How to Make More Money as a Freelancer
Freelancing is a great option whether you are a stay-at-home parent, a college student, or even if you have a full-time day job.
Freelancing can help you make more money instead of waiting for the usual end-of-year appraisal time to bring up the subject of a salary raise. In fact, seven in 10 professionals in the Middle East and North Africa believe freelancing is a good option for someone working in the region.
Here are a few handy steps to give you a leg-up on freelancing:
1. Take your pick:
‘Find work you love and you won’t have to work a day in your life’ might sound familiar, but when you know that about 82.4% of Middle East professionals say they desire a career change, the fact remains that a very lucky few are in a career they love.
When considering a freelancing career, think of your talents or skills which you can monetize. Once you have the drive, you need to channel it properly – think of what you truly love doing. Do you have a skill or hobby that is sought after? It could be writing, designing, gardening, or even working out; all of these could be worked into a freelance career. Even if you have none of these specialized skills but have the time to spare and the drive, you could freelance as well.
Options range from data-entry or mystery shopping, to the off-beat, such as professional dog-walking, for example. The options are many!
2. Get trained:
Every talent needs training in order to develop and every skill needs sharpening. Some freelance jobs don’t require any specialized training, but for those that do, it would be a good idea to set yourself up with a short-term course or workshop. This investment in training would help you reap benefits on the freelance pay-scale as well. If you like gardening, you can take up a landscaping course. Level-up your credentials with a trainer certification if yoga or working out is your thing.
3. Find a mentor:
It’s good to be driven and determined, but nothing compares to the support, advice, and positive example a mentor can provide. A good mentor can help you reach your full potential and beyond, although finding one could be a challenge.
The most obvious thing to do when looking for a mentor would be to find individuals who share your passion and have been successful at it. Reach out to them and ask them for an informational interview. Bayt.com survey reveals that 44% of MENA professionals are connected to five or more freelancers. Meet them for advice and ask them about the challenges they face in the industry and if they have any tips to give.
4. Market yourself:
No matter what skill you are peddling or what level of expertise you have at it, you need to sound your bullhorn (well, figuratively). Whether you are a seasoned freelance writer or an English major student who likes to blog, you need to look like a professional. Have a good online public profile on a key career networking site, like Bayt.com, that describes your skills and past projects.
Once you create your Bayt.com Public Profile, blog or online portfolio, get your page URL imprinted as a QR code on your business card. You can also get creative and print them on stickers so that you can leave them in obvious places. That’s guerilla marketing on a budget!
5. Organize yourself:
Whatever your other commitments are, your freelance work will divide your attention and your time. Good time management is a top skill for a freelancer. If you are starting as a freelancer you should treat deadlines as absolute. The chances of you getting future projects depend on the quality of work you deliver, your speed, and your commitment to deadlines. Clearly map out your time for freelance projects and for other tasks – don’t let one bleed into the other. Make a list if you have multiple projects and set deadlines.
6. Fish around:
Starting out as a freelancer can be an uphill task until you establish yourself, and start getting referrals and repeat work. Spread the word among your family, friends, professors, ex-colleagues etc. that you are looking for freelance work. Look for freelance jobs online. It’s a good idea to approach start-up companies if you are into graphic design, writing, coding, data entry, mystery shopping, etc. In fact, 53% of professionals say their company has used the services of a freelancer.
Important to consider is that financial gain alone may not be the driving motivation for many to take up freelancing. 24% of professionals would choose freelancing because it would allow them to do what they love. For some, just finding an outlet to explore their hobbies and passions is enough. Of course it doesn’t hurt to get paid for it. In the end it is a win-win situation.
Have you left your day job for freelancing? How did it go? Share your experience in the comment section!