Work from home has truly blossomed in the last few years, thanks to increased connectivity. More people are looking for the best work from home options to suit them, and offering a service can be a great opportunity to earn from home By becoming a freelancer, you can offer a range of services which you are experienced or qualified in. From virtual assistance to social media support, copywriting to podcast editing. There is no end to the types of services you can offer as a freelancer.
What is Freelancing?
A freelancer is an individual who is not working for a specific company or employer. A freelancer is an entrepreneur offering his/her services to several clients.
On many occasions, this may be a one-off service offered. But often, freelancers will offer retainer packages to work with clients until a contract notice is given.
Freelancers can offer services in a variety of specialties, which I will cover later on in the post.
Benefits of Freelancing vs. Traditional 9-5
I’m all for freelancing. I’ve been working from home for some time now, and I love (almost) every second of it.
When you freelance:
- You set your own timings
- You decide who you work with. There isn’t a boss telling you how or when to do your work.
- A better work/life balance as you decide how many hours you can put in your business each week and when to work around your other commitments e.g. family.
What do I need to start Freelancing?
The most important thing you need to start freelancing is you and the skill you are going to offer.
What are you experienced and/or qualified in? List down the services you can offer as a freelancer. You can niche down and choose only one service to offer, or select from 2-3 services to begin with.
As for equipment, you only need a good working laptop and a reliable internet connection. You can add in other equipment as you continue to grow as a freelancer.
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How to Start Freelancing from Home?
Ready to start? I know how exciting freelancing can be. So to make your freelancing journey less bumpy, here are some of my favorite freelancing tips:
Have a Contract in Place
Never enter into a relationship with a client without a contract in place. Even if that client is your own aunt.
Having a contract in place helps both you and your client. It helps both of you manage expectations from each other and protects your business along with setting up their expectations from the get-go.
And don’t use any standard contract you find on the internet. Review it. Add or subtract any clauses you feel will help you in developing a professional relationship with your client.
Ideally, purchase a professional license from a lawyer from the onset. These are much better than any old thing you find for free online. Plus you know you will be fully protected and it looks a lot more professional to your clients.
Calculate Your Value
One question most new freelancers have is ‘What should I charge as a freelancer?’
I will answer this question with another question,
‘How much do you want/need to make with your freelancing business?’
If you want to start with $1000 and plan on devoting 2 hours and 25 days monthly then you can calculate your hourly using this formula:
Hourly Rate = Monthly Expectations/ Total Monthly hours
1000/ 2 *25= 1000/50= $20/hr
Or if you want to charge a fixed price, you can now multiply your hourly rate with the amount of time you expect to spend on the job.
Let’s say, you are asked to handle Instagram engagement for a client for 1 hour every day of the month. If your hourly rate is $20, then you can calculate your fixed-rate or retainer rate, using this formula:
Fixed Rate= Hourly Rate * Number of Expected Hours.
Fixed-Rate = 20 * 30 = $600.
Invest in Yourself
Ready to make it big with your freelance work. Then start investing in yourself. Take up a few courses in your relevant industry. This will not only help you gain knowledge but also confidence.
Have you heard of the imposter syndrome?
Many people who become freelancers charge a very low amount for their services. That’s because they feel like imposters because many of them don’t have a degree or even a diploma to show their expertise, but they may have the first-hand experience. So they charge so low, that they end up exhausting themselves and aren’t making that much.
When you take up courses, you start valuing yourself more. With every cent you invest in yourself, you take your freelancing work more seriously. You charge your worth.
If you are serious about offering freelance services and succeeding, investing in yourself is a no-brainer. When I talk about investing in yourself just to clarify, I don’t mean you need to spend $1,000 on the first course you see. Dedicate time in researching different courses in the field you are hoping to offer as a freelance service. For example, if you were to offer Pinterest management services, you would first research reviews on different Pinterest courses and see which one offered you the training you needed, whether it was suitable to a complete beginner or someone more experienced. Alongside this, you would also invest time and develop your experience using Pinterest yourself.
Investing in yourself also comes in the form of resources you need to set up and start your business offering freelance services. Though not necessary straight away, later down the line it’s recommended to have your own website set up along with email marketing. Both of these help to:
- give a great, professional first impression to your potential clients,
- can show off your testimonials received from current and previous clients
- And demonstrate your expertise via a blog within your chosen area.
This is the best-kept secret to the success of any freelancer, or even a business. Maintaining and building trustworthy relationships.
So, what’s included in relationship management?
Simply put relationship management is building a relationship in a way that your client puts his best side forward when he communicates with you. And to do that, my golden rules are:
- Be courteous. Always be nice to your clients. Even when there is a misunderstanding, use your best voice.
- Be Kind
- Be Empathetic. Being professional doesn’t mean you remove yourself from all emotions when communicating with your client. Ask about their family. Offer them kind words when they are venting.
While working from home, relationship management is even more important because that’s how you will get your existing client to refer you to new clients.
Freelance Services You Can Offer Working from Home and Online
Here are some ideas to start you off with different freelance services which might suit you working from home and online:
There are a lot of people overwhelmed with work right now. Business owners, office workers, and even freelancers. There’s so much you can assist them with while working from home. The possibilities are really endless.
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You can offer them any of the services I’m going to list down below.
Social Media Manager
Do you know anyone who doesn’t have an account on at least one social media account? Well, you might but these people are a rarity.
Almost everyone is on social media, and businesses realize that if they don’t get their presence felt on social media, they might be wasting a very unique opportunity to interact with their customers.
But as the number of social media channels is increasing, and these companies keep changing the algorithms, many businesses find it time-consuming to manage their social media.
And so they turn to social media managers. As a social media manager, you can offer to manage specialized service for one social media channel or broaden your expertise to 2-3 social media platforms.
Both have their own advantages. Offering only one social media means you can put all your energies on growing one platform and become the expert there. Or you can offer to handle all their social media platforms and give them a complete social media package.
Pinterest is similar to Google in that it is a search engine. Pinterest is great to use for your business as people can follow your profile, repin your content, and find your content and products. Many people use Pinterest daily for personal use, but most of them don’t know a lot about managing a Pinterest channel.
When businesses don’t know how to manage their Pinterest channel, they turn to experts. And what’s where you come in.
I recently did a blog post on how to become a Pinterest Manager.
If your expertise is writing, then you can offer your services as a freelance writer. Start by writing your own blog, and using it as a portfolio to show to prospective clients.
Offer to guest post for reputable websites. There are many websites that pay guest writers.
But don’t bulk apply to all jobs. Niche down to websites that you have experience with. For instance, if you haven’t had a pet your entire life then offering to guest write for a pet blog might not be the best choice.
Also, research the blog. Look at their writing style. Check what topics they have already covered. Offer them an interesting angle or a new topic. When pitching to them, give them a basic structure. Also, if you have samples to show your writing style, send them those as well.
A copywriter is a little different from a freelance writer. While a freelance writer usually writes blog posts and articles, copywriters write advertisement copies. A copywriter sells, while a freelance writer informs.
One of the tools you should have as a copywriter is a good command over wordplay. If you want to pursue copywriting from home, I would suggest making contacts with local ad agencies. Network with them since many of them have extra workload and are often looking to outsource some of the work to copywriters on a need basis.
Caught mistakes while reading? Then you might want to consider working from home as an editor or proofreader because you probably already know that there’s tons of content both online and offline that could do with good proofreading.
If you want to start as an editor or proofreader, then you can register yourself with a freelance website. Or set up your own proofreading business, and email to companies when you catch an error in their content. Approach local businesses in your area.
A bookkeeper is someone who keeps tabs on the payments and income of a company. We all know small businesses have grown incredibly fast over the last decade. Usually, these small businesses can’t afford to hire an accountant. And so they hire a bookkeeper.
If you have a degree or diploma in accounting, then you can offer your services as a virtual bookkeeper. People with administrative experience can also become bookkeepers as they have experience with managing financials.
Most people prefer seeing, over reading. The world is quickly becoming a visual platform. And the better the visual, the more effective the message. That’s why companies hire freelance photographers.
If you have an eye for photography and own a professional DSLR, then you can even offer your services as a photographer.
Again, select your niche. Are you going to do product photography, portrait, or landscape? Think of what you are good at. Depending on this, you can start approaching prospective clients.
For instance, if you want to pursue product photography, you can approach jewelers, FMCG brands, or even beauty brands. For landscape photography, interior designers, architects, and real estate would be a good choice. When it comes to portrait photography, you can offer your services as an event photographer doing weddings, corporate events, and birthdays.
When meeting prospective clients, always bring your photography portfolio. Don’t include all your photography, just 10-12 pictures of what the client is looking for.
If you speak more than two languages, you can also become a translator. Some of the most requested languages are German, French, Arabic, and Chinese. If you are fluent in any of these languages, you can easily get a job as a translator.
There are a lot of websites putting up translation jobs. You can check with freelance job boards also.
Jobs for tutors are also in great demand. Virtual classrooms are growing in demand because many people like the convenience of getting education right from their sofa. Websites like Udemy and Skillshare have become extremely popular since they are offering courses for advanced skills on a niched-down topic.
If you wish to become a tutor, think of your expertise. Are you good at developing apps, or maybe you are good at a language? What can you teach?
As a tutor, you have two options. You can either apply for teaching jobs on freelancing teaching websites while working from home or create your own course through Teachable.com.
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A transcriber is someone that converts audio recordings into text files. To become a transcriptionist, you need to have a good command of the English language (or any other language you wish to transcribe in), be a keen listener and fast typist.
As a transcriber, you can explore different avenues. You can choose to become a legal or medical transcriber. These usually pay better than the average transcribing jobs.
You’d be surprised at the amount of data entry jobs in the market right now. People need virtual assistants to help manage their data. If you have worked as an assistant in the past, getting a data entry job might be easier. A good typing speed and a reliable internet connection are also very important.
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are a lot of scams online related to data entry. Look for reliable companies. Or if you are planning to work with small businesses, connect directly with the owner or relevant party.
Web Designer/ Developer
Every business nowadays wants to have an online presence. But very few have the skills and experience to launch a website successfully. That’s why they hire developers and designers to create their presence online.
If you are confident you can set up websites while working from home, then start approaching small businesses in your area that don’t already have a website. Or even those that have a website but can do with an uplift of their existing ones. Approach them with a plan. Explain to them how having a good website will help with their business. Show them your previous work.
Graphic Designers are also in great demand. People want information to be visually displayed. An infographic gets more attention than a plain text document. And that’s where designers come in.
Graphic designers can help with branding, logo design, web design, and more.
Having a degree in design is a major plus. Also, you would have to invest in design software like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator. Canva is another option if you want to start without investing in professional design software.
Apart from these, there are also many other opportunities available when working from home. Think of your experience and your passion. Based on that, figure out your work from a home income source. How can you offer these services while working from home? Which services are a good fit for something you will enjoy doing, can make you money, and also are services businesses are looking for support with.