Working from home can be a dream come true. You can have the security of what you know around you, and you can take breaks to check your SHLO stock. But is freelancing all it is cracked up to be?
What Are Six Things to Know About Doing Freelance and Gig Work Before You Begin
Are you ready to join the freelance train? Freelancing offers numerous possibilities, with many people joining this growing sector every year. The gig economy encompasses more than 55 million U.S workers. However, becoming a full-time freelancer requires careful thought and planning. It is a way to invest in your passions or supplement your income without leaving your steady job. But once you’re freelancing business starts to grow, you can go full-time. Nonetheless, it is an exciting time and an opportunity to grow. Below are six things you need to know about doing freelance and gig work before you begin.
Why Do You Want to Start Doing Freelance and Gig Work?
It may seem obvious, but knowing why you want to start freelancing and gig work is the first thing you should do. There is no correct answer, but motivation is vital if you want to join a freelance career. Your response to this question is essential in shaping your trajectory. You need to have an aspiration about freelancing and not do it just as an alternative. If you’re passionate about it, you will have a more rewarding experience. Joining this industry just because you are eager to make quick cash could lead to disappointment. It requires hard work, commitment, and dedication for one to become a successful freelancer.
Identify the Services You Are Going to Offer as a Freelancer
Freelancing is a broad field with different niches. If you’re going to be a freelancer, you’ve probably thought about what you want to do. It’s essential to identify a specific niche and hone your skills. Freelancing is very competitive, and there are already many people offering similar services. Determine what you can offer that others are not for you to stand out from the crowd. Before you start, check out your competition to see their services and identify new ways to do it differently. If a job description requires specific skills and you have them, focus on that when writing your pitch to the employer.
Freelance and Gig Work Is Not a One-Time Project
Freelancing does not entail just doing a single task for each client. Many companies are hiring full-time freelancers for ongoing projects. When starting a freelance career, you may get clients who offer single gigs. But as you keep building your portfolio, it becomes easy to get ongoing projects. It’s possible to get projects extending for more than six months. With time you’ll get a handful of clients who provide long-term work, and freelancing will be much easier because you always work on different projects.
The most exciting and scariest part about freelancing is getting clients. It is empowering to choose who to work with and the projects to undertake. However, it is a competitive industry, and getting new clients requires a lot of commitment. Every freelancer needs to have a website to highlight their background and services. Dedicate a lot of time to marketing yourself and improving your skills to stay top of the game. Consider also promoting yourself on job boards and social media. There are plenty of freelance networks to join and get connections from people in the same industry.
Rejection is Part of the Job
Freelancers work with different clients at a time. It becomes hard to balance various projects at once. The company’s needs and budgets and your working relationship may change. Rejection comes more often in freelancing but should not be taken personally. Don’t get discouraged but instead, keep grinding. You will keep getting more clients if you’re good at your work.
As a freelancer, you are required to provide services to clients, which means you’re fully responsible for bookkeeping. Staying organized will help you avoid mistakes along the way. In addition, bookkeeping will help you when tax season comes around. You should also use contracts. If a client does not provide a contract, you should be comfortable sending them one before you start working on their project. Contracts ensure that you are on the same page, and in case of any miscommunications, you have something to refer back to.
Before you begin freelance and gig work, you need to take the time to reflect on your motivations and explore all the available options to make an informed decision. Then, of course, if you try and realize that it’s not the right career for you, you can look for a regular job. Hopefully, these tips will help you before you start your first project.