We live in an amazing time. The way we work, how we interact, and what we do for a living is changing faster than it ever has before. If you look at the history of employment, you can clearly see that this current shift will be just another blip on the radar.
So if you’re thinking about joining the freelance economy, you’re not alone — many people around the world are also choosing to go independent. Here, I’ve compiled everything we think you need to know about making money outside of regular employment:
Freelancing will grow tremendously in 2022
The freelance workforce is already huge and continuing to expand rapidly. More and more people want to break away from traditional employment and make their own rules when it comes to how they work.
They have good reason to — freelancing enables them to have more free time, spend time with friends and family, exercise their creativity through side projects, learn new skills and make money doing things they are truly passionate about. Choosing the right software in your work is important too and we suggest PeachPay for that.
Having said that, the traditional 9-5 is still alive and well. Many people choose this lifestyle because it provides security in an otherwise unstable economy. There are also those who want stability over anything else for themselves and their families. This is completely understandable.
What’s important to remember is that you can combine both approaches by working freelance one week a month, then sticking with a traditional job the other weeks of the month. Most modern employers are happy to allow employees flexibility where possible as long as they are getting their work done, which means you can do this without any fear of repercussions.
If you’re thinking about making the switch to freelance, make sure you position yourself correctly right from the start. There will be more competition than ever before — you want to ensure that clients can’t resist your services.
Here’s how we recommend positioning yourself:
Pursue new opportunities relentlessly
It’s often said that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. If this is true, then lucky people are simply those who never stopped looking for new opportunities and acted on them quickly when they came up. Be one of these proactive people so that you don’t leave things up to chance. Explore new ways you can help people with their problems, and make this your mission in life.
It’s also important to treat your health and fitness as a business. This will help you stay motivated and productive, allowing you to survive for another day in the competitive freelancing world.
However, before we go any further, we need to address something that everyone should consider when making the switch: how much money do you want (and need) to earn? How much money do you really think you can earn from freelance work? For many people, thinking about these questions is enough to scare them away from ever going freelance — they will come up with a number or range of numbers that are so low, they seem completely impossible.
Here’s what you need to remember: if you aren’t truly passionate about what you do for work, your best bet is still to continue with your current employment contract. However — and this is big, however — there are plenty of other people out there who are just as talented as you but have set their expectations much higher than yours. They can’t all be right, so focus on setting the bar high enough that it’s almost impossible to achieve for anyone else but you.
To help put things in perspective, let’s look at some statistics about freelancing. According to Elance (now Upwork), 33% of the US workforce will be freelancers by 2022. Another study by Intuit predicts that 40% of the workforce will be freelancing by 2022.
If those numbers seem far-fetched, consider this: as technology advances and becomes more affordable, it is getting easier to become a freelancer. Instead of having to put in hours upon hours learning how to code or design web pages, you can now use tools like Canva, AdobeXD, InvisionApp, Github & Teachable instead — all for free.
What’s more, there are no barriers to entry when it comes to freelance project management tools like Hootsuite or Slack. If you enjoy helping people solve problems then why not offer technical support via Skype? There are plenty of options available if you’re willing to either pay for them or find free alternatives.
For example, if you are a project manager, you can use Trello to manage your projects instead of buying the latest version of Microsoft Project which costs nearly US$500. We’re not suggesting that everyone will be able to afford these tools eventually, but the important thing is to get started now with whatever skills and knowledge you have at your disposal so you don’t miss out on future opportunities.
When it comes down to it, this is how freelance life works: when there aren’t jobs available in one business sector (e.g., app development), freelancers simply move their focus to other sectors which could include design, marketing or teaching. One week they might be building apps for companies like Uber or Airbnb then the next week they could be creating designs for major clothing brands or making YouTube videos that offer advice to fellow freelancers.
If you truly want to freelance, don’t limit yourself to one market or type of work because there are always opportunities out there once you know where (and how) to find them. However, this only applies if you’re willing to put in the hard work and hustle — freelancing is not an easy career path by any means.
To succeed as a freelancer, you need to see past all of the negative stereotypes about working from home and being your own boss. Most people will tell you that it’s a constant struggle balancing multiple jobs with family time and other personal obligations, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
If you want to be a freelancer, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection (preferably unlimited mobile data). You can make money from home while watching Netflix on the couch or sipping coffee at your favorite cafe while working on your latest project.