Here's the good news: there are thousands of freelance jobs available online. Here's the bad news: there are tens of thousands of freelancers competing for all those jobs. Before you get discouraged, you should know that it's possible to make a living through freelancing. Depending on certain factors, you can even make a very good living at it. Here are some things you need to consider before launching a freelancing career.
Do You Have the Right Experience?
It's not enough for freelancers to have a college degree. The job search in the virtual world can be difficult. You're often making contact with people who have never heard of you, and have very little to measure your skills and talents against. If you have a lot of past work experience in your field, it goes a long way toward getting freelance jobs. If you're still a novice in your field, you'll have a hard time convincing anyone to hire you. Even if you're an expert in your field, you can expect dozens of rejections for your job applications, simply because there's so much competition out there.
Can You Run a Business?
Once you launch a freelancing career, you're now a small business owner. Do you have the knowledge and skills to run a business? You have to manage your time diligently. You have to file taxes and do all of the bookkeeping. You have to market yourself to clients and apply for dozens of jobs online. You have to provide your own health care. In the middle of all of that, you still have to do the actual freelancing jobs that clients hire you to do. Rather than working 40 hours a week for someone else, you're now on your own. It means you'll be putting in 12 to 14 hour work days a lot of the time, especially in the early days of your career. If you're not prepared to do all of that, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to make a living as a freelancer.
Can You Make a Sales Pitch?
Applying for freelance jobs online takes a lot of work, because your acceptance rate will be very low in the beginning. You have to apply over and over again for jobs. You have to submit your resume, work samples and a cover letter for every single job, and it needs to be personalized to each specific job in order to grab the client's attention. You'll be making dozens and eventually hundreds of sales pitches to try to land clients, and it takes time to master this.
Can You Work on Multiple Projects at the Same Time?
Starting a freelancing career online means you'll be doing a lot of small, low-paying jobs in the early days. It takes a lot of little freelance jobs to make up a full-time salary. Unless you have a spouse who's supporting you, or you have enough in savings to help stretch your budget, you can find yourself struggling to keep your head financially above water.
If you answered "Yes" to all of the above questions, there's a good chance that you can make a living with freelance jobs online. Be aware that it takes time, patience and a lot of hard work. If you have the right experience and knowledge, your client base and your salary will grow over time.
Daphne Mallory, Esq. is the co-owner of Mallory Writing Services and has written more than 100 articles helping home based business owners and entrepreneurs start and market their business. You can learn more about her here.