It’s believed that over 26% of UK businesses now rely on freelancers. And that number is growing.
The UK freelancing economy is booming. Indeed, experts believe that ‘gigging’ workers will fuel UK business once we leave the European Union. And it’s not hard to see why.
Working remotely – whether it be from home or the local coffee shop – is increasingly becoming the norm, as is the slow demise of the regular 9-5 Monday-Friday working routine. People are now choosing to work when they feel most inspired, in locations that enable them to maintain a great work-life balance and by using tools that enable collaboration no matter where the rest of the team is situated.
If you’re considering entering the world of freelancing, it’s worth bearing in mind that it’s still a challenging thing to get into. It takes guts, determination and an awful lot of self discipline. But the good news is anyone is capable of become a freelancer.
In today’s blog, we’re going to look at some of the most popular ways to make money online with freelancing gigs that businesses are crying out for.
The advantages of working freelance
There’s no denying that working for yourself entirely under your own terms has a signifiant allure about it, and these are what we believe to be the top five advantages of becoming a freelancer:
You dictate your hours as a freelancer. You no longer have to obey a regular working pattern, and that’s great news if you find that early mornings simply aren’t your thing or if working late at night is when you’re at your most creative.
Work wherever you like
The kitchen, home office, garden or your local coffee shop – you can literally (within reason) work anywhere as a freelancer. This has the added benefit of providing you with regular changes of scenery – a vital tool if you want to increase your productivity.
Ok, there is still a boss – but it’s you! If you’re fed up with having to answer to someone or bow to the needs of a company who’s ethos you don’t agree with, freelancing will enable you to make your own rules (just make sure you’re able to discipline yourself when needed!).
Ultimate client control
There’s nothing worse than being forced to work with clients you simply don’t like or who cause more trouble than they’re worth. As a freelancer, you get to choose who you work with and for, and if you spot a client who’s not exactly profitable for you, the power exists to cut the cord and move on.
The disadvantages of working freelance
Freelancing isn’t for everyone, despite how popular it has become in recent years. Equally, if you’re heading into this world, you need to be aware of the following disadvantages:
An unreliable workload
When you first start out, it’ll be tough to maintain a reliable flow of work (something you generally get in a ‘normal’ job). This will likely continue, as well, therefore you need to get use to fallow periods where you’ll need to be proactive and hunt for work.
You’ll have to do everything
Unless you reach the stage of being able to employ external help, you’ll have to do everything as a freelancer – sales, marketing and even accounts. And some of that stuff is incredibly dull.
You’ll have to chase payments
Not all clients pay on time, and without your own credit control department to look after overdue invoices, you’ll need to do the chasing yourself.
If you work from home, you’ll have plenty of distractions to contend with every day. Are you able to keep your eyes off the TV?
Now we’ve covered the pros and cons of freelancing, here’s some of the most realistic ways to make money online in 2018 and beyond.
The web is driven by content and we now live in a world that craves it in all manner of forms.
If you’re a great writer, love producing video or are a dab hand at audio production, your skills could be utilised as a freelancer.
You’ll need pretty well developed skills in your chosen area, but with those in hand, you’ll quickly find that businesses (and marketing agencies) will want to borrow them. YouTube video, blogging and podcasting are just some of the examples of how content creators can make money online.
Social media influencers
The rise of the social media influencer has been meteoric, but that doesn’t mean it’s too late to jump onboard.
It’s one of the easier gigs to get into, but it’s still very competitive – particularly when you first start out.
Begin by approaching local businesses to see if you can use your social media and YouTube channels to promote their products and services. You’ll have to accept that the money won’t arrive initially, but you’ll soon make a name for yourself and begin expanding your audience if you’re proactive about it.
Most social media influencers are also content creators, therefore it’s important you have those skills before touting your abilities.
The need for amazing web designers and developers is as great as it has ever been. In fact, the world simply can’t get enough of them.
Providing you have skills in coding and design and you’re happy working with some of the most popular web build platforms out there, you’ll find work. Just be prepared to do a few free gigs initially to build up a bit of a portfolio.
You can’t sell products without marketing them first, and in the digital economy, businesses often need external help.
This is mainly due to the sheer number of channels and platforms on which products and services can be advertised. So, if you’re a dab hand at social media marketing, content marketing and have a solid understanding of SEO and PPC, get yourself out there – your skills are needed.
We’ll say it again – anyone can become a freelancer. What’s more, the four examples we’ve noted above can also be undertaken by anyone – you just need to learn the right skills and invest time in developing your abilities.