The very large number of ways to make money online is pretty staggering. Each offering a degree of skill, knowledge, luck, timing and almost always a high degree of patience.
Often though when certain situations present themselves, time and patience are the last things you have. This means you need to forgo the building a brand, a business, a blog and look for opportunities to start and earn from today.
Welcome to the world of freelancing!
But what exactly is Freelancing and how do you get started?
Freelancing has been around since man earned or bartered for a unit of currency, whatever that was at the time. It’s simply a way of providing a service for payment but in a way that doesn’t make you an employee or contractor with the company or person you are providing the service to.
Let’s say you worked as a bookkeeper for a small business but decided to leave and provide ad-hoc bookkeeping services to other sole traders or small businesses and invoice for your services. Voila, you’re a freelancer.
Providing a service to whomever you chose, free of a locked in-service contract. It can be quite liberating if you can make an income this way, as you’re free to make your own choices, choose your own hours and decide which work you take on. Want to take, and can afford to take, a month off, well you can.
There are some that work very hard during the autumn and winter period, earning as much as they can, to then take spring and summer off to themselves and travel. It’s a liberating concept.
How can I start as a freelancer?
There are many different ways to start freelancing. The first job is to decide on which service you want to provide and what to charge for those services.
It may be worth searching for any other freelancers in your area of expertise to see what services they are offering and how much they are charging. You may find you can comfortably undercut your competition, or offer something they aren’t.
Being ‘another’ freelancer on the market won’t necessarily get you work, but think of reasons why someone should come to you rather than your competitors, what you offer they are not – basically how can you stand out.
You could be in a really fortunate position of knowing companies or people to approach for work. But if not read on and we’ll show you exactly how to find clients.
Once you know what service(s) you are going to provide, the price you are going to charge and any logistics around your freelance business you are ready to start!
Finding clients as a freelancer?
The demand for freelancers has probably never been higher than it is now. Many small businesses, sole traders and startups looking for ad-hoc services than being able to pay a regular wage. The freelance lifestyle can be a win-win for both company and you.
Each industry though will have different ways of entering the freelance market.
For example if you have particular PC skills such as web design, graphic design even data entry you could try one of the global marketplaces such as Fiverr or Upwork.
Although your freelance services may though be outdoor based – such as dog walking, gardening, car mechanics and as such you need local awareness. For freelance jobs such as these it may be better to look for local Facebook groups, community noticeboards even local magazines and newspapers. All good ways to bring awareness and drum up business.
You could even write to small business who you feel could be a really good fit for the services you provide – or if you’re feeling really brave go and pay them a visit and ask. It’s free to ask, and the worst they could say is no. Leave a business card or flyer if you have (if not use a cheap printing service such as Vistaprint who regularly have great offers and sometimes business cards for less than £10! ) Just by putting your name out there could lead to word of mouth referrals.