I’m convinced that remote, freelance work is the way of the future. The 9-5 will never totally go out of style. This is partially due to logistics of certain industries (I’ve never heard of a freelance hospital), and partly because of preference. But think about it: big business used to reign supreme because they had the funds with which to operate and advertise. Businesses relied fully on brick and mortar locations – there was no online option. And not just anyone could launch a marketing platform – you had to PAY for advertisements. All of this created a high barrier to entry.
Fast forward to 2019 and with a few hundred bucks, anyone can pop open a Shopify site. Anyone with the ability to text (or talk to text) can fire off a tweet or a Facebook post advertising their new endeavor. And yes, it takes creativity and persistence to be successful at any of these things, but the point is, it’s possible.
By the way – if YOU’RE thinking of starting a business, check out my post on ways to get started on your ideas.
I love freelancing. Maybe it’s because I have a short attention span. Maybe it’s because I love working in my sweats with my dog curled up next to me. And maybe it’s because I don’t want to wash my hair every day, darn it! Regardless, freelance work has provided me a flexible lifestyle that I love.
I HIGHLY recommend freelancing if:
- You’re looking to build a portfolio
- You’re looking to supplement your income
- You’re looking to only work minimally to preserve space in your life for other things
- You enjoy networking
- You like to learn about interesting projects happening in the marketplace
- You love to work remotely
I’ve made great money freelancing. It definitely takes persistence. Unlike a 9-5, you’re constantly aware that a job might be temporary/project based, and you’re always scanning the field for the next opportunity. Personally, I love this challenge. It’s not for everyone, but if it sounds like it appeals to you, I’m sharing four ways to pick up freelance work below!
- Upwork: This is far and away one of my favorite sites to find freelance work. Clients post projects (Facebook ad specialist, proofreader, tax accountant), and you can submit proposals. I highly recommend honing your profile and stating very clearly your area of expertise. Take time to think through any proposal prompt questions and make sure you’re tailoring your responses to each client’s needs. Upwork collects 20% of your profits with each client up to $500. After you’ve earned $500 with that client, their commission drops to 10%.
- Indeed: Indeed is obviously known for its local, full-time job listings, but if you search “virtual…” you’d be surprised at what you’ll come up with. I once snagged a job as a virtual assistant on Indeed. Whatever your skill or desired position, definitely don’t discredit Indeed as full-time only.
- Facebook Groups: This is such a great way to meet potential clients. I’ve hired so many people with whom I’m in groups. For instance, if you’re looking to pick up a few clients to build your web design portfolio, try joining a few blogging groups. There are always people searching for someone to update or revamp their site. Post a message to the board that you’re building your portfolio and offering discounted web design services to the first few people who inquire. You’d be surprised at the responses you may receive. Once you foster a community and trust within those groups, word of mouth will reign supreme.
- Care.com: This is a great site for baby care, senior care, tutoring, errands, and special needs care. In full disclosure, I haven’t used it, but I did start to sign up for it at one point. Same thing – listing and proposals.
- Freelancer.com: This is a new one to me. The structure is a bit different than Upwork – you pay a monthly fee of $9.95 and can apply to up to 100 jobs a month. They also add a “freelancer fee” to whatever your proposal is… so they’re not taking commissions, but they are upping your initial proposal to take a cut from the client. My initial reaction is that it’s less refined than Upwork, and you’ll likely be competing with more foreign talent with lower bids – but hey. It’s worth a shot.