What Is Freelancing? Definition, Ideas, Benefits, Drawbacks & How To Get Started

    Freelancing is an excellent option if you’re looking for a little more autonomy and freedom in your professional life.

    Being a freelancer is a convenient and cost-effective method to work from home and make money online.

    You can start giving your services right now, especially if you’re freelancing in a talent you already have.

    According to Upwork’s most recent annual study on self-employment in the United States, 56.7 million Americans worked as freelancers in 2018, up 3.7 million from 2014.

    There is no doubt that the independent community is expanding. According to Statista, a business data platform, by 2028, the number will have risen to over 86 million.

    With such a high number, it is critical to properly prepare to work as a freelancer.

    Use this guide to learn about freelance employment, how to identify recruiting firms and positions, and the qualities you’ll need to succeed as a freelancer.

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    What Is Freelancing?

    Freelance employment is a contract-based job in which an individual uses their talents and experience to give services to a variety of clients rather than being engaged by a corporation or organization.

    Simply said, freelance employment is when you use your abilities, knowledge, and experience to work with a variety of clients and take on a variety of projects without committing to a single company.

    The quantity of assignments or tasks you can complete is determined by your ability to perform them according to the instructions.

    What Is A Freelancer?

    What Is Freelancer

    A freelancer is someone who works for a fee and normally does not anticipate having a single long-term client, even if the job connection is ongoing.

    It’s a type of self-employment that’s more akin to running a business from home than telecommuting.

    However, rather than running a home business, a freelancer can operate as a contractor.

    A freelance job is one in which an individual work for himself rather than for a business.

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    Freelancers accept contract tasks for businesses and organizations, yet they are still freelancers at the end of the day.

    Freelancers are responsible for a variety of tasks that regular employees are not, including setting their own working hours, tracking time spent on various projects, billing clients, and paying their own labor and business taxes.

    Freelancers are classified as “contractors” rather than “workers” by the companies for which they work.

    Why Become A Freelancer?

    Why Become A Freelancer

    The increase in freelancing has spawned a new economic concept: the self-employment economy.

    Instead of working for a single full-time employer and receiving a predetermined pay, people in the gig economy work for several clients on their own time and for the price they believe their work is worth.

    Freelancing is a desirable career path. It solves practically all of the challenges that a typical service class human faces.

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    Americans work an average of 47 hours a week, according to Upwork (a freelance website).

    Freelancers work 11 fewer hours per week on average than full-time employees.

    This equates to around 550 hours or 23 full days every year.

    Traditional full-time employees spend over a month more each year behind the keyboard (or wherever they work).

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    There are a number of compelling reasons to begin working as a freelancer:

    • It’s a method to supplement your income while working full-time to pay off debt or save for a rainy day.
    • If you already have the necessary skills and equipment, getting started is rather inexpensive.
    • You’ll be able to get started right away. You can start being paid for freelancing work as soon as you discover a client.
    • Allows for more flexibility at work.
    • It’s frequently adaptable, allowing you to work part-time or outside of regular business hours.

    There could be a few drawbacks, such as:

    • It can take a long time to earn a full-time income.
    • Work, and hence income, can be unpredictable.
    • Managing many clients and projects necessitates meticulous planning.
    • New freelancers frequently earn a low wage.

    How To Become A Freelancer?

    How To Become A Freelancer

    It’s as simple as placing an online order to become a freelancer.

    Accept freelancing tasks and assignments from websites that provide them.

    This is a fantastic method to get your name out there and get your business off the ground.

    Here are a few freelance websites where you can find freelance work:

    • Fiverr: It is the world’s largest marketplace to search for freelance jobs. Simply establish an account, write a description of what you can do, and include some links, and you’re done.
    • 99Designs: If you’re a designer, then it is a great location to look for freelance work.
    • Upwork: Upwork is a more professional freelance marketplace where you’ll find a greater number of business clients.
    • It is one of the oldest freelancing work markets available to you in your first year as a freelancer with little to no experience.
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    Check out the below article to know about more freelancing websites:

    Working on some of these sites’ jobs will help you learn how to do freelance work and master it.

    However, before you go to these freelance websites, you must first establish a freelance brand.

    To do so, follow these steps:

    Step 1: Make A List Of The Services You’ll Provide.

    List the services you are good at and can offer to your customers.

    Avoid areas where you lack knowledge.

    Step 2: Decide Who Your Target Market Is.

    Locate the platforms (self-contained websites) on which you will be working.

    Select a single username for all of them. It helps you build your brand identity.

    Step 3: Set Your Prices.

    Create an online portfolio using niche-specific portfolio services like GitHub for engineers and Behance for designers, for example.

    We also recommend that you construct a personal portfolio website to highlight your abilities and expertise.

    Step 4: Market Your Services.

    Use social media to promote your services, provide something for free or at a low cost (to gain traction), ask for recommendations, and use email marketing.

    We do not recommend that you leave your current job to pursue freelancing.

    In the first several months, try it as a part-time business to see how it goes.

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    You don’t have to work as a freelancer full-time to be successful.

    It’s entirely up to you whether you want to do it full-time or keep your existing employment and earn money in your spare time.

    It’s time to move on to the next phase if you’re happy with the way things are going.

    Step 5: Get Clients.

    Once you’ve established that you can support yourself and work in this manner, the next step is to take on several jobs to generate multiple streams of revenue.

    This should include tasks that you found on your own through the ways listed above, as well as freelance sites.

    Another option is to make it a full-time concert.

    Working as a full-time freelancer allows you to create a lot of income streams.

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    You can do the following:

    • Monthly withholdings should be negotiated.
    • Commissions on sales projects should be negotiated.
    • Create referral programs to reward clients who bring you new business.
    • Market Directly – Here’s a handy guide to marketing and developing your own unique brand.

    What Types Of Jobs Does A Freelancer Offer?


    Almost any service that is given to another business can be offered on its own.

    The following are some great examples of freelancing jobs:

    • Writing.
    • Web designing.
    • Virtual Assistant.
    • Accountant.
    • Social Media Management.
    • Marketing / PR Services.

    What Do You Need To Get Ready?

    What Do You Need To Get Ready As A Freelancer

    You must have the skill that you can offer potential clients in order to work as a freelancer.

    The majority of people take advantage of their previous work experience and offer services based on their existing skills.

    Some things to think about planning in addition to service:

    1. A Business Plan.

    Even if you aren’t starting a formal home business, check with your city or county to see if you need a business license to work as a freelancer.

    You’ll still need a plan that outlines the service you’ll deliver, as well as the market you’ll serve and your marketing techniques.

    2. A Website.

    You need a website that features a portfolio of your work and testimonials, as well as information about you and your services.

    You can easily create a WordPress website using BLUEHOST for just $2.95/month.

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    To host your website, I strongly recommend BLUEHOST, which runs more than 2 million websites throughout the world.

    It is the easiest and most affordable hosting platform on the market, with a cost as low as $2.95 per month.

    You’ll get a free domain name, and you can get a refund within 30 days if you’re not satisfied with the company’s services.

    3. Linkedin Profile.

    LinkedIn is a professional networking site.

    While all forms of social media can be useful for networking for freelance employment, LinkedIn is an online resume housed in a professional networking site.

    It’s also an excellent place to look for freelance work.

    You should have a dedicated company phone number or a mobile phone number where customers may reach you.

    4. A Business Card.

    A list of your services as well as your fees as a freelancer.

    What Are The Most Prevalent Career Fields For Freelancers?


    Various firms, organizations, and government agencies hire freelancers, as seen by the freelance job listings on FlexJobs.

    You may find work in practically any field, and freelance tasks range from short-term projects to long-term full-time assignments.

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    According to FlexJobs, the career fields with the most freelance openings on our site in 2018 were:

    • IT
    • Finance and accounting
    • Personnel selection and human resources
    • Writing and editing
    • Administrative
    • Project management
    • Data entry
    • Analyst
    • Software development
    • Technical assistance.

    How To Find A Freelance Job?

    How To Find A Freelance Job Or Freelance Work

    Working as a freelancer can be obtained practically anywhere.

    Within your social network, online, and outside of it are all places to consider.

    Look and ask around where your target market is.

    The best place to find clients is where they are looking for assistance.

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    Know your market, what you read, and where you’ll obtain aid, and make yourself available for assistance, ideas, and resources.

    Upwork (previously Elance and Odesk), Guru, and Freelancer are just a few of the amazing platforms where freelancers can find employment.

    You can also look for freelance employment on sites that specialize in your fields, such as Toptal for programmers and BloggingPro for freelance writers.

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    Some job sites will cater to American workers, while others will cater to overseas workers.

    Joining a trade association might help you gain clout in your field.

    It also provides several networking opportunities, job listings, and a newsletter that you can use to promote your knowledge.

    What Skills Are Required To Be A Freelancer?

    What Skills Are Required To Be A Freelancer

    For freelancers, there are a few skills that are required:

    1. Self-assurance.
    2. Negotiation and sales abilities.
    3. Managing your time.
    4. Management and business skills.
    5. A desire to learn.
    6. Ability to communicate.
    7. Techniques for dealing with stress.
    8. Perseverance.
    9. Accounting expertise.
    10. Marketing expertise.

    What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Freelancing?

    Every career has advantages and disadvantages, and freelance work is no exception.

    Knowing what to expect in the future might help you prepare and face reality.

    The Advantages Of Freelancing.

    Advantages Of Freelancing

    One of the biggest advantages of freelancing is having complete control over your workload, clients, and revenue.

    You are in the driver’s seat while you are autonomous. You choose which jobs to accept, which clients to work for, and how much money to make.

    It may be feasible to work part-time while earning full-time money, depending on your degree of experience.

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    Flexibility and the ability to work from home are other great advantages.

    Working on freelancing projects usually entails working from home and setting your own hours.

    Of course, you’ll have deadlines to meet, but you’ll have complete control over when and where you work.

    The Disadvantages Of Freelancing.

    Disadvantages Of Freelancing

    Additional duties come with the ultimate control.

    As a freelancer, you are a business owner who must keep track of taxes, bills, and payments received, as well as find and purchase all of the tools and technology you will need to do your task.

    Another significant disadvantage of freelancing work is the feast or famine syndrome.

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    You’ll be swamped with work some months, and then it’ll be like a ghost town the next.

    You may be counting on a long-term contract with a customer only to discover that they no longer require your services.

    Being a freelancer necessitates sound financial management and the continuous pursuit of new clients.

    Traits And Characteristics Needed As A Freelancer.

    Traits and characteristics needed as a freelancer

    As a freelancer, you’ll require certain traits and characteristics.

    To prepare yourself for success as a freelancer, you must possess certain attributes.

    While this is not an exhaustive list, it will give you an idea of where you should concentrate your efforts.

    Here are a few things you should consider:

    1. Discipline.

    When you spend an hour shopping online instead of working, no one is staring at you out of the corner of their eye, and no one is judging you.

    To keep on track, you’ll need discipline when it comes to freelancing.

    2. Persistence. 

    Perseverance is crucial at any time, but especially when you’re just starting out as a freelancer and need to find work quickly.

    3. Resilience.

    As a freelancer, you’ll hear one word a lot: no.

    The name of the game is rejection, and you’ll have to let it go.

    4. Organization.

    You are in charge of a lot of responsibilities in freelancing.

    You should keep track of your earnings and expenses.

    Customer communications must be responded to immediately, and deadlines must be met.

    Your files must be organized, and your workload must be streamlined.

    5. Outgoing.

    You don’t need to be extroverted in the traditional sense, but you do need to be proactive when it comes to acquiring new clients.

    If you want to expand your company, you’ll need to be comfortable networking and reaching out to strangers, whether in person or online.

    6. Communicative.

    Being self-sufficient necessitates a great deal of communication in freelancing.

    You must be willing to conduct difficult tasks, such as negotiating a higher rate or ending a relationship with a customer and handle them professionally and tastefully.

    There is no one to perform your dirty work for you, whether it’s a boss or a coworker.

    How To Handle Taxes?

    taxes in freelancing

    Freelancers, like any other employment or business, must meet their federal, state, and local tax obligations.

    It entails filling any expected tax return, just like you would if you formed your own business, but with your name and social security number instead of your business name and tax identification number.

    Customers who pay you more than $600 in a calendar year must submit an IRS Form 1099 to report their earnings.

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    On a quarterly basis, estimated taxes are filed with the IRS.

    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides forms to assist you in calculating your taxes and submitting the correct amount.

    Both the IRS and your state may levy interest and penalties if you do not pay your estimated quarterly taxes.


    Being a freelancer means being your own boss.

    It is your responsibility to locate paid work to occupy your time, whether it be through direct customer contact, subcontracting, or posting on a job marketplace.

    There are dozens and hundreds of various types of freelance work to choose from, and more organizations are recruiting freelancers than at any time in history.

    When it comes to financial and health benefits, freelancing can be an excellent way to make a living on your own terms.

    However, there are tradeoffs when it comes to financial and health benefits.

    It is totally up to you to decide whether or not freelancing is a suitable fit for you.