no expectation of a permanent or long-term relationship with a single employer. When you are a freelancer you offer your service to people for a fee.
Why Would You Want to Freelance?
It can be hard looking for a job and hoping that you get hired, so you could decide to freelance on day one and try to find work independently.
If you’ve had an urge to be your own boss anyway, becoming a freelancer may be a good way to do it. You can even continue your job search while you freelance.
The Kind of Work Do Freelancers Do
Freelancers can be asked to do just about any kind of work you might imagine. Basically, anything you might consider doing in your own business, you can do on a freelance basis under your own name. In most cases, even in those professions where a license is required.
What you need to become a freelancer
To freelance, you basically just need to have something of value you can offer to potential clients. Most people draw on their employment experience and offer freelance services in areas in which they are especially talented. The following items are also useful for those who want to freelance:
A website to promote yourself
A dedicated business phone or cell phone number on which prospects can reach you
A business card
Ideally, a business address (such as a post office box or mail box service)
A portfolio of your best work
Ideally, a few references, but you will build those as you go along
How to find work as a freelancer
The answer partly depends on the type of freelance work you want to do. You can approach companies that you wish to freelance for and present to them your portfolio for example if you are writer, present articles you have written and if you a photographer show them your best photos.
You can also look for opportunities to get free advertising your freelance services. If you can become part of a network affiliated with your services, that’s always helpful. You should also post a profile on social networks, such as LinkedIn.
Advantages of Being a Freelancer
If you freelance, you can usually set your own hours. You may be extremely busy one month and at a standstill the next month in your freelance practice. Use the slow times to rest up and to find new ways to find freelance gigs in your field. Also use the time to improve your website or investigate other ways you can market your freelance services.
Pitfalls of Being a Freelancer
Some people believe that being a freelancer means they won’t get paid much and some employers who hire freelancers think they shouldn’t have to pay much. That’s because the competition is very tough, however with much experience and references they will you get you rates you can be proud of.
Keep in mind too, that a freelancer you are not obligated to accept a job. If you don’t like what’s being offered, keep looking for something that pays a bit more. Unfortunately, a fair number of employers who use freelancers end up taking advantage of them – by paying a substandard rate, not paying on time, etc. As you become an experienced freelancer you will learn to recognize which employers are worth your trouble and which are not.