Freelancing 101

Video credit: Young Money – Pros and Cons of Freelancing  – posted by CNBC on YouTube

Think

Explore

Do you think you have what it takes to make your own hours and work from anywhere? Forbes lists the top ten best careers for freelancing as marketing, business project management, web development, writing, accounting, insurance inspection, teaching, social media, administrative assistance and graphic design.

Though working for an established company often seems like the safest way to make a consistent living, more and more people are gravitating towards freelancing. According to Stats Canada “more than 1.5 million Canadians engaged in unincorporated self-employment activities, accounting for 9% of total employment.”

Reasons to freelance:

  • Overall quality of life.
  • Being your own boss, getting to choose your own hours.
  • Overall flexibility.
  • Getting to work from anywhere.
  • Choosing your own projects, and only taking on those that actually interest you.
  • The ability to work with lots of different people and companies.

Though the above sounds pretty great, freelancing is not for everyone.

 

Think before you ink

Before delving into the world of freelancing, it is important to consider what aspects of your current job are important to you. If stability is at the top of the list, freelancing may not be the right fit, as there is never a guarantee of consistent work, and things such as health benefits do not exist. The same goes for a routine. If working Monday to Friday 9-5 is integral to your quality of life, freelancing might not be for you. It is also a misnomer that freelancers work fewer hours. In fact, when starting out, freelancers often work more hours in order to get their name out there.

Some other tips and tricks:

  • Make contacts. It is all about who you know in the world of freelancing. Make sure to go to lots of networking events and follow up with any new contacts after the event.
  • Don’t be afraid to advertise yourself through social media. However, it is often good to make separate accounts for you as a business versus you as a person.
  • Get help and advice from other freelancers. Check online for other freelancers in your field.
  • Make sure to put money away for your taxes. When you work for yourself, there is no employer ensuring that taxes are taken off of each pay cheque. It is up to you to save, and this goes for pensions as well.
  • Word of mouth is great free marketing that you should take advantage of.
  • Working in isolation as a freelancer can sometimes get lonely. Search for local co-working spaces to stay connected.
  • Make sure you know what the fair market price is for your services and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.

At the end of the day, only you can determine if freelancing is right for your life.

Discuss

The Digital Tattoo Project encourages critical discussion on topics surrounding digital citizenship and online identity. There are no correct answers and every person will view these topics from a different perspective. Be sure to complete the previous sections before answering the questions.

  • What, if anything, would deter you from freelancing?
  • How could digital identity impact freelance work?

One response to “Freelancing 101”

  1. Joey Levesque

    It’s important to know what your time’s worth, too; getting a sense of standard rates in your location or field can be helpful, especially if you’re in a position where you’re competing with others online.

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