Well, many newbies do ask me this question time without number. They are just curious about how the whole process of freelancing works. Today, I’m dedicating this post to enlighten beginners on how the process of freelancing works extensively, and how you can kick-off your career the right way.
If you are just starting your freelance career and looking to start rendering your skills online for a fee, then there are two ways to go about it. It’s either you start independently and work yourself through the competition as an online company, or you join third party freelance markets online. You can make money going for either ways, but each way has its pros and cons. I will discuss them just below:
- Independent freelancer
This way of starting your freelance career is very much demanding, both in cases of effort and money. However, if you do it right, it’s worth everything!
- Independence – Yes! You are the CEO, you do whatever you want! You work when you want and possess full responsibility of what you do. You set the rules and regulations here, and no nightmares such as banning.
- More money – starting your freelance career independently online gives you the opportunity to earn more money than using third party freelance market. There’s no revenue share between you and anybody. All funds you accept from clients are yours to keep alone.
- Growth – If you follow this method and succeed, then before you realize how it’s going, you will be amidst many other personnel who are employed under your start-up. If your marketing goes well, then you will need more capable hands to handle clients request fast and on time. With time, you might even decide not to offer services any more by yourself, but supervise your employees to do that.
- Needs some money – Yes! You will definitely need some funds to start using this method, even though it’s not much. Your funds will cover website setup and design, marketing/advertising fees (you need to advertise your website so that potential clients can find you), and some important software and plugins.
- Requires effort – Without proper management and dedication, you won’t go anywhere starting your freelance career independently. You will need to keep managing your advertising campaigns and conversions closely in order to continue receiving clients. All these are things that require effort.
- Starting with third party sites
Here, you can start right away, as it requires no start-up money or tedious effort, everything is set-up for you. These third party sites are more of a market, connecting freelancers to clients worldwide. All you need to do is find your favourite freelance market, join, and then start offering your services. Simple!
- No start-up capital – You can start right away! You can begin selling your skills in the next few minutes. No capital is required. All you need to do is find your favourite freelancing website, join by filling in your details, complete your profile, and then start posting services you can do for money. You can even get a sale in less than an hour of joining.
- No marketing required – Yes! Everything is done for you here. There are already lots of money-at-hand clients roaming about these third party sites looking for people to do their work for them. All you need to do here is to provide quality services so you can stand out from the crowd. Marketing is handled by third party sites, so you don’t need to worry about finding clients, as long as you offer some quality service, then clients will find you themselves.
- Little efforts – I think this method gives you more time flexibility, as you will be dealing with only your account dashboard. No campaign management! No website maintenance! Just your dashboard!
- Less money – Unfortunately, this method earns you less money compared to starting off independent. Your third party freelance hosting site handles all the money that comes from clients, and gets a share of certain percentages from each and every transaction. Most freelance markets take a share of 20% for every transaction made, although some takes lower than that. However, 20% cut off from a freelancer’s pay can be a huge turn-off for them. Many people find this “cut” as exploiting, and rather start independently despite the hurdles ahead.
- Huge competition – Today, most of these freelance markets are already overcrowded, unless you want to start with new faces in the industry that have fewer clients. Competition is severe, and you must offer quality services to get clients coming your way. Out of desperation of getting sales, some freelancers sell their services on these third party websites for a very meagre amount just to make some bucks. However, the competition doesn’t mean there’s no room for new freelancers, of course, there is! But you will need to find one or more qualities that will make you stand out from the crowd.
- Uncertainty – You don’t own these freelance markets, and you don’t make the rules. You can be banned anytime if you break their terms of service. Here, banning means everything. If you get banned from a site, all your reputation and freelancing reviews will be gone, and you will be left with no option than to start as a beginner with no library of quality reviews.
Well, the above are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of starting your freelance career on either of the mentioned ways. Now, it’s left for you to choose what will work best for you, and which one to go for. Remember! This stage can determine how successful you will be.
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