All About Freelancing and How to Start a Career Online

The online world was going as usual but then a virus arrived. It has not only turned the physical world upside down but has also brought the online world in everyone’s eyes. Freelancing, online gig jobs, social media influencing are no more things that only the tech elite talk about. More and more people are exploring the online world today, not just for entertainment but also for building a career and earning money. 

Working from home in front of a screen has become the new normal. A lot of people have also been laid off from their jobs and are looking for new income sources. Others want to boost their existing income. Several people have shifted their businesses online because of social distancing norms and changing customer behaviour. 

There are a lot of people who are still unsure about how to grow an online presence and encash it. In this article, we will talk about the subtle aspects of going online. We will also help you understand how to look at the bigger picture and not get distracted by instant gratifications and failures. 

Upcoming Topics:

  • Different Approaches to going online
  • Ancillary freelance and Core freelance
  • Soft Skills and Websites for Freelancers
  • Freelancing vs Gig Worker
  • Do you need to Market your work as a Freelancer?
  • Some tips in ITM Suggests

Shifting, Starting, and Offering:

There can be three reasons as to why you want to develop a strong online presence. First is Shifting. It means that you have an already existing business or skill sets and want to extend it to online customers. For example, you have a boutique and you want to also start an online business.

Second is Starting. It means you want to start a venture that is present only online – like a blog, a youtube channel, or a website. 

Thirdly, you might have specific skills, and you want to offer them digitally/physically for a fee to your clients. 

Shifting: It might be possible that you do not have skills in digital marketing, content development, etc but you are an expert in some other field. It can be anything ranging from having great cooking skills or having knowledge of fashion designing. You can start an online consultancy in that case. For example, you can create a micro-blog or take classes on skype and impart culinary knowledge by charging a fee. You can also teach various subjects online. This has to be done in addition to your offline presence. In the long run, your online presence will also help you in attaining success in the offline domain. 

Starting: You are someone who loves writing about stuff or designing graphics and logos, but only see it as a hobby. You have a primary job, or you are still in college. This is the ideal description for people who can start a new online platform to grow and possibly monetize their skills. Skills that are in high demand in the virtual world like SEO, digital marketing, and web development will help you immensely in organically developing a platform. In this approach, you have to focus on growth, not profit margin as it might take some before you finally start earning.

Offering: In this, you use your digital skills and offer services as a freelancer. You can take up small projects to earn a side income or even work fulltime on different projects. Here are some of the fields in which you can become a digital freelancer and earn from home.

Ancillary and Core Freelance: 

When you shift or start an online venture, you are the person in charge. This is a core freelance. That is when you gradually grow an online presence and then earn profit rather than working on multiple projects for others.

Ancillary freelancers are people who either work for core freelancers or corporations. For example, a person might start an online tutoring service as a core freelancer but they will need to hire an ancillary freelancer to set up their app and website. 

Skills and Websites For Freelancers:

While it is essential to have some core skills that you will teach or use to work for your clients, there are certain soft skills that can help you become a more successful freelancer. Skills like time management, effective written and verbal communication and even bidding for projects can become unique weapons of your arsenal.

In addition to soft skills, there are certain websites that will help you start in the right direction. We have written a comprehensive post that covers all the details you will need about enhancing your soft skills and finding the best freelancing platforms. Soft skills and websites to boost your freelancing career.

For women returners, there are various options and job platforms available specially curated for their need. You can look into the list of job options as freelancers and ways to reskill on tech/non-tech skills here.

Are Freelancers Same as Gig Workers?

Another confusion that you are bound to come across as you proceed in your independent work journey is about the difference between a Freelancer and a Gig Worker. Don’t worry. We have already answered that for you in a different post. Be sure to read it before you can confidently stride forward in your independent career. Also, if you like the concept of gig work then we have a post about the best ways in which you can earn as a gig worker. If you do not have a laptop/desktop, there are ways to earn money using a smartphone also.

Do you need to Market your work as a Freelancer?

Once you embark on a journey to become a freelancer, it is important to create your personal brand. Although personal branding is relevant for everyone, it holds significant value for freelancers. Read what are the seven steps to create your personal brand, increase your market value.

I lost a job once and got freelancing project from IIM Bangalore, one of the Top B-School of India, within ten days in the same profile. This is the POWER of consistent personal branding and Digital Marketing. So, boost your confidence, acquire skills and motivate yourself, because freelancers are what organizations will hire in future. The trend has already started to shift, be a part of the change!

ITM Suggests

Tip 1 – Don’t Hesitate to Seeking Help: Starting online can be a bit daunting. There are several things to be taken care of. Hence, it is best to decentralize your work and seek help from experts. Believe us, experts may charge a fee, but their help often saves a lot of time, resources, and disappointment.

Tip 2 – Only Start What You are Passionate About: You will be able to sustain only when you believe in the work you do. Otherwise, there is a good chance that you will give up after a few months of hard work. 

Tip 3 – Create a Family: Do not focus excessively on numbers when you are starting. Try to offer value to your existing user base. This is what will set you apart in the long term.

Tip 4 – See yourself as an Entrepreneur, not creator: Don’t see yourself just as a writer or a designer. Have a vision in mind where you can expand and grow. 

Tip 5 – Take Breaks: While motivation and hard work pay off, it can cause a burn out too. Always ‘work mode on’ mentality can be detrimental for your physical, emotional, and mental well being in the long run. Why ‘Always On’ mentality is bad for freelancers. Read our article that talks about the negative impacts of overworking and stay healthy.

Nitika Garg
Entrepreneur | Senior Content Writer | Technical Writer | Startup Writer She is a software engineer by education and content writer by passion. She has 8+ years of overall experience in the industry. She has written 300+ articles in different domains. She has graduated from “Iron Lady Corporate Leadership Program for Women Leaders” which is recognized by TISS, Mumbai.