As a freelancer, I’ve noticed that there are a lot of misconceptions about what I do. People look at me funny because I’m not exactly commuting to work and I set my own hours. My office is a desk with a laptop in a room at my house. There are many myths surrounding people who freelance that really need to be addressed.
Legal Tips for Freelancers
If you are a freelancer, you will run across clients who try to take advantage of any loophole in your contract. Fact of life. So make sure any contract you sign covers as many of your bases as as possible.
- If you freelance, you “don’t work”. Actually, freelancing can be as much a 40-hour-a-week job as any position at a regular office. A typical freelancer might be creating an Android app for a Fortune 500 company one day and ghostwriting an article for somebody’s blog the next. The only real difference is that freelancers don’t work for any single person or company.
- Freelancers don’t make much of an income. I will allow that I’ve had my lean months. The income probably won’t be much at first, but once a freelancer builds up a good reputation, she can actually make a pretty income for as long as she feels like doing it.
- You have to go through one of those freelancer or work-at-home sites. A lot of freelancers start off that way. I got my start on Fiverr and I still do work for a few clients I made contact with there. However, you can also get your start by handing out business cards and going around to local businesses to see if they need a job done that they don’t have the in-house staff for.
- Freelancers will just take my money and split. Yes, and I’ve worked with people who just take my work and split without paying up. Most wise freelancers know that they aren’t going to make much of a living if they have a reputation for not finishing the job and they usually take just as much risk of not getting their promised money. Most reputable freelancers will insist on a contract up front so that both parties will know what to expect and when both work and payment are due.
- Freelancers are lazy. Anyone who has ever gotten a bad grade on a term paper knows that turning out a quality article is not easy. I charge for the number of words I actually produce but I’ve also rewritten things two or three times before I get them exactly right. So I can honestly tell you that the top-notch freelancers are not lazy.
- Freelancers are pretty much failures at the regular 8-to-5 world. A lot of freelancers did try the traditional route and just decided that it wasn’t for them. They might have skills that don’t allow for a lot of permanent jobs, but they figured out that some companies will pay for one-offs. That doesn’t really make them failures once they find their niche.
- Do freelancers really work in their pajamas? I’ve done that. However, a lot of freelancers will take the trouble to get dressed in the morning. Some might even teleconference as part of their jobs, in which case they want to look professional.
- Why do people freelance anyway? Ask a dozen freelancers and you’ll probably get a dozen answers. Maybe nobody would hire them on a permanent basis no matter what they did. Maybe they have kids and wanted to spend more time with them, but still wanted or needed to earn an income. Maybe they just decided they couldn’t stand the commute anymore. There’s no single answer to that question.
- What do I need to know to become a freelancer? Be careful, because it is a wild world out there. If any work-at-home site wants you to pay money up front, walk away because it’s likely to be a scam. Look for sites like Freelancer.com and Fiverr.com or make contact with people and businesses who are looking for somebody with your skills for some job they don’t have the in-house job for. Remember that you are competing with many other freelancers just like you, so you basically need to be as good as, if not better than, everybody else.
So I hope that helps clear up some questions about what I do. My particular niche is creating Squidoo Lenses for people who want to get started as a Lensmaster or are just looking for a good article and backlink for their websites. Need a few reviews of indoor bicycle trainers? I’ve done that. How about ways to help your quality leather bag last longer? I’ve done that. So let me know if you need one and we can work out the details.
Some Stuff You’ll Need To Become A Freelancer