How to Join the Freelancing Revolution

Ever since the pandemic has shaken this world to its core, an unseen battle has been raging in every nation’s economy. All the companies in every nation, big or small, have suffered greatly due to the fear that the Pandemic has wrought. Countless businesses are still struggling to hire and retain employees in their vacant workstations. 

In a recent analysis of the workforce analytics company, Visier found that there has been a sharp increase in resignation rates starting from July to September of 2020. These ratings, unfortunately, continued to rise as we are now halfway through 2021, especially in the fields of technology and healthcare. 

Why is that you may ask? The biggest reason for that is because of the revelation that they received after being forced to adjust due to the still ravaging Pandemic. Many former employees have realized that working from home as freelancers is way more flexible, convenient, and secure compared to any outdoor occupation. 

According to an analysis from Statista, the number of freelance workers is expected to grow to more than 50% of the total U.S. workforce by 2027. Even lawyers are jumping into the freelancing wave through talent platforms like Axiom Law and UpCounsel. 

So how can you take the leap to become a freelancer or consultant? These tips will help get you started: 

1.) Understand your motives 

Understanding your reasons for considering freelancing as a profession is very important for the future. It’s best that you have a clear goal in mind and for the right reasons. Why do you want to freelance? Is it because you want to work on projects that you enjoy, have a more flexible schedule, or go all-in on that side hustle? Or maybe you just want to have more control over your personal life alongside your career. If you’re doing it for shallow reasons, like disliking your boss, want to lessen work hours, or earn more money, then this might not be the right fit for you. A small tip that one can follow is to write down your motivations and revisit them every now and then. A reminder to yourself to not give up when things get rough. 

2.) Don’t quit your main job too soon 

For the majority of people, quitting their main job spontaneously after deciding to do freelancing work isn’t the brightest of ideas. Especially if one still wasn’t fully prepared for the potential cost of such a profession. A more practical method in doing this is to have a slow transition to freelancing until you feel ready to change occupations. Take this time to analyze your financial situation and ask yourself: How much money will you need to earn before you feel comfortable making this shift towards freelancing? Once you have confirmed that you can make it work, THAT is when you should take that leap of fate. 

3.) Define what you have to offer 

What type of product or service do you have to offer? It’s best that it’s something that you enjoy and are good at doing so as it will make your future projects less tedious to accomplish. It’s better that you first confirm that there is a market for them and to determine how you can make yourself stand out when compared to your competition. And don’t be afraid to have a more specific focus as it is often better to start with small instead of trying to be everything to everyone. Having a specific field of expertise would also help you find your target market much easier. 

4.) Decide on what audience you wish to appeal to 

When first starting out, it’s best to have a specific group of people that you wish to appeal to for your products or services and target them first. Doing some basic market researching before making big decisions would do you some good. But as time goes on, you would eventually develop a better understanding of who your ideal group of clients is. While it would be tempting to target everyone under the sun, narrowing down on the customers that you work best with will help you achieve better results in the long run. 

5.) Identify a platform 

When first starting out, a freelancer must work extra hard to build a clientele that matches well with them. Freelance websites like Fiverr, UpWork, and FlexJobs can provide much-needed assistance for finding potential clients quickly and earning employers’ trust while doing so. There are even sites that specialize in different niches. One example would be Mediabistro that focuses on featuring freelance writers, designers, and editors. Another example would be Envato Studio that connects businesses with freelance creative professionals, such as artists and actors. Utilizing these platforms will help you improve your skill set, grow your portfolio and, in turn, generate more referrals. 

6.) Ask for outside opinions 

No matter what level of experience one might have, hearing the reviews or testimonials from outside sources should always be a key component of any freelancer’s marketing plan. There’s no shame in asking for other’s opinions. These endorsements from satisfied customers can be a powerful tool to help you attract new prospects and continue to build your freelance business. Don’t forget to post them prominently on your personal website or social media profiles. For beginners, it’s best to consider taking a few projects pro bono in exchange for testimonials. At best, a freelancer would prefer to start with at least three to five endorsements to increase the chance of success. You might even offer to draft the copy yourself for their approval if the client is busy. Other than that, guiding clients on where you’d like them to focus is also a smart move. 

Joining the freelance revolution is a golden opportunity for many to seize control over their work hours and the way they do things. But it requires a lot of work, dedication, motivation, and patience to not only survive, but to thrive in their new work environment. The key is to not give up. When things get rough, revisit your motives and reasons for being there. When you find yourself living your day-to-day life on your own terms and doing work that you genuinely enjoy, then you know you’re on the right path.

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