Freelancing refers to contractual work that operates under a need-only basis. You enter an agreement with a company or individual looking for a service and offer that service. Freelance employees fill out a 1099 form, which makes them an independent contractor. A wide variety of organizations, companies, and government agencies hire freelancers, so there is ample work available.
Are you interested in finding out how to start freelancing work and joining the ranks of freelancers everywhere? 75% of freelancers say that they wouldn’t trade their freelancing job for other types of work. Most freelancers work remotely, meaning they can work geographically from anywhere in the world. This is perfect if you’re tired of the rat race but still want to make money.
In today’s blog, we’re exploring the top 5 benefits of being a freelancer and why you should consider this type of work to help jumpstart your career. By the end of this blog post, you’ll have a better idea of whether freelancing is the next step for you professionally, how to incorporate yourself as independent contractor, and why you should heavily consider it.
1. More Control Over Your Work and Access to Great Software
Freelancers are involved in a more casual work environment. This means that you are given more control over how much work you do, which types of clients you work for, and your pay rate. This depends on your area of expertise, and the type of agreement you make with your employer. Note that the number of hours you work may affect your income, meaning that you have control over that as well.
The types of projects you take on is also something you have a say in as a freelancer. Many freelance gigs are part-time work, but many pay more than other jobs so you could possibly make a full-time salary.
Software for freelancers
There is also a lot of software for freelancers to help you be more productive and efficient. Some of our favorites are:
- Slack – a messaging app that can be used for communication within your team or with clients. It’s great for quick back-and-forths and can help reduce email clutter.
- Workee – a comprehensive platform that lets you create a website for your online freelancing business in minutes.
- Dropbox – a cloud storage service that can be used to share files and collaborate on projects.
- Google Drive – a cloud storage option that offers features like real-time editing and file versioning.
2. Flexibility and Remote Work
Most freelancers work remotely. Some companies may require that you are in the same time zone or country as their base location, while others don’t mind where you are located as long as you are getting the job done.
Since most freelance work involves projects, you most likely will not have to work during business hours if you don’t want to. Rather, you can work whenever you are available. In addition, you can most likely use your own equipment and work from wherever you want, as long as you have the tools available to complete the project. If you are able to deliver what is expected at the set due date, you are in the clear. This type of flexibility is something you won’t get with the usual nine-to-five job, and is invaluable.
3. Easy to Find Work
Many freelancers are previous day job workers that have left the corporate structure in search of something more flexible and suitable to their lifestyle needs and goals. This means that they already carry experience and knowledge in their field, making it easy to pick up a freelance job. This is especially true for individuals looking for jobs in places like Upwork, a database of job posts specifically for freelancers, where they get vetted, hired and paid all through the platform. There is high demand for freelance work as many companies are looking to outsource projects instead of committing to a salary for a hired employee in-house.
4. Freedom of Clients
Another benefit of being a freelancer is that you have the freedom to decide which types of clients you want to work for, and how many. This means that you can stick to one industry, or spread yourself out across many. It is important that freelancers are skilled at working with clients and meeting their goals and expectations.
Many people who used to work at agencies end up being freelancers due to their similar nature. You can take on multiple freelancer jobs or projects, some of them ongoing while others temporary, and make the same amount of money someone at a salaried position would make.
Like any business, you can nurture your potential “customers” to lean towards working with you as an independent contractor rather than working with another freelancer or agency. Stock up on promotional pens with your name and include them in thank you notes to clients or prospective clients. For VIP clients, be sure to reach out to them regularly and send gifts and tokens of appreciation when big achievements are made.
5. Exposure to Different Industries
While searching for freelance jobs, submitting applications, and interviewing, you will be exposed to several different industries that you may not have even considered or heard of. This gives you an edge as you gain more experience under your belt, making you more attractive to employers on both the corporate and freelance level. You also get a feel for what kind of work you like to do and for which industries, as opposed to which industries you aren’t interested in.
Due to the autonomy associated with this type of work, freelancing gives you the opportunity to explore yourself professionally and find out what your strengths and weaknesses are.
Interesting Related Article: “6 Teas That Are Good for Freelancers and People Who Work from Home“