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Whether you have a dream to work for yourself, are looking for more flexibility, or just looking for a side hustle, freelancing can be the way to go. Read on to know what do freelancers do and what you can expect as a freelancer.
If you are viewing this post, chances are you are thinking about becoming a freelancer. It is worth mentioning that with the rise of the gig economy, the world of solopreneurs is becoming increasingly popular. There are more freelancers today than there have been ever before.
Unlike a 9-5 job where you have a boss and fixed working hours, freelancer jobs mean working independently for companies and businesses from home or any other remote location. According to a 2019 survey, it is found that more than 53% of workers aging 18-25 are freelancers.
So, what does freelance mean, and what do freelancers do?
Let’s dive in to learn more about freelancing and how to become a freelancer!
What Does Freelance Mean?
Freelancing means self-employment. Instead of being a worker of a company, freelancers work for themselves by offering services to clients on a projects or contract basis. Companies and businesses of all types and sizes can approach freelancers to complete a task or project.
Moreover, it is pertinent to mention that you will have to pay your taxes, health insurance, and other personal contributions as a freelancer. Since freelancers don’t have a boss and are self-employed, they also have to cover their sick pay and holiday costs.
However, freelancers have the opportunity to set their working hours and make work arrangements that suit their lifestyles.
Furthermore, Freelancer jobs can be short or long-term contracts. While there are plenty of freelancing jobs, you must have top-notch skills and expertise in a particular area or niche, such as writing, graphic designing, programming, project management, translation, etc.
Here are the main differences between freelance jobs and full-time jobs:
|Freelancer Jobs||Full-Time Jobs|
|· You have all the freedom to work from anywhere and at any time.||· You will have to perform specific tasks during specified working hours. In addition, you will also have set responsibilities.|
|· Freelancing can be a little unpredictable, making it hard for you to plan for the future.||· You will have a predictable, stable income and work routine as a full-time employee.|
|· As a freelancer, you might not have employer-fund benefits, such as retirement plans, paid vacations, sick leave, and health insurance.||· A full-time job offers excellent benefits. You will have paid vacation, health insurance, retirement plans, etc.|
Freelancing as a Career
The rise of freelancing has created a new concept – the gig economy. In simple words, it means an individual, instead of working full-time for a single business and getting a fixed salary, can work for multiple companies at the terms and price they think their work deserves.
The world of freelancing is incredibly enticing because it takes care of almost all the problems of a regular service-class human. Additionally, the number of high-earning freelance individuals has grown significantly in recent years.
Furthermore, in addition to increased personal income, freelancers also enjoy perks like the freedom to work, keeping all the profits, being their boss, etc.
However, not many end up pursuing freelancing as their full-time job. The reason is that they want to look for a guarantee. Unlike freelancing, a regular job offers a guarantee of the profession, paying at a specified time.
On top of that, regular jobs also provide other perks, such as retirement benefits, insurance, increments, and provident fund.
Remember that every profession has perks and drawbacks, so it’s up to you to balance it correctly for a healthy footing. If you think freelancer jobs benefit you, you should pursue freelancing as your career. Read more to know what does a freelancer do and what you need to become a freelancer.
Now, since you have got an understanding of what does freelance mean, let’s discuss what does a freelancer do.
What Does a Freelancer Do and How to Become One?
If you plan to quit your 9 to 5 job, freelancer jobs might be the best option to make a living. There are plenty of freelance platforms where you can find projects according to your skill set, such as writing, designing, marketing, web development, etc. However, before starting your freelance journey, you should take time to analyze your skills and interests.
Let’s discuss how to get into a freelance business, especially when you have a little money upfront.
Define Your Goals
Before stepping into the freelancer world and knowing what does a freelancer do, it is essential to define your goals. You will not start driving your car if you don’t have a destination. Similarly, you cannot start a freelance business if you don’t have a goal.
Without having a goal, it is hard to determine what direction to move. A plan is essential to accomplishing your dream of becoming a successful freelance.
Analyze Your Skillset
Whether you want to start freelancing full-time or a part-time hustle, your business will be built around the essential skillset you have to offer. Remember the skills you have are your biggest asset. So, identify the skills you have gained over the years that others may not have. You will earn using your skills.
Define Your Target Clients
After you have identified the skills that can be enjoyable and profitable for you, it’s time to define your target audience and who is going to pay you for your services. Keep in mind that most freelancers fail to be inspirational and thoughtful here.
So, make sure to be specific with your ideal clients. Small business can be a great start, but you should go deeper than that. You will need to understand your target audience and their problems truly. In addition, you will also need to analyze your services and what benefits they offer to your clients.
Moreover, discovering your target audience, what they want, and what they need is a fun journey. Analyzing needs will let you offer personalized services for the best possible results.
Package Your Skillset into a Service Offering
Identifying your skills is step one of becoming a freelancer. Now, you will need to sell them. If you are good at writing, you can provide copywriting services. Similarly, you can offer mobile app development services if you have excellent coding skills.
In simple words, freelance jobs require you to sell your skills as a service. You should also have the ability to turn your service into a solution.
Create a Portfolio to Showcase Your Skills
Remember that as a freelancer, a client hires you because they trust you. They trust you to do what you claim you can do. So, the most effective way to build trust with your clients is by showcasing your past project samples.
For this, you will need to create a portfolio showcasing who you are, your expertise, and past work samples. Make sure you have your work samples ready to share with clients from the start, giving them a reason to believe you can do the work.
What Do Freelancers Do?
So, what do a freelancer do to make a living? While there are many niches that you can choose as a freelancer, it depends on your interests and skills. Below, we will cover a few freelancer jobs, but you can use your creativity to find several other online jobs that suit your skills.
Freelance writing is one of the most popular and accessible freelance jobs for making money. One of the most convincing reasons for becoming a freelance writer is that you will find endless opportunities in almost any niche and industry.
With thousands of blogs and websites publishing new content daily, freelance content writers are incredibly high in demand. Moreover, many freelance writing gigs are for blogs and websites that involve ongoing work, meaning if you catch a few clients, you won’t need to look for new gigs every other day.
Furthermore, freelancers’ salary range depends entirely on their skills and experience. As a newbie, there are low-paying gigs that you might not find worth your time. However, for creative and more skilled writers, there are high-paying gigs as well.
With skills and a creative mind, you can earn six figures while working as a freelance writer from your home with an amazingly flexible schedule.
What do a freelancer do as a freelance writer?
- In addition to understanding how to craft content for digital and traditional channels, a freelance writer has outstanding verbal and writing skills. You research, write, proofread, and edit the content as a freelance writer.
- A freelance writer also has creative and problem-solving skills. You should be able to work on multiple projects.
- As a freelance writer, it’s your responsibility to develop unique ideas and craft compelling content, aligning with the brand strategy.
Content marketing is a strategy that entrepreneurs use to attract, engage, and retain their target audience by crafting and sharing videos, articles, podcasts, and other media. This is a practical approach to establishing expertise and promoting brand awareness, keeping your business thriving.
Moreover, content marketing freelance jobs are similar to freelance writing; they usually go a few steps further. A content writer is responsible for writing an article, and that’s it. However, a freelance content marketer is not only responsible for creating content but also provides some additional services to get more exposure for their content.
As a freelance content marketer, your responsibilities may include search engine optimization, promoting the content on social media platforms, and link building to the content.
What do freelancers do as Content Marketers?
- Content Marketer freelancers are responsible for designing marketing strategies as a freelance content marketer.
- They undertake initiatives for achieving business targets.
- CM freelancers are responsible for creating calendars, delegating tasks, and ensuring deadlines are met.
- They optimize and proofread content like a blog editor.
In addition to writing blogs and articles, many bloggers hire editors to ensure their blogs are up to date before being published. This is specifically for blogs that depend on many writers to craft the content. While some of these freelancer jobs also require a blog editor to write unique content, others focus explicitly on editing.
Moreover, as a blog editor, you should have excellent skills in grammar and spelling. In addition, outstanding communication skills are also necessary for a blog editor. This is because most blog editors are tasked to handle administrative tasks, requiring managing the publication schedule and publishing the content when they are ready.
What do freelancers do as Blog Editors?
- Freelance blog editors are responsible for handling all of the content creators, including communicating, hiring, providing feedback, and style guide requirements.
- You will work closely with the blog or website owner to set and understand the blog’s goals.
- A blog editor should also have an understanding of SEO optimization.
- As a freelance blog editor, you should know legal issues related to blogs and online content publishing.
A freelance web designer creates and designs websites for independent clients. Typically, they are responsible for generating a page’s layout, adding visual elements, and incorporating a brand’s specifications.
While some web designers specialize in a specific industry, such as entertainment or fashion, others prefer creating a diverse portfolio. As a freelance web designer, you will manage your clientele using your administrative resources while marketing their services through various networking techniques.
I’m especially fond of web designing because that’s how I first started my freelance journey. Millions of small companies, businesses, and non-profit organizations hire web designers to get help designing their websites. Since hiring an agency is pretty expensive and not a viable option for small businesses, they look for freelancers.
You can charge lower rates for freelancer jobs like web designing than an agency because you will have a little overhead. These jobs can still let you generate a very impressive income.
What does a freelancer do as a Web Designer?
- You should have an excellent understanding of programming languages like HTML and CSS for developing and arranging unique content for websites. In addition, you will be responsible for optimizing your client’s website and creating more practical features.
- As a freelance web designer, it is essential to understand critical design theories. These will help you increase the aesthetic quality of your work.
- Like any other freelance profession, you should also have the skills to work on multiple projects while also ensuring to meet the deadlines.
Freelance web developers are professional coders with expertise in creating aesthetic websites for their clients. Unlike a web designer, you will have to focus more on the coding, so having excellent coding skills is a must.
Web development freelancer jobs also include web design, network security configuration, web content development, and client/server-side scripting. Web development encompasses almost all the actions, operations, and updates required for building, maintaining, and managing a website to provide a user-friendly experience.
Moreover, freelance web development jobs may also include strategic actions required to increase search engine rankings.
What do freelancers do as Web Developers?
- As a freelance web developer, you should have the skills to write a well-designed, efficient, and testable code using best development practices.
- You are also responsible for creating website layouts and user interfaces through programming languages like HTML and CSS.
- Moreover, you should understand how to integrate data from back-end services and databases.
WordPress is one of the most popular platforms for creating stunning websites. Many businesses and entrepreneurs use WordPress to manage and optimize their websites. WordPress Freelancer jobs include everything from installation of WordPress to customizing themes to providing maintenance and support.
While it is effortless to use WordPress without hiring a professional developer or designer, some businesses or individuals don’t have the time to handle their WordPress themselves. So, they look for freelance WordPress professionals to take things for them.
As a WordPress designer or developer, you can offer services like customizing themes to meet your client’s requirements.
What does a freelancer do as a WordPress Designer?
- As a WordPress developer, you will be responsible for researching, designing, and implementing technical specs for projects according to the requirements.
- You can also offer services to lead a small team of individuals working on the same website.
- You are responsible for ensuring projects are built to meet the functional requirements, performance, and security.
- Designers may also be asked to oversee the development and maintenance of websites, applications, and other programming assignments.
- As a WordPress professional, you are required to stay up to date on industry standards and implement them accordingly.
Graphic designing is another one of the most popular freelancer jobs where professionals aesthetically visual content for businesses and companies to communicate messages. In addition to using typography and pictures, they apply visual hierarchy and page layout techniques to their clientele’s needs. While concentrating on the logic of displaying elements in interactive designs, they also work on optimizing the user experience.
Although working in today’s digital age means working with interactive software, freelance graphic designing still revolves around age-old principles. So, it would help if you hit the correct chord with users from their first glance.
Moreover, as a freelance graphic designer, you must have a firm and clear understanding of color theory and how critical the suitable color scheme is. Color choices are essential for reflecting not only the organization but also users’ expectations.
Furthermore, you should design with a focus on how elements match the right tone. Additionally, freelance graphic designers have high demand, allowing you to specialize in one area or offer various services.
Some popular graphic design freelancer jobs include:
- Social media graphics
- Book/ebook covers
What do freelancers do as Graphic Designers?
- As a graphic designer, you must link with clients to know their requirements, timescale, and budget.
- You are also responsible for managing proposals from typesetting through graphic design, print, and production.
- You will work with clients’ ideas while ensuring you manages their expectations.
- Your tasks also include developing concepts, graphics, and layouts and making decisions about fonts and images.
- A graphic designer also requires keeping their clients up to date, listening to and acting on given feedback, and clarifying the rationale behind the choices related to graphic designing.
Social Media Management
Due to the incredible popularity of social media platforms, social media management is among the most popular freelance jobs. Many business owners and companies recognize the significance of being active on social media. However, they don’t have time or enough knowledge to be able to handle their social media accounts.
So, they see hiring a freelancer as a viable option for handling their accounts and having an active presence. As a freelancer, you can provide a variety of social media services. For instance, you can manage your clients’ profiles, ensuring the new client is being shared regularly.
Learning about the various social media platforms will make you more marketable, too. With so many new types being added each year, this requires you to continue learning but the result is often quite profitable. For instance, if you know how to create pins and videos for Pinterest, you are able to boost your client’s business. They will be quite thankful!
Similarly, you can focus on specific platforms for marketing purposes. As a social media marketer, you can choose Pinterest, which is incredibly popular. If you know how to use social media platforms, you can also start social media freelance management or marketing for your blogs or brand.
What Do Freelancers Do As a Social Media Manager?
- As a social media manager, you are required to oversee a company’s interaction with the public by implementing social media content strategies.
- You should know how to use social media marketing tools effectively.
- Your responsibilities as a social media manager also include working with marketing professionals to develop marketing campaigns.
- You must also analyze your client’s brand digital marketing plan and identify strategic weaknesses.
A virtual assistant or VA is one of the rising freelancer jobs. Companies and businesses look for VAs that can deliver various services for them. As a freelance virtual assistant, you could help your clients by offering blog editing, social media management, writing, administrative support, etc.
Moreover, a general VA can offer services like responding to emails and phone calls, managing a contact list, organizing calendars, creating presentations, and many more. There’s an excellent demand for freelance VAs, meaning endless opportunities. While some of these jobs are low paying, you can find gigs that pay per hour to generate a decent income.
What does a freelancer do as a VA?
- As a general VA, you are required to create calendars, respond to emails and phone calls, etc.
- You must be familiar with the updated technologies, such as desktop sharing, VoIP, and cloud services.
- You are also responsible for time management and preparing presentations.
- As a VA, you should also have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
Coaching is a diverse profession unlike any other freelancer job and could cover many possibilities. You could offer freelance coaching or consulting services in about any industry or topic. However, for this, you should have existing skills, expertise, and experience that you can use.
Moreover, your coaching skills, expertise, and experience could be related to careers, personal finance, marketing, fitness, or anything else. Additionally, the amount you can charge is also influenced by many factors. However, theirs is the potential to generate an excellent income as a freelance coach or consultant.
Since the popularity of audio and video content for marketing is growing day by day, freelance voice actors are incredibly high in demand. They offer services to production companies and businesses by reading scripts for sales, product demonstrations, video ads, and more.
Moreover, as a voice actor, you could also get paid for creating intros and sound bytes for different podcasts. Apart from podcasts and online videos related work, there’s also a high demand for freelance voice actors to record audiobooks.
Top freelance platforms to promote your services include Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork, and PeoplePerHour.
Is Freelancing for you?
Freelancing is a skill, so the more you practice, the more it polishes your techniques, and the better you get at it. If you are seeking freelancer jobs, take the time to analyze your skills first. It will help you target the right audience and build your client list as soon as possible.
So, if you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer, it’s important to understand what you’re getting into. Freelancers typically have to wear many hats and often need to be skilled in multiple areas. But the freedom and flexibility of freelancing can be a great opportunity for creative professionals who want more control over their work life. Have you ever worked as a freelancer? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.
What does freelance mean?
Rather than being employed by a business, freelancers work for themselves. They generally work with clients on a project basis while being self-employed.
Is freelancing the right option?
The market has been booming recently, and many companies and startups opt for freelancers to help them with their businesses. Because of freedom and endless opportunities, the freelance industry attracts a lot of individuals to quit their 9-5 jobs.
Do Freelancers earn a lot?
This question comes up frequently, and the response is: it depends. When you first start, you might make very little. However, as you build your freelance business, you adjust your work to what fits well for you and learn to be more productive. With time, freelancers have the opportunity to build a successful business.