Three Kinds of Freelancers
Did you know there’s more than one kind of freelancer?
Whatever work you’re offering (customer support, writing, coding, designing, project managing, etc.), you don’t have to follow just one specific route to success.
Here are the three main kinds of freelancers, and the benefits and pitfalls of each. Which one suits YOU best?
1. Remote Employee
The term ‘remote employee’ might sound confusing in the freelance world. You’re probably thinking “Didn’t I become a freelancer to get away from traditional employment?”
That’s true! But there are plenty of remote positions available where you’re still self-employed, but you work full-time hours for one client.
This form of freelancing isn’t for everybody, and there can be less flexibility if you have to work on a fixed schedule. If you need a structured working day and a reliable source of income however, this can be a fantastic opportunity to gain lots of experience & enjoy a stable income (like a regular employee would).
The downside to working with only one client is that you may not get to choose your projects and who you work with. The company or employer will assign tasks and may require you to be available during typical business hours.
But the biggest risk is that if this job goes away, you’ll find 100% of your income gone and you’ll need to start all over again with a new company.
On the flipside, there’s a huge benefit to being a long-term member of a team and having colleagues! Freelancing can get quite lonely if you don’t network with other like-minded people, so having a solid team can be a real boost to your productivity and happiness!
With this type of employment, you also enjoy the stability of a regular paycheck, something that ‘Traditional’ freelancers always struggle with.
2. Traditional Freelancer
Juggling several projects and working for more than one client?
This is what most people have in mind when they think about freelancing. Working on several projects at a time, the traditional freelancer’s hours, work, and pay will vary depending on the type of work they do.
The obvious challenge with this kind of work (especially for new freelancers) is finding new clients. This is where having a solid website, well-written profiles on freelancing sites, and practicing your pitching skills come in useful. In time, word of mouth will lead clients to you, but until then, proactively scouting new projects will be one of the most important skills in your arsenal.
The advantage is that you get full creative control over what projects you work on and which clients you accept. You also enjoy the freedom of setting your own schedule and work hours.
Figured out that you prefer writing blog posts over creating social media posts? Or you prefer bookkeeping for small businesses than solopreneurs? It’s far easier to chop and change projects when you have several clients to fall back on.
In other words, if you drop a client (or they drop you) there’s less pressure to immediately go out and find another one, because you’ll still have an income from your remaining clients.
3. Self-Employed or Business Owner
Dream of building your own blog, crafting and selling your own products in your online store, or pouring your expertise into a membership or course, or maybe hiring a team to do the work for you? Then you’re this type of freelancer!
The benefit to being self-employed means that YOU are the boss. But this is also the downside. You’ll have the most creative freedom out of any of the freelancing types when you run your own business. Just imagine: no clients telling you what to do and no schedule to follow.
But be careful! As the boss, you’ll not only have to make sure the clients are happy and well-served, but you’ll also have to make sure the business is growing and new clients are coming in the door.
It can mean your days are extremely busy, constantly working as both boss & employee until you earn enough to outsource or hire help. Be prepared to juggle everything from sales to accounting, content creation to customer services, and everything in between.