"Whether you freelance on the side or make all your money through self-employment, freelancing is an approach to career and financial autonomy that will continue growing as a major player in the workforce."
At the end of 2021, there were 57 million freelancers in the United States. As remote work gains more popularity, that number will rise. A freelancer is an independent laborer who earns wages on a per-job or per-task basis, typically for short-term work.
Essentially, freelancers earn by the job and not the hour. Freelancers are flooding the job market with specialized skill sets that make them attractive to companies, organizations, and entrepreneurs alike.
As more people start exploring the freedom freelancing offers, the methods for managing a career look different than they would for a traditional job. To ensure they maximize their time and profit, freelancers should take advantage of the resources and platforms explicitly designed to make their lives easier.
1. Job Boards
Whether you’re new to freelancing or you’ve been doing this, it’s always useful to know where to find work that pays. LinkedIn is quickly becoming a great space for freelancers to network and connect to those in need of their skills. However, job boards like Fiverr and 99designs are where people and organizations find freelancers across skillsets and industries. It’s like running a free advertisement for your services, and on these sites, the more work you complete, the more work you get. Even if you have a website or landing page, it still pays to create profiles on these job boards where it’s easy for future clients to find you.
2. Project Management Software
The goal is to have enough work to pay the bills and live the life you desire. That comes with multiple projects and, often, multiple projects at once. To keep track of different clients and projects and have them all archived in one place, try software like HoneyBook or Clickup.
These programs help you manage numerous clients; they have a centralized location for all communication and files, and you can easily switch between clients and projects. ClickUp has a more technical side to it, so if you require a platform that’s more user-friendly, go for HoneyBook. Along with offering client portals for collaboration between you and a client, and file storage, HoneyBook also helps create automation and workflows that support every step of the freelance process, from booking a client to project completion and payment.
3. Invoicing Software
Freelancers aren’t working for free, right?
The point of the work is to get paid, and you’ll need a program or software to handle your finances as a freelancer. Sending and processing invoices, paying your quarterly taxes, and managing your overhead are vital aspects of a successful freelance career.
Not every freelancer can afford a personal accountant, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on this detail. If you want a program that lets you create, send, and archive invoices, Paypal is a great resource. For more complex, in-depth finance management, I would suggest QuickBooks Self-Employed. Their software handles one of the messiest financial components of self-employment – business expenses and tax write-offs. With QuickBooks Self-Employed, you can track mileage through your phone’s GPS, categorize trips, directly import expenses from your bank accounts, and organize receipts. In addition, you can also estimate your taxes, which helps you stay on top of those quarterly tax payments and file your taxes in the program.
Invest in yourself and ensure you have a reliable method for collecting payments and managing your finances as a freelancer.
4. Office Space
A big draw of freelancing is the freedom, autonomy, and not having to commute to an office every day. Most freelancers work from home, in bed, or wherever they feel comfortable sitting down for a few hours to work, hopefully uninterrupted. But, speaking from personal experience, working uninterrupted in any of those places almost feels like a myth.
To combat the lack of boundaries some freelancers experience, join a coworking office. Ambition Center MKE and other coworking spaces offer office space designed with freelancers, entrepreneurs, and other remote professionals in mind. It’s not the same as a restrictive office setting you would get with a traditional job; you still have the autonomy remote work provides.
Coworking offices give professionals space that enhances productivity while eliminating distraction and disruption. When considering ways to make your freelancer journey more manageable and more profitable, keep coworking spaces or private offices at the top of your list. You have everything to gain by finding a place to devote your time, efforts, and resources to building your freelancing career.
Whether you freelance on the side or make all your money through self-employment, freelancing is an approach to career and financial autonomy that will continue growing as a major player in the workforce. If you want to turn your skillset into sustainable income that you can make without certain strings attached, consider freelancing.
If you decide it’s for you, take your freelancing career just as seriously as traditional employment. Invest in your career and take advantage of the resources created for freelancers to thrive in our flourishing gig economy.
Book a Tour at Ambition Center MKE Coworking!
Ambition Center MKE Coworking is the most diverse and inclusive, and northernmost private office and coworking space in Milwaukee.
Our vision is to empower and support local professionals, creatives, freelancers, and entrepreneurs by offering access to technology, resources, mentorship, and strategic connections. We are located at 530 E. Vienna Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53212. Our team would love to meet you. Book a tour today!
Are you a Writer, Author, or Blogger in Milwaukee?
Are you ready to get PAID to write 🙋🏽♀️? Join us online or in-person on March 24, 2022 for Books, Blogging & the Bag with Tia Love-DeBenedetto.
Tia is the Founder of Penned by Love Publications. She is an Author, Editor, Blogger, and Consultant.
This workshop teaches how writers and aspiring writers can use their skillsets and portfolios to establish a freelance career and generate sustainable income.
-Ambition Center Team