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How to Choose a Freelance Job

August 18th, 2014 by Jason Hartman | Comments Off on How to Choose a Freelance Job

If you are living abroad or doing a lot of traveling, it can be nice to continue a steady income. While real estate investing is a great way to maintain a paycheck, there are other ways you can continue to build wealth.

Freelance jobs of any kind are a great way to keep your mind and bank account active. If you can write, manage social media, or do a bit of graphic design (or any one of a host of other talents) you can work as a freelancer from just about anywhere.

But choosing the jobs that are write for you (or at least profitable) can be a bit of a challenge.

Think long term

It can seem appealing to sign on for a one-time, high paying assignment–but ultimately, this isn’t a great way to build lasting wealth. It takes a bit of time to get into the swing of writing for a particular client, and it might not pay a fair hourly wage when you take everything into consideration.

Working consistently for a number of clients (doing smaller assignments) is probably a more profitable choice.

That being said, make sure that you’re always working on new opportunities. Maintaining several clients will ensure that you still have an income if someone drops you. Keep in good standing with existing clients too–referrals go a long way.

Don’t be afraid to say no

Even those of us that are self employed can become overburdened by work. If your personal bandwidth is such that you can’t handle more assignments, feel free to say no to a few of them. Maintaining good relationships with clients will ultimately be more important than trying to squeeze another assignment in.

You can tell them that you aren’t interested right now but will be in the future–or, simply turn them down. If you say yes, you’re committed to producing the piece of writing or art that you’ve agreed to. Anything short of an on time, completed assignment will make you look bad and damage your reputation.

And, while you can learn almost anything with the help of the internet, promising work you are unable to deliver on is generally a bad practice. Promise only that work which you know you are capable of, but let your employer know that you’re willing to learn new things if you’ve got the time (and they’ve got the money).

Remember, you are in charge of your own assignments and shouldn’t work for less than you are worth (though you should be realistic). If you’re working for less than $5 an hour, it probably isn’t worth it. Do real work for real payment on a consistent basis to build your wealth.

Think about the future

Keep records of where you start–and strive to earn more and develop a better or more prestigious clientele. Good freelancers can build high paying businesses if they put their mind to it. Once you’ve got a great freelance resume, you’ll find that others approach you with new and better jobs.

Seek out those jobs that are somehow meaningful to you–if you remain interested, you’ll do better work for a client and continue to enjoy your freelance career. Pursue articles or design work within your areas of interest and expertise to make your content (and life!) better.

Beware of scams

One of the problems with freelance jobs is the potential opportunity for scams. In areas with high unemployment rates, scammers are particularly active.

“This opportunity”

One way to identify potential scams is by looking for particular phrasing–often, when something is a scam, the poster will be adamant about calling it a work from home opportunity. These will typically be found on shady looking websites with limited information.

They won’t tell you what exactly the job is, how to do it, how much you’ll have to pay (you almost certainly will). They’ll ask for your personal information–phone, address, email address, etc. If you sort through the fine print, you may be able to identify a job source–but it won’t be easy.

Enthusiastic testimonials

Many work from home scams will insist that they are not a scam by including a number of enthusiastic testimonials from others who have made a lot of money doing the same thing. The “reviews” will insist that the money required upfront isn’t much and that it is totally worth it. Be careful–a legitimate work from home opportunity or freelance job won’t require any money up front and will be clear about what is required.

The shape of things

They’re referred to as pyramid schemes for a reason–multi level marketing jobs that tend to take on a triangular shape are rarely good news. If there’s one guy at the top who makes all of the money from people below him selling things and they’re making money because people below them are selling things–it’s a pyramid scheme.

They’ll often deny it–but if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebra.

Promises of high incomes

Freelance and work from home opportunities should be careful about the things they promise–aim for a flat rate for the work or content provided. Promises of making $10,000 in one month aren’t likely to be true, and usually signal a scam. Jobs that require no experience are also likely to be scams–freelance work requires a specific and developed set of skills.

The bottom line

If something seems too good to be true, it is. A few months as a freelancer will have you quickly identifying scam job postings when you see them, and you’ll be able to weed out the duds in no time at all.

Remember, it takes a lot of work to make a freelance position a full time job–there are struggles you’ll inevitably have to go through (chasing down missing invoices from deadbeat clients for starters) but you’ll get over that learning curve.

Freelance gigs can be perfect for travelers and those looking to do something a little bit different. Stick with it–as Jason Hartman knows, everything worth having requires a little bit of work.

Read more from Jetsetter:

The Undeniable Influence of Online Reviews

The Expat’s Guide to Finding Happiness and Employment Across the Globe

The Jetsetter Team

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