What Is A Freelance Business And What Does It Require

Freelancing and being your own boss is very appealing, learn what running your own freelance business involves

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What is a Freelance Business?

A freelance business is a self-employed worker or a group of people who come together as a team, whose function is to provide services to third parties to obtain financial compensation. 

Why is it called a business? 

Because actually it is an undertaking that has to be managed like any other job that generates monetary earnings. 

Anyone with responsibility who has skills, talents or knowledge can work as a freelancer since there are many work areas in which they can work in.  

Ranging from programmer, graphic designer, translator, content writer, photographer, salesperson, professor of private lessons, event planner, and many more.

Being your own boss is possible, but nothing happens if you do not start from the right base, just like anything of value in life. If you want to turn your talent into an income, you must start with being clear about everything it takes to have a successful freelance business and work hard to achieve it.

What Does a Freelance Business Involve?

Being a freelancer is much more than working from home in your pajamas. While being a freelancer has many advantages, you can face some consequences if you do not take the following aspects into account. 

Also, keep in mind that getting started is not an easy decision. You have to be very clear about everything before deciding to start working on your own.

Acquiring and Managing Clients

One of the most stressing questions professionals ask themselves when deciding to start working independently is how to get clients as a freelancer. 

They fear that the volume of work will not be enough while their expenses keep coming in and they find themselves in a financial bind.

Do not worry. 

While it is natural that you feel a bit insecure at first, the important thing is to take action and start promoting yourself to get more clients and freelance jobs. 

When you work under contract in a company, you simply have to fulfill the work assigned to you. In the case of freelancers, if you do not get clients, there is simply no work to do. 

For that reason, getting clients is essential if you want to generate constant income and achieve stability.

A simple and relatively easy way to start getting clients as a freelancer is using the huge online job platforms and also exploiting your natural market of acquaintances who need the services you offer. 

You can tell your close contacts about your new venture and get ready. Also, ask them to recommend or refer you to people who may require your services.

The work does not end after you get your first clients. 

You must maintain good communication with them, understand them, keep them satisfied, and thus you will be able to consolidate that working relationship and count on them for a long time.

Managing Your Taxes and Administration

Like any other commercial activity, if you start working as a freelancer and earn money, you will have to pay your taxes. As a freelancer, you will have to pay the self-employment tax of 15.3%. 

However, if you comply with the procedure of form 1091, you will be able to obtain total or partial compensation from the Internal Revenue Service, in case you have been withheld for any debt you may have, such as unemployment compensation..

It is essential that you be orderly when it comes to your taxes to avoid unexpected problems and expenses. 

However, keep in mind that you could also hire the services of an accountant to help you with this. If what you prefer is to save that money, propose to learn everything you need to pay your taxes.

Setting Your Own Schedule

One of the advantages of being freelance is that you do not have to meet a work schedule, but the truth is that if you want this option to be feasible in the long term, you must establish a schedule to work.

Choose which are your most productive hours and, based on this, establish a schedule in which you can dedicate yourself completely to developing the work and serving your clients. Of course, that schedule can be modified and adjusted on the fly.

Clutter is a freelancer’s worst enemy, so if you really want to be successful working this way, you must learn to be organized. 

Get used to scheduling your projects, plan your day-to-day work, establish short-term goals, and never accept more work than you are capable of developing.

Is a Freelance Business a Good Idea?

This is a very common question that everyone asks before starting and the best answer is found in the facts. In the United States alone, there are more than 55 million people working as freelancers. 

This means that this style of work is undoubtedly beneficial and that year after year more people are encouraged to try it. 

However, the freelance business also has some disadvantages that you should be aware of. Let’s explore the good and the bad side of working from home.

Advantages

Source: Slideshare

Disadvantages

Trending Freelancing Careers

If you want to start working as a freelancer but still have not decided in which area, here you will learn which are the most popular and profitable. In the United States, the number of people who are deciding to do freelance work in these niches is growing more and more, so this is proof that working in this way does give good results.

Source: Slideshare

Graphic Design

Source: Payscale

It is a job in high demand by companies, so it has many variants and its functions tend to depend on the specialty of the professional. However, a professional in this area can perform almost any task assigned to him. If he has the creativity and the right tools, his freelancer performance will stand out.

Digital Marketing

Source: Payscale

Digital Marketing has different aspects to cover but they focus on sales and increase the online presence of companies. It has become one of the highest paying freelance careers, as it is estimated that a professional can earn up to $ 66,000 in a  year. 

The people dedicated to this area become a fundamental part of a company, they use it to conduct stable studies and put together a competent strategy to win over the customer and make sales.

Social Media Marketing

Source: Payscale

It is the set of actions and strategies that are implemented in order to promote the products, services, or the image of a company, organization, or public personality and build a link with its target audience with the help of social networks.

This is one of the areas with the most demand in the market since every company or business needs a social media manager. In fact, many freelancers work with more than one company. 

73% of businesses affirm that social networks are crucial to sell their products, so the role of the social media manager is important and necessary.

Writing and Editing

Source: Payscale

One of the most important advantages is that you do not need a university degree to be able to apply in these types of jobs, however, a set of linguistic, creative, and spelling skills is required. 

If you are a writer and start paying attention and understanding the operation of search engines, the importance of keywords and links, you will expand your knowledge in online positioning, and that will give you experience for your resume.

The most important thing when writing a text as a freelance writer is to serve the client’s objectives. Keep in mind that your article is a small part of a much larger customer strategy.

Website Design

Source: Payscale

As a web designer you will need to have the necessary knowledge to create websites with the characteristics and requirements to represent and defend a business, company, or activity on the Internet. 

But in addition, your designer skills will allow you to give all the pages of the site a personalized and different appearance, which is very important.

This freelance profession is trending because besides web pages are becoming a popular way for clients to contact a business, 75% of brands believe that investing in their web design is a great form to stand out from their competitors.

Website Development

Source: Payscale

Web Developers design, create, and maintain web pages and applications. They generally work for companies specializing in the development of specialized programs or in computer consulting. 

Most Web Developers work on the software, database, or coding of a website. On the other hand, there are others who deal with the design and interface of the page. 

The digital environment has become a priority for many businesses, to reach more clients and not having to limit their services to a geographic area, that is why web development is a profession that is booming.

Video Production/Creation

Source: Payscale

Video makers are in charge of making their clients’ ideas come true. They can work for a wide variety of clients since many companies and people need in one way or another, to make videos to promote something or simply to document an event.

For that reason this is a niche that is always in demand. Video makers rarely work alone, so if you want to dedicate yourself to this niche it is best to be accompanied by other people.

Accounting & Bookkeeping

Source: Payscale

Companies and small businesses are changing the traditional way in which they hire their accountants and they are preferring to do it online since for many businesses or entrepreneurs, having staff dedicated exclusively to accounting is not a priority. However, this area is of vital importance for optimal development, which is why the vast majority consider it more profitable to go to a financial consultant freelancer . 

Normally the accounting professional knows the functioning and development of the organizational, administrative, tax, cost, legal, accounting, and control aspects.

What Does a Freelance Business Require?

1. Soft and Hard Skills

To start your freelance business and maintain it over time, there are certain skills that are very necessary. However, these are skills that are acquired and improved over time. Each experience will give you more capabilities and hone your skills.

Specific skill in a specific niche

It is important that you select a very specific activity to work as a freelancer, think a little about your skills, your academic preparation, and, above all, what you enjoy. If, for example, you have writing skills, you can start offering your services in a blog writing, proofreading, ghost writing, etc.

Having a specific niche will make you direct all your efforts towards that activity. That will make you specialize in an area and become a reference freelancer. When clients see that you are an expert in your niche, they will feel much more confident in your work as they will see you as a professional.

Persistence

Persistence is key to achieving success with your freelance business. You must strive every day to meet your goals and overcome your obstacles. Sometimes you will feel that it is difficult to get clients, job opportunities, or carry out a job, but with persistence, you will achieve it. 

Also, if your clients see that you are a freelancer who works persistently, that you do not constantly abandon projects but that you strive at each job, they will trust you more.

Self-Discipline

The most attractive thing about being a freelancer is the idea of being your own boss. For that same reason, you must be more disciplined than normal. 

If you do not fulfill your deadlines or jobs, you will not have anyone to reprimand you but you will run the risk of losing clients and generating a bad reputation. 

Remember that the more jobs and projects you complete, the more income you will generate. Have the discipline to meet all your goals.

Time Management

Make sure you plan well all the projects that you must do in the week and meet all your deadlines. That will help you to fulfill all your jobs, and you will not disappoint your clients. 

Something important that you should not forget is that these work schedules must also include hours of rest, thus you will avoid burn-out and creative blocks.

Communication

Sincerity is something employers appreciate a lot. Do not be afraid to tell a client that you do not know how to do something or that you are not able to meet the deadline that they propose. 

Keep in mind that if they are really interested in working with you, they will be willing to make an agreement in which both of you are satisfied.

Being a freelancer, most of your clients will contact you through digital means and that will be their main means of communication. The positive thing about this is that everything you talk about will surely be recorded in the conversation history, so you will have a backup of all the guidelines they give you. 

You must be careful that all the guidelines of the project you are working on are clear so that there are no dislikes on either side.

2. Business Plan

As in any company, it is recommended that you establish your short and long-term goals. 

Think about how you see yourself a year from now and what you want to achieve. For example, achieve a certain amount of monthly income, have a certain number of clients, work for a specific client. 

These goals will keep you motivated and month after month you can evaluate your progress.

It is also good that you establish your salary ranges. One of the most common mistakes professionals who are just starting out as freelancers make is putting a very low price on their work.

It is true that the pressure of not receiving fixed money every month can be overwhelming and that there are bills that must be paid, but putting a price below your work will not only harm you but also the rest of the professionals who work as freelancers. Set a reasonable price that is fair to both you and your client.

3. Portfolio Website

Being part of freelance platforms is a good way to start getting clients, but the idea is for you to have your own website where people can contact you. 

In the freelance market, it is quite common for a company or client to ask for some work samples you have done before hiring you.

Through this material, they evaluate the quality of your work, analyze your knowledge in relation to the type of work for which you are applying and compare it with the project they have in mind. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a good digital portfolio to impress the client.

Another good option is having a blog because that will make it easier for potential clients to find you on the web, especially if you use SEO to optimize the content in your blog.

SEO is a way of writing articles so your blog posts appear among the first results in search engines. That is the best way to show your skills and your experience, help your clients, and become a very friendly and approachable freelancer. 

Besides that, you can also create a website or a portfolio website that explains what services you offer, your prices and show any work you have done. 

If you want to start building your blog or portfolio (actually you can have both), a platform like WordPress is a great option, especially if you want to also blog on it. 

All that it requires is a host which most times comes with a domain too, such as (And recommended by WordPress) Bluehost which are affordable too. 

Wix is another good option to build your portfolio. You will only have to make a monthly payment to get your website and hosting and its templates are easy to configure so you do not need any special knowledge. You can have a browse on how to set up both of those 

4. Social Media Presence

To reach the eyes of potential customers, you must show yourself to them and make yourself accessible. 

The key for customers to find you on the web is to increase your online presence.

 There are many platforms where you can create a profile focused on your work and this can open the doors in your niche and the freelance market. 

On Facebook, you can create a fan page and publish valuable content that people want to share, so you will become more known. 

You can use Twitter and offer your services, answer questions, meet other people in your niche, and apart from promoting your work, establish connections with other freelancers. 

Using a platform like LinkedIn you can approach recognized companies and become known in your niche. On this platform alone there are 30 million companies, so it is a perfect place to find potential clients and generate a good reputation, not only by looking for job offers but by publishing content that is useful to others.

5. Marketing Knowledge

It is not enough that you are only an expert in your niche, but it is also necessary that you have knowledge about marketing so that you can get clients and sell your services. Remember that being a freelancer, you most likely work alone, so you must be in charge of promoting your work yourself.

Pitching to Clients

Freelance job platforms are an easy way to start looking for clients. The safest thing is that you should create a profile where you talk about all your skills and work experience. 

Whichever platform you use, you will be able to see a list of available offers and apply to the one that best suits you. 

However, that is not the only way to reach customers. You can also do a cold outreach through emails, for example, telling them who you are, what you do, and how you think you can help them. 

There is no single way to approach customers, there are many and you must try which one works best for you.

Sending Proposals

To get jobs you must apply to them. It may sound obvious, but many freelancers get discouraged after submitting a few proposals and not getting any. You have to be very persistent in this and send proposals constantly, although, with a very clear objective.

Define very well what type of project you would like to work on and apply to those jobs for which you are qualified and that you will really be willing to do.

Realize that outside there are millions of freelancers competing for the same jobs as you, so it is very important that you prepare attractive proposals for your clients that make you stand out from the rest and get the job. Be creative!

SEO

If you have already started to build your online portfolio (or your website) and you still do not know how to get visits by potential clients, you should learn the basics of SEO (search engine optimization). 

This will help you make your website easier to find on the internet and there will be more possibilities for potential customers to visit your portfolio.

The purpose of using SEO is to appear in the highest possible positions in organic search results, using one or more specific words that have been previously selected and are relevant to your website. With this you will increase the traffic of visits.

Personal Branding

Treat your freelance business as your brand. This also depends on the niche you will specialize in, but you can choose a name and even a logo for your personal brand. This will help clients identify you, remember you, and make you easier to recognize.

Everyone has something that makes them particular. Turn that into something that identifies you and sets you apart from the rest of the freelancers in your niche.

Best Online Platforms to Find Freelance Work

There is a large number of freelance platforms where you can search for job offers. The advantage of these websites is that they are usually reliable, they offer job offers that fit your niche, you can compare payments and offers and the platforms also tend to protect freelancers. 

Here are the best platforms where you can look for projects.

Flexjobs

FlexJobs is a subscription platform where the most important companies in the world, Apple, Hilton, Dell, among others, usually publish job offers. There is a wide variety of job offer categories so you will surely find a project related to your niche. If you still do not have experience as a freelancer, do not worry, here you will also find offers for you. 

Upwork

Nowadays, Upwork is the biggest freelancer marketplace and it has approximately twelve million users. That means that there are a lot of freelancers who trust this platform. 

The advantages that this platform offers you is that you can generate a reputation that improves your opportunities with clients, you can create your own portfolio within the platform and specialized profiles for each area in which you operate.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a specialized platform for the purchase and sale of digital products and services, which means that it is only possible to sell services or products that can be delivered online. To earn money with Fiverr, all you have to do is create a gig and you can also generate extra money with ads-on, which are additional services.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a professional social network and is oriented more to commercial and professional relationships than to personal relationships. Therefore in this social network, you will find companies and professionals who seek to promote themselves, do networking and business, and also companies and other recruiters looking for freelancers to join their projects. Here you can expand your network, establish contacts with companies, and be attentive to job offers.

PeoplePerHour

Through this website, you can find a multitude of projects aimed at professionals from different areas and you can access opportunities to carry out specific projects and opportunities to work long-term in remote teams. 

However, new users will always have greater difficulty in accessing an opportunity, so the ideal thing will be to work to raise your profile.

Do not Let Lack of Experience Discourage You

The first thing you need to become a freelancer is the decision of wanting to do it. Being determined enough to leave your fixed salary to venture as a freelancer is something that can seem frightening. Take your time to take that decision and you can start with small steps until you gain more confidence.

You are the only one who can make that decision and voluntarily assume all that it entails. 

All successful freelancers were once beginners, but the key to their success is that they always knew how to persevere despite the fact that the circumstances did not look very positive.

Educate Yourself

One of the positive aspects of freelancing is that many job offers do not require a college degree. 

However, if you want to stand out, it is important that you train, take courses and take advantage of any learning tool. 

Some platforms that you can try are Udemy, EDX, and LinkedIn Learning, where you will find many courses related to your niche or also to learn about digital marketing, which is essential to promote your services.

Practice

Even if you do a lot of courses, what will give you the true experience of being a freelancer is putting everything you learn into practice. 

At first, everything about getting clients and promoting your brand may seem difficult and that does not give quick results, but over time you will become an expert and there is nothing better than getting experience.

Build Your Online Presence

Everything you can implement to increase your online presence is something that you should consider using. The more presence on the web you have, the more opportunities to be found by potential customers. 

Take the time to create profiles on different work platforms, on social networks, also create your website and portfolio or blog, and with patience, you will see that you will obtain good results.

Dedicate Yourself To Your Freelance Business

Having a freelance business is something totally profitable that offers you many advantages such as flexible hours, working on what you like, and choosing your own clients.

 Like any other business, it takes time to grow and get good results from it, but it is all about being patient, being persevering and having the right attitude. 

Have confidence in yourself and be sure that you will turn your freelance business into a stable income.

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