• Jennifer Lancaster

If the Freelance Lifestyle for you?


Could you join the increasing ranks of freelancers working from home and turn your skills into cash?

A freelancer does graphic design, feature writing, copywriting, photography, video editing, or other—for a variety of clients—and keeps their own books. More than this though, they have to become adept at pricing projects, taking a brief, and marketing themselves.

Choices for Parents Working at Home

Parents of young children often look for something that earns money and works in with their crazy hours. Freelancing has meant that I could earn a part-time income while also being there for my daughter.

Getting older? Freelancing is ideal because projects have nothing to do with your age. You can be proud of your work and growing portfolio.

Mark Fromson, Co-Founder of LocalSolo.com (a freelancers’ platform), shared his opinion on the hottest skillsets in 2018. See the list below.

Freelance Skill Areas in Demand in 2018

Web Developers:

  • React, Angular, Vue will continue to be in demand

  • Blockchain skills will be super-hot

Web Designers

  • Product UI design – due to more companies building new digital products

  • Digital Marketers

  • Facebook retargeting

  • Snapchat and Instagram paid marketing (agency-to-freelancer roles)

Copywriters

  • UX writers – writing copy for user-facing touchpoints

Forums Can Help You Get Started

Some newbies assume they can log onto the likes of Freelancer.com and get work, but this could leave you on struggle street. There are much better places to look for work when you need to be paid $50–$120 per hour to ensure viability.

Australian forums to look for projects include ‘The Freelance Collective’ (paid) and ‘Flying Solo’, where you can also get some much-needed support from other creatives.

The 2017 Freelancer Jungle survey found 53 freelancer categories, ranging from Creative Director to Animator. Most of the 319 independent workers surveyed said they found work through referrals; 77 per cent via client referrals, 69 per cent through peer referrals and 44 per cent through family/friend referrals. So make sure you update your LinkedIn connections on what you’re skilled in.

Another way to get work for respondents (24.5%) was to focus on search engine optimisation (SEO) through their own website or blog. I can testify to that. Instead of quote-wrangling tyre kickers, nowadays I get client enquiries by writing articles on issues that authors want to know. (If I was a photographer, then Instagram would be my bestie).

For a novice, do some local networking and have a decent business card. Helping others in the trade works too, as does having a ‘rate card’ that you can email to potential referrers. A rate card will feature a guideline price or fixed rates charged for various services.

New opportunities can crop up in funny places. Getting a business card printed at a local printer (rather than Vistaprint) can actually lead you to a great new referrer for your service.

A flexible lifestyle is what freelancing is all about… that’s why it’s the most accessible work for anyone to do. You can start on a shoestring budget, learn online, use Cloud software, and work around kids or caring for parents.

Jennifer Lancaster wrote ‘How to Start a Freelance Business in Australia’ - all the insider advice a talented person needs to set up a freelance business. It’s available from http://www.jenniferlancaster.com.au/books.


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