For writers, designers, and IT developers, the experience is an important requirement for reaching the cool jobs. Unfortunately, this experience often comes in the form of unpaid internships, coffee collection and impossible working hours. There is, however, a way to gain experience while earning money by freelancing.
Freelancing decorates hugely on your resume, and unlike most other start jobs you will be able to manage your working hours yourself. In addition, if the project is right, you as a freelancer will have a greater opportunity to earn more serious money. Another really great advantage of freelance work is that you have the opportunity to do your work from home. You do not have to sit in the office, but you can work from your habitat.
But what areas of work can you assume as a freelancer?
Working with text
This is by far the easiest and most obvious freelance work if you have proficiency in a language. Here are many different types of work; You may be asked to write articles, entire e-books (with someone else’s name on the front page), product descriptions for online stores or postings on various social media.
If you also have qualifications in a foreign language, translation is also an obvious choice. Especially if it is a language other than English since the competition here will be significantly less.
Freelancing working with text is for those who control their grammar and love to learn new things – no matter how indifferent they may be. You never know what topics your texts are about, so you can suddenly acquire knowledge about home improvement, science, or dog food.
Of course, this area requires that you have the creativity in order, but also that you have the right equipment to design digitally (as you most likely never meet your customers face-to-face).
As a freelancer in graphic design, you will be able to design logos for upcoming companies, animated films, PowerPoint presentations or even advertisements for newspapers or magazines.
IT & Programming
Programmers are the minds of the IT we use every day. They make sure to program websites and apps so they are well functioning and user-friendly, which often requires long stripes of codes.
In addition to programming, you can also offer IT support. This typically means helping companies optimize their search engine so they become more visible to customers. Statistics analysis and database management are also common jobs within this freelance field. You can also earn money from home selling apps.
This is a popular freelance industry, so beware of tough competition! One of the typical tasks is transcription, which means that you write down recordings of conversations, interviews or anything else.You can also act as a mid-term personal assistant, where you from home keep track of your employer’s appointments, answering calls, arranging travel preparations or making easy research.
Pros and cons of freelance work
- You are your own boss and can choose your working hours as it suits you best.
- Freelancers work with people from all over the world
- You decide which jobs you want to take and which ones you do not like. If you are offered a job that is too complicated or simply does not pay well, you are in your full right to reject it.
- You decide when to pause and have a good opportunity to go out and see the friends.
- If you build a good reputation, there is a good opportunity to earn serious money.
- Keep in mind that good jobs will have a lot of competition, so it’s no use to be picky.
- You also risk having meetings with customers at. 3 at night if you work with people from across the world
- You must be able to live with an unstable income and also have the courage to arrange all your tax work yourself.
- It takes lots of self-discipline not to sleep the extra hour in the morning and just change the work with the final section of Games of Thrones.
- But even if you are not whipped by a surgeon, you still have customers to take care of. Be careful not to give yourself too many distractions so you may exceed deadlines.
If you as a freelancer will avoid burning completely in front of the computer at home in the living room, then it is a good idea to regularly replace the scene. For example, you can break your work into affordable bites and then go to the library, at a cafe or elsewhere you can find peace to work.
That way, hopefully, you will be able to keep energy and creativity up.
How much can you earn?
As a freelancer you have two options for payment, you can either receive hourly wages or be paid a fixed amount for a job.
Unfortunately, you compete as an internet freelancer with people from all over the world, and it can be very difficult if not impossible to compete with the prices offered by developing countries. So to get a salary you can actually live for, you have to convince the buyers through your ad that you are the only one to do the work.
Before giving a possible buyer an offer, think about it;
- how long will it take?
- how much do you want to earn per hour?
If you have unusual skills in one or more subjects, you will often be able to take a slightly higher price. But always be realistic! You should not scare customers away at prices that are completely out of proportion. A good idea may be to check the market and see what others take for approx. same work.
Be aware that freelance companies will take a bite of your earnings in return to find you work. Therefore, check what fees you should pay and place it above the price you offer to the customer. Never say yes to do it without the freelance company as it makes it easier for the customer to bypass payment once they have received the goods.
4 Freelance pages to start out with
There are a few pages out there that help freelancers and customers find each other. Some have a wide range, while others are more specialized in an area. I found 4, which is certainly worth a try.
One page worth mentioning is Fiverr. This page is a little more alternative and offers plenty of opportunities to be creative. The concept is rough that you offer a service for $5. Examples of this are
- I want to make a movie trailer for $5
- I will make a voiceover of 100 words in Swedish for $5
- I will translate 500 words from English to Danish for $5
This is the place for the slightly more alternative jobs, so you can browse around and be inspired before you create your own offers.
The best part is to offer your offers for $5 and then charge extra for equivalent extra work. For example, if you offer 100-word voiceover for $5 dollars, the price will, of course, be $10 for 200 words, etc.
Pros: A page that allows you to be creative.
Cons: The page requires a fee of staggering 20%, so if you charge 5 pounds, only 4 will reach your account.
This page from 2003 focuses on work per hour. This can be a definite advantage if you are unsure how long your work will take as you will always be guaranteed to get paid for the number of hours you have worked on the project.
Since the launch of the website, more than 4 million jobs have been created, so there should be enough work to tackle.
Pros: You are sure to receive payment for all the work you do.
Cons: oDesk takes high fees, so be ready to pay 10% of everything you earn.
Visit UpWork here
A user-friendly page that lets you log in with your Facebook profile. Then you have the opportunity to set up 20 of your skills, which then use to match you with potential jobs.
Pros: Unlike other freelance sites, you at Freelancer.co.uk have the opportunity to see what others offer jobs, so you can better be competitive.
Cons: Soaring fees! Every time you’ve done a job, the page is 13% that it earned.
Visit Freelancer here
An English page where you know each job can see exactly what the customer is willing to pay. And it’s not uncommon to find jobs with pretty good payment.
Pros: Your fee system works in such a way that you pay 15% of the first 175 pounds you earn each month. Of what you earn then the page will only pay a 3.5% fee. It’s motivation to take some extra jobs!
Cons: Unlike other freelance pages, where you can apply for jobs once you have created a profile, PeoplePerHour also has to fill in an application.
Visit PeoplePerHour here
5 tips for a good freelancer profile
In addition to the individual applications you send out to potential customers, you will also need to make sure you have a welcoming profile. On your profile, customers will be able to find a presentation, comments from previous customers and perhaps also examples of some work.
Take the time to make an adequate profile! Your profile will in many cases mean more to the customer than your application.
It’s okay to brag
Unlike so many other places, you really should not lay down your skills. Namedrop all your previous employers and types of work – nothing is too insignificant to be omitted. If you have any recommendations from previous employers, do not hesitate to quote some of the very good gold grains
Get good reviews
At the start of your freelance career, it is very important that after each job you ensure that the customer leaves a review of your work. The first couple of weeks are the hardest to land jobs, but as soon as you have a handful of 5-star reviews, it would be easier.
Tell about yourself
Perhaps it’s professionally irrelevant if you are a skilled pianist or run a marathon, but you may mention it anyway. Most customers will appreciate a little personality and it may at least be impossible to count as something bad.
Since you are unlikely to meet many of your customers (if any), it may be difficult for them to confirm your legitimacy. Fortunately, most freelance sides can take care of this by checking your qualifications and location. Once you’ve done this, you’ll get great greetings for your profile, which undoubtedly looks out to the customers.
You should also consider taking tests in your freelance area, often there will be 40 minutes of familiarization with Photoshop, your programming, editing or spelling capabilities. After taking the test, your score will be on your profile – and who knows maybe you will be the top scorer?
Considering how many profiles buyers click through, it’s probably not appropriate to write a complete autobiography. Of course, you must be of relevance to, but take a quick note so that the buyer can quickly and easily get an overview.
One last thing you must not forget when making your profile is to get a correction. Especially if it’s in text work you’re trying to get a job, it’s super, super important not to have dummy errors, typos, etc. It just does not look great! So read through it the last time before you click ‘save’.
Getting the job
You have created a profile, you researched into which areas you want to freelance and you have an idea of what to charge for your work. But what then? How will it be you who gets that job? Here are four ways to make yourself noticed.
Invest in your profile
Typically, with a free profile, you only have the right to send a limited number of applications per. month. It goes without saying that the more applications you send, the greater the chances of getting a job. Then check what an upgrade of your profile will cost – most of the times, it will be worth the investment.
Select the jobs
Go for jobs with a long and detailed description – it allows you to write a personal application stating that you have carefully read and understood what the job is about. Do not hesitate to ask questions if something you feel is unclear. It also shows commitment and interest
Invest in your application
You have the option to pay an extra $1 to get your application first in line. It may be a good idea so your application will not be buried in the crowd. Statistically, these applications are chosen more often than the others, so the money will often prove to be well-given.
Write personal applications
The biggest no-no is to make a standard application that you send out to everyone. Buyers easily spot a standard application from a personal, and the personal will always be prioritized. Therefore, always use the time to first read the ad and then write a personal application. Buyers appreciate commitment and personality!
After completing your job, you must, of course, have your payment. There are several options, each with their pros and cons:
It’s easy and fast, but unfortunately, you pay fees for the conversion from dollars to other currencies. However, it will still be the best option as it is 100% safe and quite user-friendly
Some pages offer a direct transfer to your bank account. It sounds straightforward, but always check what fees you will be charged for a transaction – it can quickly become expensive!
In addition to the uncertainty of sending money by mail, it may take a while to send a check from the United States or Australia for example to Europe. In addition, you will have to go down to the bank to get the money deposited into your account. All in all: both uncertain and time-consuming
Mistakes you should avoid
Before ending this topic I would like to share some thoughts on some other things worth considering.
Yeah, sorry for swearing, but as a freelancer, you are of course not exempt from paying taxes, so unless you are a shark to arrange all the paperwork yourself, it may be a good idea to ask for advice or hire an accountant.
Always be aware
Most freelance sites have a system to secure payments, but you should always be aware of your agreement:
- What exactly is the work?
- How long will it take you?
- What do you earn from it?
Always be 100% sure of all three things before starting a job.
Avoid illegal jobs
I know, it sounds quite obvious, but there will be jobs that move right on the verge between legal and illegal. If you’re in doubt, do not be bothered to risk the trouble.
Never perform free work
While it may sometimes seem the most right to send a small “taste test” of your work, it is prohibited on many sides. Instead, offer a “trial”, which should neither be particularly extensive nor expensive, after which the customer can choose if he/she wishes to continue the cooperation.
Only accept a cash settlement
You may find that you are offered profit from the customer’s website as payment. Never accept such offers! 99% of the times, it’s just a scam, and you rarely have the opportunity to seek them out when a job is done.
Try to hold on to good customers
Have you had a good job at a proper salary? Why not offer the customer 5 or 10% off the next job if they hire you again within a week? Buyers love a good offer and it relieves you from the work of finding new jobs. Additionally, always make sure your customers post a review after finishing work as it will make it easier for you to hijack new customers.
Ask if you can get your name on your work
Especially if it’s e-books or miscellaneous designs, it can be a clear booster for your reputation to get your name on. However, it is the customer who has the copyrights in your work and only a few will let you put your name on. But it never hurts to ask!
Examine the various utilities for freelancers
As you will never really meet any of your customers face-to-face, Skype and Dropbox are essential tools for sharing documents and communicating with customers. Additionally, the plugin “Pamela” for Skype allows you to record and save conversations for later use. If you become a serious freelancer, Trello and Basecamp tools can also be worth a look.
If you got this far in this guide, you should be well dressed to start your freelance adventure. Good luck!
Also, see – How To Get Started As A Freelancer On Fiverr