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DojoGuide: Freelance – Getting Started as a Freelancer

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In this DojoGuide we’ll be focusing on all things Freelancing. What it means to be a freelancer & tips to getting started, advertising your talent, and growing to a potential career path. To kick things off I wanted to define what freelancing is & what it means to be a “freelancer”.  Starting at the very basics & what may entice you into the freelance world in the first place.

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What is a Freelancer

 

By definition a freelancer is anyone who sells or provides a service ( writing, design, etc) by hour, day, or job rather than a typical 9-5 structure. The ability to freely work with as many or a variety of clients instead of one set employer. This day in age freelancing and a freelancer has changed dramatically.  The internet provides the ability for people to work anywhere & be accessible globally. A freelancer can take any talent be it in coding or design & provide that to a company or individual for a living or side income.

In that sense anyone can become a freelancer as long as they have a service or skill they can provide in exchange for money. A freelancer can range from any of the following gigs but isn’t limited to:

  • Graphic Designer
  • Video Editor
  • Writer/Editor
  • Programmer/Coder
  • Photographer
  • Videographer

and many other categories of jobs.

The idea is that a freelancer is free to work as they please & whomever they desire thus the “Free” part. You can be a multi-talented freelancer or stick specifically in your category of expertise. You can do it for a living or on the side to make extra money. That’s the real beauty in it, you define what being a freelancer means to you. Working 4 hours a week or a 40 hour week the choice really depends on your work ethic, ability, and skill set. Leading us to the next question, why even do it in the first place?

Why Become a Freelancer?

Now comes the question of why would you consider freelancing in the first place. Just as a freelancer can be defined by many things so can the reasons  you consider it. Perhaps you want to simply earn more income outside of your traditional 9-5. Freelancing allows for a solid earning potential with no caps or salary. Your earnings are based your performance & ability to finds jobs/clients. As you get better so does your work & in turn your profits. Outside of the monetary value you simply may want to improve in a skill of some sort & the best way to do that is through experience. A passion for design can be improved by doing work for others. Starting out on basic projects & progressively working your way up.

The free in freelancer also is a big reason to consider the path. The ability to work when you please & how you go about it is a big plus. As a freelancer you can set your schedule. Work a typical 9-5, be a weekend warrior, work less than 20 hours a week the choice is yours. Freelancing allows you to work around your existing schedule or set your own & that’s a huge plus. So in review here are some top reasons to consider freelancing:

  • Extra Revenue Stream
  • Improving Skills
  • Defining your own schedule/workflow
  • Control your income
  • Future career path

As your skills & clientele grow in your freelance portfolio the more you pave the way to a potential career path. That can mean being a full time freelancer or moving into your own business providing said service.

 

How It Works:

Here’s the beauty when it comes to freelancing or becoming one all it really takes is a skill set of some sort & a couple minutes to setup your profile. Nowadays there are all sorts of freelance platforms for you to join to find potential work & clients. Furthermore these platforms serve as a way for you to grow your reputation &  develop your portfolio.  As someone starting out I recommend joining a service to get your footing. Only once you’ve developed some sort of work portfolio & following can you go out on your own offering your own service via a site or what have you. Potential clients have to know your good at what you do & need some sort or evidence of that. Using any of the following services or ones you think match your needs allow you to build that foundation for the future.

are just some of the popular freelance networks to name but a few.

Setting up your portfolio is something we’ll be looking at in the next part of the series but really it comes down to what skill or service are you looking to provide & detailing that. From there it comes down to advertising your portfolio & reaching out to potential clients to continue to build your freelancing reputation.

Getting started this day in age is the easiest part. You don’t have to be an expert in anything, freelancing is all about finding a problem you can solve. As with anything the more you do that & improve the better jobs you get, higher rates you can charge, and so on. Stay tuned for more content to come!

 

 

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