Tired of working for others who never appreciate your hard work? Desire to be your own boss and work flexible hours in the comfort of your home? Then this post is the right for you. It will provide you with some basic guidelines to help jump-start your work at home career and land on a lucrative job.
What is freelancing?
Freelancers (also called remote workers or stay-at-home professionals) represent the so-called one-person businesses. Basically, freelancing is selling your skills or expertise to prospective clients.
Usually freelancers charge hourly or daily rates for their services. They also get paid per completed project. Depending on the nature of the project, freelancers establish some kind of a distant, long or short-term, relationship with their clients.
The most important prerequisite to become a freelancer is having extensive knowledge and experience in a particular field. However, there are home-based jobs, such as data entry, which can be performed easily by beginner freelancers with no former experience.
Are you ready to step into the freelancer’s shoes?
To tell whether you were or weren’t meant to be a freelancer, you should ask yourself a couple of questions. Finding the answer will help you make the choice.
- How do you feel about the idea of taking risks?
- Would you rather leave an unfulfilling job even if it provides you with a steady income?
- Do you think you have the right traits for the role of a freelancer?
If the answer is “yes” on all questions, then freelancing is likely to suit you well. Note, to build a successful work at home career, you need three key elements:
Naturally, you will have to combat procrastination effectively if you are prone to it.
So, if you have made up your mind to freelancing and are confident about it, here are some tips of the trade to help you start on the right foot.
#1 Choose a clear niche where your skills apply perfectly
Know what you can do best. For example, content freelance writing is in a high demand, these days. If you are good with words and crave for participation in projects that stimulate creativity, you should go for this.
Speaking of creativity, graphic designer is another awesome profession that keeps growing popular. Think this through. Determine your skills, knowledge, talents and interests. Don’t be money-driven. Money is not everything in the world. First, make sure you choose a field you feel comfortable and begin with brushing up on your knowledge and expanding your experience.
#2 Find a place to start
To get your work at home career going, you will need a place to start. Fortunately, the Internet offers many places where job seekers can find and explore job boards (Flexjobs, Indeed, Craiglist) as well as register in freelance-focused websites and social communities.
Some of them require membership fee, others don’t. It can be a good idea to ask for some support from friends and family if it’s possible. By rule, common legitimate market places such as Elance, Upwork, PeoplePerHour, iFreelance, Guru, and Outsource, cover a wide range of niches, including:
- web development
- graphic design
- web design
- customer service
- Internet marketing and sales
- accounting and financial consulting
- data entry
- application development
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- social media management
You can consider those freelancing sites as a good places to jump-start your work at home career. They are not perfect and if you are not careful, there is a possibility to get disappointed, but still it is worth a try. Chances remain high that you meet trustworthy clients there.
All you have to do is create an account and fill out the required information. Make sure to build a clear picture of your knowledge, skills and professional background. Once you finish, you may start exploring the job posts. Read carefully the descriptions.
Before you apply, be sure that you meet all the requirements and the payments terms are fine for you. It won’t hurt to check the client’s feedback to get an overall idea of you might be dealing with.
#3 Build your brand
Every project you take can become part of your portfolio. Therefore, make it perfect. As your body of work expands, so your brand will become visible to a larger audience. Do whatever it takes to make your clients happy. When they are, they can’t help leaving positive feedback.
Use the same picture of you for all profiles on freelance websites so that potential employers would recognize you as a professional and address their offers to the right person.
#4 Create a LinkedIn profile
The business-focused social network can be a good resource of knowledge and useful channel to promote your skills and connect with good clients. Every freelancer must have an account on LinkedIn. It is part of the process of building a brand and becoming even more visible to employers.
#5 Know your price
Setting hourly rates that meet your skills is something you need to take seriously. Do a research to find what remote workers charge for the same service. Evaluate how much time and effort you put in one project or task. Define minimum and maximum rates and stick to them.
However, some freelancers go undercharging in the beginning. Normally, low rates will provide you with work so it’s not a bad idea, but only for a little while until you find a better offer.
#6 It’s alright to turn down offers
No one would blame you for not taking an offer. If the client doesn’t seem reliable or the job won’t give you satisfaction, good pay or experience, then don’t take it. Instead, focus on something meaningful. Also, avoid accepting jobs whose requirements don’t meet your skills.
#7 Develop lasting relationships with clients
Freelancers work on various projects. Long-term commitment is not necessary, but it is nice to nurture a steady relationship with one or two clients.
#8 Deliver on time
Building a high profile is the key to a successful work at home career. Good reputation comes as a result of delivering quality work and meeting the deadlines. Many clients judge equally the efficiency and on-time delivery. Negotiate the time frames appropriately and submit quality work on time.
#9 Keep your hand in
Some remote workers reach the top level in their career development. They get snowed under with tons of offers which puts them in a situation to hire other freelancers to give an extra hand. Hopefully, one day you will become one of them too.
To achieve that success, you need strong motivation to move forward and self-improve. Constantly work on extending your knowledge and skills. Read smart books, attend seminars, enroll in courses and most importantly, engage in challenging projects to stimulate your learning experience and expand your knowledge in the field.
Due to the global economy being pretty poor the last years, many lucrative jobs vanished. Under these economic terms, many people worldwide, regardless of age and professional background, face difficulties finding work and maintaining a stable income.
Fortunately, technology popularized the open source economy and now everyone can work from home for a legitimate outsource company and survive. Freelancing is highly appropriate for people with some kind of disability, stay-at-home parents, college students and everyone else who needs a work from home job.
With the right skills and can-do attitude, you will land a high-paid and fulfilling job. It’s out there, you only have to find it.
If you have any questions, please feel free to ask using the comments below.
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