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So You Want to Become a Freelancer – What You Need to Keep in Mind

Written by on June 24, 2019

Freelancing is on the rise around the world. In the U.S. alone in 2017 there were 57.3 million freelancers, and if current trends continue, it is estimated that 50.9% of the U.S. population will be freelancing by 2027.

Freelancing seems to have taken over many industries, and people everywhere are taking advantage of work opportunities that didn’t exist before.

The gig economy has been led by companies like Uber, Lyft, and Grab, and millions of people all over the world have become professional drivers for these companies, working as freelance employees and driving customers around in their own cars.

Some do this as a full-time job, and others use driving for Uber, Lyft, or Grab as a way to make extra money in their free time.

The term “side hustle” has been used to describe those freelance jobs people do outside of their main job so that they can make extra money, and articles have been written about lucrative side hustles that you can turn into a full-time moneymaker in order to “ditch the 9-5.”

There seem to be endless options when it comes to side hustles.

You can drive for Uber or Lyft, deliver for PostMates, manage social media accounts for someone’s business, teach your language online, become a freelance writer, or become a virtual assistant.

Freelancing is becoming so popular that Medium has offered it as a topic that you can follow.

Lucky for you, I happen to follow that topic on Medium so here’s my take on it.

All About Freelancing on Medium

First of all, the subtitle of the Freelancing page on Medium is of invoicing and independence.

I find this to be very fitting, since it focuses on both the most talked about the positive aspect of freelancing and one of the tasks or “chores” that many freelancers view as a downside of their freelancing business.

If you asked freelancers what the most important benefit of freelancing is, almost all of them would say the independence it provides.

Many freelancers work any hours they want and live wherever they choose to live, since they are not limited by the location of a specific office building.

Invoicing can be a real pain sometimes though, and that’s something you avoid by working a salaried position.

Having to request money from people and remind them that they owe you for work you have already completed.

However, for most freelancers the independence of the job outweighs the fact that they have to request money and keep track of the hours they spent working on specific tasks rather than getting an automatic paycheck every month.

Often freelancing requires a lot of networking, and this is especially true when you are first starting a freelancing business.

That’s probably why they often feature articles about networking.

For example, the featured article now is titled “How to Get Better at Networking, Even If You Don’t Like It.” Not surprised it’s featured after reading it, because it starts out as a funny account of what it’s like at conferences and networking events for people who don’t like them or feel comfortable talking to strangers about the work they do.

Other articles include one about a guy who turned his business around and made a million dollars, someone’s opinion about why you shouldn’t quit your job to start freelancing, and an article by someone making a case against the gig economy.

These articles address the reason why I like reading about freelancing on Medium.

They do a good job of curating content that presents many different perspectives on the subject.

This can be especially helpful for new freelancers, so that they can both get excited about their new path in life and also be aware of the challenges they might face in their new job. I highly recommend following freelancing on Medium, if you are new to freelancing or have been working as a freelancer for years.

It’s always a good idea to get perspectives from other people who are doing the same thing as you.  

Important Invoicing Tips for Freelance Writers Freelance writers often encounter invoicing issues. Here are some invoicing tips for freelance writers to help circumvent payment problems. READ MORE

Reading is Good for You

Besides the fact that reading and researching about freelancing before getting started is a very smart idea, it’s also good for you.

According to a University of Sussex study, reading is the best way to relax and just 6 minutes of reading can be enough to reduce stress levels by 68%.

That means that you if you become a freelancer and read about freelancing before you start, you can reduce your stress levels from reading and from cutting out your daily commute to the office! Sounds like a great deal to me.

My Own Experience with Freelancing

The development of the gig economy and the increase in the number of freelance positions has provided many people with more opportunities and increased possibilities.

I have myself worked a number of freelance, contract positions, which included editing academic papers written by people from around the world and freelance writing.

I opted to accept positions where someone else would provide me with work through a platform or depending on their own clients’ needs.

This prevented me from having to constantly search for the next client, but the income I was able to make was dependent on how much editing or writing I could do, and how much work my boss would send me.

Experience-With-Freelancing

The rates per 1,000 words of editing were not exactly going to make me rich.

So, I never really made enough money from these gigs to pay my living expenses and used the income from them more as extra spending money. It was difficult for me to completely rely on these roles to pay for my life because my income would change very drastically from month to month.

However, the ability to decide when and where I wanted to work on freelance projects made me glad that I had made the decision to start freelancing.

Freelancing Difficulties

I preferred working as a freelancer this way over starting my own writing or editing business where I would be expected to search for and pitch potential clients in order to get my next job.

Many freelancers work this other way, and their ability to pay their bills depends on how many projects they can win. Also, with this type of freelancing, you can encounter clients that pay late or who don’t pay at all.

You won’t get paid on vacation days or when you are sick either.

Now, the point of mentioning some of my own experiences freelancing as well as the way that many other people freelance is not to be negative, but rather to point out that along with the positives there are some potential difficulties as well.

The Best Situation for a Freelancer

By now I’m sure you have deduced that likely the best scenario for a freelancer is to work for a platform and brand that is able to attract the best clients and that pays you well for your work while providing a steady stream of projects.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who wanted to become a freelancer could find a gig like this? It would certainly reduce the stress that often comes with freelancing and having to look for your next job all the time.

At Storetasker, we contract with freelance design, development, and marketing experts who have experience with eCommerce and the Shopify platform.

We are proud of the fact that the hourly rate that clients are charged is affordable, especially considering the quality of work they are receiving for their money, but the rate also provides an excellent income to our team of experts.

It’s the best situation for our clients and the experts who work on their stores!

You can learn more about the services our experts provide at the Storetasker Marketplace.

Conclusion

Working as a freelancer can be a great next step in anyone’s career, and it provides a level of freedom that you can’t get from a typical 9 to 5 job.

Imagine being your own boss and moving to a new location or taking a long vacation when you want to without having to check with management first.

There are difficult aspects with freelancing as there are with any job, but the benefits of independence and freedom will make it all worth it.

There’s a reason why so many people who start freelancing and become successful enough at it don’t return to their previous jobs and the 9 to 5 life.

A word of advice from an experienced freelancer; if you can find a way to get steady work that pays well enough, go for it (if you haven’t already decided to do so)!

You definitely won’t regret it, and you can build a portfolio of work that will help you get jobs in the future.

John-Larsen

John Larsen is the Content Writer and Community Lead at Storetasker, the #1 place to outsource Shopify design, development, and marketing projects.

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