1: What is Freelancing?
The most appropriate definition for freelancing in my opinion is working under yourself for yourself. As a freelancer you do not work under a boss, manager or a supervisor. In freelancing you work with the client directly and you only follow his instructions about the project/job you are working on.
So many people think working as a freelancer is much better than working for an organization because in freelancing you don’t have to follow orders from your superiors, you are flexible with the timings and you work on those projects which require skills you love to utilize.
2: Who is a Freelancer?
A person who is self-employed and not working for an organization on long term basis is a Freelancer or freelance worker. A freelancer is not committed to a specific company or agency. A freelancer work with his client directly and he only follows his client’s instructions until the job is finished.
Like everything else in the universe, there are some advantages and some disadvantages of freelancing. Let’s discuss some important advantages and disadvantages of freelancing.
3: Advantages of Freelancing:
- You work at home.
- You don’t have to get ready every day for your job, you don’t need to follow any dressing etiquettes.
- You are your own boss. Because you are directly connected to the client, you don’t need a boss or a manager to give you orders every morning.
- The more you work the more you earn. If you are working for a company, you get a fixed salary at the end of every month, no matter how much you work there. But as a freelancer, if you work on more projects you will earn more.
- You set your own timings according to your daily routine and your preferences. If you are a computer programmer, I hope you prefer working at night then 🙂
4: Disadvantages of Freelancing:
- You get paid on projects/jobs basis, you have to win more jobs to cover your expenses. If you do not win a project/job in a month that means your income of that month is zero. If you are a person who runs a family than it becomes more risky at the beginning until you have some savings to manage your family expenses for two or three months.
- No colleagues or work friends. You work from home that means you are alone and you have no friends to chat with while you are working.
- You can’ t get facilities likes medical insurance, allowances, leaves etc. as a freelancer, because you are not committed to a company on long-term basis.
- Unfortunately, competition is very high in freelancing, you need a good reputable profile (with positive feedbacks), excellent communication skills and most importantly excellent skills and expertise in the field(s) you are offering your services.
It is very easy to start your freelancing journey, all you need is a good working computer/laptop and a high speed internet connection. (In many countries, you must register as a freelancer and pay the corresponding taxes to be able to issue invoices).
6: Where to start?:
There are so many options and platforms to start but here I will discuss the most popular and reliable ones to start a successful freelancing career.
Freelancer.com is an Australian outsourcing marketplace which is number one freelancing platform on the internet. It was founded in 2009 and according to latest stats, there are 11 million users of Freelancer.com
Odesk.com is another good platform to start your freelancing career, there are more than 3 million registered freelancers and 550,000 businesses worldwide using Odesk.com right now.
Elance.com was launched in 1999, which is another popular freelance marketplace. According to Elance’s latest stats (Feb 2013) there are 2 million registered freelancers who have earned $850 million so far.
Guru.com was founded by an Indian entrepreneur Inder Guglani in 1999. It is also a good place to get started.
f. Direct Contact:
I recommend contacting direct companies or agencies if your skills are in demand. The first thing is to gather contact information of such companies and agencies who are outsourcing work to freelancers.
Once you have the list of your targeted companies you need to send them an email along with your resume. You must mention these things in your email:
- Relevant work samples (Portfolio)
- Qualifications and achievements
- Your working hours
- Your rates per project and per hour
- Your payment options etc.
Once you are done with sending them emails wait for your luck.
Freelancing is not as easy as a normal job, you may not get a single project in a whole month (especially when you are new) and it is also possible that you get so many projects at once. You have to prepare yourself for such situations. The key to success in freelancing is delivering outstanding results to your clients within the given deadline and building and maintaining a good reputation.