Many surveys are publishing similar results when it comes to the growth of freelancing in today’s economy. Between 35%+ currently and 50% in the coming years, the percentage of freelancers in the workforce is growing steadily. There are many reasons for it, from lower costs for business to more workers who want better control of their working hours and rewards. Almost anyone can add to their income through freelancing part-time to get their feet wet. It is all about what you know. Do you know what you know that is of value to others?
The Self-Assessment Step
Instead of jumping onto freelancing websites to see what you may find that you can do for income, first figure out what it is that you can do well. What do you know, what have you done, and what experience do you have that others will pay you to share?
Depending on your age, you have a past education and work history, and that’s where you start. If you went to college, what was your major/minor? Were there courses you particularly liked and spent time learning more about those subjects? Did you later get a job using that education? Perhaps you were a finance major who worked for a bank, an investment firm, or a lender.
Did you go to trade school or learn a trade on the job? Maybe you learned welding, small engine repair, auto repair, painting, carpentry, masonry, or other construction-related trades. Perhaps you are a pretty good photographer, artist, or video editor. No skill should be left off your list.
Do you have computer skills? Information technology (IT) knowledge is a precious skill. Whether your experience or skills are in programming, website design, working with WordPress, editing digital photography, or working with databases, there are places to market your skills.
Who Hires Freelancers?
Start thinking locally first. Small businesses are consumers of freelancing skills, as they cannot afford to hire full-time employees to provide skills they need on a part-time basis. Virtually every small business in your area needs a sign at one time or another. Are you an artist who can create signage? They also need bookkeepers, as they can’t afford for an accountant to do those daily tasks.
Are you handy with tools? Repairing office or business furniture is a skill that is always in demand, even if it’s for a second-hand store where they sell it. Every business, from restaurants to banks, will need on-demand small repair services from time to time.
Your hobbies can also become a source of freelance income. If you’re a model airplane enthusiast, there are websites out there that need relevant content. The same goes for just about any hobby that you’re good at doing.
If you have the right type of car, services like Uber and Lyft are putting extra money into tens of thousands of drivers around the country. You work the hours you want, going on duty via an app, and stop when you want. The services handle payment, so you merely decide when and how much you want to earn.
By far the biggest market for freelancers is via the internet. Freelancing websites have become huge marketplaces for employers to locate and hire freelancers. The most significant sites handle all payments to assure that the buyer of services is satisfied with delivery and quality and that the freelancer gets paid. They even offer mediation services if there is a dispute.
With more than 100 million websites out there, freelance services for those sites are a significant source for their labor pools. Much of it is freelance writing of content for the websites. Marketing writing, instructional and tutorials are the bulk of the writing work, and there is a lot of it. There are even writing jobs for hobby enthusiasts, with arts and crafts blogging posts listed.
If you’re grammar and spelling challenged, there are plenty of other ways to earn freelancing income on the Web. You can sell your photography and videos through sites set up for sellers and buyers. Again, the sites handle all of the payment functions and just send you an IRS Form 1099 every year if required.
Website design and editing, image and video editing, and data entry and online research all are services in high demand. You can do any of them from the comfort of your home, or even at the library or a coffee shop with computers.
If you have a gift for gab and don’t mind a bit of rejection, cold calling work is available for working from home. Taking customer service request and support calls is also a huge freelancing market. Why rent a big building, furnish it with phones and computers, and fill it with people when you can route service and support requests to freelancers at home. Businesses that opt for the latter avoid a ton of overhead.
These suggestions barely touch on the opportunities out there for working as a part-time freelancer to earn extra money. You may just find that it can become a full-time career with much more freedom for when you work and from where.