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Getting Started as a Freelance Worker

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 1 Jan 2013 | comments*Discuss
Getting Started As A Freelance Worker

Getting started as a freelance worker requires a lot of investigating. You’ll want to discover as much as you can about your line of work before you take the decision to start working freelance. As you look around and get started towards a career in freelance work, remember to investigate your own work habits, potential client pools, advertising opportunities, market rates and common contracts in your field.

Investigate Your Work Habits

Though a lot of people dream of working freelance the reality is not always what they expect. If you have not tried working on your own or telecommuting, see if you can change your current work schedule to try out such working arrangements. If this is not possible then consider taking a long holiday or a temporary leave so you can begin to explore how well you work on your own over a longer period of time. Truly analyse your own work habits and your own needs when it comes to getting motivated, staying focused and meeting deadlines. If you realise that you have trouble with these skills then you’ll want to find a solution to this problem before committing yourself to a full time freelance career.

Investigate Potential Client Pools

When you’re sure that your work habits are conducive to freelance work, investigate whether or not there is a client pool that will sustain your business. Investigate local, regional, national and international markets. Find out if there is a particular niche that is just right for your skill set. Decide if you will need to expand your skills or offer complementary services to make an impact on the market. When you are getting started as a freelance worker you’ll want to be as sure as possible that there are potential client pools to help fund your business and make it flourish.

Investigate Advertising Opportunities

To reach your potential clients you’ll need to advertise, so investigating advertising opportunities is another task you’ll want to perform when you are getting started as a freelance worker. Find out what advertising techniques work best in your area, and what techniques work best in the areas you’ll be targeting. Look into common techniques used in your industry and then match them with opportunities for your own ads. This may require networking with other professionals in your field, so don’t be afraid to branch out and get to know other freelance workers.

Investigate Market Rates

When you are getting started as a freelance worker it can be hard to figure out what is a going market rate for your kind of work. In some areas, such as freelance writing, markets rate vary wildly. In some there are rates suggested by unions but these may or may not be what clients actually pay. Again, to truly answer your questions you may need to speak with other freelancers in your field so don’t hesitate to get in touch with them.

Investigate Common Contracts

A contract helps to protect both a freelance worker and his or her client, but there are many different types of contracts for different types of work. As a freelancer does more work (s)he’ll become more familiar with the most common contract types, but when you first start out they can all be a little confusing. Again, speaking with seasoned freelancers, reading up on the subject or having a solicitor check them over are usually good ideas.

Getting started as a freelance worker requires a lot of research to make sure that you are as familiar with your field as possible. Investigating your own work habits, potential client pools, advertising opportunities, market rates and common contracts are all good ways to familiarise yourself with your freelance field.

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