Posted in freelancing

Freelancing Essentials

Well…from the comments I received on the last post, it is obvious that I should take up writing about the essentials of freelancing.

As a freelancer you are your business’s sole representative, a lot more responsibility of pulling in business lies on you. Putting in some extra efforts to get paid nicely is worth it. These extra efforts may include investing in some important machines and tools to track your work and having record of your work.

Here are some important points to work on when you are about to start your freelancing gig

–        Have a good workstation and comfortable place to work at. It might so happen that you might have to work more than 10-12 hours from that place.

–        Internet connectivity is of utmost important for all types of freelancing assignments. Loss of internet connectivity is like losing your business. Invest in an internet connection with possibly good bandwidth

–        Keep most of the office use material handy, you never know which stuff might be required at any point of time.

–        Create and Maintain important documents like invoices, your timesheets etc. to have a clear track of what are you up to. Besides giving you an idea of pending payments it also tells you the amount of work you have performed during the last period.

–        Scanning documents wherever necessary and linking them with your excel sheets or time sheets is also a good option to centralize all the resources at one place.

–        Have a printer or scanner handy. You can also choose to invest in buying the best of these machines once you are earning sufficiently. Make it a point that you maintain all your important machines periodically.

–        Update your CV regularly, as this is the only document which serves as an interface with the client.

–        Register yourself on all top social networking sites in order to share your work in case you are supposed to.

–        Pay attention to the Intellectual Property while sharing something on the web.

These are off course words of caution for making the most out of freelancing. Remember what you invest is what you get. So, at first it is necessary to invest in a lot of positive energy in whatever you do. The rest will certainly follow with this kind of posts or through your experience.

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Freelancing – starting hiccups

So are you a freelancer?? Well, can you please share how I need to tap on opportunities? This is a general question which people ask as they are curious about what goes into freelancing. On a lighter note, people don’t grow up with a dream of being a freelancer rather freelancing is a career choice which people opt out of no choice mostly . Most of them for sure make it big and some of them do not. This is the reality!! But that does not mean that freelancing is not a good option. I would rather say it is the best option for people who are proactive, would like to take things in their stride and work head on to earn money. Here, the hardwork pays!!

Let us check out some of the starting hiccups

How do I start?

The first step to freelance is to know what your strength is, can you paint well? Do you have graphic design skills which are outstanding? Can you write well? Can you train people with zeal and passion? Knowing your saleable skills is the first step of freelancing.

I know what I am good at now what next?

Internet is a superb tool to find out resources for the skills which you already possess, unless you have proper certification of your skill, who will award you with work? The next thing after knowing what exactly you want to do is getting certified for your skills. If you want to be a writer, attend a course on creative writing so that your skills are enhanced and you can approach and convince your clients more professionally.

Search for freelancing platforms

There are several platforms for freelancing such as odesk.com, elance.com, freelancer.com etc. You can refer to these websites, get yourself registered and find jobs in the suitable category. You can also work your way by spreading a word via your Linkedin profile. Social networking websites like facebook, twitter also help create a good clientele if you share your professional updates regularly.

Building local clients

Spread a word among your colleagues and friends about the kind of services and work you offer. Building local clients and getting business regularly from them is a very important aspect of sustainability in freelancing.

I came across all these questions when I started out, I am sure you too must be thinking about the same..Now, atleast you have this page to step in.

Dont forget to check out the myths and realities of freelancing here.

Posted in freelancing

Myths of freelancing

Being a freelancer is like being in the spotlight as many people stare at you with different perceptions and prejudices.

The other day at work, one person asked me a very funny question which really left me wondering about people’s perception about freelancing. I should rather praise his straight forward nature for asking this question. He came to me and asked, “Are you a sole breadwinner of your family?”.”We (meaning a couple of his friends and him who were sitting on the same table ) have so many financial obligations, we would never be able to freelance” he said frowning.Instead of speaking further, I kept mum because you cannot really change this perception. Its a myth that freelancing does not earn you money.

There are several other misconceptions regarding freelancing like

Myth #1 People with financial obligations can not freelance.

Rather, I would say that the traditional jobs have been fulfilling our requirement of stability for years together. More than the income source, it is this illusion of stability which we have got used to and which keeps us from taking risks. There are large number of freelancers who are the sole breadwinners of their families and are doing pretty good.

Myth # 2 As a freelancer you can work at anytime you want

Yes, we can certainly work any time we want but there is a little cliche in it. You have to exhibit SUPERLATIVE discipline in order to keep up your commitments with your clients. Because one late delivery can cost you your daily bread.

Myth # 3 As a freelancer you have lesser responsibility than the traditional job

As a freelancer you are the face of your work. It shows up when you perform any work without responsibility. With one small mistake you may lose the job as well as a client. One has to be utmost careful about meeting the deadlines specified by the client providing good quality of work.

Myth # 4 People do freelancing because they cannot find a job

All the freelancers have not always opted for freelancing by choice, but that certainly does not mean that they have taken it up because of lack of skills or survival instincts in corporate world. Yes, it does not offer you “Titles” which you can flaunt with. But it surely equips you with the most important skill of surviving by yourself without any halo of a brand name.

Myth # 5 Freelancing is not a lucrative career option

Any career is a lucrative one if pursued with right dedication and commitment. You can earn as much as your traditional job if you consider freelancing seriously and are ready to put your 100% efforts.

The real need of the hour is to shed the inhibitions and take risks. Remember, there lies a root of entrepreneurship in freelancing!!