The 9-to-5 lifestyle or full-time jobs are pretty boring for some people. Most people like a bit of flexibility and want to be our own boss. Being a freelancer has many benefits. First of all, you are free to work anywhere you like – be it in the bed or and couch or you can simply work from another state or another country, as long as you get your work done.
Did you overspend during Hari Raya until you have no saving at all? Need extra cash to support your full-time job? Let’s see how you can get started as a freelancer.
What kind of freelancer are you going to be?
First things first, you have to decide what kind of freelancer you want to be. Do you want to do this full-time or is this a side-gig? There are three types of freelancer that you can be. You can either be an independent full-time freelancer – look for contacts and jobs, negotiate with your client about the job and deadlines and get the payment.
The second type is to sign up with a freelance management company. The owner of the company will negotiate job and payment terms and then assign the task to you. It’s more like having a second job but you don’t have to look for clients. But, in term of payment, the company takes a cut of the earnings as commission.
The third type is moonlighting (this is you if you want to earn extra kaching while working). If you do this, you have to make sure that your current employer is aware of it or else you may get into trouble.
Know your skills
The industry that you’ll join is generally determined by your skillset. You might be a content writer, contributing to other publications if you already have the skills and portfolio.
You might also be a content writer who happens to be very good at artwork and graphic design. So the right fit would be as a designer instead. What is important is that you have a clear picture of the industry.
Getting a job
Most start through word of mouth and social media. Keep an ear out for opportunities. Not every encounter will turn into a paying job, but you never know when you’ll find a new client.
There are multiple groups for freelancers on Facebook – each catering to a different industry. So cast your net as wide as possible and you’re bound to land jobs.
Know your worth
One of the very important things when it comes to freelancing is setting a payment rate. It’s crucial that you know your worth and also study the market rate for freelancers. If you’re not sure, talk to people about it. You want to make sure you’re well paid for the amount of work you’re doing.
Online freelance sites generally have clients set their budgets, which is a good way to get started. If anything, it will give you an idea of how much your work should be worth.
Make sure you get paid
It’s very common to hear freelancers complaining about not getting paid – and it will probably happen to you too. Before you embark on any freelance job, make sure to lay out your payment terms. Which means defining how much you should get paid and when.
You should specify whether you’re charging by the hour, by the day, or a lump sum for the entire project. Be clear about how you would like to be paid, i.e. bank transfer, cheque, or cash. More importantly, make sure all these terms are in black-and-white.
Aside from all the amazing benefits of freelancing, there are also downsides – so make sure to weigh all the pros and cons before making the jump. Good luck!