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Will Freelancing Become the New Normal?
A Testimony by a Freelancer
Across the U.S. tech industry huge changes in innovation will continue to be a primary driver of the economy. The tech industry is always focused on being on the leading edge of innovation and change. Organizations that innovate the most will gain the most market share, create new product markets, and make better use of their resources. It is estimated that by 2027, more than half the U.S. population will become freelancers which will change the labor force as we know it. Within the technology market are many industries, many of which are growing at an incredibly rapid speed and require this type of worker to thrive.
If you have technical skills, you don’t need an expensive college degree to make a lot of money. With your IT talents or writing abilities, you can earn a six-figure pay whether you can code, assist with websites, test software, or write a great article. Experience and references are ideal as your reputation will drive your work appeal. Even if you don’t have the required skills now, if you’re eager to study technology or some other remote skill you can become successful. Depending on employment choices, tech or content writing could provide a comfortable option.
Freelancing Economy Roles
- Blockchain and cryptocurrency programming
- Augmented reality developers
- VR Testers
- Graphic design
- Software development
- Marketing in Ux design
- Copywriting for websites
- Website design & development
- Voice recognition tech
- And many more!
The freelancer market is exploding as firms seek out independent tech specialists to cover talent needs. Due to national labor shortages organizations are struggling to locate full-time employees in a highly competitive job market. They are hiring freelancers for jobs such as web programming, web design, and social media marketing. Some companies are even downsizing their personnel and hiring freelancers to access on-demand talent to fill the gaps.
Currently, some of the highest-paying freelance careers are in SEO consulting, ad management, direct response copywriting, software development, and sales or lead generation. One of the advantages of freelance jobs is that you can work from home and still earn a great salary. Annual earnings can range from $50k to $175k. The U.S. is ranked to have the largest freelance growth rate in the market at a growth rate of 78% yearly. Nearly half of those freelancers work in the computer programming, marketing, and IT industries.
Working as a content developer allows you to work anywhere at any time. Content creators are in high demand, particularly in business and marketing. If chosen, you can become very successful. Your writing skills, vocabulary, and language skills will grow over time. Beginners or students in tech careers can get their start by becoming a content developer. I got my start by writing website articles for small businesses. From there, I taught myself WordPress development using YouTube tutorials and forums and began creating websites for friends and family. The skills I gained not only attributed to my success as a freelancer, but it also helped establish a digital footprint for some small startup sites and businesses.
Where to Find Freelancing Opportunities
Start your freelancer job search by reaching out to friends, family, and network with the community by attending local events. If you are a website designer, it is a good idea to create a website showcasing your best work. Market your skills on freelancer marketplace websites like Fiverr or Upwork. You can also leave ads on job boards or social media sites to spread the word of your available services.
Upwork features freelance tech jobs. They could be in website design, VR/AR development, copywriting, graphic design, and more. They offer roles that are hourly, flat-rate, and ongoing work. The great thing about working with Upwork is that billing and payments are handled directly on your dashboard, making it easy to get payment. To get started, create a free account, complete your profile, upload a resume, and don’t forget to include a few samples of your best work. Once you apply for a job, it can be tracked on the dashboard. Starting off is easy, but there is a lot of competition. It is important to make a good first impression with a detailed cover letter.
With my first Upwork job, I was hired to optimize a small business’s website. Submitting a well thought out cover letter was key to landing that first Upwork gig. Cost will be that they will take a 20% portion of your earnings, up to $500, and 10% for projects earnings from $500-$10,000. Upwork awards you a certain number of tokens monthly which you can use to apply to gigs. You can earn more tokens by replying to client messages promptly. One of the downsides to this platform is that it requires you to do the footwork to find your clients. However, with Upwork’s proposal tool it is very easy to create proposals.
Fiverr is an excellent place for newcomers to start building a body of work. Signing up is easy and freelancers can rapidly create a profile and add work to their portfolio to attract potential clients. You can list your jobs, or the services you provide, along with a range of prices for each. Fiverr also allows you to create service bundles which combine your unique skills for a greater price, boosting your revenue potential.
Like Upwork, Fiverr handles all payments but takes a 20% portion of each sale which can get pricey after a while but is not a bad idea for those who are looking to get their feet wet. You can sign up for a free Fiverr seller account, fill out your profile, upload a resume, and then some samples of your work to get started. To learn more about selling on Fiverr browse some of the resources at the Fiverr Help and Education Center. One thing to note about Fiverr is you can only fill five jobs at a time.
Craigslist is more than just a marketplace for cars and collectibles, it also has a huge job board where you can search for remote tech jobs. The results found on Craigslist tend to be very local, so if you are interested in working with local businesses, this might be a good option for you. The best thing about Craigslist is the ability to search and apply to jobs for free. Craigslist, however, does not have a vetting service for their job postings, so it is important to do your research before agreeing to a job to avoid getting trapped in a possible scam.
Flex Jobs is known for remote work job boards, but also has a filter to search for freelance work. What sets Flex Jobs apart from other freelance tech job platforms is that they only list highly scrutinized jobs, eliminating the potential of scams. One down side for beginner freelancers is that Flex Jobs charges a monthly fee of $14.95 in order to access jobs. All payment details are negotiated directly with the client. If you are an experienced IT freelancer, you can register for a free account at Flex Jobs and start browsing jobs immediately.
The Future of Working for Yourself
The U.S. tech industry market is currently worth almost $2 trillion. As the need for tech freelancers continues to grow the demand for skilled freelancers will continue to see growth that could be a revolutionary change in the way the we hire workers. As freelancing becomes more lucrative and people become more comfortable with the idea of working for themselves it could a welcome change to work/life balance. The added flexibility could allow us to enjoy more at home life.