Freelance Marketplace: Becoming a freelance professional
Freelancing is a very lucrative way to make extra cash online in the comfort of your home. The good thing about freelancing is that it makes you the boss of your time, and you are not limited by distance. A freelancer can offer service to anyone from any part of the globe.
Being a freelancer gives you opportunity to specialize and improve your skills. Guess I’m getting ahead of my self. For those who don’t know what freelancing is here is a definition:
What is freelancing?
Freelancing is a service provided by independent and self-employed individuals in return for money. While a freelancer is an independent and self-employed individuals who render service in return for payment. A freelancer can offer almost any service needed by any business. Here are some of the services offered by a freelancer: Web development and design, Graphics design, project management, Accounting and book-keeping, Tutoring, Writing and content management, e. t. c
According to research freelancing has given source of income to millions of people all over the world and the population keeps progressing. A freelance professional needs to be up-to-date, flexible, smart, and creative to survive the competition.
How do I become a freelance professional?
Good thing you asked, Cause I was wondering if you’ll keep staring at the post forever. Anyway, to be a freelance professional here are things you need to do:
1. Choose a niche
There’s this cliché that “master of all trade is master of none”. That’s not what this is all about, by the way. I don’t really believe in that philosophy. I believe you should learn as many trade as you can, you never can tell where’s gonna work better for you. (That’s by the way).
The reason you need a niche is to create a focus. The focus here am talking about is to find a way to connect all your Skills under one umbrella. That’s why it’s good to pick a broad niche. You can be a freelance designer and also a guru in web-development. The connection here is that every website also need a design so that’s where your designing skills comes in. You should learn to connect all your skills and harness them to get maximum outcome.
2. Be Clear on the Types of Service you offer
As a freelance professional, you need to know your strength and limit. You should be clear on the types of service you offer. Do not let juicy offers tempt you in taking a job that will get you stuck and tarnish your credibility. Also, be careful of taking short-term contracts that Won’t draw you closer to your vision or career goal.
Don’t get too desperate to collect just any offer from client; be selective with the kind of clients you accept offers from too, because some clients can take advantage of you. Always analyse if the offer is convenient for you to pull-off before accepting, So you don’t blow-off your credibility for few dollars. And don’t bite more than you can chew.
3. Spend time to improve your skills.
I am a self-taught web-deveoper and artist. I spend tons of hours researching and trying new things online; When people stop learning they starts “dieing”. We live in an era piloted by information, you have to be up-to-date with the latest information if not you’ll become stale. You need to be at the top if your game.
See Also: How to become a graphics designer
4. Create a contract on every project
If you are a novice, you might want to take this point seriously. This is one of the common mistakes of beginners.
A contract is a legal agreement binding both parties. It’s very important you make written agreement between you and your client covering the basic yet important terms both of you agree upon. If you have a website you can create terms and condition page for clients to see before going ahead with transaction.The content of your contract can contain :
- Statement promoting the genuity of your service. The work that you produce is original and not plagiarized.
- Statement protecting client’s confidentiality.
- Your payments terms containing amount to receive and when to receive payment.
- At what circumstances a client can terminate contract and what it entails e.t.c.
5. Always request an upfront payment
This is one area I have made lots of mistake in the past. When I started freelancing, as a novice I never requested for upfront payment rather, I finish before requesting for payment. I adopted this unwise strategy to create relationship with my client and to build credibility. Funny enough 9 out of 10 times it blew back right on my face; Wasting a lot of time and resources.
So I’ll advice upfront payment from your client, maybe 50% to 60% upfront. This actually makes the client more serious with the business transaction. So your client won’t have to wake up one morning and have a change of mind with no concrete explanation. This term should also be included in the contract.
6. Be transparent with your clients
Everyone is cautious when money is involved; Client wants to be sure they will get value for what they are paying for. You have to be as open as possible to win their trust. We live in a world of fraudsters and debunkers, clients feel more safe when you are open.
Secondly they want to be sure of who they are paying their hard-earned cash to. So, if you’re an online freelancer, it’ll be good practice for your client to know your name, if possible your photo too; It gives a sense of trust. I’ve come across freelancers hiding their identity because they think if close friends know them, they’ll not take them professionally. You have to be confident about what you do.
Which freelance marketplace place is suitable for beginners?
The truth is that most established freelance professionals don’t patronize freelancer sites. Given to the fact that they have already made name and a lot of clients. But as a beginner, how will people know what you can do if they don’t know you exist? It’s very needful for a beginner to make a name for themselves; freelance marketplace gives you this opportunity. It also gives you experience how the business works.
Irrespective of previously stated merits you should be aware that freelance marketplace is very competitive. There you’ll be competing with people who have mastered the trade. So, don’t put all your eggs in one basket; don’t depend on these site too much.
There are lots of website that gives opportunity for freelancer to meet client online to trade. These websites were able to create an online market place; bringing the seller and buyer together and making profit out of it.
The major merit of online freelance website is that it offers privileges to freelancers who lacks a personal website to create an online presence for trade.
very popular among digital businesses. They act as an intermediary providing a safe and convenient way to contract remote experts for one-time projects.
Online freelance marketplaces can vary depending on the type of work: engineering, design, copywriting, one-time projects with fixed rates or ongoing hourly projects, services provided engagement models, geographical preferences e.t.c
Benefits or advantages Of Using Freelance marketplace
Gives opportunity to find client.
Helps build your credibility.
Easy payment most of the time.
Helps you how to manage your time and build quality work on-time.
Gives you good work ethics and also how to communicate with clients.
Downsides/ Demerits of Using Freelance Sites
Payment of expensive fees
High rate of competition.
The risk to get suspended or banned from the site.
Likely to be exposed to clients who will want to scam you to get more work out of you.
Tips on how to choose the right freelance marketplace to sell your service
1. The cost
Every freelancer site has fees they charge from freelancer for every job done: For instance you make $50, a particular percentage goes to the admin. Now, the wisdom here is to go for sites that deduct lesser fees. Some sites like upwork collect 20% fee for every job. Just imagine you make $1000 and you’re charged $200. So, it’s expedient you go for sites with lower fees. Sites like guru deduces about 8.95% charges. Make sure you check terms and conditions before registering.
2. price model
Sites like fiverr gives fixed price for every job. They have chosen the price for you. That is to say you do not have control over price of the service you offer. This can be hurtful to your business. Try and explore to find the suitable freelance marketplace that has a flexible price.
A freelance marketplace with a lot of population will cause huge competition. It can make beginners invisible for months. You’ll end up spending more time battling to get noticed than even selling your services. It’s advisable to register with sites that has lesser population, there you won’t be choked up with competition.
Pick Freelance Marketplace Suitable for your Niche
There are different freelance marketplace for different niche. There are marketplace for writers, software developers, web developers, graphics designers e.t.c.
Examples of Freelance Marketplace for Different Niche
1. freelance writer websites
2. freelance designer websites
3. freelance web developer websites
4. freelance websites for business experts
Freelance sites are good for beginners to build credibility and get your feet wet. Nevertheless you shouldn’t depend on them for long. Doing that can restrict your potentials. As your experience increase you can get a personal site, find a way to drive potential clients; So, this time you’ll get to keep the whole profit without sharing.