What is a Freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who provides a service to another person or business. Freelancers are independent contractors. They’re not employed by the person or business but rather provide work on a per project basis. The customer and the freelancer may use a work for hire agreement that outlines the project’s parameters. However, the freelancer is responsible for paying all personal taxes, insurance and social security.
This Is A Great Time To Become A Freelancer
The word “freelancer” starts with the word “free.” Freelancers work where and when they want and for a variety of companies that they choose. But, in exchange for these freedoms, freelancers sacrifice a regular paycheck. It helps if you have another income or some money put aside before you start freelancing. Despite the ups and downs, freelancing is very appealing today.
Companies have cut back on their workforces. Doing so lets them save on benefits and high salaries. However, the work still must get done.
That’s where you come in.
As a freelancer, you can share your knowledge and skills with many different companies. What kind of work can be freelanced? There is no limit, but some options are: writing, editing, web design, fundraising, accounting, data entry, artwork, graphic designing, photographing, sales, organizing, social networker, public relations…the list goes on and on.
DISCOVERING YOUR FREELANCING TALENTS and SKILLS
Some people are born with talents that allow them to attract assignments online. Others learn or develop new skills in school or on the job that can be used to work online. If you want to work at home and don’t feel that you have any real talents or skills, don’t give up. There are ways to identify your talents and develop your skills that will help you go from dreaming about working at home to actual online employment.
REPACKAGE AND RENEW YOUR LIFE EXPERIENCES
What are you good at?
What types of jobs have you done?
What is your favorite hobby?
Write down all of the skills and experience that you have developed doing these activities. Think creatively. Can you parlay sales experience into a marketing job? Can you qualify for a special project by using your secretarial skills? Does your volunteer work for the PTA put you in a position to apply for a public relations project? Do you love to do research on the Internet? Have you learned enough to become an Internet researcher?
What types of job or project listings appeal to you? Can you take some courses to become more qualified? Is self-help an option? Can you teach yourself what you need to know by reading and doing research?
You can create a new reality by combining the skills and talents you already have with the commitment to do what is necessary to succeed.
Welcome New Ideas
Because you are online and reading this, you have already shown that you have a willingness to try new things. Don’t stop now. The Internet has made it possible to find freelance projects and jobs in numbers never possible before.
HOME JOBS VS. FREELANCE VS. TELECOMMUTING – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
We have all heard the saying, “A rose by any other name smells as sweet.” A home job is a home job, no matter what you call it. Some telecommute, some work freelance, and others just find a home job online. All of these options allow a mom to work at home.
Traditionally, freelancers are independent people who seek special assignments from a variety of companies. Telecommuters, on the other hand, are hired by one company to do the same job on a daily basis either part-time or full time from home and transmit their work to their employer.
Today, it is possible to get short and long-term assignments from a variety of companies that can be considered freelance or telecommuting…or just plain work-at-home jobs depending on the length and nature of the assignment and the viewpoint of the company providing the opportunity.
In the online world, home jobs, freelancing and telecommuting are words that can almost be interchangeable.
Do you have secretarial, administrative, writing, design, or marketing skills? Each of these skills can be used in a home job, to work freelance or to telecommute.
This is where flexibility and creative thinking come in. The message here is simple but important. If you want to be a telecommuter, consider freelance as another option. If you thought freelance work was your answer, consider short-term telecommuting projects. If you are looking for a home job, consider all three options.
GETTING YOUR FIRST FREELANCE JOB
If you want to work freelance, you need to demonstrate that you can do the type of work you seek. That requires a portfolio of sorts. If you do not have any way to show previous work, don’t despair. There are other ways you can establish your expertise.
You could start a blog on your topic and show your knowledge in the posts you write. A business Facebook page could also help you make connections. Go on social media and link to your posts. Join LinkedIn.com and network.
Volunteer to do work for free so that you can add that job to your resume.
Freelance Job Sites
There are many freelance job sites online. You can search on Google. Bid on the jobs that best match your skills and goals.
To get you started, here is a list of some of the most popular sites:
Getting High Ratings for Your Freelance Work
When you do get your initial freelance assignments, your continued work depends on how pleased your clients are with your finished product. Getting positive feedback is beneficial to attracting new clients and more business. Here are some ways to achieve that high rating with current clients.
When you work for a freelancing service, you earn ratings for your work. In fact, sites often list their higher ranked freelancers as a way of attracting new clients. It works well for you if you are on that list because clients may invite you to bid on their projects or contact you directly. This can mean higher pay and better projects.
But, what puts you in the top? Here are some suggestions to achieve that coveted top spot in the feedback ratings.
* Create a self-promoting profile. Your profile lets others see you and get to know your work ethic. Include all the information you can about yourself that is relevant to your freelance work. Include jobs that you have done with this service and other work.
* Follow client instructions to the letter. Provide a finished product for your client that meets all of their needs. Don’t be afraid to ask questions early on in the timeline so that you understand what the client wants.
* Meet your deadlines. Some projects have one deadline and others have several smaller ones along the way. Send completed work when asked for.
* Offer suggestions. Do you have ideas that could help your client? Don’t be afraid to communicate those. It could be that this is a client new to outsourcing and any help you offer could be make the project run smoother.
* Communicate with your client. Even though you have a deadline for delivery, it is helpful to let your client know what is going on each step of the way. A weekly report (for longer projects) keeps everyone on the same page. Provide contact information so a client can initiate a dialogue with you if they need to.
* Ask questions. Are you at a crossroads in your work? Don’t wait until the deadline looms to point out that you have encountered a problem. Bring it up as soon as possible to get clarification from the client.
* Ask for feedback. Once the project is over, ask the client how they have felt about your work. Good or bad, feedback can be beneficial to you. If negative, it can help you improve your work for future projects. If good, it can be a feather in your cap with that client and to show other future clients.