How To Choose A Freelance Career
You are reading part “3” in a 5 part series called the Freelancers Blueprint. If you have not already read the preceding posts, we recommend doing so for context. You can read the first post on Deciding to Become A Freelancer here. You can also download a free copy of the entire guide by signing up for our newsletter! It is totally free, no strings attached.
Choosing a New Freelancer Job
The desire to be a freelancer won’t pay your bills. Instead, you’ve got to hone in on a skill, service, or product you can provide. If people are willing to pay for your contribution to the marketplace, you’ll make money.
It’s that simple.
Of course, you’ve got to factor in expenses such as the cost of materials used in your products and the amount of time spent on each task relative to what you get paid.
While everyone thinks of writers when they hear “freelancer,” a wide variety of employment options exist. Among the best paying freelance jobs are:
- Patent attorneys
- Web and software developers
- Digital marketers
- IT consultants
- Content writers
- Voice-over workers
- Certified financial advisers
- Public relations consultants
- Graphic designers
- Project managers
Let’s take a closer look at each of these freelance careers to see what’s right for you.
Compared to other freelancers, patent attorneys rake in the biggest paychecks. They charge $100+ per hour for work they can primarily complete on a computer.What do patent lawyers do?
Experts of the patent process, they facilitate the legal aspects of applications. This process includes everything from writing a bulletproof description to researching a client’s invention.
If you’re a lawyer ready to break away from the firm, becoming a patent lawyer represents a lucrative opportunity. The same goes for lawyers who may have trouble finding work. After all, the supply of lawyers currently outranks the demand.
Web and Software Development
As a web and software development freelancer, your work is two-pronged. First, it involves constructing and maintaining websites for individuals and businesses. Second, you must handle programming work for customers.
Web developers help companies build their brands through website development. As software developers, they guarantee smooth operations.
Flash developers represent a subfield of this category. These freelancers deal with building code for websites and acting as a company’s go-to IT contact.
If you’ve got technical support experience, working as a remote IT consultant might be right for you. To get paid at the highest tier, you’ll need to sharpen your troubleshooting skills.
Cultivating broad knowledge of IT issues that commonly crop up will ensure you remain in high demand. How well your company thrives will depend on networking and staying on the tech industry’s cutting edge.
Digital marketing freelancers continue to gain relevance because of the explosive growth in social media platforms. Brands hire entire teams to cultivate their online presence and manage their digital reputation.
But entrepreneurs and small business owners don’t often have the luxury, or the resources, to hire a whole team. So, they turn to a freelance digital marketing specialist for help at an affordable rate.
This freelancer usually takes the reins of the company’s social media channels. They act on behalf of the company online, using strategically selected social media platforms to achieve specific digital marketing needs.
These needs may include improving a company’s SEO, building an audience, and managing its online reputation. Learning the ropes of social media freelancing can take time, but there are so many opportunities out there that this one is easy to get started with.
Freelance writers have come to dominate the freelancing world. That’s why most people think “freelancer” is synonymous with “writer.” As you’re learning, though, freelancers occupy diverse positions in different fields.
What’s one of the primary reasons for the popularity of a content writing career? It comes with versatility and flexibility. That means countless ways to flex your creative muscles.
As a writer, you’ve got many potential clients:
- Small business owners
- Marketing agencies
- Magazine editors
- And more
Freelance writers can steer their career in many directions, finding the ideal niche to suit their strengths. For example, they may focus primarily on magazine writing or collaborating with marketers at agencies.
Most are paid by experience, earning anywhere from $10 to $100 or more per article.
How do you survive and thrive in this field? By honing the ability to pitch clients, companies, and publications compatible with your writing style and expertise. Here are six reasons to consider a career freelancing as a writer.
Voice-over work ranks as one of the highest paying jobs in the online freelance world. Earnings rank just below those of patent lawyers.
Because of continued improvements in technology, actors can record usable tracks from the comfort of their homes. In the process, they may earn $70+ per hour. Audiobooks, commercials, and short films all feature voice-over work.
In a rapidly expanding industry, getting started requires a small investment in equipment and some acting experience.
Certified Financial Adviser
The number of certified financial advisers continues to grow. Many freelancers in this field started elsewhere. But they were attracted to a career that allows them to make a difference in peoples’ lives.
Like other freelancers, certified financial planners work on their terms. They assist individuals in life planning, from budgeting for a new home to preparing for retirement.
The caveat to a financial adviser career is the certification process. You must work for a minimum of three years in a finance firm. After you’ve paid your dues, a vast world of freelancing options will open up to you.
Public Relations Consultant
How do public relations consultants compare to other jobs such as digital marketers? You must have a broader range of knowledge about the media than a marketer to compete in the PR world successfully.
Yet, you’ll work toward the same primary goal, promoting an individual, company, or brand. You’ll handle all of a company’s PR strategies, including:
- Communicating with the media
- Writing PR releases
- Researching best practices
- Updating a company’s website with press and events
Do you have experience as a public relations team member for a recognized brand? If so, count this as a significant bonus. You can leverage this experience to attract clients.
Freelance graphic designers get hired for a wide assortment of visual-based projects that companies need help realizing. Besides artistic flair, they must have comprehensive knowledge of how best to target a brand’s ideal demographic.
Whether designing logos, business card designs, or letterhead, graphic design freelancers need a creative spirit and independent streak. Gaining new clients requires consistent research and networking.
Becoming a freelance graphic designer will take a lot of work, but the barrier to entry is pretty low and it can be very easy to find gigs and build a strong portfolio.
Another highly lucrative freelance career is that of a project manager. This position comes with both reputation and money.
What does it take to be a successful freelance project manager? Excellent communication and people skills.
Project managers work remotely with teams, tracking people and progress. They may also hire and track subcontractors.
More Freelance Options
Options abound when it comes to finding a freelance job, and you don’t have to settle for spare earnings. Of course, the selection above represents a small sampling of the many career opportunities out there.
This list is by no means comprehensive. And you may need to start with one of these remote freelance jobs for beginners. But with some grit and resilience, you could command impressive salaries before you know it.
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