In the last couple of years, the term ‘freelance’ or ‘freelancing’ has gained more popularity in our country. Several years ago, Indians started breaking away from regular norms of working in just one company or one sector or the entirety of the career and off late have started ‘freelancing’
A freelancer is someone who chooses to work for themselves and chooses not to exclusively associate with one company. This allows a freelancer to work on several different projects and work provided by different companies, entities and/or individuals.
These freelancers are not bound to any subjective norms of a regular job, for instance working from 9 to 5, reporting to a supervisor, etc.
They can take up as many projects as they want and are masters of their own workload. Contrary to popular belief that freelancers are always burdened with work, it is up to every freelancer on how much work they want to take up.
How does freelancing work?
The freelancing project set-up can typically be — work on one project at a time or remain associated with several projects over a period of time.
From time to time, companies are usually in need of freelancers to complete certain projects and are always on the look-out for relevant freelancers. But mainly freelancers reach out to companies offering their services or are referred through word-of-mouth by other clients.
Once a connection is established, freelancers and the company can discuss terms and conditions such as working timelines, project costs and payment terms.
The most typical freelancing jobs include blogging, vlogging, photography, online teaching and tutoring, content editing, web development and design, copywriting, content writing, community management (especially social media), translating, data entry, proofreading, etc.
The beauty of freelancing is that you are not bound to any particular industry. You can take all of these types of work and take it to brands to source for work in industries such as healthcare, fashion, financial services, management, technology, hospitality, trade, education, etc.
Freelancing v/s working a job
Freelancing comes with its own set of pros and cons. However it is completely up to you on whether you perceive these points as positive or negative. Unlike working a regular job, freelancing will allow you to work from anywhere you want and reduce commuting from one place to another except for meeting with clients.
You can mutually set a timeline for the project with your client and work at your own pace without micromanagement or constant monitoring. A diverse set of projects can help you become highly productive and expand your learning curve.
There are a few negatives that, once again, are subject to each person’s individual situation. Freelancing, at least in the beginning, does not guarantee regular work. There is risk of delayed payment as it is not a salary.
Some freelancers can be socially cut-off as this at least begins as a lonely job. But hey, these problems can also be easily dealt with by setting up payment terms in advance and scouring for work to increase projects in the pipeline.
All freelancers need is discipline and a set routine, set their expectations right about inconsistent work flow, be prepared to hustle for work and stand out in the work they do to ensure returning clients.
So what should you do next?
Here is a step by step process to be a freelancer:
- Find out what you’re good at to offer it as a service You might be good with multiple skills listed above. All you need to do is figure out what is it that you can offer as a freelancing service to brands and organisations
- Scan the market You may be good at a lot of things, but scanning the market is very important. You will need to find out if the market you’re targeting has scope for the services you will be offering
- Ensure you have the infrastructure Don’t be scared by the term infrastructure, what it essentially means that before you’re ready to offer freelancing services, ensure you have the tools of the trade, for instance a photographer must have a camera, lens, storage and a computer system. A writer should have a laptop and a basic and convenient workstation.
- Create a plan and look for work Create a plan on how you will charge for your services and how much work would you be willing to take up and then start reaching out to potential companies based on the work and market you have chosen. One can also go hunting for jobs through websites such as upwork.com, truelancer.com, freelancer.in, fiverr.com.
– Article by Vanshika Goenka, Founder, Kool Kanya
Read: Looking for a freelance job? Here are 7 sectors that hire freelancers
Read: 5 reasons you should think of shifting to freelance jobs