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What is freelancing?

From: Freelancing Fundamentals

Video: What is freelancing?

No matter what the economy, there's always a reason to consider a freelance career. When times are good, freelancing can help you gain flexibility and spend your time more enjoyably. And when times are bad, freelancing is one way to make your own path despite the tight job market. But before we get too deep into things, we need to define what we're talking about starting with the word freelance. I like Wikipedia's definition which is "Somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term." It's worth noting that freelancers are generally considered sole proprietors or sole traders as they're called in Great Britain.

What is freelancing?

No matter what the economy, there's always a reason to consider a freelance career. When times are good, freelancing can help you gain flexibility and spend your time more enjoyably. And when times are bad, freelancing is one way to make your own path despite the tight job market. But before we get too deep into things, we need to define what we're talking about starting with the word freelance. I like Wikipedia's definition which is "Somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long-term." It's worth noting that freelancers are generally considered sole proprietors or sole traders as they're called in Great Britain.

In the United States, the word freelancer is synonymous with independent contractor; a group of over 10 million people in the United States. The fact that so many people are independent contractors is good news for you because it means that the market is accustomed to hiring and working with such people. But independent contracting is only one of four alternative employment arrangements. Another type is on-call work; for example, a graphic designer who comes in to lay out a department store's ads once in a while. About two-and-a-half million Americans fit this description.

A second type is temporary help agency work, more commonly known as temps. This is actually how I got my own start fresh out of college. A temp agency would call me, often a date in the morning, and I'd go into their client's office, and do small projects. A little over a million Americans are temps. The last kind of alternative employment is work from agencies that specialize in long-term contracts. It's a lot like temping except that the jobs tend to be full-time and they last for much longer.

A little under a million American workers are in this kind of arrangement. You can read more about all of these definitions and the U.S. government's statistics on each type of employment by visiting the URL on your screen. I should mention that this course won't talk about all the unskilled or piecemeal work such as stuffing envelopes or mystery shopping. To be blunt, a lot of those alleged jobs are out and out scams, and the ones that aren't are so low-paying that you can't truly build a career on them. I'll talk a bit about them in the video Avoiding Scams.

But let's get back to independent contracting which is where you handle all the details of the job. Admittedly, the differences between this and other kinds of alternative employment can be subtle. And in fact, you'll probably find yourself doing a mixture of all four of these so-called alternative employment arrangements during your freelance career, and that's okay. It's what I've done myself. For this course however, I'm going to focus on independent contracting. I think it's the hardest of the four work styles because you have the most responsibility.

But along with that comes greater freedom to work as you want, to grow your business, and to spend your time doing what you really love.

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Freelancing Fundamentals

42 video lessons · 26315 viewers

Tom Geller
Author

 
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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