Well, a tough question to be asked. Since the beginning of the new millennium, that is one of the widely asked questions and it has been answered thousands if not millions of times.
Still, people are in doubt and they still ask themselves ‘Is freelancing for me?’ or ‘should I reconsider my 9 to 5 job?’
The purpose of this article is to share my personal experiences and point you in the right direction, which I followed and succeeded. And I’m planning on writing a series of articles sharing my journey as a freelancer, the things I’ve learned over the years.
But, keep in mind this is not for people who are looking to make money online from day one. Maybe people who are looking to make thousands of dollars from the first month as a freelancer.
What I’m about to share is something that would long last. Never a get rich scheme. If you are here to find out such get rich scheme, sorry guys this is where you should stop reading.
Before jump in, let me tell you why you should think of freelancing.
Is freelancing for me?
Back in 2013, only 7% of Americans freelanced and the number grew to 35% by the end of 2018. Within just 5 years’ time, it grew by 500% and counting. And the most fascinating fact is, the none freelancing workforce in the US only grew by 2%. See the difference?
Since it is the time of millennials, 47% of freelancers are millennials. That’s huge, isn’t it?
Website planet has this amazingly descriptive article with loads of information, that would help you to consider is freelancing for me or is freelining a dead-end.
Simply, freelancing is a business worth billions of dollars and it continues to grow as we speak.
First things first. If you are thinking of ‘is freelancing for me?’, here’s what you should do first.
Know yourself a little more
You are about to jump into uncharted territory and if you don’t know who you are, then you are highly likely to get lost. It is your time, your effort and maybe even your money.
Therefore, you should get to know yourself before even thinking of is freelancing for me?
Becoming a freelancer is all about selling your skills and experiences in a professional manner. In terms of professionalism, you can not just win clients, if you don’t know your core competencies. This is the first thing I did when I was starting.
Don’t worry, at some points, you might feel that you don’t have any skills or anything to sell. I was there. Trust me. Had the same mindset and it terrified me. Do you know why that happened to me?
I didn’t look hard. I was just sweeping the surface and couldn’t find a thing. This is where most of us stop looking.
I had almost given up my hopes to become a freelancer as I got to know that I don’t have any set of skills to sell. I was wrong and yes, I was lazy. You should trust yourself first.
I failed a few times to recognize my strengths. But, I didn’t give up. Then I started writing everything that comes to my mind. Take a piece of paper and start writing what comes to your mind, in terms of ‘what I do the best’, what I’m good at, what I can sell as a freelancer, etc
And you won’t be able to complete this task within a day, two days or maybe within a week. It took me almost 2 weeks to finalize a list of things that I love to do, things I’m good at.
Don’t worry good things take time and effort. If you start right, then rest will flow in your direction. Once you have the list ready it is time to sort the things you’ve written from the most loved to least loved. You know what I mean, right?
Then focus on the first 2-3 skills in the list. These are the things you love the most and if you develop your freelancing career based on the things you most loved, you’ll never get bored by doing the things you love the most. This is the key to your freelance success.
Now ask the same question from yourself is freelancing for me?
If the answer is yes, then you should get going. Because you just discovered things you love the most and you are planning on doing the same things to make some money.
But, if the answer is No, you have 2 options.
The first one would be to stop looking and focus more on the 9 to 5 job you already have. If you don’t have a job yet, you better start over the process for ‘know yourself a little more’
Even if you have a job and you still think that haven’t searched for the right talents, then you should start over. This is what I recommend if you ever failed your first, second or maybe the 100th attempt.
If you have found your strengths, time to move on
Start looking at what others are doing as freelancers
Once you have finalized what you are good at, then it is time to do some researches. This is is super important. By doing research, you will get to know what others are selling as freelancers and where they are selling their skills and at what rate.
It is always recommended to know the industry you are into. Let’s say you are good at writing and you are about to start your carrier as a freelance writer. Then you should know what others are doing and where others are selling.
There are several online platforms that allow you to sell your skills as freelancers. You better start looking for those.
Here some of the most famous and easy to start freelancing platforms that you should look into
Upwork, Fiverr, Freelancer, People per Hour, and many more.
There will be another article to explain all those. For starters, you should need the basics first.
There will be services that require you to pay before joining their system. In that case, you better not pay them and join them. The reason is there are plenty of platforms that offer you free access and you’ll have to pay a commission once you started to earn.
In my point of view, it is fair and as a starting freelancer, you shouldn’t risk your money without earning any. It will surely demoralize you and that is the last thing you need.
Your qualifications, list them all to become the best freelancer
Once you done with your research and already have an idea about how the industry works then it is time you gather all your qualifications to one place.
Yes, if you already have a CV ready, take it out. Time to evaluate your skills and what you are going to do.
The beauty of Freelancing is, you can be whoever you want to be. Even without prior experience, you can still become anyone you like.
You are not going to believe me. I’m an Agriculturist, graduated from a reputed university in Sri Lanka. Yet, here I am talking to you about my freelance journey.
Yes, no matter what are you now, you can be the person you like the most.
Don’t waste your time. Gather all your qualifications to one place and check each of the qualifications you already have with the industry you are going to hop in. If you don’t have any skills, then don’t worry.
Yes, I mean it. Don’t worry. Use the qualifications you already have and do some online courses to sharpen your knowledge. Yes, that’s what I did.
If you don’t have money to join or purchase a paid course, go to YouTube. Whenever I encountered something I don’t know, that’s what I did. YouTube is THE BEST source to gain new knowledge.
Content creators are sharing all kinds of ‘How to’ videos there and without spending a penny on courses, you can learn almost everything.
Freelancing is for everyone. If you know what you are doing, then all you need is a computer and a stable internet connection. But, you shouldn’t jump in because of the trend. It won’t work. You should first think is freelancing for me and do a self-evaluation. Find your skills, list them and follow the skill you love the most.
And you shouldn’t quit your 9 to 5 [If you already have a job] soon after start freelancing. You should quit your 9 to 5 and become a full-time freelancer, only if your freelance job can make you more and stable money than your 9 to 5 does. Till that, you shouldn’t give up your 9 to 5 or freelancing. Because putting all your eggs to one basket is risky and you shouldn’t do that.
Over to you
If you have anything add up, then comment below. i Wanna Be a Freelancer is all about sharing knowledge and helping each other. I’m sure, you’ll have a different story to tell and different experiences. I’d be more than happy to have all your ideas. Not just that, you might have questions too. Comment below and I’ll try my best to answer all your questions. Let’s keep the conversation going.