Freedom – that glorious ability to do what you want, when you want, without too many external restrictions. In so many words, that’s what freelancing is all about.
Yet many of us live with the opposite – trapped in an office, confined to a desk, watching the clock hands slowly grind to 5:00pm. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Freelancing is a form of self-employment, which entails delivering services on a per-job or per-task basis. Rather than being permanently employed by a single company, freelancing allows you to work for yourself and complete projects for a number of different businesses and clients.
In recent years, tech innovations and the improvement of remote work systems have broken down traditional employment structures. Businesses of every kind are now paying for the services of freelancers.
Far from being an employment niche, the stats indicate that freelancing is the future:
By supplementing core staff with freelancers, companies are able to:
There are a number of benefits that come with striking it out alone as a freelancer. Some of the biggest perks include:
As well as acknowledging the perks of freelancing, it’s important to understand the extra responsibilities.
As someone who’s self-employed, you’ll be responsible for:
Getting started as a freelancer is relatively simple. Essentially, a specialist skill-set + wifi = freelance capabilities. However, once your freelance operation is up and running, there are a few steps you’ll need to take to set yourself apart from the competition.
You’ll need to build a professional portfolio that showcases your certifications, skills and examples of past work. Prospective clients will use your portfolio to assess the quality of your services and your suitability for a particular project.
You’ll also need to create a brand and strategically build skills, work experience, a strong network and an online presence that helps you target a need among potential clients.
If you want a steady supply of work, you’ll need to seek it out. There are a variety of portals that freelancers use to find work, including Upwork and Fiverr, which act as job marketplaces connecting businesses with specialists who are suitably skilled.
There’s a wide range of specialist services that clients are searching for these days. To give you some food for thought, here are a five of the more popular options:
The internet and social media are crowded places where companies are striving to be seen and heard. A freelance digital marketer uses online platforms and digital tools to promote products and improve sales for their clients. Freelance digital marketers use various channels, including:
Your goal as a freelance digital marketer is to help a company expand its brand awareness, increase conversions and ultimately grow as a business. All of this requires a razor-sharp strategic mindset.
You’ll also need to be finance and budget savvy, data-driven, analytical, and a strong leader. Marketing is definitely a field where who you know is as important as what you know – so be prepared to network.
To give yourself a headstart in a competitive industry, it’s wise to get a formal certification, as well as a portfolio demonstrating your real-world marketing experience. Academy Xi Digital Marketing courses give you all this and more, helping you develop the tactics and techniques needed to manage a digital marketing campaign from end-to-end.
With over 58% of the world’s population actively using social media, freelance social media managers plan, execute, filter and monitor the social media presence of a product, company or influential person. Some of the services this entails include:
Many social media managers have a formal certification. To be competitive, you might choose to get one too. Formal training will give you the practical skills and know-how needed to plan and execute an entire social media strategy.
Every business needs a website these days, and good freelance web developers are in high demand. Freelance web developers design and build websites using coding and software design tools. You’ll liaise with clients and normally receive a creative brief outlining the project’s content and style.
Establishing a web development specialisation will give you an advanced skill-set that clients are searching for. There are several areas you can specialise in as a web developer, these include:
Academy Xi Front-End Web Development courses give you hands-on experience writing and maintaining user-facing code for user-friendly, responsive and easy-on-the-eye websites.
Freelance graphic designers work with clients to produce branded logos, illustrations and other visual collateral. As well as being highly creative, graphic designers are excellent problem solvers, using their designs to convey a brand’s identity and build an emotional connection with a target market.
Graphic designers work with text and images, delivering designs for a variety of media, including:
By using computer applications and software, you’ll develop sketches and layouts that bring your ideas to life. A client might need to see a rough draft of any concepts you generate, so editing and revisions are a big part of the job.
Industry-standard graphic design software includes the Adobe suite – InDesign, Photoshop and/ or Illustrator, all of which you’ll likely need to be fluent in. As the field of digital design progresses, you’ll also need to incorporate emerging technologies and software innovations into your practice.
Freelance graphic designers need an attractive portfolio of work, as well as a certification demonstrating those hard-earned skills. Academy Xi Graphic Design courses offer you both, helping you to combine business objectives with creativity and put together a portfolio of eye-catching designs that resolve brand or user challenges.
Freelance writers offer their services to different clients, working across a variety of platforms and topics.
Unlike writers employed by a single company, who must consistently maintain that company’s brand voice, freelance writers have the freedom to explore their own writing style and preferred subjects. However, it’s possible to find more freelance writing work by being adaptable enough to complete any brief a client assigns.
If you’re keen to go solo as a professional writer, there are a few simple steps to follow:
So there you have it – an introductory guide to becoming a freelancer!
Freelancing offers you the chance to escape that office cubicle and the regimented 9-5 regime. Instead, you can cherry-pick your projects, manage your own workload and personally mastermind a career that you’re truly passionate about.
If you back yourself, develop the right skills and go it alone, who knows where your career will take you? Remember – the best opportunities in life won’t just fall in your lap, you have to get out there and create them.
Need some help in upskilling in any of these in-demand skills? Speak to a course advisor today and take the first step in your journey with a course from Academy Xi!