As the year 2022 is fast approaching, and pursuing work as a freelancer is a great resource that can generate extra income on the side. Many individuals who pursue this work have an entrepreneur-type mindset. Some pursue based on their creative passions, while some are looking into this with a full-time perspective.
Although intimidating, starting a career in freelancing may require leaving a full-time job, but for some, maintaining their current position while working as a freelancer on the side is quite achievable.
On the other hand, there are some benefits if you make the choice to remove yourself from the full-time job you go to every day and switch to a career in freelancing. You have the ability to work from home on projects you have set out for yourself.
If this is the route you wish to take, make sure you properly research and prepare for the process.
- 1 What Is A Freelancer?
- 2 Types of Freelance Work
- 3 The Appeal of Freelancing
- 4 Minor Downfalls of Being A Freelancer
- 5 Getting Started As A Freelancer
- 6 Is A Career In Freelancing Right For You?
- 7 41 Ultimate Freelancers’ Best Gigs for 2021
- 7.1 1. Online Survey Taker
- 7.2 2. Online Research Studies: Earn up to $100 an Hour
- 7.3 3. Loan Signing Agent: Up to $120 per Appointment
- 7.4 4. Virtual Mobile Bookkeeping: Up to $75/hr
- 7.5 5. Reselling Flea Market Items: Makeup to $2500 per Flip
- 7.6 6. Become a Virtual Assistant: Earn Up to $70/hr
- 7.7 7. Start an Online Business
- 7.8 8. Start a Blog
- 7.9 9. Join Mystery Shopping
- 7.10 10. Rent Out Your Space for Money
- 7.11 11. Explore Pet Sitting Services
- 8 Bottom Line
What Is A Freelancer?
A freelancer is an individual who is self-employed, offering services to clients that fill the need of a project or job – usually short-term work with a set of terms and conditions that the freelancer is required to follow.
Money is earned on a per-job basis and they have the ability to modify their price rates for any particular job.
There are several options to choose from when starting a career in freelancing:
First, independent contractors perform supplemental work, as well as employment contracts. Both of these typically adhere to terms set by the client, then negotiated and agreed upon with the employer.
The second option is a diversified worker, who works as both a traditional employee and as a freelancer. Their time is split between two “part-time” positions technically, which is gaining more recent popularity as there is a high demand for part-time work as a freelancer.
Next are the temporary workers. The majority of workers are somewhat familiar with this classification as a temporary worker will fill a need where it is required – such as a longer contract but will rely on only that particular job as a source of income.
Lastly, there are freelance business owners. This means that a successful freelancer will take on freelancer employees in order to meet the high demand of themselves as a freelancer.
Types of Freelance Work
When people think of freelancing, they automatically associate this type of work with ‘stay-at-home’ positions. Regardless of some critics, there are completely legitimate job opportunities in this line of work.
Some of the more common freelance jobs involve some type of writing and editing. You can become a freelancer for publishing companies and provide content that will be used in texts such as textbooks, magazines, and websites.
There is a high pay rate for translators that have the ability to translate texts into business documents, websites, and academic papers.
There is also an abundance of tutoring positions available and with an online profile, you can pick the subject in which you want to tutor.
For the more technologically savvy individual, a job in freelancing could mean graphic design and marketing. These positions typically require some type of college education, but with that, you become more marketable and valuable to these clients given your basic and/or advanced skill set and knowledge.
You can also seek jobs in software and web development, which is particularly appealing for those who enjoy working from home. Although these positions are typically well compensated, they require you to have all the equipment necessary to complete the task(s).
The Appeal of Freelancing
1. Flexible Schedule
First, flexible schedules mean you have the ability to work where you want when you want, and for whom you want. You are entering into a more open organization, allowing you to set aside time for other life tasks you need to complete.
2. Work At Home
For some, the appeal of working fewer hours is beneficial as you are the person who gets to dictate the amount of work you want to do. If you are searching for a workplace that fills a need in regard to a more relaxed, comfortable environment, then freelancing is a great opportunity to start a work-at-home career.
3. Tax Deductibles (lots of it!)
Although your expenses may increase compared to the full-time employee benefits of working for a company, you have the ability to deduct all of your added expenses when filing taxes – such as business cards, advertising, and promotion related materials, automotive expenses like gas and parking, travel, as well as technological equipment associated to the type of work you do.
Even more so, there are additional deductions on top of those expenses, including business loan interest, rent/mortgage interest, and homeowner’s insurance.
In order for you to have the ability to deduct these expenses, you will need to maintain a very detailed and organized record keeping of all the ins and outs tied to your freelancing position.
4. The Freedom To Choose Your Clients and Workload
With freelancing, you have the freedom to choose your clients. This is an incredibly unique benefit you otherwise would not have access to in a normalized job structure.
You control the clients you work with, which also means that you control your workload. You can make as much, or as little, time commitments as you desire, which provides flexibility to maintain your daily routines and adjust for potential distractions that may occur.
That said, if you plan ahead, you can plan accordingly. Knowing what your schedule will look like in regard to workload as a freelancer will allow you to frontload or backload your schedule with personal or work tasks, leaving room for the other once you have completed the work that needs to be done.
5. Exposure (Worldwide)
Exposure is huge in the freelancing world.
There are numerous opportunities to work with a broad range of clients – which enhances your networking abilities, increases the work experience that you can utilize in either your freelance career or outside of that field, as well as developing a dynamic set of professional skills that is also very appealing to the majority of clients.
If you find that your skill set has a lot of range, you can market that on whichever Freelance platform you choose, which gives your clients the ability to view your experience and/or education, increasing your likability and your chances of getting hired.
Minor Downfalls of Being A Freelancer
It is possible for you to face some long-term challenges as you progress in your career as a freelancer.
1. No Job Security
First, there is no job security provided, which painfully means that there is no guarantee of an income source. The freedom and flexibility of working for yourself come at a price – you are susceptible to inconsistencies in work demand, as well as variations in the economy.
2. Clients May Dictate Your Schedule
As a freelancer, you are hired on by a client who has a budget and deadlines to meet – which also leaves you at the mercy of their schedule – therefore, to ensure you have some sort of revenue coming in, don’t rely on a single client, set up contracts with multiple if available.
3. Not All Hours Are Billable
Adding to this, not all of your hours are billable. The majority of contracts made with clients have terms that include milestones, which means that regardless of the time it takes you to complete one of those milestones, you will be compensated for completion and not total time worked.
4. Finding Clients Can Be Time-Consuming
Also, take into consideration that finding clients, submitting proposals, and discussing contracts will consume some of your valuable time.
5. No Employment Benefits
Because you are not working for a small company or large corporation, you do not receive employment benefits. You are responsible for your own coverage and costs of health insurance, in addition to no paid leave, vacation, or sick days.
Getting Started As A Freelancer
Starting as a freelancer may feel intimidating, but with the right brand, portfolio, and professional network, you will set yourself up for a successful career.
First, you will want to consider how you will market your service, gain a presence in the freelance world, and shape your trademark.
Next, build an online portfolio, master the art of social media marketing, develop your key content, and discover how to identify opportunities to network.
Your portfolio should contain a list of all your most favorable and admirable achievements thus far, which should lure clients to your profile. A solid portfolio will enhance your online presence in the freelancing world.
Testimonials are your go-to advertisement for future clients so the more you build your work history, the more obliged clients will be to take you on as a freelance employee.
Decide Your Rates
This part of the job can trigger a lot of unease in many individuals as deciding your rates is a trial and error process. Setting an hourly rate versus charging by project or milestone is not an all-inclusive method when it comes to finding work as a freelancer.
Pay rates vary considerably based on the terms and guidelines set by the client, especially when considering the time and effort the job requires as a whole. Setting yourself up for success in this aspect is all about familiarizing yourself with how pricing structures work and test driving a variety of methodologies to determine which one best suits you and your goal as a freelancer.
All in all, it is recommended to do your research before providing a quote to a potential client – look at their pay history, work history, job demand, the details for projects, etc.
Building An Online Presence
Social media is a great starting point to build an online presence as a freelancer. Enhancing your profile means marketing your skills to the right people.
Inserting yourself into an online community is one way to reach out to potential clients – as well as finding resources that provide information regarding job leads, industry news, and discussion forums to reference back to if needed.
Blog posts on publishing platforms are another great way to build your brand in the marketing world. Creating content that you personally own will not only appeal to clients, either directly or by referral, but will aid in optimizing your searchable assets that allow clients to view your achievements and overall purpose.
Building credibility in your field of interest will draw in new clients as they can identify your expertise in a given field.
There are a few Portfolio and Website Building resources that we recommend looking into to help you build your online presence and increase marketability.
Squarespace is most beneficial to those who are looking to create a professional website. It provides high-quality design features for marketing, templates to reference, and allows personal customization that fits your goals as a viable portfolio.
WordPress is the ideal platform for those who are looking to build a website that fits your unique marketing standards. WordPress offers development tools and resources for blogging, businesses, portfolios, online stores, etc. Your reachability is enhanced with their optimized and receptive themes.
Wix gives you the chance to independently utilize your creative side through designing, developing, and managing your web presence platform with the tools and resources they provide.
Finding Freelance Jobs
Before you consider a career in freelancing, know that half the work you do will be put into finding jobs. To the best of your ability, set yourself up with multiple clients to ensure you have work coming in, as well as build your portfolio which will help further market yourself in the freelancing world.
There are resources available for those who seek them. Creating a profile on an online marketplace will increase your chances of finding work substantially, compared to personal and professional referrals. Technology is your friend in every aspect of being a freelancer.
There are numerous online sites that will guide you in the right direction if a career in freelancing is what you want to pursue.
FelxJobs offers support and access to discovering work-from-home remote positions that can be both part and full-time, freelance positions, as well as access to on-site positions that have flexible schedules. With a proven track record, FlexJobs provides a quick and easy tool to find employment, as well as resources to get you there as well.
This freelance platform is one of the more reputable and marketable sites to search for freelance work. Like most sites, UpWork offers the ability to build a custom-made portfolio where you can market your skills, education, and work experience.
Clients have the ability to reach out to you, just as much as you have the ability to reach out to them. Finding work through UpWork is quick and painless, which is beneficial to those who are beginners, but also appeals to the more advanced freelancers as they are afforded the opportunity to build relationships with clients to lengthen their contract and take on more of a full-time role.
The main objective of this business is providing resources for jobs that start at $5 – hence the name Fiverr. Although this may not initially sound appealing to someone who is looking at a career in freelancing, there is room for growth. You have the ability to offer services through building an online portfolio where you can market for job positions that have higher pay rates.
How to Handle Taxes
For freelancers, the procedure for filing for taxes is considerably different. There are no tax deductions from your paychecks and the taxes you do pay come out more than once a year.
As a self-employed worker, you pay tax your own self-employment tax, as well as income taxes for every quarter you work. For many, this leads to minor difficulties through a freelancing career.
Taxes aren’t deducted from your paycheck, nor do you pay taxes only once a year. You pay a self-employment tax and then owe quarterly estimated income taxes. This can lead to many budgetary headaches.
Some key factors to pay attention to when filing for taxes to move the process along smoothly – make sure you are keeping track of all your income and receive a 1099-MISC form from every one of your clients. Paying self-employment tax is required for freelancers whose income is greater than $400. This self-employment tax is applied to Social Security and Medicare.
Remember that your self-employment income taxes are due every quarter you work. Paying self-employment tax is crucial for those who end up owing more than $1,000 because if you don’t pay, the IRS will add up all of those missed payments plus interest for every month.
Like was stated before, as a freelancer, you have the amazing benefit of being able to deduct all of your work-related expenses – but make sure to maintain those detailed and organized records to ensure ease of the process.
Is A Career In Freelancing Right For You?
Once you take the initial step on the path to a freelancing career, consider the benefits and risks of the field, as well as whether you have what it takes to choose this type of work. Making that decision is extremely personal and requires a great deal of understanding of how to be successful in the freelancing world.
Upwork has indicated that there are more than 56 million freelancers in America alone – which means, more than 1/3 of the population has experienced the benefits of working as a freelancer.
Know that with the amount of freedom granted, there needs to be a significant amount of commitment and time-management skills to be successful as a freelancer.
Indeed, freelancing is not for everyone. However, it is a great option if you are starting something you are hoping to grow into something even bigger.
Whatever the case, know that freelancing is cost-efficient and it can serve as a great start to that great career, and a great answer to the questions about starting a freelancing gig.
Here are three things you want to consider to check to see if a career in freelancing is right for you:
Do You Value Freedom of Time?
This is very important to help you assess just how much your time means to you when it comes to taking that step in creating the ideal lifestyle that you desire. When you figure out the best way to get your time worth when embarking on a journey of freelancing, then you can easily decide if a career in freelancing is meant for you.
For many, freedom of time is higher and greater than the money they make at their regular 9-5 jobs. Therefore, creating access where you can bring all of these factors together to make your freelancing dream a reality can mean the world to the person who values the value that freelancing brings them.
Do You Value Work Flexibility?
This is yet another question you should ask yourself when it comes to figuring out where you stand in the world of a freelancing career. Do you value the flexibility that freelancing brings? Are you able to travel and work anywhere from your location? This is important in helping you make that decision as to how to go about your day.
You also want to make sure that you have all that it takes to get that flexibility of time. However, there are things that should be done to help you make the decision an easier one. One of these things would be to ask yourself what you enjoy doing, and if you figure out what counts as pleasure, then making the switch can become as seamless as you want it.
Time Commitment to Freelancing
Another factor to consider when it comes to freelancing is asking yourself if you are willing to take the time and commit to the project at hand. This is very important as your gigs may come in once in a while, and as such, you would need all the help you can get in terms of sourcing and sorting through the freelancing gigs that come your way.
The time commitment to your freelancing gig can make all the difference in terms of how well you perform when you are ready for the freelancing world. However, taking your time to do a full assessment of where your interests are, can help you make the decision to either become a freelancer part-time or go all in. The choice at the end of the day is yours to make.
41 Ultimate Freelancers’ Best Gigs for 2021
When you think of gigs for freelancers, a number of gigs come to mind. In this article, we are going to be looking at 41 gigs that you can start out with today. These freelancing gigs do not require too much financial to get started. The market is there, and all you have to do is take advantage of the gigs that speak to you.
1. Online Survey Taker
This gig does not require too much other than a willingness to contribute your knowledge to asking and answering questions. There are definitely some great options out there when it comes to getting paid to fill out online surveys. We have listed a few options below that can help you get started in no distant time at all.
- https://www.inboxdollars.com/ – You get a $10 bonus for signing up. Earn up to $30 per survey
- https://www.swagbucks.com/ – This is yet another one to try out.
- https://members.pineconeresearch.com/#/ – This website offers tons of opportunities
- https://www.opinionoutpost.com/ – Get paid for your opinions
2. Online Research Studies: Earn up to $100 an Hour
This is yet another freelancer gig that you can take advantage of today without any upfront financial investment whatsoever. The process that the online research studies go through has to do with what experience you bring to the table. The process involves you providing information about some research topics that can benefit companies, families, and diverse communities.
3. Loan Signing Agent: Up to $120 per Appointment
A loan signing agent is an individual who makes money through signing documents. This is another form of notary public service. This freelancing gig can definitely help you make money as a freelancer. The gig process is some that are quite easy to start, and very easy to maintain without any upfront cost or big financial investment to start with.
4. Virtual Mobile Bookkeeping: Up to $75/hr
When you think of virtual bookkeeping, what comes to mind? Well, yes you can consider the concept of virtual bookkeeping. This is something you can do on an appointment basis. This area of investment is very important as it cam makes all the difference when it comes to keeping your options open.
5. Reselling Flea Market Items: Makeup to $2500 per Flip
This is another great opportunity that you can take advantage of when it comes to reselling and flipping items found at the flea market. You would be surprised how much this experience can fetch you. The flea market has always been a goldmine for those who know how to scratch beyond the surface. Try and be that person to go beyond the surface to find all the goodies that lie beneath.
6. Become a Virtual Assistant: Earn Up to $70/hr
Virtual assistants are becoming quite popular these days more than ever before. More people are starting to explore entrepreneurship options, and as such, a more virtual assistant would be required to help out. If you are interested in making more money on the side, or even as a full-time gig, becoming a virtual assistant or a VA as it is popularly known can be a great option for stepping into entrepreneurship.
7. Start an Online Business
Starting an online business is a great freelancing option to earn money on the side. The online business model is not one that requires that you make money the next day. This is one of those business models where you have to basically build a business and give it what it requires to grow and make you money in return.
8. Start a Blog
Blogging is another great freelancing option to make money. Just like many of the ones listed, blogging is not a get-rich-quick scheme or a get-wealthy quick method. Blogging takes time to start and to reap the monetary or financial benefits. There is always a learning curve that one has to learn and go through to be able to get the benefits thereof.
9. Join Mystery Shopping
The mystery shopping concept is one that reflects a sense of contribution to a product or service. Mystery shopping is something that can help you turn things around and give you the financial backing that you need. The mystery shopping reward concept is one that provides you with monetary and nonmonetary rewards for your input, your recommendations, and your shares and publicity.
10. Rent Out Your Space for Money
The process is an easy one. Rent out your space to make money. This is a great freelancer’s option for making money. This is because the space that you are renting out would be there anyway. So being able to do what you can to take advantage of that space would give you all the freedom that you need to expand on your freelancing goals.
11. Explore Pet Sitting Services
Pet sitting services have always been highly requested. This may not change anytime soon. The process of creating the lifestyle that you need when it comes to starting a pet sitting service is an essential one. The helpful process is one that can help determine how far you can go with the pet sitting service you may be interested in. One thing to remember, though, is that you have to make sure that you are a “pet person” before exploring pet sitting services.
There you have it! The 11 freelancers’ best gigs that you can consider starting today as a freelancer. Nothing good comes easy, so bear that in mind when you are considering the listed gigs in this article. One thing you have to bear in mind is that freelancing has its many rewards, but it sure does require a lot of hard work, dedication, and persistence to take you from where you are to where you want to be.