1. Who is a freelancer?
A freelancer is a person who is not devoted to a specific employer, company or boss for a long time. Moreover, a freelancer is a self-employed person and the analogy is somehow like “Be your own boss”. Freelancers charge their client hourly/daily based or project based. Now a days, freelancing refers to programmers, developers, writers and last but not least graphic designers.
2. Top skills in demand
Here are the top 20 skills that online businesses tried to find in 2015. [Courtesy: Upwork Blog]
- PHP Development
- Graphic Design
- Data Entry
- Content Writing
- Internet Research
- Web Design
- HTML5 Development
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Social Media Marketing
- Logo Design
- Virtual Assistant
- Lead Generation
- MySQL Administration
- Android App Development
- jQuery Development
- iOS App Development
- Email Marketing
- Customer Service
3. Identify your niche
It is the time to identify that whether you are a good programmer, a good designer, a good marketer or any other beginner/expert from the above list. Identify at least 1-2 skills from the list provided. If you’re interested in learning new skill/s, there are many online resources like Udemy available that offer free as well as paid video tutorial based courses to learn new skills.
4. Market yourself
Now market yourself and your skills. Start your portfolio website and start a blog so that people should know about you and your skills. Also, don’t forget to create/update your LinkedIn profile.
5. Understanding the nature of freelance projects
In a simple scenario, you have to find projects on freelancing websites and then bid on those projects for which you’re quite confident to complete successfully in time. The nature of freelance project may vary depending upon the online freelancing platform/website you’re using. Here in this blog post, I’ll discuss some common types of projects that are popular.
Fixed price projects
In fixed price projects, either client or you have to estimate the total cost of the project. If the cost mentioned in your bid is accepted by the client, then you’re obliged to successfully complete the project according to your proposed cost/budget. Fixed price projects are available at the popular freelancing platforms like UpWork, PeoplePerHour and Freelancer.
In hourly projects, you’re paid on hourly basis. Once the hourly rate is agreed between you and client then the payment will be made in accordance to that rate. If you work 20 hours per week and your hourly rate is $25, then you’ll get $500 at the end of week.
If you’re using UpWork for hourly project, then you have to download and install UpWork team app that will monitor and track your progress. This application will randomly take a snapshot of your desktop after every ten minutes slot.
If you’re using PeoplePerHour, then you have to estimate the number of hours for a particular project.
In the previous two type of projects, you have to find the project and bid on that project. This type of project is different in such a way that client will find you and contact you. PeoplePerHour and Fiverr currently offer such type of project. A very simple project of this nature would be “I can develop a simple PHP app for $500 in 5 days”. Now any client who will need a PHP app will contact you.
6. Freelancing platforms
Although, you can find many freelancing platforms but here are the most popular ones.
UpWork.com (Merger of Odesk & Elance)
Get yourself registered on these platforms, start bidding and earning.
7. Things to remember
- Communication is the key for a successful freelancer. Always communicate regularly with your client.
- Do not commit what you can’t do, only commit what you can easily do.
- Manage your time and don’t overburden yourself.
- Keep growing your skills.
- Getting your first project would be difficult but don’t lose the hope. Keep your rates low in the beginning, once you get few projects and your feedback score is good then you can easily raise your rate.
Tie your laces now and use the 7 steps to dive into your freelancing career.