With the average freelancer earning $21/hour and the opportunity to earn more money freelancing than working 9-to-5 traditionally, it is only natural that more and more people (non-freelancers) are opting to make a living freelancing. Making a living freelancing directly means being not just a freelancer, but a productive one who relentlessly eventually attains a certain feat gigging to enable him to live his self-employed dream lifestyle or have a sustainable side hustle. For these successful freelancers to able to pay the bills, they must set aside time to work on their projects, market themselves, and find new clients as well.
I’m guessing you are new to the line of work – freelancing – wondering how to actually earn money as a freelancer so you can pay the bills, if possible as soon as you start working this way. First of all, yes, with concentrated efforts, you can start earning even in the early part of your freelancing career. So, what then are those things you need to do to earn money freelancing?
With that in mind, you should be keenly interested to hear and apply what Jason Chicola has to say in this regard. This man, Chicola is the CEO of Rev, an audio transcription and closed-captioning service based in San Francisco. The service rendered by Rev allows Media professionals, journalists, academic and business executives to directly work with freelance typists who work from home. He also helped found Upwork which is a platform where freelancers and clients can connect in 2004.
For those who wish to succeed in their freelance business and generate enough income, Jason Chicola who has spent years contracting freelancers let out two valuable strategies that will pay off in that direction.
Strategy 1 – Build your personal brand
Chicola says, “The kinds of people that will be most successful in that individual freelancing lifestyle are going to be people who not only are good at selling themselves, but enjoy it.”
That’s true. If you do not enjoy projecting yourself as a single brand in the particular niche you wish to freelance, you might have a hard time having a space for yourself in the freelance economy. Given the need to market yourself, you need to regularly collect testimonials from clients and promote your expertise through content marketing the best way you can. While speaking of the foundation of a successful freelancing career, Chicola points to developing and following in a relatively specific area. However, to increase your chances of earning money freelancing, it is imperative to build yourself a personal website or platform where you can create your job-related contents consistently so as to captivate potential clients. In addition to a blog post, Chicola also suggests doing Youtube videos and having a professional twitter account.
Until you command a powerful presence in your industry online which is the social proof of your expertise, it will be wise to take on projects of a few clients for a low fee. Over time, you can conveniently increase your rate.
Strategy 2 – Sell your services on a platform
“If you want to be independent, which is obviously quite admirable, I would probably suggest trying to come up with some kind of specialty or niche where you can be a known expert in whatever your niche is,” Chicola said. While some freelancers might not fancy the idea of marketing themselves or building a personal brand through blogging probably because it takes more time to look for work that way, freelancers can also earn money freelancing by offering a unique service on platforms like Upwork that connects freelancers with clients. Choosing to do the later can equally be profitable as the former; building your personal brand. Chicola says, “I would consider a platform working for a middleman…if you don’t enjoy selling yourself.”
To bring the point to the light, as an instance, instead of a freelance designer take on random design projects, he could decide to focus on running a particular freelance design business such as creating thriller book covers which is one of the Amazon’s most popular categories for indie authors. Narrowing his freelance business to this design specialty which is considerably large will only lead to consistent work on any freelance platform.
Another advantage that comes with offering a particular kind of niche on platforms such as Upwork, Reedsy, etc is that platform as these allow freelancers to collect reviews and testimonials from clients easily. This can only lead to more work.
Moreover, you need to keep in mind that in most cases, freelancers who choose to freelance on platforms like Upwork earn fewer dollars or whatever the currency is as Chicola puts it than those who spend more time looking for work and building their personal brand.
Freelancing – A better way to earn money
In general, your decision to ignite a freelance career on its own is a productive movement. There are good reasons to conclude like Chicola who says, “The gig economy broadly is a huge success that I believe shows no signs of slowing down.” Within the period of six years ended in March 2018, 2.3 million individuals received 38 million payments according to investment bank. What more reason is there to be convinced that as years advance the trend will endure, offering more and more opportunities?
Speaking of more reasons, a Beijing-based education company known as VIPKid which creates a bridge between Chinese students and English teachers who want to work from home was recently valued at more than three billion dollars, as relayed by Chicola.
No doubt, one practical to believe that the freelance economy has a bright future is this; “Many entrepreneurs are looking every day for other categories of work that can be done online,” Chicola said.