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Things I learned in my Twenties

Everything you Need to Know About Freelancing in 2020

The freelancing market is now moving at a much faster pace. Companies are now reaching out to freelancers more than ever. 

  • 62% of managers said that they preferred to work with freelancers because the job is done faster. 
  • There’s also a lower cost by 53% 
  • 49% said they were given access to skills not available in their circle. 

*According to a research done by Forbes magazine

Here’s why companies might prefer to hire freelancers rather than full-timers: 

  • Space saver
  • Job is done faster (some might argue, even better?) 
  • Lower rate
  • More flexibility 
  • Specific highly-skilled talent for each project

“Freelancers are likely to find themselves in more demand in the future, with 47% of hiring managers more likely to hire independent professionals since the COVID-19 crisis than they were in the future, according to new research by the giant freelance platform Upwork.”

Forbes magazine

Here’s why young creatives prefer to freelance rather than get a full-time job: 

  • Flexible hours
  • You can work anywhere
  • Freedom to choose the projects/clients to work with
  • Overtime is always paid
  • You’re always being challenged: each project is unique

Most common freelancing positions: 

  • Creative content writing 
  • Graphic design 
  • Web / software development 

Freelancing can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Make sure your agreement is comprehensive – that includes:

  • Your compensation amount when you’ll be rewarded for your work and how they’ll pay you.
  • Your job description and deadlines
  • What would happen if either parties  did not meet their requirements 
  • How many revisions are given 
  • Ownership rights 
  • Confidentiality
  • Hours of availability and contact

*Anything else you feel is necessary to add, make sure you have it in the contract. 

Platforms that protect your rights as a freelancer:

Platforms like Passioneurs.com, Al7arefa.com and Nabbesh.com provide legal services and insure your rights as a freelancer in the Middle East. They make sure that each individual gets the 20% before starting the job, they enforce a cancellation fee process to make sure they pay you even if the client cancels halfway through and they also insure your copyrights and that your work belongs to you even after you submit it to the client. There are also international platforms like Freelancers.com or UpWork.com are known globally for their high quality and low risk services between clients and freelancers.

What to keep in mind when hiring a freelancer: 

  • Set reasonable deadlines
  • Provide clear guidelines from the beginning: Communication is vital!
  • Use the milestone payment system
  • Make sure they’re proactive, motivated and enthusiastic about the job 
  • While this isn’t always an issue, make sure they’re within a compatible timezone so you can have a few meetings here and there if you need to. 

Let’s talk about insurance and stability

Are companies hiring freelancers to escape the responsibility of insurance and liability? Can you have corporate insurance even though you’re an independent worker?

While a company may hire a freelancer to have ‘no strings attached’ with the person offering the service, the freelancer, like any other occupation, needs to feel safe and be insured. In the U.S, there are organisations like Freelancers Union, that offers insurance for all freelancers. In Saudi, an alternative would be to apply for an individual insurance in any insurance company.

Don’t be fooled!

More often, clients treat freelancers as employees but don’t reward them enough. They sometimes do that to run away from responsibility and liability.

If they do the following, they’re treating you as an employee not a freelancer:

  • Pay you hourly instead of project based
  • Getting into details of how / when you do your work
  • They ask you to do favours for them instead of rewarding you per project (no matter how small)

How do you find clients as a freelancer?

There are many ways in which you can land clients, but first it’s important to keep a few points in mind:

  1. Work on building a portfolio
  2. Build an online presence (blog)
  3. Keep your LinkedIn and other social media platforms up to date.
  4. Start networking and selling yourself
  5. Collaborate with other people in your field

You can land projects through the following:

  1. Word of mouth
  2. Cold-pitching
  3. Making an account on the above freelancing platforms

Things you need to keep in mind to build a good reputation as a freelancer:

There are many many freelancers nowadays, to stay afloat you need to constantly work on yourself and your skills. You need to stand out in your niche.

  • Have a clear set up of your work and the services you provide
  • Promise less, deliver more
  • Have great communication skills – be friendly yet professional
  • Always improve your set of skills and challenge yourself
  • Read and follow other freelancers in your region to explore different and new ways to get the job done
  • Ask your client for feedback

By Elaf Trabulsi

Engineer & freelance writer

One reply on “Everything you Need to Know About Freelancing in 2020”

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