At some point in your life you wake up to the dream shattering sound of the alarm clock and wonder what it would be like to be able to switch it off, go back to sleep, and get up at a time when it suits you to work. Ah, nice dream isn’t it? Or is it just a dream? Have you woken up to the potential of freelancing yet?
Everyday people all over the world are getting up when they want, start work when they are good and ready and there’s nobody there to tell them otherwise. These aren’t massively rich people with high level executive jobs that have a multitude of people to delegate things to; they’re just normal human beings who have found a way to do something they enjoy and set their own schedules. These people have taken skills that they already have and started putting them to use as a freelancer.
You may have sat at work before and thought to yourself that you’re undervalued for the type of work you do, in fact, it would be quite rare if you hadn’t. However, most people don’t do anything about those thoughts. Most just keep on getting annoyed with the way their lives have turned out and wonder about what might have been, little realizing that it’s still a case of what might be.
If you have a skill that’s in demand then the chances are you can become a freelancer and make more money than in your normal 9-5 job. Here are 10 ideas to consider as you think about making a move from employment to freelancing. You will see some differences between working for someone else and working for yourself.
1. If you want to start freelancing you will still have to put in the effort to get the required work done. In fact, you might have to work even harder at first than if you were still in ‘regular’ employment. That’s because you will be on your own to find jobs, get contracts and get the job done. You no longer will have someone giving you work to do.
2. Still, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing work for yourself and that people now employ you specifically because you have a specific talent. That should feel wonderful.
3. You will need to learn about freelance contracts so you can set them up with people who want your freelance services. A freelance contract let’s both sides know what’s expected and when it’s expected by. Then it’s up to you to do what you do within that framework.
4. A freelance contract is essential because it also covers you for things that may go wrong during a project. For instance, if a project takes longer than first negotiated, you might need to go back to your client to renegotiate the contract. That means you want to have a well written contract that covers various contingencies in doing projects. This provides a safety net for both you and the person using your freelancing skills – and should make everything more secure for you.
5. Strive to complete all of your contracted work to the highest standard possible and in the time frame negotiated. This means working in a fairly short space of time. When you can do this, there will be no reason why you shouldn’t be able to start at anytime of the day you want to work on your projects. It may take you a bit of time to get into the rhythm of things at first but once you have you can work at a pace that suits you.
6. To get started, you will need to know where to find your first assignments. You may decide that you want to try picking up some work in your local area. In that case, try contacting local businesses directly to see if they have any freelance work they can offer you.
7. Contact the company and find out who the head of personnel or human resources is and get that person’s direct telephone number. But don’t contact her by phone to start with. Instead, write a proposal in a letter format and send it to her with your details and your freelancing proposal. After the letter has had time to arrive follow up with a phone call to make sure she received it and ask if she has any questions. Also ask if you can come in to further discuss doing freelance work for the company.
8. Start with the smaller companies first. The chances are that these companies will be looking to have some work done but don’t have the resources to take on an employee fulltime. This is particularly true with the current economic downturn when companies are laying people off and still have to get the work done. Your freelancing option may be something the company hadn’t considered in the past. Your contact may just show enough initiative to get you the freelance contract and a new freelance job.
9. There is another option if you want to get setup quite quickly. There are a number of freelancing sites online that you can join. On one site alone, Elance.com, there are freelancers who have made well over $100,000 from their freelancing efforts. You can set up a profile on these sties and start bidding on projects almost instantly. People are already looking for freelancers and the freelance job sites have business contracts for you to use. The freelance job site works as a go between you and the client to handle payments that are due to be made.
10. Freelance job sites will usually work by having the freelancer and the employer work together to agree on milestones. If the project is expected to be long you can agree to split it up into several milestones and you as the freelancer will be paid after each milestone is completed. As you complete sections of the project the freelance job site release the payment as agreed through the freelance contract. Once you get yourself established, know how everything works and get some feedback on your completed projects you can start making some serious money.
So, stop dreaming, stop letting the alarm clock become a rude awakening to a day that will just go down hill from that point. Start assessing your skills and talents that others can use and start looking at freelance job sites or local business to see what people need. Then get out there and make those skills and talents do what they do best and make yourself quite a good living while you’re at it.