How to Become a Freelancer: All you need to know

If you want to start your career in a flexible way or you are considering quitting your office job to be your own boss, freelancing would be your right choice. To become a high-paying freelancer, you must first become a person with outstanding ability and turn this ability into money.

This article will tell you to the necessary information to become a freelancer

Step 1: Understand freelance job's description and responsibilities

Freelancers are service providers like consultants, writers, editors etc… who are not affiliated with any organization, and who do not have a long-term commitment to any employer and engage in a certain profession. They are under their own guidance, looking for work by themselves, often but not always working from home, which means Self-employed. They can also work with many clients at the same time.

So what does a freelancer do in daily work?

Many different freelancing jobs are depending on your ability.

1. Freelance writer or editor: Freelance writers are most popular, who rely on wording jobs on the Internet, mainly because they only need a computer and a network cable to work.

2. Artist, designer, photographer: Their work is to use PS skills or do some design work. There are also many photographers who choose to be freelancers and take some pictures to sell to companies and websites.

3. Accountant: Many accountants prefer to work with many clients and not be committed to only one company.

4. Dentist: Dentists are the most common medical freelancers. There are three main reasons: Dental problems are common which almost everyone has, and generally, major medical accidents do not occur in this industry moreover the cost of treating teeth is not low, and a tooth can cost thousands of dollars.

5. Lawyers: Lawyers are persons who provide service in legal problems. They are professional in law.

6. Computer programmer: They develop APP, websites, operating systems and other software for some companies who have relevant needs.

7. Translator: Translators can be a part-time job besides your on-day work, which can make a fast income.

Step 2: Think before you do: whether is it worth to be a freelancer

Before you start freelancing, you must fully understand it and analyze your own situation to consider whether it is suitable for you to be a freelancer or no. Firstly, ask yourself the following questions, and also respond to these questions based on your actual situation.

1. Why do you want to be a freelancer?

Because you are tired of spending most of your day at work and between transportations; or tired of having to work overtime to finish your tasks and meet the deadlines; even tired of the repressive office environment and want to change the routine and start a free life again.

2. Freelancing is for money or freedom?

Regardless of the occupation, it is true that it is not for reasons of money, but for freedom. Therefore, in order to make it relatively safe to work freelance, it`s not wise to quit office job at the first thought of freelancing, but to do some part-time jobs for six to twelve months to lay a good foundation to quit office job as a freelancer.

3. What freelance can you do?

There are many people who want to do freelance, but thinking of it doesn't mean you can do it. Before you become a freelancer, you must think about what are your capabilities, because freelancers are totally dependent on your own ability to support yourself

So you have to think about a few questions before you become a freelancer:

Do you have strong skills and products?

Can you bear the failure?

Does your family recognize and support you?

What are the benefits of becoming a freelancer?

First of all, many people feel free and can no longer be constrained by office politics and can spend all their energy on work. Secondly, work and life balance can be achieved. Work when you want to work and take a break when you don't want to work.

1. Work opportunities are plenty.

2. Be your own boss controlling your schedule.

3. Meeting many kinds of people who can gather experience.

4. Free to choose your work and people you want to cooperate with.

But are freelancers really free? In fact, when you step into this field, you will find freelancers are not as wonderful as imagined, and they have to bear many pressures and responsibilities.

1. Freelancers mean you have no paid leave anymore.

2. You have to continually look for work.

3. You need to be disciplined and make plans.

4. New freelancer can get low pay

5. You may work longer.

Step 3: Gain your experience

To be a freelancer, the most important step is to build your clients base. You can use all kinds of freelancing platforms to find new projects or contact with new clients, and there are also platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Meetup, Quora where you can build your group of customers, show your services, make you popular and famous. A personal website can be used to introduce your business and service. Freelancers work for themselves, so all the businesses are needed to be done on their own, at this situation, having some prior on-day working experience is a convenient way to gather clients and gain experience. It's advisable to start your freelancing plan before a period of office work where you can pave to your way to be a freelancer and learn how to set up your business.

Step 4: Prepare relevant skills for being a freelancer

The so-called freelancer means to hire yourself, who need to grasp some special skills compared with office workers.

1. Keep a record of everything

Think of keeping records as a habit. Freelancers, by instinct, save templates, write guidelines, give detailed comments and records, and these habits should be maintained even when working full-time. Whether it's a small project or an initiation training, detailed notes and independent perspectives will help you a lot. Always make your work to high standards, and members of the same team will treat you as a great collaborator and someone they can trust.

2. Learn to manage time

Freelancers are very clear about the concept of "non-working time". Of course, they also know that the time for dealing with chores, such as communicating with customers, marketing, and accounting is very valuable, so do your best to get the most out of each day.

3. Everyone is a customer

Good freelancers are extremely good at finding customers, and their partners are expert figures in their fields. Treat everyone you reach as a customer. In fact, often reflecting on your communication style can help you respond to others in a more efficient and thoughtful manner. At the same time, remind yourself to capture the advantages from others.

Step 5: Start your freelancing career

When you are accumulating enough experience, build some customers, and then you can quit your office job or turn all your attention into freelance to start your own business. Decide your ability and skills to concentrate on one professional field that you will provide service in, some popular freelance positions are:

Freelance writer

Freelance bookkeeper

Freelance web designer

Marketing/PR services or social media manager

A freelance virtual assistant or virtual professional

Important Tools for a successful freelancer

1. A business plan; Making plans before starting your career can smooth your daily affairs.

2. A website; Build your own website and put all the relevant information on it.

3. A LinkedIn profile; where professionals and potential clients will connect you.

4. A dedicated business phone or cell phone.

5. A business card.

6. A menu of services and your freelance rates.

Develop your career path

In a word, making freelancing work a full-time job means you have a lot of things to be done, and it will take a period to get your first task, but after, that you will make great incomes.

1. Make sure you are able to do this job and ask yourself repeatedly if you are willing to invest in this field.

2. Exercise your ability to the extreme.

3. Improve self-management ability

4. Accumulate network

5. Develop your own financial and business cooperation skills

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