GET THE BEST OUT OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC: THE RIGHT TIME TO GET INTO FREELANCING

The 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease and efforts to quarantine it. As the pandemic has spread around the globe, concerns have shifted from supply-side manufacturing issues to decreased business in the services sector. The lockdown levied in the public interest, has been a significant source of anxiety for many around the world. According to the Economic Times, millions of jobs could be lost, and professionals working in various domains are likely to be affected due to the pandemic. 

The temporary closure of businesses and public facilities has forced everyone to stay at home. While there are a hundred and one downsides to this, we at DesignKiki are determined to find the silver lining to help our readers in any way possible. So, we thought, why not take this opportunity and turn it upside down for those at home.   

Approximately 57 million Americans were freelancing in 2017, and if trends continue, over half of American’s will freelancing by 2027, according to an article in Forbes. Some of those are full-time freelancers; others are still holding down a 9-5 job, but doing side freelance gigs in their free time. The proliferation of such part-time and freelance work has people talking about a new kind of labor market: The Gig Economy.

   Are you interested in joining the gig economy and earning money outside the context of a full-time job? Here’s what you need to know about freelancing.

The previous editions of this selection were quite a hit, so feel free to check them out, as well :

SURVIVING CORONA VIRUS: HOW SMALL BUSINESS CAN GET THROUGH THE GLOBAL CRISES

 

Who is a freelancer?

 

A freelancer or freelance worker is a self-employed person who earns money by providing services to multiple clients. These services relate to the person’s skills and are not necessarily offered to just businesses.

Freelancers either use third-party platforms like Fiverr99designs, etc. to get business or use their network to get more business and provide services to their clients directly.

A freelancer could provide nearly every type of service needed by most businesses. Some of the most common freelance opportunities include:

  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Graphic Design 
  • Freelance Photography
  • Copywriting
  • Editing
  • Freelance Programming
  • Freelance Data Entry
  • Project Management 
  • Social Media Manager
  • Teaching/Tutoring 
  • Freelance Coding
  • Virtual Assistant 
  • Web Design/Development 
  • Content Writing 
  • Digital Marketing

Some freelancers focus in general areas, such as those listed above, while others focus on specific industries, such as real estate assistant, or niche skills.

Freelance income varies depending on the skills offered, your experience, and the market you’re targeting. In general, freelancers earn anywhere from $10 to $75 per hour. Professions that require more education or experience, such as accounting or website coding, generally pay more than skills that don’t need as much.

The rise of freelancers has resulted in the development of a new concept – the gig economy. In the gig economy, a person, instead of working for a single employer full-time and getting a fixed salary in return, works for multiple clients at his terms and at a price he thinks his work deserves.

Freelancing is an enticing profession. It takes care of almost all the problems of a usual service-class human. According to Upwork, Americans work an average of 47 hours per week. Freelancers work an average of 11 hours less per week than full-time employed workers. That adds up to about 550 hours per year or 23 whole days.

Why should you be a part of the gig business now?

Freelancing is one of the fastest, most affordable, and most accessible ways to get started working from home, especially if you offer services in a skill you already excel at. With our livelihoods threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, we still have to find ways to earn our bread and get out of this global crisis safe and sound. With governments restricting commute and companies asking their employees to work from home, now is the perfect time to hop on the freelance train and get going.

Here are a few reasons why

1. The high demand- Although the freelance marketplace is competitive, the need for quality, reliable freelancers is growing. Many small businesses trying to survive the threat of Corona Virus don’t have many employees because of the pandemic. They rely upon freelancers instead. Currently, this trend is growing as freelancers cost less to businesses than employees do, even if they pay a higher rate because they don’t have payroll fees or benefits.

2. All work and no travel- Most freelance jobs allow you to work from home. That is a big plus. For those commuting to the office every day, a 9-5 can turn into a 7-7. Those additional four hours can become frustrating and unproductive if you’re driving the car. If you use public transport then perhaps you can work more or relax with a book or some music. Either way, it makes for a more extended day. A freelancer has the freedom to use those extra four hours as they wish. Perhaps it’s a chance to pursue a new hobby. 

3. Flexible hours- Another advantage of becoming a freelancer is that you can work whenever you want. You get to choose your hours. If you’re going to sleep in until noon, you can do that. If you’re going to take the weekend off to relax, by all means, go for it. As a freelancer, you can work during your most productive hours, and those hours don’t have to fall in during regular business hours and relieve your stress and give your best.

4. Get paid what you are worth-  Freelancing allows you to set your price for your services, which is often higher than what you’d make as an employee doing the same work. Make sure you charge enough to cover your overhead and to compensate you fairly for the time it will take you to do the job. 

5. You keep what you earn- No longer do you have to work for a flat rate, no matter how large the projects are that you complete. Now, you get to allocate or keep all the profits from your large and small projects and clients. This gives you the freedom to use that money than to improve yourself and expand your business.

6. Multiple sources of income- If you build a portfolio of clients, then you are not financially dependent on one source. If one client suddenly pulls the plug, then you have a few others to keep you ticking over while you find a replacement.

7. You choose the gigs- When you work for someone else, you don’t get a choice of who you work with. You can become stuck with unprofessional or rude clients. But, when you’re a freelancer, you can choose with whom you work. If you don’t mesh well with a client’s personality or business or payment philosophies, you can pass on the opportunity and wish them the best. It’s as easy as that.

Where to start

1. Decide what services you’ll offer

2. Determine your target market

3. Find the platforms (freelancing websites) you’ll be serving on. Choose a uniform username on all of them. It helps you build your brand identity.

4. Decide your rates

5.     Create a kickass online portfolio on your niche-specific portfolio platforms; GitHub for developers, Behance for designers, etc. We also suggest you create a personal portfolio website to showcase your skills and talent.

6. Market your services: market on social media, offer something for free or at a very less cost (helps in getting more traction), ask for referrals, and use email marketing.

Here’s a list of the best websites to get online freelance gigs

  • Fiverr
  • Upwork
  • Freelancer.com
  • Envato Studio
  • PeoplePerHour
  • Toptal
  • Guru.com
  • DesignCrowd
  • Nexxt
  • DesignContest
  • TaskRabbit
  • crowdSPRING
  • Hireable
  • WriterAccess
  • 99Designs
  • Catalant
  • Bark
  • DesignHill
  • Skyword
  • Gigster

You may be interested in : WAYS TO MANAGE FREELANCE STRESS AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY


Niharika Jamar

Niharika Jamar is a young design aspirant with an unquenched thirst for knowledge and an ever-growing curiosity. Always on the hunt of books and fads, she has a distinctive flair for art. She gets a kick out of filling her work with tiny little details that can sometimes be hard to spot. Fond of typography, you can often place her lapped up, scribbling random words with spiraling curves. Her inability to sit idle makes her a part of Team DesignKiki, and she holds the position of a writer and publishes articles and blogs for the better of the design community.




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