What is freelance work?
With the advent of modern technology, more jobs and money-making opportunities are available to us. We are no longer limited to the jobs available nearby, and it is now easier to develop new skills that employers and clients are looking for.
One of the jobs that have risen in popularity in the digital is that of a freelancer. It seems to have received a golden child status now. Many people equate freelancing as having the freedom and money a normal nine-to-five job cannot provide, but what is the truth? What is a freelance job exactly? How difficult is it? Can it help you achieve your goals and plans in life?
What is freelance work exactly?
First of all, we must define what a freelance work exactly is. Usually, freelance jobs are done by freelancers who are considered as one because they have control over their time and money. They often have clients who list their requirements for a certain project, and these freelancers have the necessary skills and abilities to provide those requirements and finish a project.
Freelancers do not necessarily have to work online, though a vast majority of them now do. They can be found on several freelancing websites like Fiverr and Upwork and may provide a range of services from writing and editing to voice overs and transcriptions.
Freelance jobs provide a much bigger amount of freedom to workers than a typical day job. This requires employees to be very in tune with what clients need and expect, and this also requires a great deal of trust on the clients’ part that the end result will be something they are happy with.
How much can I expect to earn?
With the additional freedom, working as a freelancer sounds like a dream come true, but more cynical people might think there is a catch. After all, how much can you expect to earn if you jump from client to client and have to rely on people choosing you for a service?
Well, like all other things in life, the answer to that question depends a great deal on your circumstances. If you do not have many qualifications and have a less extensive educational background, expect to earn less than your colleagues who spent years perfecting their craft. Also, if you are a newcomer to the freelancing world, then you will also earn less than those who have established their reputations.
On the other hand, once you have consistently proved that your provide quality work, then you can earn even more than most people do in their typical nine-to-five jobs. Coupled with the fact that you have control of your own time, then working as a freelancer sounds like a dream come true.
Is working as a freelancer worth it?
With that said, is working as a freelancer worth it? Do the risks outweigh the benefits, or is it the other way around?
First, let us once again look at the benefits of working as a freelancer. One is that you have control of your own time. You can work early in the morning if you want, or you can begin your job at midnight. As long as you get your job done based on your promised timeline, then only you can choose what you do with your time.
Another benefit is that you can set your own prices. You do not have to answer to a boss or someone in a higher position than you. All you do – the prices you set, the creative decisions you make – start and end with you and your client.
To sum all of those up, the main benefit from a freelance job is evident in the name itself. Working as a freelancer grants you a form of freedom most employees do not have. It sounds quite liberating, but of course there are also risks associated with freelancing.
One is that there is a possibility that you will not be paid or that you may even become the victim of a scam. Once this happens, you may lose all faith in clients and may even give up as a freelancer. One way to avoid this is by going on reputable freelancing websites and choosing clients who have somehow proven that they will pay you once you have finished your job.
Another risk is that you can have no work for some time. Freelance work is not as steady as a typical nine-to-five job. Of course, if you have a very good reputation and provide a service that very few people can do, then it is far more likely that this will not be a problem for you.
What are examples of a freelance job?
Freelance jobs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. The most common ones are the following.
Writing is one of the most common freelance jobs. Whether you need a writer to ghostwrite your book or a writer to pen an article for you, you can find many writers on freelance websites. Some are students who just have exceptional language and writing skills, while there are also freelance writers who have specifically studied the craft of stringing words together.
Next is doing voice overs. Voice actors are one of the most underappreciated workers in the industry, and a lot of them work as freelancers. Most of them have trained for a set time to polish their skills as voice actors and can do whatever you request of them – whether it may be an accent, a certain voice, or changing their voice to imitate someone else.
Another common freelancing job is drawing or editing. Graphic artists often do this, and the most skilled ones have years of practice in their craft. Editors are not just limited to photos. Most who edit for a living can also edit videos and audio recordings and have the necessary equipment to ensure you can receive a top-notch quality work.
Transcription is another common freelancing job. With a little training and experience, this can be something that can be done really well by anyone. A freelance transcriptionist often chooses an audio recording or has a client that provides an audio recording, and they will type the recording for you. Some transcriptionists include descriptions of audio events, like a laugh or a chuckle, and all will provide that if you request it.
Similar to transcription is translation. Instead of typing what you hear, a translator writes a translation of a written piece or an audio recording. Most multilingual freelancers dabbled in this area. The key to becoming an excellent translator is to polish up your language skills and become fluent enough to be mistaken as a native. If you are only almost fluent, then you may miss the real meaning of figures of speech or slang words and end up with a subpar, slightly incorrect piece of work.
What are the best skills to develop as a freelancer?
As a freelancer, you must consider what your nice is. Will you be working mostly as a writer or as an artist? Maybe you have the ability to do voice overs but would rather do more transcription work. Choose a main skill, and develop all the other necessary abilities to become exceptional at it.
Furthermore, there are general skills that all freelancers must develop. One is the ability to communicate well. If communication is one of your weaknesses, it can hurt you as a freelancer. Without communication skills, you may end up disappointing your clients because you submitted an incorrect work. Additionally, proper communication is vital to developing the right kind of reputation in the freelance world.
Aside from communication skills, you must also be able to manage your time well. Since you will not have a boss or manager who will look over your shoulder and ensure that you are getting your work done, then you must be knowledgeable when it comes to time management. Without it, you may find yourself cramming a less than excellent work just a few minutes before the deadline a client has set.
Lastly, organization skills are very important as a freelancer. Without it, you may lose important files and precious time looking for those files.
How can I get started as a freelancer?
To get started as a freelancer, you must choose a skill and develop it. Once you have done that, go to a reputable freelance website and create an account. Be proactive and look for clients, and once you have a job, provide a product with an excellent quality.
Of course, there are other ways to go about this. For instance, maybe you know someone in real life who is looking for a writer. You can volunteer to do the job for a price, and then build your reputation from there. Word of mouth can help you a lot, so choose your clients well and do your job well.