Freelancing refers to the art of selling one’s skills or services for a stipulated period of time, to a client for a fee. Freelance gigs are contract-based and do not require the freelancer to work with the brand or company full time. It has become the most popular way to work, because of the many benefits associated with it, the most attractive of which is the freedom to be your own boss. Yet as beautiful as freelancing seems on the outside, it also has its disadvantages, and newbies and non-freelancers have so many questions about freelancing.
In this article, we would be providing honest answers to the most frequently asked questions about freelancing.
Freelancing FAQ No.1
How often do you get paid as a freelancer?
This is the most popular question that freelancers get all the time. This question comes in different variations; do freelancers actually make any money? Do freelancers make more money than traditional full-time job workers?
The answer is “yes” to all variations. Freelancers make a ton of money, more than their counterparts in traditional full-time jobs, and they get paid every time they get a job done. They earn more than traditional workers in the same industry because they can work for more than one client at the same time.
Here’s how Freelancing works:
A professional acquires profitable skills and goes on to offer them to clients via a freelancing platform like LinkedIn, Upwork, or Freelancer.
For some of these platforms, like Upwork, the freelancer needs to draft compelling proposals and bid for a client’s job offer. For some others like Fiverr, freelancers prepare a gig showcasing their skills and how they can be of value to clients, interested clients click on a preferred gig, and sign a contract deal with the freelancer to pay him for his services.
Different freelance platforms have different systems and protocols for getting clients. However, after a client’s work is done, the freelancer sends it back to the client and the client pays to the platform. The platform then disburses the fee to the freelancer after taking their commission. Each freelancing platform charges a different percentage as a commission.
Back to the FAQs
FAQ about Freelancing No.2
How do Freelancers get Clients?
Freelancing has been made easier since the emergence of freelancing platforms. Professionals and clients meet on these freelancing platforms. However, freelancers also get clients using other strategies like cold emailing, email list marketing, and online personal branding.
Cold emailing means reaching out to prospective clients with a well-crafted proposal of what you offer and how it will be beneficial to them, via email. Some freelancers also send free work done for the prospect along with the email. For example, a graphic designer may create a free logo for the brand he is trying to convert to a paying customer, and send it along with the mail.
The email list marketing strategy is often employed after the freelancer has gotten an established clientele. He then sends newsletters to this client base periodically, to maintain relationships, and keep them updated on changes in his services and new offers.
Email list marketing is also used by brands and business owners. It is popularized as the most reliable form of online marketing.
Online personal branding is simply the freelancer’s way of marketing himself on social media via blog posts, comment threads, videos, social posts, and podcasts that showcase what he does.
Can you get Freelancing Clients without using a Freelance Platform?
Yes, you can. The other methods of attracting clients have been outlined in the answer to the previous FAQ.
Do I need a degree to become a Freelancer?
Another advantage that freelancing has over the traditional full-time job, is that you do not need a qualification or degree to get started. With the right guidance, your skills are enough.
What are the Challenges Freelancers face?
Some of the challenges aka disadvantages of freelancing include:
- The workload is unpredictable. Some days there is so much work to get done in so little time, and on other days there aren’t enough clients to keep you occupied.
- Freelancers find it hard to balance work and personal life. When you freelance, there are no stipulated breaks or closing hours, so you may find yourself taking on more jobs and neglecting free time or hangouts with friends.
- There is always the risk of getting scammed by a client and not getting paid.
- You have to keep updating your resume because you go through jobs fast. It can get tiring.
- You have to source for jobs yourself. Unlike in the traditional full-time job where you execute whatever task you are assigned to, in freelancing you have to go through the process of sourcing for and converting clients yourself.
FAQ No. 6.
What are the Most Lucrative Freelancing Jobs?
The most lucrative jobs in freelancing currently, include:
- Web development
- Digital Marketing
- Project Management
- Content Creation
- Content Management
- Graphic Design
- Social Media Management
- Virtual Assistant
- Website Design
- Data Analytics
FAQ No. 7
How do Freelancers Charge for their Services?
Freelancers charge their clients differently, based on the kind of service offered, and the time frame of the contract signed. The different ways include:
1. Pay Per Project
This method is commonly used by graphic designers and web developers. Using this method, the freelancer gets paid at the end of every successfully completed project.
2. Pay Per Hour
Freelancers also charge per hour of work, keeping track of time spent working with the client. This system of payment is commonly used by social media managers and content creators.
3. Retainer Subscription
For retainer clients, freelancers get paid till the duration of the contract is up. It is just like the client paying a subscription to access your services. This system of payment is used for long-standing clients who have a longer period of patronage.
4. Regular or Recurring
This system of payment is used for clients that have become customers for example, a client that continually patronized the services of a particular freelancer for all her graphic designs.
FAQ No. 8
What are the requirements for becoming a freelancer?
As a freelancer, you are your own boss. You are to be intentional about meeting deadlines even on days when you do not feel like it, there is nobody to hold you accountable and keep you in check
2. Good Time Management and Organizational skills
Freelancers juggle working several different gigs within the same period of time. It takes good time management skills to deliver each gig efficiently, and on time. Organizational skills come in handy considering that your freelance business is a one-man’s business, and you are responsible for everything including administrative functions.
3. Hard Work
Running a freelance business requires that you put in a lot of time and effort. You have to give clients your best work, so you can retain them and turn them into returning customers. Freelancers often spend time learning and practicing their skills, so they can bring their A-game to every gig.. In freelancing, self-development is key. It is a cycle of learning and practicing that never stops.
Freelancers have to be consistent in delivering value, to maintain a good reputation and retain clients. Missing deadlines and constantly coming up with excuses for poor quality work will drive customers away.
5. Tunnel Vision
It takes a great deal of focus and persistence to succeed as a freelancer. As a great saying goes, “begin with the end in mind”. To succeed as a freelancer, you have to set a goal and work towards achieving it. It will serve as motivation to keep giving your best shot, even on bad days (and freelancers have a lot of bad days at the beginning).
6. Interpersonal Relation and Excellent Communication Skills.
This skill is a must-have for all professionals, freelancers, and traditional full-time job workers alike. Freelancers must be able to communicate with clients from different parts of the world. Especially when offering professional advice to new clients, interpersonal skills come in handy to ensure that you communicate your opinion effectively, without forcing it on them or offending them. A pro tip is to mirror the client’s conversation style. If the client speaks casually, you can relax and do the same. However, it is advisable to start off being professional with new clients.
7. A Niche
Every freelancer operates within a niche. Each job role has different niches in it for better specialization. Some of the most profitable niches in freelance writing include:
- Sales Copywriting
- Email Marketing
- Web content writing
- Technical writing
How do you choose a niche? Follow these steps:
- Find out what you comfortably do best.
- Identify which niche you are most interested in. For example, if you love writing, do you prefer to write articles or scripts for filmmaking?
- Choose the most profitable one you enjoy, and start with the resources available at your disposal.
FAQ No. 9
How do Freelancers deal with bad Days?
Once in a while, freelancers flop, deliver gigs poorly and end up with dissatisfied clients. Although this is not ideal, it happens sometimes because they are humans and prone to make mistakes. Here’s how to remedy the situation, when you deliver poorly as a freelancer:
- Don’t panic, you are only human and mistakes can be corrected.
- Apologize for errors and implement feedback. If a client points out corrections to be made, note them and affect them.
- Offer a refund if you cannot salvage the work done.
- If the client gives you a second trial, offer them a discount.
Some clients may go too far in expressing their dissatisfaction and become unacceptably rude. Know when to let go of a client that has become toxic. No amount of money is worth putting up with a bad client.
FAQ No. 10
How do you get started with Freelancing?
1. Write the vision and make it plain
Define your goals and come up with an action plan on how to meet them.
2. Choose a suitable niche
The steps to follow to choose a niche have been outlined in the answer to FAQ No.8. When you are clear on what niche you deliver best in, you can be more selective with clients and be more productive. Choosing a niche also helps with personal branding; your niche is what you will be known for.
3. Know your target audience
Three questions that help freelancers identify their target audience are:
- Who will my skills and services be of value to?
- Which prospects will be able to afford my services?
- How can I connect with these prospects on a more personal level?
These questions also work for businesses and brands that may be looking to expand their reach.
4. Create a compelling portfolio
Compile samples of your best works together on a website. This will serve as proof to potential clients, that you can deliver efficiently. Show up on social media and share updates on your professional growth with your online community.
5. Connect with people and network.
Spread the word with your network and let them know what you do. Volunteer sometimes, and do a gig for a network for free. Well-paying jobs often come as referrals based on great recommendations.
6. Stay consistent and always look for opportunities to upskill.
That is it for the most frequently asked questions about freelancing. I hoped you found answers to the ones you have been pondering on. If you didn’t get answers, leave your questions in the comment and it might inspire a part 2. Have a great day today.