Working While Traveling: What Does it Take to be a Freelancer?

by Julie on July 25, 2018

Are you teetering on the edge of giving up your full-time job in order to start traveling the world? Having the complete freedom to travel wherever you want to go, as well as the money to do so, is an incredible feeling, and traveling is something many people long to do. However, have you thought long and hard about the decision but are still very reticent about taking such a leap of faith? While an increasing number of people are choosing to travel the world, they also choose to become freelancers because it is a great way of earning a living wherever you are in the world. However, it’s not as easy as it seems, and there are many hurdles to negotiate. It is possible to freelance in a number of different industries, but a certain skill set is required. If you want to take the leap and work for yourself while seeing all our planet has to offer, there are a number of things to consider:

The Benefits of Freelancing

First, we should clear up exactly what a freelancer is, for those who aren’t quite sure. It is a person who offers their services in exchange for a fee. A freelancer could have one client or several. It can be an ongoing working relationship or a one-off deal. It does sound like a very flexible kind of arrangement, which is bound to suit many people. On the other hand, it also seems a little irregular, with periods where you may not have a project or job to work on. So why are so many people choosing the freelancing route?

  • It can provide an extra income, which is ideal for those who are exploring the world and need extra funds to hop from country to country.

  • Set up costs are minimal, all you need is a laptop, internet connection, and somewhere to find your clients.

  • Job independence, you are your own boss, and you can choose to work as and when you wish.

  • Great flexibility, especially for those traveling, as all you need to work is a reliable internet connection and a laptop.

  • Quick to start

The Downside of Freelancing

  • Takes a while to build up to full-time work, especially if you are relatively unknown in your field or lack experience.

  • Irregular income, so a personal loan from Bonsai Finance may come in handy for those need-to-buy expenses while you are waiting for a new project.

  • Requires good organizational skills, you need to be able to stay on top of your projects and hit the deadlines because, by missing deadlines, you will find your clients declining.

  • Novice freelancers get paid less, and you will need to build a loyal client list and portfolio before you can raise your prices.

The Skills Needed to Become a Successful Freelancer

To be a successful freelancer, you need more than one skill. The most obvious skills are those related to the service you’ll be providing. For example, a freelance writer needs to be good at writing. A freelance website designer needs to know how to create a website. Aside from these obvious skills, there are several more it would be useful to have:

  • Accounting skills – you’re going to be running your own business so there are going to be basic bookkeeping tasks you’ll need to perform. Filing your taxes will be another task you’ll have to perform. If you’re a little unsure about such an important task, there are companies who can make life a little easier.

  • Communication skills – as a freelancer you’re going to have to communicate with clients. Part of the communication will be sharing your ideas and requirements as well as listening to what your clients have to say.

  • Management skills – as well as managing your own time, you may be called upon to manage subcontractors or outsourced staff. Interpersonal skills are also going to come in useful. Time management is also vital because you are going to have deadlines to meet.

  • Marketing skills – work is not going to come to you. You are going to have to go out and get it. You need to know how to market yourself and your service.

How to Begin

Wherever you are in the world, it can be quick and easy to begin freelancing. As long as you have the necessary tools, such as a laptop, then you can start sourcing clients and projects to work on. It’s vital to begin building a loyal client list as soon as you can, and you can do so by proving how willing and reliable you are. After all, no one will want to work with someone who can’t stick to deadlines, or who they cannot contact if they need help. Therefore, when you first begin, try to be as accommodating as possible with client requests. However, don’t try to cram a project into an unreasonable timeframe, if you cannot complete the task on time and at the highest standard, be upfront and honest. Your client will respect that you are able to do so, and will more than likely be able to work around your time schedule. Sourcing freelance work is easy with the internet, as there are a variety of websites where you can find work. By applying for freelance work through a genuine website, you will also be protected in case a client can’t pay for the project. You will also be able to display your portfolio and experience where clients can browse for freelancers, meaning they may approach you, rather than you approach them.

When you are traveling the world, it’s likely you will need an income of some sort to ensure you are able to see the sights and visit all the countries you want. Freelancing is a flexible and fun option. Above is a small selection of the skill set required to become a successful freelancer. You don’t need to be an expert in them all. There are plenty of people willing to cover some of the skillsets, but it will require payment that you’ll need to factor into your business budget.

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