Getting Started as a Freelancer
A bit about freelancing
A self-employed individual who works as a professional for different employers is considered as a ‘Freelancer’ or “Freelance Worker” provided he/she is not engaged to a specific employer on long term basis. The word ‘Freelance’ is itself conjunction of two words ‘Free’ and ‘Lance’. This refers to the fact that during medieval times, warriors (or Lancers) used to offer their services to any kinghood at their specified amount. Now the term is coined to freelance journalists, writers, editors, proof readers, graphic designers and web programmers instead of medieval mercenary warriors. Majority of Freelancers work from home and use broadband internet connection for project delivery and client’s communication.
Usually freelancing is based on verbal commitments and occasionally it requires client to sign a contract. This also depends upon the type of work or project assignment. Some freelancers can even request payments before starting work for a particular client or employer.
The amount which a freelancer can charge also varies. It is related to both skills of freelancer and type of work e.g. quality and quantity. A freelancer can charge on hourly, daily, weekly or monthly basis. He/she can also charge on project basis. For lengthy projects a freelancer can take payments on milestones basis.
Sometimes freelancers can produce their own work and opt for different publishers to publish their creative work. In this case the copyrights are owned by freelancers. They can sell copyrights to publishers.
How to initiate as freelancer?
Before starting as a freelancer you may require some resources. The foremost thing is that you must be skilled in your work. This does mean that you should possess a dynamic profile and sound portfolio. Your sample work should be evolved with time and technology. There should be instances of your previous work experience both in resume and World Wide Web.
You must have some money saved in your bank. This will allow you to work for couple of months without getting paid. This is due to the fact that freelancers are sometimes paid on project’s result basis e.g. Search Engine Optimization projects. Excessive amount also comes handy if you do not have a client base which is common in beginning phase.
There should be a nice or atleast comfortable workplace of yours. Mostly freelancers work from their own homes. Your room for work should be separated from noisy sections e.g. TV lounge, Garage. The environment of your work place should be neat and clean.
You should possess necessary tools to start with. These tools can be software, hardware or communication devices. Especially your internet connection must be broadband. It will allow you to interact with clients online and also update your work in efficient manner.
You should design a business plan based on current market analysis. Distribute your business/visiting cards among former colleagues, companions and friends. You need your presence felt in competitive market. Social networking both online and offline will help you to not only identify yourself but also accumulate potential clients. Online job boards can also offer you a lot.
Be a part of social gatherings and increase interactivity with those who are successful in their own occupations. Chat with them in confident manner and do not show them any sign of desperation so that they can trust you.
Freelancing is not limited to finding a client and doing his work for money. Freelancing is beneficial only if your client is satisfied with your service. Remember a satisfied client is your permanent client. In order to satisfy a client your objective should be success and timely completion of project. And as mentioned earlier for this effective communication with client is necessary. For this stay intact with client. Be a part of thorough discussion(s) with him. Phone, e-mails and usage of Instant Messengers keeps you get connected with client.
Finally a factor which plays a key role is your self-belief. You should be sure that freelancing is right option for you. If you want to enjoy a persistent and successful career as a freelancer then always act with a professional attitude and also keep a balance on your work-health relationship.