How to Start a Successful Career as a Freelancer

A freelancer is an individual who earns money on a per-job basis, usually for short-term work as an independent contractor. Freelancers may also be referred to as gig workers.

Freelance work often involves working for multiple clients at the same time or in succession. Freelancers tend to work on a project-by-project basis and are paid a predetermined fee based on the time, skill, and effort required to complete the task. This may be a flat fee, a per-hour fee, a per-day fee, a per-project fee, or similar measure.

While freedom and flexibility are appealing to anyone aspiring to become a freelancer, it should be noted that this type of work can bring hardships. Many times the joy of a flexible schedule can easily turn into a burden as projects stop rolling in – or too many come at once. Also, freelancers don’t usually receive any benefits, such as health insurance or retirement plans, from the companies for which they perform work.

Freelancing is like running your own business, which means you will be required to do less-than-desirable administrative tasks. Freelancers are categorized as self-employed workers by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are responsible for paying their own taxes, including the self-employment tax in addition to income tax.

If you aren’t put off by the challenges, freelancing is a great option for young people. Freelancers typically work in the creative, skilled, or service sectors. Popular freelance jobs include: photographer, copywriter, graphic designer, web developer, video editor, social media manager, translator, writer, mobile app developer, and virtual assistant.

The best freelancers have plenty of business savvy while being able to think outside the box. If you want to be a freelancer, you will need to get experience, build your portfolio, and price yourself wisely. In order to maximize your time and talent, this infographic outlines a few ways to get started on a successful career as a freelancer.


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