What is a freelancer or a digital nomad?
A freelancer it is a person who is self-employed and not necessarily committed to a particular employer long-term. A digital nomad is that person who use telecommunications technologies to earn a living and conduct his/her life in a nomadic manner.
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Have you ever wanted to wake up at what time you want and organize your program at will, for the rest of your life?
This way of living your professional life is called freelance and has become one of the most “trendy” topics of recent years. More and more people are reorienting themselves from jobs in corporations or simply from the status of employee to having their own small business.
True, this “job” is not for everyone. Being a freelancer requires a high degree of self-discipline, passion and dedication for what you do but also a high degree of seriousness towards your clients.
Being a freelancer is a business model in itself. But, unlike the online business models we discussed in previous articles, this is the only one that, by definition, is based exclusively on your knowledge.
What qualities should a freelancer have?
Before talking about the financial and professional part, we will start with the side that, from my point of view, is the most important: what skills do you need to have to maintain a balance between professional and personal life:
- Self-discipline: when you are your own boss, the temptations are great. You take breaks when you want, you work when you want. If you do not discipline yourself to work every day and get involved in your work at least as seriously as if you were an employee of a company, then your life as a freelancer will be difficult. In addition, deadlines are holy. Don’t assume deadlines that you can’t meet.
- Good organization: theoretically, your schedule is flexible. However, if you postpone solving tasks, if you dedicate too much time to certain projects to the detriment of others, if you do not organize your activities efficiently, then you risk working chaotically and exhausting yourself, without a significant gain.
- Specialist in what you do: if you want to position yourself in the market as a service provider, it is not enough just to be good at it. You have to be the best. You need many hours of training, you need to excel in the work you do, because there are certainly many other freelancers just like you, who are waiting for the same projects.
- Financial education: as a freelancer, you must have basic notions of accounting. You have to manage your income and expenses well, to pay your taxes on time. To invest with your head in the equipment you need to do your job well, but also to always have savings for the periods when the projects are rarer.
- Communication and sales: even if you are an expert in what you do, you need to know how to sell yourself. To present your offer as attractive as possible, to talk on the phone or on Skype with customers, to be proactive and to always come up with solutions to their problems, in order to retain them. Don’t be quiet and modest and don’t just sit in your bench. Get out of the crowd!
How do you get projects as a freelancer?
As a freelancer, you have two directions you can go to promote your services.
1. Creating a strong personal brand
In a nutshell, this means treating yourself like a business. Your name will be a brand name. Make a website and a blog with your name. Or you can invent a name, as if you were setting up your own company. It’s your choice, but it’s important to have a brand name so you can sell your image.
How do you do that? You can write articles, develop a podcast, or start a niche vlog on YouTube. Create a website where you can present yourself, your services but also portfolio work done. However, don’t promote it through aggressive, paid advertising, especially if there is a lot of competition in your niche. Promote it through the knowledge you share.
You can take courses, go to events, create a network of partners and respond to all emails and comments. Be active, be social and customers will look for you and trust that you are the right choice.
2. Listing services on profile platforms
There are many online platforms, where you can present your services. Here are some examples:
Crowdspring.com – for designers
Constant-Content.com – for freelance writers
You can also use Facebook and LinkedIn groups that specialize in your field. However, do not directly promote your offer, without anyone knowing you, because it would be considered that you are spamming. Simply respond to comments, get involved in discussions and people will be interested in you and your offer.
Areas of activity for freelancing
Being a freelancer often means providing services that can be performed remotely. Don’t necessarily be physically close to your customers or partners and work online like a digital nomad.
Therefore, the most popular services offered by freelancers are:
- Web design: site creation, site administration;
- Graphic design: creation of graphic materials of any kind;
- Content writing: writing articles, product descriptions, presentation pages;
- SEO: audit and strategy, link building;
- Consulting: in most areas of activity, you can perform strategies, plans and audits without being close to your clients;
- Coaching: you can hold coaching sessions, in your field of activity, only online.
These are just a few examples, but the list can go on and on, as long as there is a way you can solve a problem that people or companies have, using the online environment.
I hope you find these tips useful! Good luck if you want to start a freelancer career.