This is the first lesson from the lessons of the Freelancer guide, in which we will talk about what is self-employment, on what basis it is based, and some other aspects of the idea and field of freelancer, through which you will have a clear and comprehensive answer to the question “What is Freelancer?”
In the midst of the rampant unemployment, the lack of job opportunities, and the desire of young people to search for any job, even if it does not suit their passion or ambitions, freelacer emerges from the darkness as a solution that satisfies all parties.
Here we will talk about what is freelancer? And what are its specifications? And how can you avoid the title of unemployed with the least resources? Here is the beginning of a series of many episodes that teach you more about freelancer from beginning to professionalism.
Note: This article is just a link in a series of comprehensive articles about Freelancer, and you will find the links to the rest of the articles at the bottom of the page, which are arranged sequentially to take you from the stage of ignorance in this field completely to the stage of actually starting freelancing, and making money through it.
What is the freelancer?
Freelancing, a term that has spread like wildfire in recent years, is one of the types of work that is completely new to many, and its idea is a product of the 21st century, closely related to the Internet.
In self-employment, anyone who possesses a skill, ability, or even knowledge about a specific thing, can employ this skill or ability by providing services or tasks to others in exchange for money.
Self-employment provides freedom for both service providers and applicants alike, in which the business owner or company requests specific and clear tasks from a particular person at a specific time in return for a certain financial return.
The provider of tasks or services also does his work freely, because he basically chooses the field he wants to work in, and also has the freedom to carry out the tasks on the schedule he wants, in addition to the possibility of completing more tasks to achieve more profits.
Self-employment in its current concept depends heavily on modern Internet and communication technology, the Internet here represents the means of meeting between the business owner and the Freelancer.
The Internet is also the means used to initiate discussion, negotiation and reach agreement, but it is also the means to achieve the task and deliver it to the business owner, and in the end it also provides many options for payment and receipt of money.
It is worth noting that the Internet is not only a means to facilitate self-employment, but it is a reason for the creation, prosperity and growth of self-employment opportunities for many.
Behind all this tremendous growth in the world of the Internet and technology in general, which is bubbling up every day; There are designers, developers, marketers, writers, translators, and others who work as a freelancer. This is in addition to the huge opportunities created as a result of the growth of the online marketing trend.
Through this, we conclude that the Internet is a means to support and facilitate self-employment, and it is also a reason for the creation and growth of self-employment.
Note: Although the idea of self-employment is linked to the Internet, in fact, the idea of self-employment is older than the Internet. Every task that is agreed upon between an employer and a skilled person in exchange for money and outside the career framework is a form of self-employment.
An illustration of the idea of freelancer in its simplest form
To illustrate the idea of freelancer in an easy way, let's take this simple example: Sarah is a twenty-year-old girl studying at the Faculty of Commerce, but she is fond of Photoshop, loves designs, and is always working on creating new ideas for an image that she creates, or images that she edits.
On the other hand, Adam is a young man in his twenties as well. He is fond of the world of comics, and he has a Facebook page with 500,000 active members who are interested in what he offers.
Adam's page specializes in comics about teenage girls, and this brought him some advertisers who own make-up products, who pay him from time to time to promote their products.
Adam makes some profit from his page, so he decided to invest part of this profit in creating professional image designs to grow his page and attract more followers, and then bring in more advertisers to achieve more profits.
By chance, Sarah is on Adam's friends list, and because Sarah often shares her designs with her friends, Adam found her a suitable designer. He contacted her and asked her to make 3 designs every week for a set amount of money, and thus Sarah became one of the freelance workers as a photo designer.
This is a primitive microcosm of the idea of self-employment, but in fact self-employment contains a lot of details, ideas and aspects, which we will actually talk about all of in this guide through its nine lessons.
Now we will move on to a set of important points related to self-employment, which will work together to answer the question of what is self-employment in a more professional and clear manner.
Important points for Freelancer
1. There are two types of freelancer in terms of full-time
First: Freelance work on a permanent basis, in which the Free Lancer is fully dedicated to freelancer, and does not work in any other jobs.
Here, the freelancer or freelancer depends mainly on freelance work to achieve material income.
The second: Part-time work, in which the Free Lancer works partly alongside another job, or alongside a study.
We conclude from this point that self-employment is highly flexible, and anyone can start it, even if they only have 3 hours per day, and want to invest this time to generate a side income.
2. There are platforms specialized in the field of freelancer
As a result of the growth and expansion of the circle of self-employment, many platforms specialized in self-employment have emerged, which play the role of mediator between service providers and applicants.
It provides a professional and organized link between service providers and their requesters, and it guarantees the right of both parties, because it operates in a clear and explicit system and terms that both parties must abide by.
3. Freelancer extends to almost all aspects of business
Although the idea of freelancer in is manifested in its clearest forms in the digital fields, which are related to modern technology such as image design, video editing, website design and development, and online marketing services…
However, freelancer is not limited to these areas, so it is not surprising to find an accountant, engineer, lawyer or photographer working as a Free Lancer.
Simply freelancer is: a person owns a skill and provides it financially, and another person needs this skill... The two parties agree to carry out the required task. The freelancer performs the required, gets the money, and moves to another client who needs his skills.
4. In the field of freelancer, the payment is mostly in exchange for achievement, not in exchange for time
One of the obvious differences between the concept of a job versus the concept of freelancer is that a job pays you to work continuously for a certain number of hours.
As for freelancer, the financial benefit is basically the product of achievement. For example, the image designer earns money according to the number of images he has completed, whether it is completed in a day, in a month, or in an hour.
But be aware: when we talk about freelance pricing, there are some freelancers who price their work according to the number of hours spent performing the task, and this is a system that some freelance platforms follow as well.
But the difference between freelancer and career work here; In the job, the work is according to specific dates and continuously, while in freelancer, the working hours consumed in completing the task are just a way to calculate the cost of work.
5. In freelancing, the Internet is necessary but not imperative
We mentioned that the Internet is the seed of prosperity in the world of self-employment, as it is the means of communication between the freelancer and the business owner, and the means to complete and deliver tasks and receive and receive money as well.
But what if Sarah met Adam by chance at a birthday party for a mutual friend, and they agreed to work, and she sent him designs through a flash memory every week, and received her financial dues directly by hand.
Can we not call this work also freelancer?
Of course, we can say that this is also free work despite the absence of the Internet as a party to the equation, but from a practical and realistic point of view; The Internet is an almost indispensable arm in the field of freelancer, especially in its most sophisticated and extensive forms.
This is in addition to creating more opportunities for freelancer, as mentioned above.
Information and statistics about freelancer
The source for the statistics mentioned below, and the image above is the Upwork website for freelance work: http://bit.ly/2rEkKS0
1. The number of freelancers in the United States of America alone in 2017 reached 57 million.
2. According to the growth rate estimates; In 2020, the proportion of self-employed workers will be about 43% of the total workforce in the United States.
3. Self-employment contributed about $1.4 trillion to the US economy in 2017.
4. It has been proven that those who work in the field of self-employment are more able to face career changes in the future, as statistics indicate that 55% of Freelancers have participated in the last six months in a study to develop their skills, compared to only 30% of non-Freelancers.
5. According to the opinion poll of those who work in the field of self-employment; About 71% of them admitted that online job opportunities have increased by 5% between 2016 and 2017.
Although the statistics above are American statistics, self-employment in the Arab region has also witnessed a great boom recently. Yes, we do not have accurate statistics to monitor this growth.
But there are many indicators that give us an idea of the extent of this development, including:
1. Freelancer, which is the most famous freelance site, has witnessed a great development and growth in recent times. It is now ranked globally, according to Alexa, which ranks sites in terms of popularity.
2. There is a significant growth of global groups and pages that include freelance communities.
3. Because self-employment is closely related to technology and its spread, not to the nature of societies. Therefore, growth in self-employment in developed countries will necessarily be followed by growth in self-employment in all countries of the world.
4. To realize the extent of growth and development in the free labor market, you only have to follow what is happening around you in terms of growth in the number of Internet sites, applications, and technology-based projects.
5. There is a huge community of freelancers out there on LinkedIn, and it's growing like crazy.
As a Seo7u site manager and a good follower of the online world around me, I know very well that the freelance market is growing and booming like no other before.
The main advantages of freelancing
1. You are always free
Freedom of choice is one of the great features of freelancing. From the beginning, you are free to choose the field you love and see yourself as creative and innovative, and you are free to choose the projects that you find that you can complete better.
You are free to organize your day as you wish, and you are free to increase your financial return by working longer, or working more efficiently.
Of course, in freelancer, you can work at the time you want, and from the place you want, all you need to start your work is to press the button to turn on your computer or laptop.
2. You will get rid of a lot of time wasters
Because of the nature of freelancer that you can accomplish from your home and your own room, there is a huge savings in a lot of wasted times in moving from home to work and back, or preparing to go to work.
If you live in a large and densely populated city like Cairo, you will understand the importance of this feature very well. All this time wasted in getting to work, you can invest it in completing your freelance work while you are at home.
3. You have the opportunity for creativity and innovation
Compared to the traditional job, which is governed by a lot of restrictions, regulations and rigid rules, freelancing is characterized by flexibility and the opportunity to be implemented in many innovative ways. Freelancing is the way that allows you to implement your own ideas and unleash your creativity.
The world of freelancer, by its nature, provides great creative and innovative opportunities for those who work in it. For example, if you work as a logo designer, here you can talk with the customer to understand his point of view and his perception of the logo he wants, and then you can unleash your creativity to design a logo in your own way and thought.
4. There is no financial ceiling governing you
In the field of freelancer, there is always a chance of making more money compared to the job. Fortunately, getting more work is not the only way to achieve higher financial returns in self-employment, there is always an opportunity to achieve more through mastery and professionalism in completing tasks.
As long as you are a professional in your field, and can carry out tasks in an innovative way, there are always clients willing to pay more for your work… This is a very important point for your success in self-employment without having to burn at work in order to achieve a higher income.
5. You have the flexibility to move from field to field
in the traditional career field; There are always hurdles and limitations that make it necessary to continue working in areas that you absolutely do not like.
As for freelancer, there is a great degree of flexibility, as you can overnight start in new areas as long as you possess the skills required in these areas, you can also in self-employment finish your work in record time, in order to change the field or even to take a long vacation as you wish .
6. You won't need a lot of resources to get started
All you need to work as a freelancer is your own computer or laptop with internet access, and a bank account for the money to be sent to you, meaning you will need some limited resources that almost everyone has.
But of course, depending on your specialty, you will need some other tools to help you complete your tasks, for example, in the case of your work in the field of design, you will need image design programs.
In any case, there is a separate lesson where we talk about the most important tools of freelancing.
Disadvantages of freelancing
You can also call it the difficulties of freelancer or even the challenges of self-employment (which I personally prefer). In any case, you should be well aware that all options in life are not without some challenges or flaws that you have to accept, and deal with them wisely and consciously.
1. Absolute freedom
I discussed above this point as an advantage of freelancer, but in fact absolute freedom represents one of the disadvantages or challenges of freelancer.
Although I am not a freelancer, but I work the same way as freelancers, I run Seo7u from home, I work when I want and the way I want, and in fact this is one of the big challenges in my working life.
Working from home creates confusion for you and those around you between work, personal life or family obligations. The freedom to choose the time of work also contributes greatly to procrastination and wasting time.
2. Get a job
Although the freelancer market is very thriving, and is able to absorb more freelancers, it is a very competitive market, and getting work in it is challenging, especially for beginners.
The free labor market is also considered a chaotic market to a large extent, where until now there are no clear laws to regulate it, and it is crowded with cheap labor due to economic conditions… This makes the matter more complicated for you, especially if you are a beginner.
Remember, my friend, this is a challenge, not a hindrance, and you can handle this challenge like thousands of freelancers who are making excellent income through freelance work.
I will suffice with these two points, because we mentioned a full lesson in the freelance guide about the most common problems in freelancer and how to deal with them.
Now, my friend, we have finished the first lesson, and you can move on to the next lesson in our comprehensive guide to freelancer, which will be about the most important areas of freelancer.
Don't be lazy and move on to the next lesson now.
Here are the links to all the freelance guide tutorials: