How to Become Freelance and live a life being your Own Boss
Becoming freelance is an increasingly coveted goal: no obligation to work hours and locations, more flexibility and more free time. Here’s how to do it. Becoming a freelancer – and in particular becoming an online freelancer – and living the so-called freelance lifestyle is an increasingly coveted goal, especially for the many advantages that this lifestyle has an absolute Freedom.
But is everything really so pink and flowery? What does it really mean to be freelance? And how to become one? and what are the job we can do as freelance ? In this article I want to talk to you about this starting from my experience, since I have been working as a freelancer for over 5 years.
I will tell you the best things about self-employment but also all the hassles and myths of freelance life , so that you can put everything on the scales and decide if this is the life you really want to lead. Ready to get started? Let’s begin! Do you want to create a successful blog? drop your idean and mail in the comment section for course.
Freelance lifestyle: what it (really) means to be freelance ?
The ISTAT definition of self-employed is Those who carry out their work without formal subordination constraints. This includes: entrepreneurs; freelancers, self-employed workers, assistants in the company of a family member (if they work in the company without the payment of contractual remuneration as employees), cooperative members, collaborators (with and without project) and occasional workers.
Living a life as a freelancer therefore mainly means having the freedom to decide independently when, how, where and with whom to work. While it may seem like crazy cool at first glance (and in some ways it really is!), Working as a freelancer also puts you in front of the downside, namely that of:
- find your customers yourself
- you have to do personally bureacratics and tax aspects
- accepting work is not easy as we think.we might no get a job even in a month.
- getting a job might make you stay in a home for a week! hustle of 3rd world.
- learn to organize their times and spaces, especially if shared with screaming partners / pets / children.
When working at home, it’s also important to let your friends and family know right away that being a freelancer doesn’t mean staying home and filling up on Netflix series and this means they don’t ring the bell all the day with the excuse of “so you’re at home”.
This means being able to carve out a lot of free time if we can organize our work meticulously, at least in theory. In practice, then, it takes a lot of discipline not only to work constantly but also to carve out breaks in which to rest.
Speaking with many colleagues, in fact, we all have the same problem: we never disconnect from work . Unlike an employee who can do whatever he wants when he leaves the workplace, freelancers do not leave the workplace and this leads them to work continuously for many, many hours a day, more than any employee. But being freelance means above all doing a job that we deeply love .
It is also for this reason that we often remain working even for 12 hours straight without realizing how much time has passed. And since quoting Confucius has now become mainstream, I want to bring you a quote from Steve Jobs from his famous speech Stay hungry, stay foolish that struck me a lot and that I think sums up very well what it means to do the work we love:
Your work will fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you think is good work. And the only way to do a good job is to love what you do. If you still haven’t found it, keep looking. Don’t be satisfied.
In the following image, however, you can observe a freelance specimen in its natural habitat , with the unique characteristics that distinguish it (and I confirm that this is exactly the case). How much does a freelancer earn Everyone talks about how to become freelance but then, when it comes to numbers, chaos happens.
Those who boast trillions of euros, in front of their house with swimming pool in Dubai (rented on Airbnb) and the Rolex on their wrist (super fake, bought at a market stall) and those who don’t earn a cent and look at themselves good to say so as not to pass for the loser of the moment. If you find an idea you can’t stop thinking about, it’s probably a good idea.
So how much does a freelancer really make?
The answer is simple: it depends on your proffesions,skills, Diversity of your income,your list of price and expensive you incur while on the projects.
We can say that – potentially – the earnings of a freelancer can range from 0 € up to infinity.
How to become freelance while working full time
One thing that unites most freelancers is to have started independent work as a side business , that is to have developed it in the spare time while you are employed in some company. This means in most of the times having to sacrifice a large part of our free time and to work even – and above all – on weekends.But this can be considered investments, which will be repaid in the long run for the sacrifice made.
Therefore, if you do not have the possibility to leave your current job to dedicate yourself 100% to freelancing , then take these aspects into consideration and start thinking about leaving your job only when your business starting to payout the result of your sacrifice.
If you don’t know exactly what you want to “grow up”, also take a look at the online business ideas you can get started today.Once you started you are ready and you can start your business as freelancer.
But what are the steps to start the freelance business?
Let’s see them in detail.
Define your goals
The first step is to clearly and measurably define the goals you want to achieve. In fact, if you do not know the results you want to achieve, it will be difficult to find the right path to take. Remember that goals must always be SMART :
- S pecific – specific
- M easurable – measurable
- A chievable – achievable
- R elevant – relevant
- Time -bound – limited in time .
The first question you should ask yourself is: why do you want to freelance? To supplement your salary? To do what you love? To pursue a completely different career? Once you’ve defined your first long-term goal, it’s time to develop a step-by-step strategy to achieve it.
So first create your short term plan,with Personal Branding.
Develop your personal branding
Especially if you’re starting from scratch in a new industry, it’s important to start making yourself known to potential customers and elevate yourself as an expert in a particular industry. This is done through personal branding.
Wikipedia gives us a clear definition of personal branding :
Personal branding is the activity with which you first become aware and then structure your brand or your personal brand. It can be defined as what is collectively said, heard and thought by people about you and the services you offer, in your professional and non-professional life.
There are several ways in which you can develop your personal branding: opening a blog , through social media, commenting on blog articles in your niche, writing on forums but also in the offline world, for example by participating in meetups or industry conferences.
Improve your online reputation
According to a research by the ReputationUP Study Center 45% of adults who googled a potential business partner in 2019 found something online that prompted them to choose not to do business with that partner. It is therefore essential to take care of our online reputation , starting from social media to getting to images, your blog, comments and reviews about you, your services and your products. There are several tools that can help you keep track of what is being said about you.
The Most Famous is google Alert Tools which will send you notifications every time your name or brand mentioned on web.
Another step is to take care of social networks deeply. For example, on social media I try to be active enough, participating in discussions and creating content . The truth is, I prefer to focus most of my time on blogging, which is my biggest passion. However, if you have any advice on how I can improve my presence on social networks, please write it to me in the comments below this article. Any constructive criticism is a small treasure for me (and I thank you in advance! ).
Find your niche
Just like when starting a new blog, finding your niche is another important step to take if you want to become a freelancer . In fact, you have to intercept a slice of the public interested in your products or services in order to then identify your potential customers.
Let’s say you want to become a freelance photographer . What you have to do is intercept a slice of people who might be interested in your services , perhaps professionals who need images (think only of bloggers, influencers or nightclubs) or can be individuals who are looking for photographers for party or event.
Your job will take up a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do a job that you consider fantastic. And the only way to do a great job is to love what you do. ( steve Jobs)
So for that you have to intercept audience,make yourself professional and show your skill.
You can do this by creating a website , writing effective articles for your blog , or using social media, such as Facebook and especially LinkedIn. Choose a specific niche, not too big, and aim to become the best photographer / programmer / whatever you want in that narrow circle of users. Also remember that a profitable niche has 4 characteristics:
- It has a good number of people interested in the subject
- Discuss a topic you know well
- willingness to spend money on
- something to sell on that niche
Once you’ve got your niche’s attention, you can move on to find your customers. A little secret: if you’ve worked well so far, customers will find you or Find your customers (or let them find you).
When started freelancing,one of the biggest headache is finding clients.How can we make our first clients trust us and offer us a job if we don’t have experience and results to show ?
To get clients
- collaborate with companies and that way it is easier to find your first clients and that will give you to get your portfolio.
This was exactly the path I followed. I worked on my personal projects, developing my personal branding and creating a good amount of content. At the same time I worked with web agencies that allowed me not only to constantly train, but also to obtain projects to work on and that allowed me to make myself known and create a portfolio of results.
Regularly take care of your online presence
making yourself known and showing yourself to be an expert in your field. You can do this for example by creating your own blog and actively participating in online discussions, for example in Facebook or LinkedIn groups.
there are bunch of freelance platform out there and fiverr is one of a kind to get your first clients.If you want to work as a web writer, the best platform to start writing articles and create a client portfolio is undoubtedly Melascrivi .
Set your prices
Another important step when deciding to freelance is to set our prices . Especially when we start from scratch, however, the biggest dilemma is just how much to ask. When we are not yet experts in our field, in fact, it is natural not to ask for too high figures and we tend to play lower . A low figure, in fact, at first glance can guarantee us to find a higher number of customers in order to create a portfolio more quickly.
Note: Low price will give the perception of low value,which will turn difficult to increase our portfolio authority.
In my experience , the solution lies somewhere in between . Better to take home fewer customers but at a little higher figures than to offer our skills for a few crumbs, and this is true even if we are still at the beginning.
to figure out market price look for any freelancer you know in your area of experty,who offer the same service to you.
Ask them for quotes and study how they work. This way you can not only try to offer a better service but you can also get an idea of the competitor’s prices. So how much to ask for our works? Think about the project you want to carry out, the actual hours it will take you to complete it, the skills and studies you have completed to obtain the results you will bring to the client. Now give an estimate of all this . This will be the basis of your earnings. Create your portfolio Now that you have started your freelance business, it is important to create a portfolio not only of clients but above all of projects you have followed (or are following) and results achieved.
In this method when you are contacted for new quote,you can increase your authority as well significantly raise the prices by showing in advance the results you can get your customers.
Unity is strength: networking
Teamwork divides tasks and multiplies success. Creating a network of professionals who have the same goals and our same vision is truly the key to success . But how is a network created ? It can be done in many ways, both online and especially offline. One of the best means to weave new working relationships is undoubtedly LinkedIn (if you want you can request a link from here ) but also Facebook groups and social platforms in general.
However, offline is the best way to join and create a network of colleagues as well as freelancer with whom you can work to build new relationships. Just look for events in the area that relate to your work sector: meetups, training courses, conferences but also the co-working themselves allow you to meet many professionals.
The best professions for freelancers
Now that it’s pretty clear what the main steps to becoming a freelancer are, there are a couple of other issues that I feel should be addressed.
The first is: what are the best freelance jobs?
There are many, more than hundred of rankings on the ” best freelance jobs ” but I advice you to start with another question of:
what is meant by “best”?
If by best you mean ” best paid “, then this ranking compiled by Page Personnel with the 10 most requested and best paid jobs today can be useful:
- Affiliate Marketing Manager
- Growth Hacker
- Sea, land and air import-export operations
- Customs broker with license
- Export Manager
- Sales manager
- Computer engineer
- Oil & Gas Engineer
- Mobile Application Developer.
If by “best work” we mean your personal satisfaction , then there is no ranking that can hold up: follow your passions.
In recent times, it seems that there is a race for greater earnings : gurus and paragurus who teach you how to earn more and more, how to make € 100,000 in 2 months, how to trade and earn and so on and so forth.
(And then maybe the only money they have earned is what their grandmother gave them at Christmas.)
It seems that earning more and more has become the real goal of many.
Personally, I have other goals: I want to do what I like , what makes me feel good, what gives me satisfaction. Then it is obvious that the gain is important, the bills are certainly not paid with passion.
But in my opinion they are very different points of view.
With web writing I have excellent earnings, it is true, but above all this work allows me to really do what I love , to continue to train constantly and to have full freedom of working hours and places.
So this for me is the best job in the world and I wouldn’t even trade it for an extra 3 zero monthly salary.
How to organize your life and your spaces
Becoming freelance has many advantages , first of all that of choosing hours and places of work independently.
While this is a really great aspect of self employment, you also have to come to terms with what this means in practice.
In particular, there are 3 aspects of the organization that every freelance must never underestimate:
- the work space
- working times
- maintain concentration and productivity.
Let’s take a focus on this points.
How to organize the workspace
I admit it: while I’m writing this article I’m sitting comfortably (almost lying down) on the sofa at home. But this doesn’t mean that I don’t have a small, super-equipped and fully equipped studio in the house where I spend most of my time.
If you want to work at home, I therefore recommend that you create a small space where you can work safely and that is separate from where you normally spend time with your family.
This is because working at home often means not being able to draw a clear line between work and private life . This is also one of the reasons why many of my freelance colleagues prefer to rent an office or work in a co-working.
Don’t create a workspace even in the kitchen: the refrigerator and coffee maker can become really disturbing elements!
If you have a dressing room or a small studio , it is undoubtedly the best solution. Also carefully choose the desk and chair where you work because spending many hours in an uncomfortable place can cause annoying back and neck pain.
Someone recommends using standing desks , that is, those desks we work on standing up, to improve posture and productivity. Personally, I have tried them and I prefer a nice comfortable armchair
In addition to the desk and any chair, also make sure you have optimal lighting on the work surface, multiple sockets (including USB) and customize your workspace as you like, so that it is an environment where you like to be and that makes you feel at ease.
This is truly a cure-all for concentration.
Organize work times
A problem for all of us freelancers – or almost – is to “never disconnect”.
The reason we have mentioned extensively throughout the article: we do not have a real limit between work and private life , also because often our work also turns into our hobby.
He’s not too different from an employee who does what he loves when he gets out of work. The problem with freelancers is in fact that, often, work and what we love coincide .
It follows that after actually working, we continue to do exactly what we were doing , however as a hobby.
I’ll give you a practical example.
I follow some clients of which I manage the blogs and corporate communication. This is my job. When I have finished the work for my clients, I develop the blog and the communication of my websites. Same thing, diametrically different goal.
It is therefore important to be able to give ourselves discipline right away, even to stop working , better organize our freelance day , spend more time outdoors, with our friends and family, or develop other hobbies, other than our work.
This is because in the long run, it can also trigger a mechanism of dependence on work (the so-called workaholism ).
Maintain concentration and productivity
When there is no one who is checking c on sight, it is also easy to fall prey to the opposite mechanism, namely that of not staying focused .
Either because there are thousands of reasons to distract us at home (just think of the coffee, the postman ringing the bell or the washing machine that has just finished washing), or because when we don’t have time constraints, it’s easy to postpone things until later .
After when? After!
And this often turns into chronic procrastination .
The good thing is that there are numerous solutions to increase productivity and optimize time when we work as a freelancer.
It is therefore important from the outset to be able to give ourselves a rhythm and an iron discipline , create routines, learn to disconnect from work and distract ourselves with sports, recreational activities and new hobbies.
To do this, I personally use some tools that help me not only manage my work and my times but also keep track of all my results.
Here are my favorite work management tools.
The best tools for freelancers
There are many tools that which can help you run your freelance business smoothly and few of them are.
If you want too choose just one tool to keep you organize your freelance business, Google Drive will be the best .
With Google Drive you can manage all your and your clients’ projects, save your documents and manage files and folders with clients and colleagues and you can have everything at hand from any device, just by connecting with your personal Google account.
With the free plan, you can store up to 15GB of files , so I’d say there’s plenty of space to use. If you need more space, the paid plans are still very cheap: $ 1.99 per month for 100GB of storage and $ 2.99 per month for 200GB.
Evernote works a bit like a virtual notebook . You can save your daily notes, your day too day projects, thoughts on any projects, ideas, audio of your any project, images and data, freehand drawings, web articles and many more…
If inspiration comes suddenly or you want to save content, then you can rely on Evernote .
I use it a lot for work, for example to collect ideas for my blogs, but also for private projects .
For example, my daughter’s last birthday was organized with this very tool. In fact, it was enough for me to create the “Birthday” project in which I then added all the notes: guests to the party, shopping list and to-do-list.
You can also download the Evernote extension for Chrome which in my opinion is very useful especially if you have a blog, since it allows you to save any web content on your Evernote account, such as interesting content that you want to develop in an article or an infographic you want to propose to your audience.
Todoist,can be considered virtual agenda , calendar of the day.
Every morning get too your pc, the first thing to do is look for the tasks you have prepared to do during the day. Work scheduling work instead is something I do every weekend (and it’s Todoist that reminds me to do).
Todoist give you ability to manage each project separately, as well as general plan under control.
Todoist was considered unique for the fact that by creating a “Personal” project you can insert personal appointments in the agenda that are synchronized in Google Calendar, so that I can concentrate my work in the moments when I am free from other commitments and vice versa.
This made a real difference from the organizational point of view of my freelance work and helped me manage my work and private life in a more neat and orderly way .
Cost of the tool? Completely free in the limited version, but in my opinion it is enough to get a good organization.
A great tool to always keep focus and concentration at the optimum is FocusMe .
I discovered it relatively recently, it was recommended to me by a fellow SEO Copywriter who uses it to be able to keep the focus longer on writing articles .
And it works great!
In fact, FocusMe is a tool that helps me a lot to stop being multitasking and instead stay focused on one thing at a time , limiting as much as possible all the distractions of other apps, websites and notifications. And this will allow you too increase economic income as well
The tool is based on a concept that is as simple as it is effective: by limiting distractions we can do double in half the time . Also, wasting time means wasting money.
The tool is for a fee – nothing unthinkable anyway, we are talking about 5 euros a month – but it really helps to make the leap in quality.
Invoices in the Cloud
I think you can understand how much I love my job. Create new projects, write articles, manage the blogging strategy, apply the best SEO strategies, get incredible results.
Yet there is one thing about freelance work that I hate deeply: the bureaucratic and fiscal part.
When I started freelancing, I also used Google Drive to do invoices, following a model (ugly and sad!) That the accountant gave me.
Never once had I made a right invoice!
It was in fact a constant mistake of date, number, voice, heading. I no longer knew what I had been paid for and what had already been paid for.
Becoming a freelancer: pros and cons
Becoming freelance has positive aspects as well as satisfactions but also followed by many responsibilities, duties and difficulties we must shoulder.
With great power comes great responsibility .
Before saying goodbye, I want to give you a small recap of all the positive and negative aspects of freelance lifesyle .
They are obviously personal considerations and therefore should be taken as such. But I will be happy if you want to tell me your opinion and write me your personal pros and cons of this lifestyle below in the comments.
Freedom from any time or place constraint
Complete autonomy and management of your work
Freedom to take holidays whenever we want
Freedom to decide whether or not to accept a customer
Ability to work where we want and with who we want
Potentially unlimited earnings
No certainty of salary
We have to find our customers ourselves
Complete responsibility for mistakes or for unattained results
Often we work in solitude
If we lost one customer, we earn less than we can .
We’ve really come to the end of this journey on how to become a freelancer and what freelance lifesyle entails.
Now you have got clearer ideas and you can decide with confidence and greater knowledge if this is life you want.
And if you are already a freelancer, leave your experience in the comments : it will be an inspiration to all those who have yet to take the plunge.