Freelancers 101: A Complete Guide To The Freelancing Industry!

. 6 min read
Freelancers 101: A Complete Guide To The Freelancing Industry!

The Ultimate Guide To Going Freelance

  • Freelancing has witnessed a steep growth in the past decade owing to digitisation and interconnectivity and has now become the most sought-after career path around the world.
  • It helps companies find people best suited for the job across countries and provides career guidance and a decent life to those who work as freelancers.
  • Freelancing is where people work with multiple companies on a contract basis where a set of services are provided for a fixed remuneration.
  • The range of expertise for a freelancer is anything from content creation, web development to teaching.

Types of Freelancing Jobs

1. Administrative: The freelance administrative services are inclusive of-

  • Bookkeeper
  • Virtual assistant
  • Administrative assistant

2. App Development: The most popular freelance app development services are -

  • Native app developer
  • Web app developer
  • Mobile game developer
  • ChatBot developer

3. Graphic Design: The popular freelance graphic design services sought after by the organisations to develop their marketing assets are-

  • Brand identity designer
  • Digital illustrator
  • Logo designer
  • Print designer
  • Packaging designer

4. Writing: The archetypal freelancing service is the content creation department where organisations decide to outsource their content roles fully.

These services include -

  • Copywriter
  • Content writer
  • White paper/ebook writer
  • Technical writer
  • Managing editor
  • Proofreader
  • Translator

Other than the above listed popular freelance jobs, there are various other services like UX/UI/IA design, front/back-end development, videography, photography, career coach, consulting, and tutoring.

pros cons written on black board on sea-saw

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Freelancing?

Pros Of Freelancing

  1. Flexible Schedule: Freelancing’s greatest benefit is working at your pace and time with the liberty of choosing tasks you wish to work on. This is the most popular reason why people tend to go freelance in their field of work.
  2. Better Work-life Balance: The freelance jobs do not resonate with the typical 9 to 5 work schedule, which means you can work and live life as and when you want with no time boundaries and limitations.
  3. A Possibility Of Earning More: It all depends on how much you wish to work. The more, the merrier, meaning, the more you decide to work, the more you could earn.

Cons Of Freelancing

  1. No Employment Benefits: Everything comes at a cost, as does freelancing. First off is the problem of absolutely no employment benefits. Health insurance tops the list. Next is the unavailability of paid and sick leaves. If a day of work is missed, it simply means no earnings for that day.
  2. No Work Consistency: The workload, and consequently, the earnings fluctuate. Sometimes earnings can be more than expected and sometimes they can be almost negligible. This is also compounded by a load of having to search for work which can take days, weeks, or months even.
  3. The Possibility Of Not Getting Paid: Unlike the full-time traditional employees where a pay-check is always guaranteed, freelancing has the risk of clients ending up paying less or worse, not paying at all. This commonality of the inherent risk is a real turn-off for the freelancing workforce.

Freelancing 101 The Basics

1. Set Up Your Workplace

  1. Now that you have weighed down the pros and cons of freelancing and everything about it, you might want to freelance.
  2. To start working, be it anywhere at any post, the first and foremost thing to be done is to set up a personal workspace.
  3. A workspace where you feel most at ease, where ideas strike you like lightning, and where you are at peace, sound, and un-distracted.

2. Branding

  • Personal brands are necessary to plant your position as a professional and forge a long-lasting relationship with your clients.
  • Construct a brand logo and a brand name, create your online identity, and complete it with a professional website where you can put up all your previous published and unpublished work, testimonials, portfolio, and the services you offer.
  • The most common and popular website creating platforms are WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix.
  • They offer a plethora of templates to choose from where you can simply put up your designs and tit-bits of your work for attracting new clients.
  • Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are also helpful in sharing your services, portfolio, and meeting new clients.

3. Create A Portfolio

  1. Portfolio speaks louder than words; well, they are words but in a systematic format complete with links, designs, and testimonials.
  2. This can assist in selling out your services to potential clients.
  3. Portfolios can help clients envision your work and their ultimate product by having a look at them, and assist in measuring your skills.
  4. Be mindful of showcasing snippets of diverse works and topics to your clientele instead of including all your work.
  5. Google Drive and Dropbox are the most common ways of showcasing portfolios.
  6. Apart from them, there exist Contently for content creators, Portfoliobox for designers and artists, Behance for graphic and UI/UX designers, and Journo Portfolio for journalists and writers.

4. Set Estimates And Rates

  • This is the most difficult task for freelancers.
  • This includes setting a cost/price of the services you offer.
  • If too low, it could cost you your stable living, and if too high, it could cost you your client and work; and the client will very well find another freelancer.
  • There are three effective methods to determine the price of your services: cost-plus pricing, market rate, and value-driven pricing.
  • Cost-plus pricing includes determining the expenses involved in producing the product and adding a little extra to it, which would be your profit.
  • This is the most widely used method for freelancers in videography, artists, and photography.
  • Market rate pricing explores the prices of other freelancers in the market in your field of work based on which you can estimate your price.
  • Value-driven pricing is where the client pays what they think the worth of your service is.
  • Thus, you, as a freelancer, need to make sure your service yields the best results.
  • After setting estimates and rates, you can determine your charge for the service on an hourly, weekly, or daily basis on the project/service provided by you.

5. Marketing And Promoting Your Website

  1. This is the most difficult task, honestly.
  2. It is difficult for even seasoned or professional freelancers while for new ones, it can be an acid test.
  3. Here, creativity is in high demand, so is your previous work.
  4. But what if you are starting anew and don’t have any previous work?
  5. One alternative is to provide a free trial for vis-a-vis 20 days for everyone who would try a new thing in town.
  6. This done, you may ask your client to provide a testimonial to other prospective clients to help you grow your work.
  7. You may consider getting listed on Google ads and Facebook too.
  8. Try creating a work network by attending workshops and interacting with people both online and in-person.
freelance written on wooden blocks on table with laptop, glasses and cup

6. Finding Work/Clients

  • There are several freelancing websites and job boards that come in handy to find work.
  • For example, Craiglist,, Elance, Upwork, 99Designs, Codementor X, Guru, Toptal, Simpyhired, etc.
  • These freelancing websites help interact and connect with prospective clients.
  • You can also try joining online forums like TalkFreelance, Work At Home Forum, The Freelance Forum, or try searching for industry-specific forums for freelancers like Crew, Dribble, folyo, YunoJuno, Behance for freelance designers, BloggingPro, SimplyHired, FlexJobs, Problogger, Demand media for content writers/copy editors, and FindBacon, Codeable, GetaCoder for programming freelancers.
  • These forums and freelancing websites aid in connecting with clients and fellow freelancers in either your area of work or other areas.
  • Freelancing is not a piece of cake, as many people would have thought it to be.
  • Therefore, it is suggested to weigh down both the pros and cons of the freelancing industry before making it your career path, and you will be all set for it.

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2) How To Start Your Own Franchise?
3) How To Start A Stationery Business?
4) How to Start Export Business in India?
5) How to Start a YouTube Channel for Your Business?