Webster’s dictionary defines freelance as “a person who pursues a profession without a long-term commitment to any one employer”.
To some people this is their dream job – not having to report to someone else, working in your PJ’s, make your own hours, the list of perks could be endless. But, let me state this now, freelancing is not for the weak minded or spirited. You have to be committed and fully determined to make it work otherwise it can come crashing down faster than you can blink your eyes. However, if you have the skill, and passion, and drive freelancing can be your dream job.
Where to start, you may ask? Here are some helpful tips on how to decide on which road you will start your Freelancing journey.
- Determine your skill set. There are many opportunities available for freelancing including (but most defiantly not limited to) writing, photography, graphic design, administrative services, IT services, the list can go on and on. Grab a pen and paper or if you’re a digital girl like me, open Word, and start writing down every skill you possess that comes to mind. Do not censor yourself in this activity – you may be surprised at what opportunities you find.
- How do you want to live? Now, this is the fun part. In order to become a freelancer in any field you have to determine how you want to live. If freelancing is going to be your sole income you need to know how much you have to make in order to live how you want. Starting here will get you to where you really want to be, whether its beach-side with a laptop or having breakfast with your kids every morning. Be realistic, but be honest with yourself. If you want to move to London and become a Freelance Writer, you will first need to know the steps to get there. As a Freelancer it is completely up to you to determine how much you want to make. After all it is you who will be doing all the work to get there. Once you determine your lifestyle goal you can start to determine your path.
- Matching your skill set to freelancing opportunities. Take your list of skill sets and start to piece together the puzzle. Research some lead postings and you may be surprised at what you find and how many opportunities you are qualified for. Be sure that when you are looking/bidding on potential jobs that you are honest and fair with your qualifications. No one wants to be in that on-the-spot position where you don’t know how to do what you said you could do.
Here are some resources for Freelancing Leads to get you started:
Another great place to start is by telling everyone you know, and yes, I mean everyone what you trying to do.
Freelancing is all about connections and networking. You are marketing yourself, skills, and talent– why not start with the people to which you are closest. Not only will they be there to support you which can be so crucial in this business; but, word of mouth is quite possibly one of the greatest marketing tools any Freelancer can have.
Next week we dive further into Freelance 101 Part 2 - Self-Marketing.