Freelance jobs are more and more in demand. With so many industries and businesses turning to remote work and digital tools facilitating this, the growth of freelancers is a much-needed change. Last year, in 2020, the number of freelancers in the U.S. reached 59 million. The job of a freelancer expands across many fields: from tech, content writing to the medical sector. As long as communication is effectively achieved and goals are reached, freelancers who work from home and can provide good results will continue to rise. For many companies, it is more cost-effective to hire a freelancer and outsource talent than to hire full-time positions in each department.
In tech, there are many jobs you can do as a freelancer. Whether you have worked as one before or not, you can learn how to thrive as a freelancer. And, depending on your specialization and area of focus, if you decide to take the freelancing path, it is highly likely there are many opportunities.
For instance, some of the most in-demand tech jobs for freelancers are as follows:
- Web development and design;
- Web or mobile apps development;
- Programming – especially blockchain;
- Artificial Intelligence or Virtual Reality development;
- Search Engine Optimization;
- Graphic design, UI or UX;
While these mentioned above are highly sought after nowadays, the list is not limited to them. So, if you want to work as a tech freelancer, the opportunities are not scarce. Here are five ways to become a successful one:
Learn to hustle
Freelancing can be highly rewarding. And if it suits your working style, preferences and are enjoy working on your own, you will definitely be thriving. The main idea is that, although the freedom of it can attract many individuals, it is easier said than done. It is crucial you learn how to identify and land some of the best projects. As a freelancer, you are working on a project-based basis, and it is essential to know that clients will not always come to you to offer you work. Instead, more often than not, you will have to go chasing them, especially in the beginning when you are a newly emerged freelancer.
So, to land great projects, you need to learn how to hustle. The reality is that it can be quite competitive out there. Plus, as a freelancer, you need to market yourself and build your brand, sell your services well and negotiate, while also doing the actual work for which you are hired. To find jobs when you are at the beginning of the road, it is essential you reach everyone you know in the industry and become visible on relevant freelancing platforms.
When you are a freelancer and work remotely, open and effective communication is of the utmost importance. Otherwise, you risk getting into misunderstandings due to miscommunication, which will affect your work and impact the client’s business negatively – both of which should be avoided at all times. For this reason, making use of collaboration and video conferencing tools such as Skype or Google Drive is essential. This way, you can have meetings with the clients and send them your progress and work until it is finalized.
It is crucial that important meetings and agreements are confirmed in writing. A practical method is sending emails before and after a meeting to include what has been discussed. Apart from this, you can include PDF documents containing your work progress. Such documents can be edited and changed throughout the entire process. Online tools can be used to edit, split, rearrange or merge PDF files. This way, you and your client can discuss the next steps effectively.
Learn to stay motivated and organized
With freelancing, it is crucial you stay motivated and remains disciplined with your work schedule. For this reason, even though you have the freedom to work whenever you are most productive as long as you reach your deadlines and provide high-quality work, creating a schedule is imperative. Without one, you risk overcrowding yourself with the workload, forgetting important details, or not fulfilling your tasks. This is a situation that can easily happen with poor time management and lack of motivation, and it should be avoided.
Indeed, if you enjoy your work and are paid fairly, your motivation increases. But it is equally important you create a schedule that works for you, and all your tasks and deadlines are clearly defined. Many freelancers state that what helps them remain motivated is getting into their work mode. This can differ from person to person. For some, it might be helpful to get dressed as if they were going to the office, while for others it is simply putting their headphones in and heading to their favorite coffee shop. Whatever it is, the takeaway is that it is crucial you have a designated workspace where there are little to no distractions.
Attend networking events
Most of the time, networking events translate into work opportunities. And, even if you don’t find an interesting project by attending such an event, it is still the ideal place to meet relevant people within your industry and discuss matters related to the tech industry, new trends, and changes in consumer behavior. Not only will a networking event help you expand your professional circle and find project opportunities, but it can also provide the environment to improve your brand as a freelancer.
What’s more, you can put into practice your hustling skills. The more you meet business people, other freelancers, or even recruiters at a networking event, the better you will be at finding projects, become known in the industry, and increase your experience and credibility. Indeed, if you have only been to a few networking events and are just becoming a freelancer, attending one can be intimidating. So, it might help you to start by attending events together with a friend or colleague.
Organize your income and costs well
Freelancers have to be able to organize their income and costs effectively. Being a team of one and working for yourself has its pros and cons. When it comes to your finances, it is crucial you are aware of all the expenses involved, such as medical insurance, taxes, and so on. Freelancers must include all these costs to be able to decide their rates properly. Given that you have your own business, so to speak, it is imperative you track your income and expenses to see what your profit is.