Freelancing or working for a fixed client, what’s better? It’s not an easy question to answer. On one hand you have the wonders of a flexible schedule and on the other you have all kinds of benefits and job security.
So why freelance?
Freelancing frees you up for fun and family. How’s that for alliteration? It is true though.
The greatest benefit of freelancing is that you don’t have to miss out on time with friends or family…ever. You don’t have to miss her first step or his junior league ball game. You can be a non-absentee parent and a rock solid spouse. Freelancers don’t let work rob the best hours of their best years… they spend those hours with the people they love, doing things that are fulfilling. That’s why people freelance.
What does it take to become a Freelancer?
Freelancers are special. Not everyone is cut out for it. What does it take?
- A Marketable product: The product you’re marketing is YOU. You have to be as good as you claim to be. If you say you can do it in 3 days, you have to deliver top grade work in 3 days or less. You must give 100 percent to every project you work on and if 100 percent is not good enough, you have to give more till it’s undeniably quality work.
- Life-smarts: This broad category refers to all those qualities that you need to go places in your career. As a freelancer, you will have to buy your own insurance, save up for your own retirement fund and balance a budget. Those are a few of the life-smarts you need besides knowing when to accept and reject a job offer.
- Patience: If you’re not a patient person, don’t even attempt to freelance. Initially, you will have to be so patient and it will be discouraging. Try to start off with a lump sum of money that you can use as you wait for work to pick up and pay off. It’s easier to begin freelancing when you don’t have any dependents that you need to provide for but it’s never too late to start as long as you can be patient.
- Contacts: Use all the contacts you have and make more, tell them about your freelancing and ask them to recommend you to any friends that need your services. You’re more likely to get work if someone vouches for you so if you want to be a successful freelancer, you must have good contacts.
Choosing your Freelancing Career
The number one rule to choose a freelancing career is to play to your strengths. Do what you’re best at. If you’re a history major with no work, offer to write for history blogs. If you have medical transcription training, use it to land a job. Many people have a hard time identifying their strengths and if you’re one of them, ask yourself, “What would I want to hire me to do?” If you’re still stumped, ask the same question to your close friends, “What would you hire me for?” You’re bound to find some answers. In any case, here are some good freelancing careers you can consider getting trained for:
- Medical Transcription: This is one of the simplest careers to get trained for. You can receive affordable training through schools like Career Step in a matter of months. A medical transcriptionist for the most part types out a doctor’s recorded notes. As you can imagine, the information transcribed is private and the work is time-sensitive. According to the PayScale.com1, the average hourly pay is $15 per hour.
- Writing: Writing is a career that you must work at very hard. If you like to research information for your articles, if you have a flair for writing engaging content, then this career is for you. You can train yourself – just buy a good book like “Killer Web Content” by Gary McGovern or join a reliable online course to learn content writing. There are many kinds of writers so if creativity is not your thing, then technical writing is a well-paying alternative. A writer with a good reputation can earn up to $25 an hour2 and more once you establish your niche.
- Graphic Design: Making your mark in the world of graphic design is not easy but delivering creative classy work on time will get you the recognition you need. To help you make the most of this career option join, get trained. You’ll find a few top online graphic design programs on oedb. Learning graphic design is not difficult if you are computer savvy and have an artistic inclination. You can earn $20 an hour and above3 doing something you completely enjoy!
Find a career that plays to your strengths and hang in there till your work is trusted and you will eventually reap the benefits of freelancing. Starting out might be very difficult but it is worth every minute.