Anyone who wants to get into online freelancing to make an extra income has probably thought about this (the amount of work it takes to make it as a freelancer). Many just first exploring the many opportunities freelancing might afford them, wonder how hard one has to work to make decent money online.
So, what factors determine how hard a freelancer has to work to make good money online?
Freelancers who are more skilled than those just starting out will usually not work that much to get clients (to get work done).
But to get there, to a level where they can work less and earn more, they have probably spent a lot of time educating themselves, pitching clients, building an excellent portfolio and working with lots of freelance clients on a variety of projects.
So, while you might envy them as a beginner, when you are first starting out and spending several hours online on your computer, laptop or smartphone, just do remember that it is their experience that affords them the ability to work less (and earn more).
You are going to spend a lot of your time getting really good at delivering excellent service – before you become like them. There are no shortcuts.
So, love the work, spend your time building your skill – and then get good at marketing that skill. Put in the hours now, and later on you will find yourself in a position where you can scale back on the amount of work you take in while still maintaining your income levels (or even making more).
So, your laptop and internet connection. If you have access to fast internet, you will probably spend less time in front of your computer compared to your counterparts with slow internet speeds.
If your computer is slow, you are also going to strain a lot, work harder, to accomplish work assigned to you by clients who hire you. I know it is not fun sitting in front of slow things. But sometimes you have to because that is all you can afford.
The goal here, if you want to work less, work more efficiently, is to save money, and upgrade your equipment. To find an internet service provider with not just cheap data bundles, but bundles with reasonable speeds.
I know the difference a pricier but more reliable and faster internet connection can make to the life of a freelancer.
So, work hard to make more money to upgrade your equipment.
First, you will have to work really hard to earn an income before you can get to a position where you spend less time finishing freelance jobs you are contracted to do by clients.
If you are disorganized, you are going to work real real hard for miniscule returns.
So, learn how to infuse your processes with a little more efficiency. All the tricks, tips and strategies you may need to get the most out of your time already exist online.
Just type time management or how to be more productive on any search engine – to take advantage of the millions of resources available in the form of articles, videos, online courses, coaching, books, ebooks, tools and podcasts.
Get as much off you plate as you can.
Work less by creating to-do lists with a reasonable number of items on them.
Look at some of the things you do repeatedly and search for tools that can help you automate some of the processes (apps, software, SaaS services, web browser extensions and add-ons, templates etc.)
For example family. This is can be a reason why one freelancer decides to give this thing their best shot.
And it can also be the thing that makes another freelancer approach freelancing with a lukewarm attitude – especially if they lead busy lives taking care of their family and don’t really see where they can find extra time to snag gigs online.
So, how do you see your relationship with your family now? Is it giving you the motivation you need to make a successful career or business freelancing? Or is it, according to you, making you want to just throw only a couple minutes here and there educating yourself and trying to find work online?
Remember, that it is easy to flip your perspective if you have been holding back. Find ways to start drawing motivation and inspiration from your family to help you get started. Stop seeing your family as a hindrance to achieving your freelancing goals.
Build a robust portfolio and get steady work in.
Later down the road, you can scale things down while still making a decent income month to month.
Stages / things that often take most freelancers time
The reason I am adding this in the article is so you can prepare and better allocate your time in any of the areas listed below – to have the biggest impact and return for the time you invest in various activities you think will propel you further as a freelancer.
Education and practicing your skill: So, the actual studying (reading books, taking online courses, listening to podcasts or watching videos) and implementation of the things you learn.
Market research: Finding if there are people out there interested in what you want to offer as a freelancer. The first signs are usually other freelancers already offering a service similar to the one you have in mind. Hop onto Google to check individual freelancer websites and blogs,. Check various marketplaces and also do browse the ads listed on Entity.co.ke.
Preparing to launch your service and getting your first client: Finalizing the steps you need to implement to go from no client (no freelance income) to the first and more clients (getting paid). So, just a way to prove to the world that whatever you are offering is worth paying for. Make sure you create a portfolio showcasing good work you have done for yourself or others.
Doing the work the first time you are hired: So delivering to the client’s expectations. Things to watch out for here usually are keeping to the set deadlines and generally just being professional.
Getting more clients / repeat work: Marketing your skills to more clients. Jumping to different freelance marketplaces. Asking for referrals from existing clients. Using word of mouth and other marketing strategies to get more people to take you up on your offer.
So, that is all you need to know.
All good things take work.
How much you work will mostly depend on your planning, how efficient your processes are…and sometimes it is just a matter of experience.
So, organize your life in a way that each day can afford you more time to educate yourself and get better at freelancing.