How To Be a Full-Time Freelancer

In the last few years, as more avenues have opened and, both individuals and companies have become more open to the idea of hiring someone as a freelancer, it is entirely possible to choose it as a career option. Here's a guide to how you can become a full-time freelancer.

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It’s a time where everyone wants to go the extra mile. There are people trying to do something extra, something other than what their regular job allows them to. And in the gig economy, every skill counts.

You could find a business management person exploring their passion for writing on a lazy weekend or perhaps an engineer who never found the chance to test his secret culinary skills in school. While for some, these activities remain a hobby; for a few others, it becomes a way of life.

In the last few years, as more avenues have opened and, both individuals and companies have become more open to the idea of hiring someone as a freelancer, it is entirely possible to choose it as a career option. Here’s a guide to how you can become a full-time freelancer.

Basics

From freelancing as a content writer to graphic designing to even yoga trainers, up and coming trends have ensured that there is space for everyone.

Build a portfolio of work

As a content writer or a photographer, it is important that your work speaks volumes. Even if you do something for free in your initial days, make sure it is of the highest quality and has the hallmark of someone who knows their job. Your portfolio must help the customer imbibe confidence that you are the right person for the gig.

Market it well

In the age of social media, everything that glitters doesn’t sell. Even customers are now more aware and want only the best. And to do that, you must reach them through the right medium. Some of the best places to find freelance work are websites where thousands of companies post their requirements. These websites also allow you to have your work displayed where companies or individuals can pick and choose. Make sure you stand out. Other than such websites, as photographers or designers, Instagram is a great visual medium to market your work considering the massive reach you can get.

Know the value of your work

Perhaps the most important point for a budding freelancer. Knowing what your work is worth and what to charge for which project is necessary to build a career in the space. As a freelance writer, one could charge per word, or per article of a few hundred words. As a photographer, it could be an hourly charge or a daily or even a per-project charge. There are different ways to define the value of your work, depending on what you are doing. It is necessary as a freelancer to gain experience and gauge the standard rates in the industry while you are still young and decide your fees accordingly.

Spending

Now, when you are just beginning, you need to make little investment as a freelancer. If you are a freelance writer, all you possibly need is a decent computer and a good internet connection. You may even want to spend a bit on a writing crash course. As a photographer, you need some basic equipment - a camera with a few lenses, a gimbal, an audio recording equipment and perhaps a tripod. If chosen efficiently, all of this could go upwards of INR 50,000. The costs will vary depending upon the skills you are putting up on offer.

Building your portfolio through a professional looking website can cost you about INR 5,000 while marketing via social media apps such as Instagram could cost about the same when you are just starting.

Challenges

As a freelancer, other than the usual challenge to find good work, challenges include and are not limited to: not getting paid on time, dealing with a customer who wants more work than what you are being paid for, or is someone who has little to no idea about what the project should look like.

While in the initial stages, it may be necessary to deal with such problems, eventually it is important that you affirm your stance and always make sure there are binding agreements so as to secure yourself legally.

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