What you need to know before becoming a freelancer

So you want to become a freelancer? Here are some important tips before you make the leap. The freelance/gig economy has seen unprecedented grow in the last few years. With the advent of eBay in 1995 to Uber, Task Rabbit, & rent-a-coder what was once a sector often relegated to the actors, artists or the free spirit types has now gained amazing credibility. Credibility with real money behind it. In 1995 we saw many people harness the then new platform of eBay to generate significant income. Many people left jobs and began creating a full-time business on their own terms.

 

Fast forward to now and the number of freelance/gig opportunities has exploded. With Uber quickly becoming a billion dollar business due to the massive number of drivers who signed on, ( to join the freelance/gig economy) it is evident that this new way of making a living has massive appeal. What also makes this market appealing is the variety of skill sets it now includes, from being paid to do tasks for people as a Task Rabbit user to doing technical coding jobs on demand as a rent-a-coder user, there is indeed something for everyone. While this all may sound very appealing there are some caveats to consider before leaving a full-time job.

 

 

1. Be realistic of what skills you possess and make a list. This is not the time to think you will learn how to design websites and be able to get paid to do so overnight.
 
2. With your list in hand research companies that offer gigs/freelance work in your areas of expertise.
 
3. Now is a good idea to set up online profiles at some relevant reputable sites. This is not the time to leave your job. I highly suggest that a client moonlights in the evening or weekend before making any definitive decision about leaving their full-time job; I cannot tell you how many disasters this has averted. Sometimes, all it takes is someone researching what this new gig economy is all about that satisfies their curiosity in an intelligent way.
 
4. Be very clear about why you are choosing to leave your fulltime job. Like anything work related, nothing is just going to fall into your lap so you have to be serious about your decision. If you are retiring, wanting to start a business, stay home with your kids more, whatever the reason is, if you are up to the task about taking this new journey seriously it can have tremendous payoffs. Payoffs like more free time, the ability to explore the viability of running your own business and getting paid to get your feet wet.
 
5. Lastly I suggest that a client have a bit of a financial cushion to allow them to get up and running without stress. This is another great reason to moonlight for a while before making the leap. It gives a person the ability to understand what type of time requirement this will require to equal the amount of money they would like/need to make.

Like any business, references and a solid profile of your experience are a must. Be prepared to communicate swiftly with your prospects and do not exaggerate your skills. It only takes a few really bad reviews to stop you before you get started. By getting all your ducks in order you can take advantage of a flexible work schedule and the ability to control your revenue in a very new and dynamic way. In the end, having control of your time is often the most valuable asset of all.

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