What Is Freelance Work? A Guide to Freelancing


Freelancing can be a great way to be your own boss, try out a new job, or create a side hustle that focuses on your passion.

If you chose to become a freelancer, you wouldn’t be alone.

In a survey conducted by MBO Partners in 2019, approximately 41.1 million Americans said they worked as freelancers, whether full-time or a few hours a month. To break it down a little further, roughly 15 million workers identified as part-time freelancers, while 12.4 million identified as full-time freelancers!

With statistics like these, it’s critical to prepare for a freelancing job the right way. Use this guide to learn about freelancing, how to identify recruiting firms and businesses, and the qualities needed to be a successful freelancer.

The Complete Freelancer’s guide

What Is Freelancing and How Does It Work?

A freelance job is one in which an individual would be working for themselves rather than for a business. While freelancers work for firms and organizations on a contract basis, they are ultimately self-employed.

Freelancers are in charge of tasks that regular workers aren’t, including scheduling their work hours, keeping track of time spent on various projects, billing clients, and paying their taxes. Companies that hire freelancers refer to them as “contractors” rather than “workers.”

What is the definition of a freelancer? More Phrases for “Freelancer”

There are several terms to be aware of when looking for freelance work. These can help you find freelance job openings and can also be used to describe yourself and your work to potential clients.

  • Contract work refers to jobs where you are hired temporarily instead of being permanently employed.
  • Work job: This is the same as working on a contract basis.
  • Independent contractor: Another word for a freelancer. However, the terms of your employment are determined by a contract with another organization or individual.
  • 1099: This term refers to the IRS form 1099-MISC that independent contractors must fill out, and it’s frequently used to characterize the work (“This is a 1099 contract role”).
  • A contract consultant is employed on a temporary basis to advise a corporation on certain challenges.
  • Contract-to-hire: A job that starts out as a freelance, independent contractor position but has the potential to turn into full-time employment if things go well.

Where to Look for Freelance Work

Concentrating your search for freelance work on organizations that are known to hire freelancers can be a good place to start. Here are some options:

  1. Kforce
  2. Kelly
  3. Ajilon
  4. Accounting Principals
  5. Randstad
  6. Robert Half International
  7. Stride, Inc.
  8. Solomon Page
  9. Dahl Consulting
  10. Cactus Communications

Most Common Fields of Freelance Work

If you look into content mills and other platforms like LinkedIn, Indeed, or Craigslist, you’ll find companies, organizations, and government agencies that are eager to hire freelancers. You may find freelance jobs in practically any field, and the tasks range from small, temporary projects to long-term, full-time ones.

The following are the industries that hire freelancers the most:

  • Writing
  • Graphic Design
  • Editing & Proofreading
  • Finance & Accounting
  • Administrative
  • Education & Training
  • Customer Service
  • Computer & IT
  • Bilingual
  • Medical & Health
  • HR & Recruiting

Freelancing: Pros and cons

Every career has pros and cons, and freelancing is no exception. Being aware of the challenges can help you prepare for them.

Pros of Freelancing

Having control over your workload, clients, and revenue. When you freelance, you have complete control over your schedule. You choose which jobs to take on, which clients to work for, and what your pay rate will be. Depending on your degree of competence, it’s possible to work part-time while getting full-time pay.

Flexibility. Working on freelancing projects usually entails working from your home office during your preferred hours. You’ll have to meet deadlines, but you’ll be able to choose when and where you work.

Cons of freelancing

Complete control comes with added responsibilities. Being a freelancer means you’re a business owner, and you must stay on top of taxes, invoicing, payments received, obtaining your health insurance, and purchasing all of the tools and technology you will need to do your job.

Feast or famine syndrome. Some months will be bursting at the seams with work, while others will be a ghost town. You may be counting on a long-term contract with one client, only to find out that they no longer require your services. Freelancing necessitates sound financial management and continuous new client sourcing.

Personality traits required in a freelancer

If you want to be a successful freelancer, there are a few qualities you must possess. While not exhaustive, these fundamental traits can help you determine where to concentrate your efforts.


When you spend an hour online shopping instead of working, no one is watching you out of the corner of their eye, and no one is judging you. Self-discipline is a must to stay on top of your game.


Persistence is vital at any time, but it’s more important when you’re just starting out as a freelancer and trying to land new clients.


As a freelancer, you’ll hear the word “no” more than anything else. Rejection is the name of the game, and you’ll need to let it roll off your back.


You’re in charge of a wide array of responsibilities. It’s up to you to keep track of your income and costs, respond to client emails promptly, meet deadlines, keep your papers organized, and streamline your workload.


You don’t have to be extroverted in the traditional sense to acquire new clients, but you do have to be a little aggressive. If you want to expand your business, you’ll need to be comfortable networking and approaching people, whether you do so in person or online.


Being a freelancer requires a great deal of contact. You must be willing to conduct difficult talks, such as negotiating a higher rate or breaking up with a client; and to manage them professionally and delicately. There’s no one to take care of the dirty work for you, whether it’s a supervisor or a coworker.

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I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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