Because everyone should have a side gig.
If you're looking to make some extra cash or expand your resume, then you might want to consider freelance work.
In today's world, the opportunity to moonlight or land a freelance job is easier than ever. With freelance websites, such as guru.com, outsource.com, writersaccess.com, peopleperhour.com and more, you can land jobs as writers, graphic designers, web developers and website builders, to name a few. The key is determining for what type of freelance work you're well-suited, and then making a game plan to land work. Here are some freelancing tips to consider:
For what type of freelance work are you well-suited?
The list is endless when it comes to the type of freelance work from which you can choose. In addition to the work described above, you can also freelance as a nanny, virtual assistant, editor, data entry personnel, copywriter, scriptwriter, videographer, makeup artist, photographer and more.
To determine what your options are, make a list of your current skill set along with the things that you enjoy doing. Don't leave any stone unturned. When you freelance, you might choose to do something that's similar to what you currently do at your day job, or you might choose to do something different that you know there's a need for and you're already good at. You also want to do something you enjoy if you're freelancing, especially when you're already working a full-time job. If you don't enjoy what you're doing as a freelancer, then you'll only be draining your energy, and it's not worth it in the long run.
Questions you need to consider when freelancing
How much time do you have? You don't want to stress yourself out by stretching yourself thin or selling yourself short on personal or fun time. You also don't want your freelance work to negatively impact your full-time job if you have one. Conduct an honest evaluation of your current availability and decide how much time you're willing to commit to freelance work and stick to it. This time should include the time it takes to market and secure freelance work.
What's your current company's moonlighting policy? Some companies look down on moonlighting, though it's rare–from my experience–for them to prohibit it. Find out if your company has a moonlighting policy, so you're in the know. I would suggest you keep your moonlighting somewhat under wraps if you feel it would somehow negatively impact your current position, but do what you need to do to take care of yourself, as well.
What's your company's conflict of interest policy? When you choose to freelance, you want to be mindful of your organization's conflict of interest policy to ensure you're not crossing any boundaries.
Could it add value to your resume? Extra work is great and it can bring in extra money, but it's even better if it can help boost your resume. If you have a variety of skill sets that would support freelancing, and you need to narrow down your options, consider what type of opportunities would add value to your resume or help you land future jobs and work that you would enjoy.
How much are you willing to financially invest? Often, you can start a freelance business for little to no startup cost, depending on your current network reach and referrals. At the same time, you can possibly land work even more quickly if you use sites such as upwork.com or peopleperhour.com to bid for gigs. These sites typically allow you to purchase a membership or a certain number of bids to be used in a specified period of time for a relatively low-cost. Do your research to decide what approach would work best for you.
Do you need a website and marketing materials? For many freelance opportunities, you can build a profile on a job site, like upwork.com, and that's all you need to get work. If you're looking to freelance as a photographer or videographer, however, you might need a simple, yet professional, website to help promote yourself to book work. If you have time and are somewhat technical, you can visit sites like ehost.com or wix.com to build a website for a relatively low cost, or you can opt to hire someone to help you. You'll just need to consider how much you want to invest upfront, as mentioned in the previous question.
How can you land work? If you're freelancing as a videographer, photographer, or makeup artist, you might choose to build a website, use social media or attend networking events to market your services for leads. You might also look to target a particular niche, like brides, and attend bridal fairs to market your services. Word of mouth referrals are great for these kinds of services, as well.
For web design, writing, editing and logo making, you can go to job board posting sites and bid for jobs. These include sites like guru.com, peopleperhour.com and upwork.com. There are several sites that are job specific, as well. For example, writersaccess.com is specific to editors and writers and fiverr.com is targeted towards graphic designers (but also has other types of jobs for which you can bid). Do an online search for your type of work, and several other sites will come up that allow you to bid for gigs. Use caution, though, and do your research. Not all sites are created equal, and some require a long-term contract in order to bid. Look for a site with which you'll be comfortable working for a relatively low cost, and give it a try. You can always try another site down the road.
Nothing has to be permanent in the land of freelance work
Freelancing can be an amazing thing. You hone in on current or new skill sets, often meet interesting people, tap into your entrepreneurial spirit and have extra cash in the pocket to boot. At the same time, it's not for everyone, and that's okay. Freelance work requires discipline, good time management, the ability to work with different personalities and the ability to be a self-starter. Some people are better suited for structure and a typical office-type environment. Or, maybe you need to try a different type of freelance gig before you call it quits. Either way, if you're considering freelance work, it's worth it to give it a shot using the information above. You'll know soon enough if you're made for the land of freelance. And if not today, maybe in the future!
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