First of all we need to know what a freelancer is and what “freelancing” means? A freelancer is usually a self-employed person who works as a web designer, developer, content writer or even a blogger. More precisely, he contracts a small/medium (rarely large) task from various clients and receives money when the work is done. This means that, as a freelancer you can work at home while staying in your bed, anytime and keeping your own schedule.
Most of my friends, as do most people, are of the opinion that freelancing is the common, easiest choice of the lazy. “Call me when you have some money and then say you have a job…” is the most common expression I’ve heard in my career as a freelancer.
As a freelancer, you need one or more clients, the work should be perfect to impress future clients, you work on your schedule but the task you have has a deadline, which in most cases is yesterday. In conclusion freelancing is a job, a serious way of making money, but you are the boss and you work according to your own schedule.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of being a freelancer.
- Work at Home
- Organizing your own schedule
- A lot of opportunities on the web
- You can’t be fired or laid off anymore
- You will become “tired and bored” of your home
- Your schedule is never the same with the clients deadline
- Clients can always choose another freelancer
- No tasks is equivalent to no money
Want to Become a Freelancer? Necessary Steps:
From where I stand, freelancing implies 99% ambition + work (or maybe work + ambition) and 1% talent (I’ve learned it from Thomas Edison). Working as a freelancer involves being a professional in a particular domain (no matter which one) and the ability to work hard. To my shame, I do not have a whole lot of experience, but in my short career I’ve worked really long hours daily. One way to learn is using tutorials, but nothing is possible without conscientious work and a lot of time spent in front of your computer as to become competitive.
All your work (which will be called “portfolio” from now on) should be good and eye-catching to entice possible customers. Taking all these things into consideration, what’s required: a personal site, blog or any promo & ads and an impressive portfolio. This is such an important aspect because it represents you, it shows all your real abilities. Many freelancers can say that they make a new YouTube like project faster and better, but their portfolio can let potential customers know if this it is true or not (if he/she has worked on similar or more difficult projects than the one the clients wants, that should mean that the freelancer is able to do the job). In my personal opinion a portfolio is like a TV commercial: it can either be a launching ramp or just your ordinary unappealing add.
Below are some awesome portfolios to inspire you.
2. How to be the best!
I am afraid to say that the answer is still work, but not unproductive one. Each time you give the best in your work, try to forward it or ask people what do they think about your work, and if they like it, post it on a website in the field you work. Anyway a pro in domain has a different eye as your friends which in most cases are uninterested in what you have done. To know where you are and to know your true abilities try showing your work on the www. There are a lot of ways to publish your work. In the majority of these places somebody (who is a pro or maybe master) will leave you a comment probably like these:”Nicely done”, “Good work”, “You should try again”, “What is that?”. In case you are a logo designer, then Logopond is the best place (my opinion) where you can post your logos. Here are some other sites where you are advised by the best logo designers in the world:
1- Brand Bucket
3.How to make money?
As I said previously, you “don’t work in vain”. Even if you are a beginner, try to compete with the best to achieve hard standards because World Wide Web (WWW) is a market for freelancers, an important and an exponentially growing one. Below are some places where you can find jobs as a freelancer:
On this website, prices are low even though www.rent-a-coder.com is a sounding name. “RAC” is the best opportunity to gain experience because there are many projects from various domains such as logo design, web design, content writing, development, translating, but also MATLAB and Excel algorithms. What you have to know is that getting the first project, may be difficult as you have no feed-back, which is a really important criteria for any customer. Another advantage here is that you can bid as much as you want.
www.99designs.com is intended only for designers, but this is where the crème of logo & web design. Prices start from 150 $ (the cheapest product ever met here) to 350 $(a web page design is 300-350$ or more and the average logo 200-300$) which means a perfect income for beginners because there is no need to have a portfolio or previous work. You simply submit a “.jpeg” picture of your design and the contest arbiter gives you ratings staring from 1 to 5. After many failed projects on what will be a very important day of your life you will win a project; then you send the *.psd/*.ai format to the client and your account will be “full” of money.
In order to work on this website, it is required to pass an easy exam which consists in few questions about how to pay a freelancer, to receive money or any other frequent problems. You can also post your portfolio, without forgetting that experience and feed-back are as important as I said before.
Surely you can find on the Internet other very good places where to find jobs as a freelancer, I selected only three which I tried personally. I am working on a list of all the online marketplaces for freelancers, and I hope to post it soon.
In conclusion, nothing is possible if you don’t put all your will behind your work and that’s why I have a precious piece of advice: go to work and do your best!