Developing Goals Towards Building Your Freelance Income

So you want to Freelance?

It’s estimated that by the year 2030, over 50% of the United States population will be engaging in some form of remote or freelance work for their primary source of income.

Working from home, freelancing or launching a business via a web interface once was thought of as something that was a fictitious dream to many.  Over the last decade, we’ve seen the number of freelancers, remote workers and virtual businesses grow exponentially. The ability to work in a flexible environment has allowed organizations and individuals cut back on costs associated with working in general or running a business.  For those who were not early adopters to the knowledge work market, there still may be a few missing details for getting started with work in web 2.0. 

More than ever, more companies are going virtual, and it’s no secret that this has become one of the most efficient and fortuitous ways to grow a workforce, company or supplement income.  

Begin Reviewing Potential Education Gaps

If you are new to the freelance market, it’s important to be able to dive in by first understanding your strengths and weaknesses as a professional, what field are you in? OR, what field would you like to go into? There are many free ways to dive into information regarding your specialty including browsing YouTube or Vimeo. But for more structured sources, free courses exist on education platforms known as MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platforms. Thousands of courses are offered from top and local university professors teaching within their domain. Whether you’d like to learn statistics for analyst roles, acquire web development skills or sharpen your business administration knowledge these courses have you covered. 

A few popular MOOC platforms include Coursera, edX, Udemy and Saylor.  My two favorite MOOC platforms are:

  • Coursera works with universities and other organizations to make some of their courses available online, offering courses in subjects, such as: physics, engineering, humanities, medicine, biology, social sciences, mathematics, business, computer science, digital marketing, data science, and other subjects. 
  • Udemy is a platform or marketplace for online learning. Unlike academic MOOC programs driven by traditional collegiate coursework, Udemy provides a platform for experts of any kind to create courses which can be offered to the public, either at no charge or for a small fee. Udemy provides tools which enable users to create a course, promote it and even earn money from students.

Familiarize Yourself with Freelance Income Sources

Hundreds of platforms exist for freelancers to find flexible work.  My top websites for finding remote and flexible work include: 

  • Angel.Co: Angel is known for an environment were startups find seed funding as well as develop a lean remote workforce. You can source short-term or long-term contracts with different startup companies. Their candidate profiles are well-structured allowing  you to network and show your capabilities to the world with easy access to remote job boards within the job board search function. 
  • Upwork.com: One of the largest freelance platforms in existence matching people to remote job opportunities for over a decade. The marketplace may seem saturated at first glance, make certain to browse profiles before signing up to see if you can differentiate your skills and offerings from existing talent on their platform. 
  • Glassdoor.com: Glassdoor consists of larger organizations soliciting jobs from freelancers/contractors and employees. In order to find the remote jobs, in the location bar, type in remote (work from home US) in order to populate these opportunities. Be sure to sign up for a free account and develop a resume profile for the easy apply function.  

Your first step to working within the knowledge economy should begin with education. Once you understand your niche and your education gaps, begin developing a plan.  There are many other ways to develop yourself as a freelance knowledge worker including inbound marketing, and soliciting your social network, but we recommend taking small steps and build your momentum once you have finished brainstorming.  

Develop a Plan of Attack 

Going in without a plan to transition to a remote or flexible schedule work life may leave you frustrated, feeling like the process itself is impossible. Freelancing is about capitalizing on your strengths, always having the ability to learn and grow, and never giving up.  Remember, you don’t have the lead funnels built for your personal business ventures like a company would have in place as a safety net. It’s important to understand your market and prepare by brainstorming before deciding your next step. Think about the types of metrics, potential roadblocks and customer personas that would fit the type of work you are after.  FitSmallBusiness has excellent templates and resources for organizing your vision and goals.