You’re interested in marketing, but after careful consideration of your skills, you may be unsure which role would suit you best. Finding your niche could be just as challenging as breaking into any profession. While learning about marketing, you may wonder what you can do to gain more hands-on experience and understand where you could fit in.
One suggestion to gain more experience, develop your skills, and get your name out there could be freelancing. Freelancers are independent specialists who offer their skills and services to companies that require them on a project-by-project basis. Depending on the objective and number of hours they need to complete it to company standards, they can be employed part-time or full-time. There are approximately 2.9 million self-employed workers across Canada, according to A Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Jobs on Indeed.
With the emergence of the pandemic in 2020, businesses around the world searched for ways to remain competitive. In Canada, the solution many businesses and organizations chose was to continue to allow employees to work remotely. The Balance Small Business site article states that freelancing is one of the fastest, most affordable, and most accessible ways to start working anywhere. With the remote model in place, freelancing could be a great way to gain experience and establish yourself as an expert in your field. According to La Merceria’s article on Working from Home in Canada, 30% of Canada’s workforce worked remotely between April 2020 and June 2021. The trend is expected to grow in 2022 and will continue to change the way we work in the years ahead.
You can get started by researching freelance community sites. Fiverr allows freelancers to set rates for projects they are willing to complete for buyers, known as “gigs.” Freelancers can offer Gig Packages, each with a different price range, to provide their services to buyers. Upwork is another freelance community that allows freelancers to promote their experience level, set rates and bid on projects. Working Not Working is a freelance community whose goal is to connect creatives with available opportunities, so companies don’t have to search for the talent they need.
You can find the complete list of the advantages and disadvantages of being a freelancer in Indeed’s A Beginner’s Guide to Freelance Jobs. Since freelancers are essentially self-employed, plenty of benefits make freelancing a highly sought-after and desired role. You can choose how many hours you put in each day and throughout the week. You can also select the environment that allows you to be the most productive, whether it’s working in an office, at home or somewhere else. Since you’re the only one who knows when you’re the most productive, being a freelancer allows you to choose when you can produce your best work.
As a freelancer, you have complete control over the projects you will be working on. Having the ability to choose your projects will help you discover new industries and potentially new interests. Suppose you wanted to showcase your graphic design skills while considering a few different projects. You could reject projects if the payment terms weren’t favourable or representative of your experience. Maybe the time frame didn’t work, you don’t connect with the brand, or you’re looking for a more significant challenge. Regardless of the reason, you have the freedom to decide which projects to reject or approve.
Working as a freelancer will also help you get your name out there. You will be able to build your personal brand and establish your name in the industry as a professional with long or short stints completing projects for a broad cross-section of companies and industries.
Working as a freelancer isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. And on those days when you aren’t feeling well due to the common cold, there won’t be any paid sick leave. There won’t be a dental plan when you have a cavity or regular cleanings to prevent more cavities in the future. You won’t receive any compensation for any prescription medication either. However, as a freelancer, you do have options. One option is to enroll with a health insurance provider such as Green Shield, which will cover you for all these medical expenses for a fee.
One of the benefits of working a steady job is holiday pay. On those holidays, if you’re a freelancer, you might be burning the candle at both ends to line up your next contract or complete a project.
Payments won’t always arrive in your account on the date you expect. Clients may be unable to pay you immediately which could throw a curveball to your finances. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do other than accept it as a cost of doing business.
With all the freedom it provides, freelancing does not guarantee job security. You may not find a new project immediately after completing your last one. You may have to set money aside to supplement your income while searching for your next contract.
If you choose to embrace and pursue freelancing, you can be your own boss, gain experience, showcase your skills, and build your brand. But no opportunity is perfect. Whatever you decide, the only way to know if freelancing is for you is to try it – or not.
As the semester winds down, you realize your professional image still needs work. If you’re wondering what to do next, maybe it’s time to start working on your brand.