Freelance – The term of independence for 9-5 souls
The moment you think of freelance, the adjectives that run to your mind are:
- Work-life balance
- Multiple currencies
- Countless exposure
- Semi-lavish or lavish lifestyle
If you are also among those who think of these luxurious fancy adjectives when freelance pops into your mind, then you haven’t knocked the door of the reality to freelance.
While some pursue freelance as a side-dish, some daredevils make freelance as their sole mode of bread and butter. Before opting for freelance as the only channel of employment, you must go through these 10 pivotal points and then see for yourself whether full-time freelance is your cup of tea or not.
Know your genre, analyze your talent & market demand
If you have the answer to these questions, you can move ahead:
- Where do I want to go?
- Is this profession/requirement in demand in the freelance world?
- Who are the competition and their earnings?
- What are the minimum and maximum pay offered for freelancers with __ years of experience/fresher?
- What is the scope of the option you pick in the future?
- What companies require talents like you?
- What additional skills do I have to learn to earn better in the coming years?
- Your kitty doesn’t need to be filled with wealthy projects, how will you manage project deficiency?
- What are the ways to stand out?
- Someday if your industry faces a decline, will you be able to support yourself during the buffer?
The very first step before considering freelance as your full-time option should be to know your forte and desired genre. Until and unless you aren’t clear about your interest (that matches your skills), you won’t be able to make a decent profile for yourself. Therefore, clear the mental clutter and organize your interest and genre.
For instance, I am both, photographer and a programmer. As I plan to pursue my interest as a full-time freelancer, I should understand my caliber and weigh the best possible option.
If I compare my skills, I am a decent photographer, but a better programmer. The comparison derives that I should pick programming, as I am a pinch better in that field, have enough experience/appealing portfolio, and can deliver the final product without any hiccups.
Apart from analyzing your interest and understanding the genre, you must be aware of the market trend. There is no point in becoming a full-time freelancer if your type of employment is not in demand. Therefore, always check the freelance market trend before confirming your freelance genre.
For instance, I opt photography as my full-time freelance option; I will not reap many projects which would directly hamper my economic cycle. But, if I opt for programming, it could reap bundles of freelance projects as this requirement is in demand in the freelance market.
Take a practical jaunt then, leave the mundane corporate madness
After finalizing your field of interest in the freelance world, never commit the mistake of directly jumping into that. The best alternative is to take a sip from the pool of freelance, which means while continuing the 9-5 job, enroll yourself into the gig world, get some projects, understand the dynamics, and then if you feel safe and stable, pursue freelance as your full-time option.
Tip: This could be your chance of making a few extra bucks in foreign currency (if possible), and you could use this as your survival savings in the initial phase of your full-time freelance.
Why on earth would I hire you if your profile doesn’t display some action? Now, action could be – experience, client list, illustrious work, impressive advanced certification courses, attractive social media handles with potential and relevant content, etc.
For instance, you are applying as a full-time freelance blogger. You completed your studies in 2019, waited a year, and applied as a freelance blogger in 2020 on Fiverr. If I am a recruiter, that 1-year buffer will bother me because you were idle and didn’t utilize the time. On the other hand, if you would have joined as a content writer in an organization, published blogs every day, or did multiple internships, it could have boasted some quality on your profile.
Therefore, make your profile attractive and qualitative that the person believes that you possess skills. Don’t waste time because if you want to be a successful full-time freelancer, you have to be a brand, and to be a brand you need to possess qualities and publicize them.
You should always set your pricing according to 3 factors:
- Market Trend
- Company’s market value
Before jumping into freelance, you must be aware of the finances. If you are a fresher, averagely experienced, and richly experienced then, what would be your minimum and maximum pay. Some companies might trick you to get underpaid or even lure you into work for free because you are a fresher. Never come under those sugary words “it’s just the experience that matters, pay shall follow in some time”, it is a bluff because you will give your best but won’t get paid for investing your talent.
Therefore, always understand the cycle of demand, pay scale, and how negotiations happen. If you want to be successful in the freelance industry, then, never underestimate your skills because it’s the only factor that pays you.
Be it hourly, daily, or after completion of the project, you must have an idea about how much you should be paid.
Spread the Word
Register yourself to LinkedIn, connect with peers, and spread the word about yourself. A person reaches the pedestal of success when they are accompanied by a bunch of motivated souls. Therefore, socializing and making connections is always important.
- Make your LinkedIn profile
- Join groups
- Connect with people working in a similar genre
- Engage and tell them about yourself and get to know about possible freelance opportunities
- Be active, keep posting, and comment on relevant content
This way, you will start becoming visible to many, and others will respond. When people respond, the circle of networking enlarges it paves way for a community.
There’s no harm in certification
For instance, I am a freelance photographer who clicks raw images and submits them to the client. On the other hand, if I do a certification course in editing software, it would add a feather to my cap. With this additional skill, I could widen my freelance option and ask for higher pay.
Know the trend and enhance yourself accordingly, it would help you survive in the market for a longer run.
For example, Nokia was one of the strongest contenders in the Indian mobile market. But, as the market shifted to the era of smartphones with multiple features at a feasible rate, Nokia wasn’t able to make the quick shift, which eventually pushed the audience to shift to the latest brands such as Mi, OnePlus, etc.
It shows how you have to keep upgrading yourself to stay in the market and reap good revenue. An additional certification (from a reliable portal) related to your work won’t hurt.
Multitask – Use the leverage
Freelance gives you the liberty to multitask as they are not demanding an entire day’s work; you can separate the hours as you wish. Moreover, it isn’t necessary that if you are working as a programmer for a client, you can work as a designer for some other client (if you have the skills).
The demand for your job doesn’t need to be at a peak always, it doesn’t take a market to decline. Therefore, there’s no harm in getting additional knowledge (after mapping the demands in the freelance industry).
Words of Wisdom: Though freelance gives you the liberty to manage the hours at your convenience and take up multiple projects in one go, it won’t be easy. Some think freelance is as easy as writing an article on global warming, if you are one amongst them and taking up full-time freelance just to enjoy then, you are boarding the wrong train.
Some people work with every possible client who offers them work, while some set preferences before typing yes to any client.
For instance, I am a freelance fashion journalist, but I would only work for renowned newspapers and magazines based in Delhi and developed countries. Therefore, if a client from south India would contact me to work for them, I would turn it down, and the reason could be cultural or pre-set prejudices.
So while researching the freelance market, you should also list your ideal clients to have an organized work system.
If you want to get hired by clients from a decent company then, get yourself registered at known and credible freelance portals. Enrolling yourself with the right freelance website would have an impact on your work. It could decide on the quality, pay, and the kind of client who would fetch you.
A few of the top freelance job websites in 2021 are:
- Blogging Pro
Right Payment Solution
Last but not least, payment is an important factor in freelance. When a freelancer signs a contract with the client, the payment method and other payment-related information.
As a freelancer, you should always opt for a payment solution that supports cross-border payments. Now, if you look for cross-border payment solutions, you will find a plethora of options like – PayPal, PingPong, Payoneer, Wise, Razorpay, etc. But, out of all the options, you must keep a few things in mind before opting for a payment solution, and they are:
- Support cross-border payments
- feasible transaction fee, service tax. etc
- Supports multiple currencies (especially the nations you work)
- Has other beneficial features
- Supports in receiving USD, EUR, GBP, CAD, JPY, and AUD
- Free sign-up
- Free digital Foreign Inward Remittance Certificate (FIRC)
- Runs with a license from RBI
- You can access various currencies from a single dashboard
- Helps in paying VAT and GST
- Offers international payment at a highly competitive price, unlike PayPal
- Receive payments from US, EU, UK, JP, and Chinese companies
- Free digital FIRC
- Supports USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, AUD, CAD, and MXN
- Transaction between Payoneer to Payoneer is free
- A minimum fee of 1% – 1.5% and fixed fees of $3 are levied on every transaction.
Similarly, you should research the apt cross-border payment solutions available in the fintech market that don’t make a hole in your pocket.
These are the few pivotal points to consider before opting for freelance as the full-time option. Set your payment options, tick the checklist, and move ahead.