Freelancing is a great way to make some extra cash and can be a good stepping-stone toward starting your own business. The good news is that these days there are several opportunities to offer your services as a freelancer. Whether you wish to be a writer, artist, photographer, or aspiring entrepreneur, freelancing is a great way to test the waters and get started without any risks.
So, some common questions we hear are: How to be a freelancer? What are the steps to becoming a freelancer? How to be a freelance writer? How to start freelancing, and so on. You can find some helpful tips for all these questions in this article. If you are an aspiring freelancer, read on to know more.
Get an ABN
One of the first things you must do to be a freelancer is to get an ABN. Freelancers aren’t volunteers – so you’ll be paid for your services. It means you’ll be earning an income off your freelance work, which makes it essential to get an ABN. Moreover, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), businesses can withhold 46.5% of payments if their ABN is not on the invoice. So, get an ABN before you start if you earn thousands of dollars every month or just a few dollars every now and then from freelancing.
What can you offer?
There is no limit to what you can offer. Your writing skills, editing skills, artistic abilities, journalism, your time – it all depends on what your client is looking for. Traditionally, most of the gigs were centred on writing. But now, there is no limit if you have the right skillset and ambition.
It is easier said than done. You can approach the organisations directly if you know they are looking for a freelancer with your skillset. If you don’t have any industry connections, the best place to start would be websites such as Upwork, Toptal, Freelancer, and Airtasker, among others. LinkedIn is also a pretty effective tool for finding work. So, you can start with any or all of these.
Offering Freebies or Discounts to get a Foot-In
For a total newbie, offering some freebies or discounts would be a good idea to get a foot in the business. For instance, you could offer your services for a lower rate than the going rates or maybe offer to do a gig for free after every ten gigs or so. You could also tie it up with a good cause and offer to donate a portion of your salary from the gig to a worthwhile charity.
How long will it take, and is it worth it?
There is no fixed timeline when it comes to freelancing. It might take you an hour or a month and more to get your first job as a freelancer. It depends on what are your skillsets and how you position yourself. You’ll have to find the right opportunities. Also, the clients should be able to find you and develop enough trust in you that they hire you. Most freelancers would agree that it is worth the effort. Again, it depends on how you meet the demand through your unique skillsets.
Tips for Balancing freelancing with work and school
If you are freelancing as a side job while working or attending school, you should be mindful of the time you can realistically devote to the project you take. Freelancing is not a cakewalk or something you do for fun. It is like any other paid job. The only difference is that you can choose what to do and when to do it. Once you commit yourself to a freelancing career, you are bound by a contract to do it in the best way possible. So, if you know that your school project or work demands will demand more of your time, you should shy away from taking on freelance jobs, no matter how lucrative they might look. Otherwise, you’ll end up only devoting half of your energy to both.
If you are mindful of the probable pitfalls such as scammers, clients with low ratings, and unscrupulous work methods, freelancing is an excellent option to earn extra money and experience. However, the chances of burnout are genuine in freelancing too. So, you must watch out for that and decide what is best for you. Please don’t take too much on, no matter how tempting it could be on paper. Remember, the most incredible power of freelancing is that you are your own master. So, make the most of it and keep progressing!