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How to Become a Freelancer

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Becoming a freelancer is a way to work at home and be independent without needing to start an actual business. You can operate under your own name and do not need to register as a business. This makes it possible to get started as a freelancer overnight without a lot of hassle and with the least amount of expense.

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A freelancer is someone who offers services for a fee. In general, a freelancer works independently with no expectation of a permanent or long-term relationship with a single employer.

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If you suddenly get laid off, you'll need to do something in order to keep an income stream coming in. The sooner you can do that, the less financial trouble you'll be in. While looking for jobs you can freelance and try to find work independently.

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Freelancers can be asked to do any kind of work you might imagine. Here are a few of the most popular types of freelance services: freelance writer, freelance university lecturer, freelance bookkeeper, freelance journalist. Basically, anything you might consider doing in your own business, you can do on a freelance basis under your own name.

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To freelance, you basically need to have something of value you can offer to potential clients. Most people draw on their employment experience and offer freelance services in areas in which they are especially talented. The following items are also useful if you want to freelance: a website to promote yourself; a cell phone number on which prospects can reach you; a business card; ideally, a business address; a portfolio of your best work; ideally, a few references.

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The answer partly depends on the type of freelance work you want to do. But here a few freelance job resources you might consider: Craigs List – www.craigslist.org; Guru – www.guru.com; ELance – www.elance.com; VWorker (formerly Rent-a-Coder) – www.vworker.com

Some freelance job sites are free – some charge a fee. In some cases, a freelance job site might offer both free and paid membership, but in such cases the jobs on which you can bid as a free member are usually very limited. Some freelancers join a union that can also provide job opportunities. You should also post a profile on social networks, such as LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com).

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If you freelance, you can usually set your own hours. You may be extremely busy one month and at a standstill the next month in your freelance practice. You can use the time to improve your website or investigate other ways you can market your freelance services. You will be able to work from home. You won't have to convince your employer it's a good idea to let you telecommute. Freelancing is also a great way to help keep your head above water if you suddenly find yourself unemployed. It can help you tide over until you find other work.

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Some people believe that being a freelancer means they won't get paid much and some employers who hire freelancers think they shouldn't have to pay much. That's because the competition is very tough and it is global – people from all around the world may offer the same services for less. As a freelancer you are not obligated to accept a job. If you don't like what's being offered, keep looking for something that pays a bit more. Unfortunately, a fair number of employers who use freelancers end up taking advantage of them by paying a substandard rate, not paying on time, etc.


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