Following certain steps can help you stand out in the crowd and build a successful career as a freelance expert.
Freelance roles are no longer used to bridge work gaps, instead build highly rewarding, profitable and long-term careers. More and more workers are waving goodbye to the traditional 9-5 office job in favour of flexible freelance roles. Not only are they proving rather lucrative but also allow for a healthy work-life balance.
According to Nasdaq, 43% of the U.S. workforce will be freelance by 2020 and the number of freelancers are on the rise right around the globe.
Businesses in virtually all fields – law, finance, tech, consultancy, you name it – are opening up their companies to take advantage of the fast-growing expert economy. Hiring managers are snapping up skilled workers at a rapid rate and the freelance ecosystem is abuzz with excitement and endless opportunity.
However, getting ahead in the growing gig economy is not easy. Following our top tips will help you stand out in the crowd and build a successful career as a freelance expert.
According to Medium, even before you start freelancing the most important thing to consider is the time taken to transition from office life to a freelance role. Make sure you have savings in the bank (enough to tide you over for at least three months) and freelance work lined up before taking the leap. Be confident in your skillset and make sure there is market demand for your services.
The most important part of being a successful freelancer is your online presence. Set yourself up with your very own website or create a profile on a leading freelancing website to promote your expertise. Include a portfolio of your work and keep it up-to-date with the latest projects.
Upwork is one of the leading online platforms for businesses to find freelancers in most sectors, but is mainly used for writers, designers and media professionals. One of the leading online platforms to find experts in the legal, finance and consultancy sectors is Australian-based freelancing website Alifery. Alifery connects businesses with freelance experts that can be trusted and has devised three important steps to ensure businesses reap the rewards of the freelance market. The Alifery ecosystem provides access to skilled vetted talent, tailors work to meet business needs and reduces overheads.
An important part of building a successful freelance profile is word of mouth, testimonials and repeat business. Once you build up a respected reputation within your field, you can increase your rate and pick when, where and who you work with. A good way to showcase your testimonials is on your online profile, or within your portfolio of work showcased to potential new clients.
According to Digital Freelancer, freelancers must secure EVERY project with a contract. Starting off with a basic online template is fine, as long as you fine tune it for each client and project you work on. It only needs to be a general agreement between yourself and the client which will secure your rights if anything were to go wrong.
The contract should include the following elements:
- A stipulation that the work you produce is original
- The client’s copyright and confidentiality will remain intact
- Payment terms
- Duration of contract
- A stipulation which outlines that either yourself or the client can terminate the contract at any time
Manage your own schedule
Once you’re an established freelancer, you’ll be able to pick and choose who you work for and when. A freelance career will give you the option of being able to manage your own schedule. If you have lots of work coming in, you may even be in a position to take on a personal assistant to help with an increased workload, or help manage your day. Basically, the sky is the limit if you prove a successful freelancer in the ever-growing expert economy.
You are your own brand. Not only is it important to build an appealing online profile, but networking is also key to freelance success. The people you work for are an extremely important part of securing new clients, their recommendations and testimonials will help build your profile and seal more work. Corporate events, maintaining relationships with other freelancers and building firm partnerships within the industry are all key to becoming a successful freelance expert.
Freelancers charge a higher rate than staff members, but businesses save between 20 to 30 percent on all other costs associated with hiring. There are huge benefits to businesses taking advantage of the freelance workforce – lower costs, limiting payroll, global reach, quality of workers, access and risk reduction. That’s why there are plenty of freelance roles out there, and the market is thriving.