Traveling the world and work as a freelancer may not seem like a realistic goal during the midst of the coronavirus but life will get back to “normal” again, hopefully really soon. The best way one can handle the current situation is to prepare for the day when COVID-19 is no longer restricting our lives, at least not in the way we experience now. Due to the new reality for businesses, many have been forced to adjust to their employees working from home. These adjustments will not stop with the coronavirus. Instead, we are more likely to see an increase in opportunities to work remotely and this means you can fulfill your dream of traveling the world and support yourself as a freelancer.
This is the time to start dreaming, planning and preparing! If you are completely new to the freelance world, just know that you are not alone. There were more than 56 million freelancers in the US alone before the coronavirus and the number will probably increase as more search for alternative careers. Your sense of unsureness is perfectly normal but there is a lot of information and help to get from well-established networks. Every freelancer has experienced the many questions you are faced with when you first start out they are now eager to help go through your first steps into the freelancing world.
So why become a freelancer?
The most common reasons are that you have either decided that being employed is not your best option, or you need an extra job that gives you flexibility and freedom, going freelance might seriously become your best solution. Working as a freelancer gives you an excellent chance to travel the world and not have to worry about how to support yourself.
The number of freelancers who work from home or at co-working spaces has steadily increased during the last five years. Social media is definitely a driving force behind this process but it’s overall a sign that the employment market is changing and that several traditional jobs are being converted as online jobs.
But the growth of freelancing is not limited to the US only, it’s strong and well-established all across the world, like Europe, Australia, Philippines, African countries. Where the employment market doesn’t meet people’s requirements and professional goals, freelancing can help a lot.
Set Your Best Skills To Succeed As A Freelancer
Freelancing is a smart solution to your professional growth, expansion of knowledge and competence and need for an ongoing career that satisfies your goals. Although most people think that freelancing is a thing for stay-at-home moms or students who need fresh money for their studies, the truth is that you can also find a stable and ongoing job position. It all depends on your goals, skills and a little good luck!
As long as you can use your best skills, passion, and knowledge it’s not impossible to succeed in this field. After all, the same skills are necessary for every other type of job, so nothing less or more. Here are a few essential things that you should keep in mind if you want to work as a freelancer:
- Find your niche
The first and perhaps most challenging aspect of becoming a successful freelancer is to find a specific niche. It’s not enough to sell yourself as a “blogger” or “traveling blogger”. Make an inventory of your hidden skills. As a freelancer, it’s often the experiences you don’t include in your CV, that will make you competitive in the freelancing arena. What languages do you speak? What are your hobbies? If you speak Arabic, can name all of the best Arabic football players around the world and always seem to predict the winner, why not offer your skills as a sports blogger for sites like Arabic Bet? Knowing your niche will make give you a clear target on who your potential customer is.
- Ask for a contract
Even though it’s a small job, ask your recruiter for a contract before you do any work. In most cases, an email specification of what is requested of you will be enough but make sure to check that the client doesn’t have a bad reputation of not paying his freelancers. A reliable client understands the importance of mutual trust and will make sure both of you know what you agree on. A contract protects you from any frauds and it gives you necessary guidelines on how to do the requested job. Most freelancers, however, are employed on the fly, to do shorter or specific projects and the “contract” is therefore not of the same kind as if you would be employed inhouse full time.
- Join a good platform for online jobs
Avoid going freelancer on your own, you can’t imagine how many risks you may take. It’s safer to join a high-class platform for online jobs where you can find endless job posts for a very large variety of jobs in different fields, like writing, translation, web design, market analysis, and many more.
- Be precise and dedicated
You should complete the assigned job within the required deadline not only because you’ll gain 5-star feedback (that impacts your overall score on the online platform), but also because you won’t risk that your recruiter may decide to pay an inferior amount of money than agreed for being late with the work. Be always precise and work-dedicated – every recruiter will repay you with satisfying feedbacks!
- If you can’t, you can’t
Many freelancers tend to accept excessive loads of work that they can’t complete within the deadline only because they want to make a good impression on the recruiter. If you see that you can’t do a job, simply say “no”. It’s honest, no matter what the other people might think. You simply tell them the truth, that’s what matters.
- Show who you are
It’s not easy to handle professional relationships via the web. You may think you can’t show your recruiter who you are and what you can do. It’s not true, by luck! Through your attitude towards work, your skills, and polite manners when writing messages, the people who are on the other side will get a real clue of who you are. Treat your clients and recruiters the best way as you can, no matter who they are. Make sure you are available on Skype, Zoom and other digital platforms also for video conferences!
- Never give up
Sometimes you may be frustrated if a client isn’t fully satisfied with your work. Don’t let bad events kill your hopes and goals like that. Learn from your mistakes and next time you will get the best numbers!
So, working as a freelancer isn’t that different than having a land-based traditional job. Your attitude and competence are your most powerful weapons to beat any competitors!