What is Freelance Work? How to Break into the Freelancer Industry

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 what is freelance work

What is freelance work? A definition, in a nutshell, would be any work you do in which you are paid either by the job, by the hour, or by deliverables, while not being contracted on a long-term basis. This modality of work has many benefits and freedoms that a steady job doesn't have. It also has definite cons, but they aren't the end of the world if you are responsible and honest with yourself and the world at large.

What is Freelance Work as Opposed to Employee?

  1. You get the security of knowing that you're employed,
    and you get compensated if your employer decides to fire you.
  2. You get additional perks that your employer gives you, like health
    coverage and seamless investing schemes tied to your pay.
  3. You need not worry about taxes.
  4. You get paid vacations and paid leave days.
  1. You must save money for tough patches when due to an unfortunate
    misalignment of the stars, you aren't getting your usual quantity of
    monthly gigs.
  2. You have to do your homework and pick yourself (and pay for) a health
    plan. You also need.
  3. You need to file your taxes yourself or pay to an accountant
    to do it for you.
  4. You don't get paid vacations, and the days you don't work,
    are days you are not generating income or value for yourself.


The fastest and easiest way, to me, would be investing money in the right channels for promotion. The budget to allocate is an item of the investment business plan.  All of the plan's parts must be scalable. This can't be generalized in a few words. I guess there must be as many possible parts to an investment business plan as there are businesses and resources to power them. Let's see three examples. Two promotion-based, and another that is all about social proof.

When it comes to money-based marketing strategies, I haven't invested actual money in positioning myself in front of more of my potential customers.

I personally think the three most important investments for a freelancer, especially to the kind of copywriter I want to be, are ads, certs and public relations.

Invest in Advertising (promotion)

This has a requirement, you must create and flesh out a product or service, otherwise, what are you going to advertise? Just getting an advertisement out there with an enticing headline and a luring copy is not enough. If don't bring anything new and extremely beneficial to the table, your potential customers are going to see through it.

Once you have a product or service, and advertisements, which by the way preferably are two that are different, you launch campaigns in the channels you chose to use for advertising. This is easier said than done and you need some preparation on how to do all the advertising processes, like:

  1. Deciding on a channel based on traffic, user engagements, or any other metric that you decide
  2. Researching how the adverts work in the platforms you picked
  3. Deciding how long your campaign is going to last and what formats are the advertisements going to have
  4. Creating a scalable advertising plan based on your budget and time length of the campaign
  5. Ad creation. Writing the two ads, one control, and one variation. Sourcing additional media. Composing the ads by mixing copy, typography, and graphics
  6. Going to the advertisement markets, doing things like bidding for keywords, purchasing ads, etc


Invest in Work Platform Certifications

If you are interested in getting clients by means of work platforms where you have an account through which clients hire you. The said platform may have features to boost your credibility. Like for instance, language exams, or similar certifications, then you can invest in this and it may work for you.

A word of caution. Research the platform that you intend to use to invest in your freelancing gig every day for at least a fortnight. You may never know what are you getting into. The odds for newcomers to make a living on some platforms is so unbalanced in favor of whales, that even if you boost your credibility in the platform, that may not grant you gigs. 

All of these require money, and some don't come cheap, like PR.

Now, the list of time investments a freelancer can create is a long one and not the purpose of this article.  

Invest in Public Relations

Now, this might be the most impressive social proof, but it isn't magic. If you have the money you can have journalists talking and praising you, your products, and your service. These services come at a price and I wouldn't recommend them unless you have a lot of money to burn. 

Takeaway: Start with Time Investments

If you don't have at least a crude idea of how to invest the money we have a problem. Your freelance business must be scalable, and you need to invest not just time and actual work in it, but also some money to make it happen.

Even if I didn't like the tone of this article too much, it's a good one to start learning the basics of investing:

How Freelancers Can Get Ahead With an Investment Strategy

It cost me a lot to find it. Usually, I don't use just Google to find good content, but when I searched for two broad keywords I got a lot of quality content (in fact, eleven pages), but it was unrelated.

If you still need to learn investing skills, or if you don't have a budget yet to dedicate to promotion, then you can add value to your freelance business by investing time in it.


 © Martin Wensley, 2019-2021 — What is Freelance Work? How to Break into the Freelancer Industry

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