Freelancing 101: What is Freelancing?

Lesson 1: What is Freelancing?

What is freelancing?

Simply put, freelancing is a form of self-employment.

As a freelancer, you don't work exclusively for any specific company and as a result, you have the freedom to live anywhere with a reliable internet connection. You have control over when you work and who you work for. 

Thanks to the internet, it is easier than ever to find people and businesses that need your services. You could work for clients who live across the country or across the world. You might even work with other freelancers who are many miles away from you.

Each freelancer is as unique as their skill set.

As a group, freelancers offer many kinds of expertise, such as:

  • accounting
  • business consulting
  • developing apps
  • copywriting
  • design
  • writing ebooks
  • editing
  • lifecoaching
  • marketing services
  • programming
  • teaching/tutoring
  • video production
  • project management

Consider all your skills, the things you’re good at, and your experience within your industry. Are you talented at math? Tutoring could be for you. Do you have experience organizing projects and working with calendars? Becoming a personal assistant might be an option.

Freelance work is an excellent choice for social media managers, tutors, computer programmers, and illustrators. Writers, editors, and musicians also make great freelancers.

Ultimately, the main things you need to get started are determination, self-motivation, and a marketable service.

Keep in mind that when freelancing, time is money. 

Unlike many jobs where you clock in and out or work on salary or commission, freelancing requires that you use deadlines to schedule and produce your tasks. After all, you need a way to ensure the work gets done. So time management skills are vital to your success. 

The better you are at managing your time, the more money you'll make. Your goal is to deliver high-quality services on time.

Another important aspect of freelancing is customer service

You might think as a freelancer, that there's no one to answer to but yourself, but you’d be wrong. When you're self-employed, your customers are your boss and customer service can make or break your freelancing business. 

Positive word of mouth and good reviews can often be your best way to generate new work. By cultivating relationships with excellent customer service, you can start to develop an ongoing list of clients that will form a strong foundation for your growing business. 

Ultimately, happy customers mean more business.

Okay, so now maybe you're wondering, how much money can I make doing freelance work? or, how do I figure out what to charge for my services?

What you can charge will vary depending on your services, experience, and customers, but generally, freelancers can charge anywhere between $10 - $75 per hour, and at times, even more.

There are many factors to consider when you're working on your own:

#1. You’ll need to seriously consider your expenses since you'll be paying for all of the tools required to deliver your services. 

For example, if you're a graphic designer, you'll probably need a subscription to Adobe Creative Suite. Or if you're a filmmaker or photographer, you’ll need cameras, lighting equipment, as well as editing tools and software.

#2. When you are first starting out, you will also need to build a portfolio. This takes
time, and you might need to charge a lower rate on the first several projects you take

#3. Another import expense to consider is taxes. You are required to pay taxes on all revenue that you generate, and as an independent contractor, your taxes are higher at
the end of the year than those of a regular office job.

As you can see, there are many things to think about as you take your first steps into living the life of a freelancer, but the good news is that you don't have to jump right into full-time self-employment. 

People often do freelance work as a side gig when first starting out. That means you might work with just a couple of customers as you start to figure it all out. 

Freelancing is not for everyone.

But for some, working as a freelancer and striving to build a successful business could lead to a much more satisfying work life. With the right plan, you can work for yourself and earn a living.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to get started? 

Then let's dive deeper into how to become a freelancer.