What is a Free-lancer and What do they...

What is a Free-lancer and What do they do?

by Laura Sciarpelletti
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Having a full-time steady job in the arts is becoming harder and harder to achieve, prompting many people to become their own bosses and enter the world of freelancing. A freelancer is self-employed and typically has a list of various employers. Sometimes they can be represented by a company or agent, but for the most part represent themselves. While freelancing can be accomplished in many fields, the prominent professions typically include artistic ones. As a freelancer, you are responsible for acquiring enough jobs to support yourself, organizing various deadlines for work commissioned and sorting out your taxes each year. Typically nearly half of those who work as freelancers do writing work, but we will cover a few more. Keep in mind that if you are entering a freelance portion of your career it is important to have business cards, a website or specialized Facebook page, and a constantly updated LinkedIn account.

Writers, photographers and graphic designers work much in the same way in the world of freelance. A freelance writer and photographer often has repeat clients like magazines, newspapers and businesses that require artistic content. The more diverse a writer’s style is, the more likely they are to find a lot of paid work. The same goes for photographers. For all freelance professionals looking to see their work online or in print, some publications pay and some do not. Once you have worked up enough of a portfolio there is no need to ever take on unpaid work. Get in the habit of constantly scouring the Internet for freelance gigs. The more you search the luckier you will be. After that, it is up to the reputation you build.  Graphic designing lends itself well to freelancing as it is solitary and can be done from home with the right kind of software. In such a digital day and age, websites and online publications have a large push to look beautiful and professional. The opportunities are out there.

Being a freelance English teacher is a great job for those who love to travel. Freelance English teachers are in high demand right now in almost any country in the world. Parents who hire them want them to have teaching credentials and a foreign teaching certification like a CELTA. You must be a native English speaker, carry a work permit and report income religiously. Make sure to research the laws and customs in the country you are teaching in. Typically, the more clients you get the more your reputation grows and the more you can charge in the future. One of the higher paying freelance opportunities out there is for interpreters and translators. Most interpreters and translators are independent contractors, so freelancing comes naturally to the profession. You must be certified in your language, and the career lends itself best to businesses that deal with foreign affairs and politics. Other common careers that include freelancing options include musician, yoga instructor and bookkeeper. Your success will depend on how you sell yourself and your skills to the client (work on your pitches and public speaking skills), the reputation you construct for yourself, and the previous body of work that you have slaved over to achieve.

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