Imagining what your bank account would be like if you were a freelancer? Well, you can stop guessing already. Based on a survey carried out by a global payment platform, Payoneer, we are going to uncover and elaborate on how much freelancers make. This study surveyed more than 23,000 freelancers from 180 countries to uncover trends in billing rates, experience levels, and expectations when it comes to their work. The data gathered from that survey by Payoneer had it that in most of the countries surveyed, what the average freelancer who works just 36 hours a week earns is significantly higher than the average non-freelance wages. For each work hour of those 36 hours of weekly work, the average freelancer earns $21, the survey found. This means that they bag an annual pretax salary of more than $39,000.
And that’s just the global averages, meaning that it is just standard not entirely applicable to all. Factors like the industry of profession, billing method, and range of sources of income have an impact on the amount a freelancer can make. You wouldn’t expect the hourly rate of a freelance programmer and a freelance writer to be the same. In like manner, you can’t conclude that that is their only source of income. For instance, the writer may have other sources of income that might make his grand salary higher than that of a programmer who basically freelance for the major part of his income. However, keep in mind that there are factors that affect the hourly rate of a freelancer; hence, it can exceed the average $21/hour.
How much then CAN a freelancer make?
Unlike how it is with the traditional 9-to-5 office job which usually centres on formal education, freelancers are not limited to their level of formal education. Though they might need some essential skills to build a sustainable business, it all boils down to experience and client reviews; the main reason most companies would rather hire freelancers after all. Vice president of marketing at Payoneer, Jonny Steel also agrees to this. He noted that one of the most surprising data points uncovered by the survey was that freelancers with a college degree typically earn $20 an hour less than the $22 an hour earned by those whose highest education level is high school. This implies that how much a freelancer can make is not limited to his level of formal education, rather, it stretches out to his skill vitality and demand and his level of experience.
If not through access to traditional higher education, how else do they polish their skills or even acquire essential skills needed to run their business? Johnny Steel told Business News Daily, “Not everyone has the same access to traditional higher education, but the beauty of the internet is that as long as you’re connected, you have access to an almost infinite amount of Knowledge.” Johnny Steels words are enough for the wise. As obviously reflected in his words, the worldwide network—internet—has now become the ‘worldwide university’ as well, where people can acquire or learn diversified skills. However, freelancers do not necessarily need to have the same access to traditional higher education, some acquire their skills by following up on the latest trend on top-notch blogs, watching online tutorials, and reading e-books.
Apart from being the ‘worldwide university’, the internet has become the ‘worldwide office’ where freelancers anywhere they might be in the globe have access to “unprecedented work opportunities” as talented professionals. “Freelancing offers smart, talented, hardworking professionals business owners in emerging economies such as Argentina, Bangladesh, India, the Philippines and Serbia a major breakthrough in job prospect and earning potential that they would have thought possible a few years ago,” says Scott Galit, CEO of Payoneer. Given the hyper-connectivity of today’s world, businesses worldwide, however, now have access to an overwhelming range of talents which they can readily find handy, giving freelancers and service providers an unbelievable spectrum of job opportunities even with international companies.
Truly, nothing can stop freelancers. How much traditional employers can make is nothing in comparison to what a freelance business can generate. No wonder Steel said, “If you’re good at your job, there really is no limit to how much you can grow your business.” Moreover, it has been found that freelancers who market themselves better can earn more money. In regards to how to gain exposure to generate more income as a freelancer, Steel suggested having a blog and social media channel through which you brand and promote your work. This will help you gain more credibility in the freelance market as well. He also pointed out that creating a presence across not just one but multiple freelancing networks and asking clients to leave reviews on those sites is also a great way to attract more opportunities to yourself. It’s this simple; the more you put yourself out there, the more your business grows, and you know, more cash to bag at the end of the day.
Johnny Steel also, in a sense, compared freelancers to entrepreneurs, saying that the secret to the growth of the business of the most successful entrepreneurs is their boldness and eagerness to promote themselves. He continues, “Companies will be more drawn to you—and be willing to pay more—when they see you’re serious.”
I am also compelled to add that, more than the financial aplenty of freelancing and the insanely diversified pool of opportunities it offers, freelancers still enjoy the flexibility. They have more control over their career and work experience, hence, the freedom of working at a suitable pace, from anywhere, and doing what they know how their own way.