basics-of-freelancing

Basics of Freelancing – Part 1

Assessment of Skills Set

Introduction

Once again welcome to 7 Wonders Market, Zimbabwe’s home of freelancers. Congratulations on the decision to read about the basics of freelancing. You will find this to be beneficial regardless of whether your are someone who has already started freelancing or a first timer.

One of our aims is to help freelancers in setting up their businesses from scratch until you become a  successful professional. This article aims to cover the basics of freelancing or self-employment that any freelancer need to know before embarking on this interesting and promising journey.

Well let’s jump straight in! Come along.

What freelancing is not

get-rich-quickRecently there has been a wave of “grow rich quick” programs and ventures that has swept many people of their feet. These schemes are super glorified and the returns promised are exponential.

It’s no surprise quite many have fallen for them. Who does not want to be rich?

But as is always the case, there is a catch.

Is this one of those “grow rich quick” ventures?

Unfortunately NO! If you are looking for the “grow rich quick” ventures, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Freelancing is one of the ventures where you have to put in the hours.

The good news is that not only will you clock the hours but they will be hours worth clocking. Most importantly they will be hours that you will be clocking for yourself as your own boss. They line your own pockets.

But before we get ahead of ourselves let us start with the basics.

Part Time or Full Time Freelancing

In the article unpacking freelancing I have described the different kinds of freelancers that we have. In this section I will just use 2 categories, part time and full time freelancers. Most of the things that needs to be done are the same for both categories. The only difference is that full time freelancers may already be a step ahead as they are already living from freelancing or self-employment.

Part Time Freelancers

In this category we are going to put skilled people who are formally employed on a full time basis but looking for ways to get more value for their skills through side contracts. Those that are employed on short term contracts but supplementing their income through side contracts also fall into this category. These are both self-employed and formally employed.

Interesting combination, isn’t it?

Advice

The ultimate goal of every freelancer or self-employed person, part time or full time, is financial freedom. However on the road to financial freedom there are pitfalls that can swallow you.

Ask any successful freelancer or business person they will tell you that timing of every decision and move is very key. Premature moves can be devastating.

There is need to balance between the formal employment and the freelancing jobs. Part time freelancing can be very demanding due to the need to balance the demands of formal employment and the freelancing jobs.

The temptation to quit formal full time employment before the freelancing business is properly established can be very strong.

Hold on a minute read this before you make that decision!

The greatest advantage of living in an age of information is that we do not have to repeat the same mistakes that were made by those that were before us. Successful business people and authors like Robert Kiyosaki and Matt Morris encourage those that desire financial freedom not to just quit their jobs before they have established ventures that can sustain them after quitting their jobs.

So what am I saying?

Do not rush to quit your job yet. Ensure you have established your freelance business first to a point where you can survive from the freelancing. In addition it should be at the point where the demands of the freelancing business are now so much that you cannot juggle the 2 anymore.

Full Time

In this category I refer to those that are already doing freelancing or are self-employed  already. I would like to throw in those that have not yet started but plan on being self-employed on a full time basis.

The common feature of both these is that they want to leverage on their skills on a full time basis to earn more income. The fact that some of you may already be practicing does not mean that you cannot benefit from revisiting the basics of freelancing or basics of self-employment.

Why is this important?

There may be some important points that you can pick which can help strengthen the foundations of your freelancing business.

Well that having been said now let’s talk about how to start, the crux of the basics of freelancing.

 Assessment of your skills set

analysis-of-skillsWell in starting a freelancing business as mentioned in unpacking freelancing, a person needs to ask him or herself questions about the skills he or she possesses.

Firstly, what are the skills that you possess?

Secondly, what is the level of your skills, expertise and experience?

Thirdly, are your skills separable? Can they be offered independent of other skills?

Fourth question to ask is whether your skills are billable per hour or per project?

Another question is; what are the general rates charged for such skills on the market?

Furthermore are there other people offering such skills or services?

Freelancing or self-employment business is ever evolving and requires a person to be up to date with events and changes in the industry. If you are beginning to do freelancing, you may need to do a bit of some research in the area of your skills and services so that when entering into contracts you will not short change yourself.

Good news is 7 wonders Market is not just a platform but it is a community for a reason. You are not alone as a newbie. You will get assistance on your path to becoming a professional. Success of every member is our goal.

Now that you have assessed your stock of skills why not move to the next stage?

Well next stage is to set up your business.

But before we set up your new business let us recap what we have talked about in this article.

Summary

  • Freelancing business is not a “grow rich quick” venture, you put in the hours.
  • You can start freelancing or self-employment as a full time or part time freelancer.
  • Do not quit your formal employment before you have established your freelance business and it’s generating enough income to sustain you after quitting your job.
  • Last but not least do an assessment of your skills set first.

Great now you can proceed to Part 2