What is a Freelancer and How Do You Become One? A Complete Guide

young smiling female freelancer calculating

Many people have longed for the day that they can finally work for themselves. You build your own hours, find your own work, and can do it from virtually anywhere... how nice does that sound?

Thanks to the era that you live in, it's never been more possible to do just that. You can use the skills that you've developed and gain clients on your own.

Now you can finally become the entrepreneur that you were meant to be. 

For those of you that have wondered "what is a freelancer and how can I become one?", here is a guide to help!

Is Freelancing for You?

Regardless of what you'll be doing for freelancing work, there are certain people that simply aren't cut out to be freelancers.

It's going to require pushing yourself every single day to find new clients, perform all of your tasks, and communicate with each client that you have. 

Some of you reading this perform better when a manager is overseeing your work, and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, if you fit under that description, freelancing probably isn't the best thing for you.

You'd rather consider this ahead of time than have a rude awakening after you've made the career switch.

Consider Your Skill Set

Now that you know you're ready to freelance, you need to know that there is a demand for your skills. Spoiler alert, there is!

However, you should consider what your skills are and do some research on people that currently make a living as a freelancer in that industry.

For example, maybe you're thinking of becoming a translator. If so, search the internet for tips and experiences that currently freelance translators have. Next, look into how many different gigs there are for your area of expertise.

Having an understanding of the market beforehand will help you construct a plan (as mentioned below).

Gather Your Equipment

This is one aspect of freelancing that people don't consider enough. Since you'll be the boss overseeing your work, you'll also need to be the boss of providing the necessary equipment for the job.

Every freelance position, regardless of the job you perform, will have a certain amount of equipment that's required.

For example, a freelance photographer will need a camera, camera bag, backgrounds, different lenses, photo printer, etc.

Meanwhile, a freelance writer will need things such as a laptop, website, and editing software such as title capitalizing tools and proofreading tools.

Be sure to do research on what current freelancers recommend and start saving up to purchase those tools. They'll be a tremendous help to you along the way.

Construct a Plan

The beauty that you'll find with freelance work is that there isn't one specific way of going about your business. 

Such is the case when you're creating a business plan for your freelancing, you can build it any way that you want. Just make sure it's detailed, well thought out, and has direction for you.

Be sure to figure out things such as what tiers of services you provide and how much you'll charge for each. Conducting some research on this would be advantageous, see what other freelancers are charging.

Set a standard for how many hours you want to work and what your availability will be for your clients.

Also, consider how long a specific project might take you. You'll want to make sure you're giving yourself enough time to correctly complete it, but not so much that you're compromising landing other work.

Find Clients for Your Work

While finding clients might sound overwhelming, it's easier than ever to obtain them. 

There are so many different avenues that you can go down in search of clients that need freelance work. 

You can take initiative and go to conventions, join a freelance platform online, use social media to connect with clients, or even the old school cold call routine.

LinkedIn can be a great way to connect with people, put a face to their name(s), and schedule a time to discuss opportunities. The LinkedIn jobs feature also lists freelance work that needs to be done.

Making the Transition

Before you make up your mind on how you'll be transitioning from your current job to freelance work, know this: everyone's path is different.

Some choose to do the "sink or swim" way and quit their job to focus solely on the new freelancing career.

Others decide to ease into it by making the freelance work a side gig for a bit until they have enough clients to make it a full-time career.

It's important to consider your living circumstances when making this decision. Can you afford to cut ties with the current career and build up a client base? Would it be better if the freelance work was a side hustle to help out with the bills?

Know this: this portion is the scariest and hardest part of making the switch for any freelancer. The fear of the unknown can be intimidating. But, if you dedicate yourself to it, you'll be better off for it.

What Is a Freelancer? Make the Switch and Find Out!

For those of you wondering what is a freelancer and why do people choose to do it for a living? Find out for yourself!

Making the switch to a freelance career may be the best decision that you make in your entire life. It grants you the freedom to work at your own pace and find work that interests you.

Be sure to read our other articles that pertain to both this topic and other topics that are just like it.


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