Are you a night owl? Perhaps you fancy working late at night and sleeping well into the morning (Like I do!!!) Unfortunately, my friend, that is not really possible in a conventional 9 to 5 job. But fear not, Freelancing is here to solve your problem!!!
Freelancing is increasingly becoming a lucrative prospect for many working professionals, especially those who want to work on their own terms. According to the Times of India, India has the second largest freelancer workforce in the world, after America. And this trend shows no signs of stopping! Around 50% of all professionals are expected to go freelance by 2020 while at present, around 43% of existing freelancers are millennials. This astounding popularity of freelancing, especially among millennials is the reason this article is “An Introduction to Freelancing: The Career Choice for Modern Millenials”
Before focusing on anything complicated, first, let’s answer the most basic question “What is freelancing?” Well, Freelancing is just a different way of working. A freelancer is self-employed and works on a contractual basis with various clients without any third party in between. Basically, freelancing just “frees” you a little bit so that you can work at a time or place that is more convenient to you.
Is Freelancing Becoming More and More Popular?
You bet it is!!! According to a survey conducted by Paypal on 500 freelancers in different parts of India, over 40% of them observed a “very fast” businesses growth in the last year itself (The effects of popularity eh!!!). The survey also demonstrated that freelancing is a trend that has really picked up steam only in recent years as nearly 60% of the respondents had freelanced for only between three to five years, and less than 20% had done so for around ten years.
There are many reasons that freelancing is now seen as a lucrative career choice among modern millennials! The most important of these is the freedom it provides. I mean, who wouldn’t like the limitless possibilities of being your own boss!!!
Some other popular reasons are given below:
But these statistics are not the only way to judge the popularity of freelancing. Another trend that supports this is that more and more businesses are collaborating with freelancers because of the flexibility they provide. An example of this is GeeksforGeeks itself! They are providing Freelance Technical Content Writing opportunities to those who have taken a career break due to any personal reasons.
How to Get Started as a Freelancer?
Freelancing is becoming more and more popular as a full-fledged career choice (as established above!). The freedom and the independence it provides is unparalleled and consequently, it is becoming more a mainstream choice than a niche option. So it is quite easy in these times to become a freelancer (Sometimes as easy as registering on a freelance site and networking to find a client!)
However, there are still some important pointers that are helpful in becoming a successful freelancer. These are given below:
- Understand what Services You’ll offer as a Freelancer
This is the fundamental requirement for becoming a successful freelancer (Obviously!). You need to know what is your area of expertise and consequently, are you going to generalize in that are or focus on a niche category.
- Know your Target Audience
It is very important to establish a target audience and get to know them very well. This involves understanding the location, industry, age, gender, etc. of the target audience (Go all out on this!!!) Then a connection can be created with the target audience using various services such as blogging, Email, YouTube, etc.
- Set Basic Working Rules
There are no strict rules in freelancing so you’ll have to create rules for yourself!!! Most importantly, have a fixed schedule that is strictly adhered to and a basic pay rate for clients. Moreover, always fix a rough schedule of meetings, updates, deadlines, etc. with the clients before the commencement of the project for optimal results.
- Build your Online Portfolio
An online portfolio is important as it is your first impression for prospective clients (And first impressions can sometimes be last impressions!). So use your portfolio to showcase your past projects as well as testimonials for them. Also, include interaction opportunities in the portfolio such as links to your social networking accounts.
- Learn Content Marketing
If you want to find prospective clients, learn content marketing! Online content marketing involves creating an online presence that may include a portfolio, a website, a blog, an account on LinkedIn, etc. Offline content marketing involves meeting people face to face and utilizing word of mouth as well.
What are the Major Challenges Freelancers Face?
Freelancing is quite a lucrative prospect, especially for those desiring freedom and the ability to dictate their own life. However, it also has its own unique challenges (like everything else!). Foremost among them is an irregular income. While salaried employees are used to a predictable income source, this is not the case for freelancers! In the survey conducted by Paypal, close to 61% freelancers admitted that they had not been paid at least once through their career.
An image that demonstrates various other challenges faced by freelancers is given below:
So What’s the Future for Freelancing?
The Future of Freelancing is bright!!! India has around 10 million freelancers currently and also the largest online population in the world with over 462 million internet users. This implies that freelancing is only going to become more and more mainstream as a career choice.
According to Narsi Subramanian, Director of Paypal India:
With the increased dependency of work on the Internet, digital payments are on the rise in India. The ability of the younger generation to optimize Internet and use it to generate business is going to create a booming freelance industry in India.
And do you know what this means? This, my friend, means that you can be a night owl if you want to! By all means, work late at night and sleep well into the morning! This is the freedom that freelancing provides.