In this economy, businesses occasionally will seek out freelancers to do work for them because they’re more affordable than hiring a full-time employee. The main plus for the business is that they don’t have to pay employee benefits like health insurance to someone who is freelancing with them.
You can freelance a lot of skills: Copy editing, teaching, translating, writing, designing, coding, etc. Freelancing isn’t the path that many choose because you never know where your next pay check is coming from – the nightmare of the freelancer is that they can’t find any business – but some smart, experienced freelancers make a good chunk of change, and many of them don’t even have to leave home for their work.
Tips if you want to freelance, gathered both from my wise participatory journalism teacher and from a little research:
> When you’re first starting, keep your day job. You can’t just start making gobs of money right off the bat, you have to establish a client base. So moonlight your freelancing to begin with.
> Tell all of your friends and family what you are doing – referrals will bring you some business.
> Create an online portfolio and make sure to push your brand online. Get your name out there. Let your skills be seen by including samples of your work or testimonials on your website.
> If you’re serious about freelancing, you may offer to do a little work for free. That’s right. For. Free. It’s a great way to get in the door because that way, the company has nothing to lose if you turn out to be horrible. It will show your potential client that you’re truly dedicated, and if you do good work, they will definitely hire you.
> Join clubs, organizations, and volunteer. Every person you meet is a potential opportunity to be a client or to get referred to a client.
> If there’s a particular business that you want to notice you, call them and offer. I am the CHAMPION of cold calling. They may not need your services right now, but at least you’re on their radar.
> Expect to work hard. Expect rejection. Expect to mess up and then have to make up for it.
> Keep a good budget! Don’t lose track of your monies!