The freelance economy is absolutely booming. According to a study by Upwork and the Freelancers Union, freelancers now make up 35% of the American workforce, and that number is only going to grow.
Some of that growth is fully by choice. But the reality is that more and more households are starting to explore freelance work as an additional stream of income simply because the cost of living has become unrealistic for the average family in many parts of the world.
More and more parents, students, and people already working one or more jobs are supplementing their income with freelancing because it’s just a reality of living in this current era of late-stage capitalism.
But what does it take to be a successful freelancer? What traits work well for freelance work and working for yourself? Does freelancing work well for parents? Here are some tips on who should become a freelancer in 2022.
What does it take to be a successful freelancer in today’s economy
While freelancing can be a great way to earn a living, it’s not always easy. Here are a few things you’ll need to succeed as a freelancer in today’s economy:
Gain a profitable freelance skillset
First and foremost, you’ll need to be good at what you do. Whether you’re a writer, designer, or developer, you’ll need to have the skills and experience necessary to attract clients.
If you’ve already got a skillset, hell yeah. You’re all set – run with it. Do some concept projects if you don’t have any clients and add them to your portfolio. Once you’ve got a few solid portfolio pieces, it becomes much easier to pitch potential clients on why they should hire you because they’ll be able to see for themselves!
If you’re not sure what kind of skill you want to use to freelance, let me link you to some resources that might help you along your way.
Get comfortable with doing your own marketing
Freelancers need to be good at marketing themselves, too. With so many freelancers out there competing for work, you’ll need to make sure potential clients know who you are and what you can do for them.
A strong online presence and positive reviews from past clients will go a long way toward helping you succeed as a freelancer.
The ability to “teach yourself” anything you need to know is also more or less crucial to a freelancer’s skillset. At least, until you’re about to hire out the tasks that you cannot or don’t want to complete yourself.
But in the beginning, when you’re a one-man crew – you’ll need to get reaaaaaal familiar with YouTube University and Dr. Google to figure stuff out as you go along.
Traits that work well for freelance work
One of the most important traits that successful freelancers share is self-discipline. Without the ability to discipline yourself, it can be all too easy to become distracted and unproductive.
Freelancers who are able to stick to a schedule and stay focused on their work are much more likely to be successful in the long run. If you think you have what it takes to be a successful freelancer, self-discipline will be key.
The ability to work independently
One of the most important traits for a successful freelancer is the ability to work independently. This means being able to manage your time, set your own goals, and stay motivated without the need for constant supervision.
It can be a challenge to stay on track when you’re your own boss, but it’s essential if you want to be successful. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help freelancers learn how to work independently.
There are books, articles, and even online courses that can teach you the skills you need to succeed. So if you’re thinking about becoming a freelancer, make sure you have what it takes to work independently. It could be the key to your success.
A thick skin
What this means is that you’ve gotta be able to brush off rejection and negative feedback.
When you’re starting out, you will likely experience a lot of rejections before you finally get your first client. And even after you’ve established yourself, you will still encounter clients who are unhappy with your work.
It’s important not to take these things personally and to continue to strive for excellence in your work. If you can develop a thick skin, you’ll have a much easier time getting back up when you’re knocked down. And it’ll happen, believe me! But you got this.
Strong communication skills
There are many reasons why strong communication skills are important for freelancers.
First, freelancers need to be able to clearly articulate their ideas and vision to potential clients. They also need to be able to listen carefully to client feedback and requests in order to accurately understand what is being asked of them. They need to be able to effectively negotiate terms and pricing with clients.
Lastly, freelancers need to be able to build strong relationships with their clients in order to foster a sense of trust and collaboration. Without strong communication skills, it would be very difficult for freelancers to succeed in today’s highly competitive marketplace.
The ability to take direction well
One important trait that all freelancers should have is the ability to take direction well. This means being able to listen to the client’s vision for the project and understanding what they are looking for.
It’s also important to be able to communicate effectively with the client so that there are no misunderstandings. The ability to take direction well is especially important for those who are just starting out as freelancers, as it can be difficult to get work without any previous experience.
However, even experienced freelancers need to be able to show their clients that they are willing to Listen to their suggestions and make changes if necessary. demonstrate their commitment to creating the best possible outcome for the project.
Freelancers who can take direction well are more likely to get repeat clients and referrals, which is essential for long-term success in this field.
Attention to detail
Have you ever hired a handyman to work on your home, only to be disappointed with the results?
Or maybe you’ve had a friend who was always asking you to proofread their essays, but they never seemed to improve. In both of these cases, the issue is a lack of attention to detail.
As a freelancer, your clients are hiring you because they need someone who will pay close attention to the task at hand and produce high-quality work. Here are three reasons why attention to detail is essential for freelancers:
First, when you’re working on a project, you’re usually not working alone. You’re part of a team, and everyone needs to be able to rely on you to do your part correctly. If you’re constantly making mistakes or missing deadlines, it’s going to reflect poorly on the whole team.
Second, even if you are working alone on a project, your work still needs to meet the standards of your client. If you’re constantly turning in sloppy work, your client is going to lose faith in your ability and will eventually look elsewhere for help.
Finally, even if neither of these two points applies to you and you’re working on a personal project, attention to detail is still important.
Once you start becoming known for producing high-quality work, word will start to spread and more people will want to hire you. So whether you’re looking to build a career in freelancing or just want to produce the best possible work, make sure that attention to detail is one of your top priorities.
Does freelancing work well for parents?
For many working parents, the traditional nine-to-five grind can be a source of stress and anxiety. between balancing work and family responsibilities, it can be difficult to find time for anything else. As a result, more and more parents are looking for ways to freelance.
Freelancing offers a number of advantages for parents. First, it provides a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to scheduling. Rather than being tied to a set work schedule, freelancers can often choose when and where they work. This can be a major benefit for parents who need to juggle childcare commitments with their job.
Second, freelancing can provide the opportunity to earn a higher income. Because freelancers are typically paid by the project, they have the potential to earn more money than they would in a traditional job.
Freelancing can also give parents the chance to work from home, obviously. This eliminates the need for expensive childcare and allows parents to spend more time with their children.
While freelancing is not right for everyone and there are quite a few disadvantages of freelancing as a parent, especially with younger children, it can be an ideal solution for working parents who are looking for a greater degree of flexibility and control over their careers.
All of the “hats” freelancers have to wear
In addition to the attention to detail mentioned earlier, freelancers also need to be able to wear multiple hats. This means that they need to be able to take on a variety of roles, depending on the project they’re working on.
For example, if they’re working on a website design project, they might need to be able to write copy, design logos, and code the website. If they’re working on a content marketing project, they might need to create blog posts, design social media graphics, and develop strategies for increasing traffic.
You’ll also be your freelance business’s marketer, copywriter, designer, customer service, email marketing team, PR team, accounting department, project manager, and more unless you can hire those roles out. There’s definitely a lot to learn on the job no matter how much experience you have under your belt.
The ability to wear multiple hats is essential for freelancers because it allows them to be more versatile and better equipped to handle any situation that comes up. So if you’re someone who’s comfortable with change and enjoys wearing different hats, then freelancing might be a good fit for you.
Tax considerations for freelancers
Anyone who is thinking of becoming a freelancer should be aware of the different tax considerations that come with this type of work.
The first thing to keep in mind is that freelancers are considered self-employed, and as such, they are responsible for paying their own taxes.
This means that freelancers will need to set aside money throughout the year to ensure that they have enough to cover their tax bill when it comes due.
Additionally, freelancers may also be eligible for certain deductions, such as the cost of business-related expenses. However, it is important to speak with a tax advisor to ensure that all deductions are properly documented and reported.
By understanding the tax implications of freelance work, individuals can be better prepared to manage their finances and meet their obligations come tax time.
So if you’re someone who is comfortable with change, enjoys wearing different hats, and is looking for more flexibility in your career, freelancing may be a good fit for you. Just be sure to understand the tax implications of freelance work before making the jump!