Is Freelancing Really Viable?
No doubt you have read a lot of posts, articles, seen a few videos all extolling the benefits of selling your skills to appreciative business owners online. Whatever skills you possess, be they graphics, writing, video editing, web development, meditation, it is true that there is a market out there; there are some reputable web platforms also that you can register on and promote your skills.
If you read the materials on this site you can identify a long list of such websites. A lot of successful people have had their start by offering their skills and building a good reputation, producing high quality work. It depends on you and how badly you want to succeed, this is definitely the key.
A lot of people have a go at this and do not do well, if you expect to be able to make money easily I’m afraid you are going to be disappointed-I am all about presenting the real truth, the actual story, not just the generic advice you see everywhere.
Take ‘Fiverr‘ as a popular example, there are many others but Fiverr features a lot as being a path into freelancing. If you have genuine skills you are likely to do well, but you have to put the work in and present yourself effectively, be prepared to accept lower rates to begin with. You are not limited to five bucks on Fiverr, despite the hype; this platform enables you to charge a lot more but you need to reach ‘level 2’ in order to do so.
It really is all about Customer Service. People with bad attitudes tend to disappear pretty quickly, nobody wants to deal with grouches or half assed attitudes – consider what you would want, and then apply this to your own approach!
Is freelancing a good idea?
Is freelancing a good idea for you? To determine this you need to honestly take a look at your life, and equally honestly assess your skills. You can build a freelancing career even if you are already working in a ‘day job’; many people, me included, produce work for customers in their own time.
I have built websites, written articles and provided technical support for many customers while I was still working 9-5. This is a good way of getting started. You have your usual salary to depend on while you evaluate freelancing and consider alternative directions. Good sense right?
So yes, freelancing is a great way to get started working online, but it is not suitable if you are desperate, if you are in trouble financially I don’t advise you to try and rescue yourself via freelancing.
What tends to happen to desperate people is that they are willing to work for peanuts, people can smell ‘desperate’ from a long way off, and you will either attract unscrupulous types who will bleed you dry, or you will simply put people off.
Fiverr has a lot of desperate people on their books, unfortunately a lot of folks from Pakistan, India, Phillipines, Asia turn to Fiverr to try and make some money, and you are competing with people willing to build a website for under 100 dollars, not always very good quality but good enough for some people-I am not criticizing folks from these countries, we all have to make a living, I am simply warning you about the competition on that platform.
If you are desperate, or in financial hardship get a job, any kind of job and build some capital, a ‘war chest’- you can make a few hundred dollars go a long way online – so you can build your online projects from working as a janitor if you have to, there is no shame in that!
The market finds its own level, and the Fiverr market is servicing the budget end of town. I am not being snobby here, it is just reality, economic reality. If you want to produce good quality work, avoid Fiverr because you will be undercut every time by third world service providers willing to sell their soul, because a dollar goes a long way in their countries, and they will crawl over cut glass to grab the customers.
There is always a market for high quality.
One term that is being used in the freelance market is “Unicorn“. In freelancing terms this refers to a high quality producer who is not aware of their true value. There are always people looking out for ‘Unicorns’, someone who can write very well, or create superb graphics-whatever it may be. You can still charge competitively and make good money, but not on Fiverr. Check out the large list of sites in the eWriting modules for additional ideas for getting work