As we all know, the share of jobs requiring “work from home” increased during the pandemic. It made a significant impact on most people’s work lives. We no longer live in a world where working from 9 to 5 is the standard. The face of work is changing all the time, from flexible schedules, the ability to work from anywhere, to growing entrepreneurship. Several people like to work at their own pace, pick out a niche for themselves, and, above all, do their own thing. This is how the concept of freelancing was born. As a freelancer, you will essentially be self-employed rather than committed to a specific organisation.
Does this sound like something you’d like to do for a living? Whether your purpose is to boost your income or make freelancing a full-time job, you’ll need expertise, a desire to learn and develop, and a lot of patience. We’ve put together a handbook that will help you get off to a fantastic start and have a successful career as a freelancer.
Advantages of Freelancing
While it takes a lot of time and effort to get started, becoming a successful freelancer is possible and comes with many advantages that continue to draw more people to this way of life.
1. Work Whenever You Want
The very first advantage of working as a freelancer is the freedom to work whenever you choose. You are free to set your own working hours. You have the option of waking up at noon. If you want to take the weekend off to explore the city, go ahead and do so. As a freelancer, you have the flexibility to work at your most productive hours, which do not have to meet with traditional 9-5 office hours.
2. Work Wherever You Want
You may work wherever you want, whether it’s a local coffee shop or while on vacation in Maldives. You are no longer bound by the limits of an office or even your own house. Find a spot where you can do your best job. You may work while wearing your pyjamas in bed, a cafe, or even a park!
3. You are Your Own Boss
As a freelancer, you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself and your clients. No one is watching you or micromanaging your actions. You are free to do whatever you want, whenever you want. All of the difficult decisions have now become your responsibility; you have complete power.
Disadvantages of Freelancing
Nobody can deny that being your own boss has significant advantages. But, what are the drawbacks? And do they outweigh the advantages mentioned above?
1. A lot of Effort
The road to a successful career in freelancing is not easy. You are your own best voice as a freelancer, you will also have to speak up and advocate for yourself if you believe a freelance job is not what you expected or that you will not be able to deliver excellent work. If you believe you get to set your own hours, the drawback can also be taking on a lot more work initially to build a sustainable source of income, due to which you might end up working longer hours.
You will also be solely responsible to advertise yourself and your services. With networking to create contacts, applying for chances that may or may not work out, and being rejected, it can feel like a never-ending job search.
2. Unsteady Income
Most of the time, it’s a one-time payment, and depending on the customer you’re working with, it could be paid immediately upon completion or a few weeks to months later.
As a result, you’re only as safe as the cash you have in hand. There will be days where you may not receive any projects from your usual clients, which may also lead you to take on lower-paying projects simply because any income is better than no income. If you establish a good relationship with your clients, you’ll be able to secure long-term retainers who can help supplement your income.
3. Inconsistent Flow of Work
Being a freelancer, unlike typical jobs, means that your workload will be unpredictable. You may or may not receive projects on any given day. You won’t be able to rely on any regular project, client, or profit, whereas in a 9-5 job, you’ll be given projects on a regular basis with no worries about the future.
How much does a Freelancer make?
Here’s the most asked question. It is totally based on your line of employment, your level of experience, and the expertise you have achieved in your field. However, it will probably come as no surprise to hear that freelancers make a good living.
According to various reports on the internet, a beginner-level freelancer in India can make between INR 10,000 and INR 30,000 per month, while an experienced freelancer can earn anywhere between INR 1 lakh and INR 20 lakhs per month
How Do You Become a Freelancer?
Do you need to pursue a particular degree? This question has no right or wrong answer. A bachelor’s degree isn’t the holy grail. It does improve your prospects as a freelancer, but it isn’t a certainty. While having a high education is usually beneficial, there are no official qualifications to begin freelancing.
But where do you begin as a freelancer? If you want to start working as a freelancer but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the perfect place. The steps listed below will guide you past many of the common hurdles that new freelancers face.
1. Put your Skills to Work
The first step toward becoming a freelancer is to turn your skills into a service! To do so, you’ll need to know how your skills might benefit a potential client. Try to put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes. What issues do they have, and how may your skills help them address them?
2. Identify your Target Audience
What type of companies would you like to work with? What type of clients work well with your vision? You’ll need to identify a target audience now that you have a freelance service to offer. Begin by deciding the type of customers who will benefit from your service.
Once you’ve narrowed down the types of clients or businesses you’d like to work with, start writing proposals. This will allow you to highlight your strengths and what you have to offer!
3. Put Together a Portfolio
Creating a strong portfolio is a crucial part of becoming a successful freelancer. First, your portfolio will establish the quality of your work as a freelancer by displaying your accomplishments and previous assignments. Second, this will be your chance to show your clients what you’re capable of and how valuable your knowledge is.
4. Maintain Strong Relationships with Clients.
Your clients are your business as a freelancer. While it may seem obvious, it is super important to create and maintain a positive working connection with your clients. Rather than thinking of their business as a one-and-done deal, build connections with your clients. Long-term relationships can result in repetitive business and new client referrals.
5. Build a Network
Building relationships is the key to achieving success as a freelancer, just like it is in any other industry. This involves not just communicating with customers but also socialising with other freelancers. Owning a business can be a lonely task. Instead of viewing other freelancers as competitors, collaborate with them and benefit from the goodwill that follows.
Platforms like LinkedIn are a terrific networking resource if you apply solid strategies. You can also look on other websites, such as Reddit, to see if there are any professional forums in your sector.
6.Continue to Improve your Skills
As a freelancer, your clients will hire you because of the services and expertise you provide. As a result, you must continually enhance your skills, adapt to changes, and broaden your knowledge. Keeping up with current trends is also necessary for offering the best service to your clients.
Click here to learn more about freelancing for beginners. Online learning platforms like Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, Coursera, and even YouTube are excellent places to start if you want to keep your skills up to date.
Is Freelancing Safe as a Career?
Are you afraid that if you choose to freelance, you’ll end up collecting pennies from under your sofa and lose all the job security that a traditional 9-5 job provides?
It is true that freelancers have no job security or employment rights. There are, however, a number of steps you can think about following to improve your chances of not being taken for a ride.
Steps to Safeguard your Career as a Freelancer
With all of the benefits of working as a freelancer comes the risk that your job, income, and livelihood could be taken away at any time. As a result, it becomes critical to safeguard yourself as much as possible.
1. Always have a Contract
Creating a contract is one of the most underrated but important steps to take. You should insist on a contract for each project you take on, this will allow you to resolve any issues that arise in future. It will also eventually protect both you and your client from legal implications.
2. Be Clear about Your Payments Due
Although the majority of clients are trustworthy and will pay on time, you should still take precautions. Even if you don’t have a formal contract in place, make sure you agree on the deliverables, price, and payment terms in writing before you start working. You’ll have something to fall back on if there are any disagreements down the road.
3. File your Taxes
According to the Income Tax Act, freelancers, like any other business person or salaried employee, are required to pay taxes to the government on their income. So, while you may hate taxes as a freelancer, you are strictly responsible for paying any local, state, and federal income taxes based on your income.
4. Use a Trusted Freelancing Platform
Anyone who has worked as a freelancer for a few years will tell you about clients who refused to pay or who made their lives a living hell by insisting on constant off-contract adjustments and additions. Using a trusted freelancing platform is probably the best approach to avoid situations like this.
As a freelancer, failing to safeguard yourself might cost you thousands of rupees in missed income. This is why it’s super important to safeguard yourself by constantly documenting all of your submitted tasks, both electronically and by hand, if possible.
This way, if there are any concerns with your submitted work’s payment details, they may be resolved quickly and won’t be used against you.
Careers Popular for Freelancing
There are endless career opportunities for freelancers, whether you’re a tech specialist, designer, or writer. With so many career categories to pick from, we are sure you’d be able to discover a career path that matches your skills. Here are some of the top career options for freelancing:
1. Content Writer
Do you often find people coming to you to help them write heartfelt messages, or to help them draft the perfect email? Do you spend much of your time with your nose buried in a book? You most likely have a thing for words. That alone is reason enough to enter the world of writing!
How much does a Freelance Content Writer make?
As a freelance content writer, you might earn anywhere between INR 8,000 and INR 25,000 per month, depending on your skills. So, if you are waiting to let your creative juices out, we’d say, let them flow!
Do you have an eye for detail? If you view the world differently through your camera lenses and recreate reality by projecting your ideas. You have a good chance of turning your hobby of photography into a job.
How much does a Freelance Photographer make?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a freelance photographer is expected to be INR 31,053.
3. Social Media Manager
Do you spend a lot of time on social media? Are Instagram, Twitter and Facebook your go-to apps? Do you enjoy posting and figuring out what your followers would enjoy? If so, you can consider becoming a social media manager!
How much does a Freelance Social Media Manager make?
As a freelance social media manager, you can expect to earn an income ranging anywhere between INR 1.2 Lakhs and INR 5.5 Lakhs, depending on your skills
4. Web Designer
As a web designer, you’ll get to create a whole website from the ground up! It would be your responsibility to ensure that the website is visually appealing. Not only that, but you’ll make sure the website is user-friendly and simple to navigate. It’s a job that allows you to express yourself creatively.
How much does a Freelance Web Designer make?
As a freelance graphic designer, you can expect to earn a handsome salary ranging anywhere between INR 1.5 Lakhs and INR 12.5 Lakhs, depending on your skills.
5. Graphic Designer
As a graphic designer, you get to create different types of illustrations, images and graphics by hand or using various computer software. Your creativity and art will be used for product illustrations, website designs, promotional material, branding and more. Graphic designers create visual magic by combining art and technology!
How much does a Freelance Graphic Designer make?
As a freelance graphic designer, you can expect to earn anywhere between INR 25,000 and INR 50,000 per month, depending on your skills.
6. Game Developer
If you enjoy video games and want to learn how to create characters, creatures, and scenery for them, game development may be the right path for you. As a game developer, you’ll design a universe for people to play in, allowing them to escape into a realm of your imagination in every way!
How much does a Freelance Game Developer make?
As a freelance game developer, you can expect to earn a handsome salary INR 5 Lakhs, depending on your skills and expertise.
Do you like to help your peers and family see life in a positive way? Do you like the idea of therapy and counselling as a way to make healthy decisions in life? As a Counsellor, you get to be the power of people’s thoughts. Sounds Interesting? It’s a job that allows you to help people!
How much does a Freelance Counsellor make?
As a freelance counsellor, you can expect to earn anywhere between INR 50,000 and INR 4 lakhs, depending on your experience in the field.
As a Tutor, you’re the primary source of knowledge for students from kindergarten to college. You’re the one who introduces them to basic concepts across different subjects; you help them grow up to be leaders in their profession or people who change the world.
How much does a Freelance Tutor make?
As a freelance tutor, you can expect to earn an average income ranging anywhere between INR 1 lakh and INR 4 lakhs per year, depending on your experience in the field.
As an accountant, your work will involve managing the finances and accounts for your clients, filing their tax returns, and more! Most of your work would involve using computers to crunch numbers to suggest ways of reducing costs and increasing profits. If you think this is the path for you, consider a freelance career in accounting!
How much does a Freelance Accountant make?
As a freelance accountant, you can expect to earn an average income ranging anywhere between INR 2.4 lakhs and INR 6 lakhs per year, depending on your experience and expertise in the field.
10. Marketing Specialist
As a marketing manager, you’ll study your audience, understand what they like and what they don’t, and come up with the best ways to sell a product or service to them. Marketing specialists are the people who make sure that their customers love the brand and keep buying it!
How much does a Freelance Marketing Specialist make?
According to Glassdoor, a freelance marketing specialist can earn an average income ranging anywhere between INR 1,20,000 and INR 8,29,416 per year, depending on your experience and expertise in the field.
Setting up your business as a freelancer can be tough. But if you see it through, you could turn it into a well-paying avenue and, eventually, your own consulting firm! If this is a route you want to take up, make sure you begin networking and keeping a close eye on online portals for projects. Subscribe to blogs and magazines, sign up for newsletters, set alerts for breaking news in your field. Set aside an hour each week to devote to learning more about your field. Connect with other freelancers to see what they do, how they manage, and what are the top challenges they face.