A beginner’s guide to freelancing
Venturing into freelancing or perhaps you’re already a veteran freelancer? This beginner’s guide to freelancing is surely going to be helpful to you.
What is freelancing?
Freelancing or working freelance is simply rendering service(s) to clients without being a full-time employee of the client.
As a freelancer, you are self-employed and can have as many clients as you wish (provided you can meet up with demand).
Freelancing Stats in the US
Many have predicted that freelancing (the gig economy) is the future. Below are some mind-blowing stats:
- 36% of the US workforce (about 57.3 million people) are work-from-home freelancers.
- 43% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2020.
- Freelancers in the US collectively contribute about $1.4trillion every year to the economy. This is a 30% increase from what it was in 2020.
Common freelance gigs
As a freelancer, you’re quite like a store owner, only, this time, you sell gigs (services you offer your clients).
While freelancing can be done offline e.g. working freelance as a Uber driver, our focus here is on online freelancing.
Common freelance gigs include:
- Writing (one of the most popular, includes copywriting, SEO writing, press release writing, blog post writing and even academic writing, etc.)
- Graphic design
- Data entry
- Web development
- Digital marketing and
- Virtual assistance among others.
Going into freelancing?
You’d like to go freelance? You could simply meet clients and transact directly with them. This is perfectly okay if you have lots of contacts and know where and how to get the clients.
If however, you don’t really know where and how to get clients, you’ll be better off starting off with freelance platforms like Freelancer.com, Upwork.com, Fiverr.com, etc.
These platforms connect freelancers (sellers) with clients (buyers) and try to minimize risk of fraud in the process. You however have to pay them a percentage of your earnings (e.g. Fiverr charges 20%, Freelancer charges 10% and Upwork charges ~20%).
Dealing directly with clients VS using a freelance platform
While selling directly to clients allows you to keep your total earnings (minus transaction charges e.g. PayPal fees), you stand a higher chance of being defrauded because there is no regulatory 3rd party.
Selling on a freelance platform on the other hand reduces your chances of being defrauded by clients but it comes at a cost.
How to Succeed in Freelancing
In freelancing (whether directly or via a freelance platform), the success and growth of your business depends largely on how well you satisfy your clients. If you keep your clients satisfied by
Delivering premium quality of work
Adhering to client instructions and
Adhering to deadlines
all in a professional and customer friendly way, your clients will become returning clients who won’t hesitate to patronize you when next they need your service(s).
That’s not all, these satisfied clients would also recommend you to friends/associates looking for the service(s) you offer and if you use a freelance platform that allows clients to rate freelancers (most platforms do), you’ll have most of your clients leave you good ratings that would recommend you to new clients.
Needless to say, as a freelancer, you really need to “bring your A game” to get clients that are truly satisfied with your deliveries.
Hey! You’d like to try out freelancing or perhaps, you’re already a veteran freelancer, see what no one tells you about freelancing here.
Also, this Ultimate Freelancing Guide on Toptal is another must-read for every freelancer.
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