What is a Freelancer? 10 Signs to Consider if You Want to Become One

What is a Freelancer? You are probably asking yourself this very question if you are reading this article.

In this digital age, independent work is booming. Freelancing is no longer a side hustle for third-rate accountants and architects: it’s now a first-class ticket to financial flexibility and career growth.

In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics[1], the freelance workforce has grown by more than 60% in the last decade alone! This means that millions of people are working independently from home and loving every minute of it.

But with so many people embracing freelancing, you might be asking yourself if it is right for you. If so, you’re in luck – we’ve got everything you need to know about freelancing and whether or not it suits your needs as an employee, business owner or side gig.

Let’s dive right in…

What is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a person who works as a contractor or consultant rather than as an employee. Most freelancers work on a project-by-project basis, but some are hired on a long-term basis to provide ongoing services.

Although there is no standard definition of what it means to be a freelancer, there are a few key characteristics that most freelancers share. Most notably, freelancers generally choose to work independently from home (or from a coffee shop, if you’re lucky!).

This means that they are not employed full-time by one company and have the flexibility to take on different types of work as they please.

How to Become a Freelancer

If you’re considering a freelance career, there are a few things you should do before you actually start working. These will help you get your new business off on the right foot and make sure you have everything you need.

– Create an LLC: If you plan on running this business as a separate entity, an LLC is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your clients from any potential liability issues.

– Get your business name, domain name, and hosting set up: You need to have a place for people to go to hire you, so set up a website and social profiles to make it easy for your potential clients to find you.

– Get your finances in order: You don’t want to start working for yourself only to realize that you don’t have any savings or a plan for how to pay your bills.

– Build your portfolio: You can’t expect to make money as a freelancer without any experience, so make sure you have some projects in your portfolio that can show potential clients how great you are.

7 Signs You Should Consider as a Freelancer

– You love being your own boss: Freelancing can be incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility. Once you become a freelancer, there’s no one to report to, no one to ask for time off, and no one to tell you what to do.

If you love being in charge of your own schedule and have the discipline to stay on top of your work, freelancing can be a great choice.

– You have a lot of free time: While being a freelancer can give you more freedom, it also means that you have a lot more free time than you used to. This can make it hard to find the time to do things like exercise or go to the doctor when you need it. If you want to avoid any health problems due to lack of exercise or poor eating habits, then it’s best to keep some regular hours every day.

– You want to enjoy a better work-life balance: You can set your own hours, wear whatever clothes you want, and take advantage of the flexibility that comes with being self-employed.

– You don’t feel tied down by your job: While this may seem like a good thing at first, it can actually cause problems if you don’t have an emergency savings fund or health insurance. Even if you do have those things, it’s still important to feel as though you are financially secure and that your job is what supports your family rather than vice versa.

– You have a niche skill: If you have a skill that other people need . Programming, graphic design, or copywriting are all good examples. It will be much easier to get clients. You can charge more for your services, build a steady client base, and generally have an easier time finding work than someone who doesn’t have any special expertise.

– You have a good work ethic: Freelancing is often seen as something for lazy people who can’t find a real job. In reality, though, it’s often much harder to succeed as a freelancer than it is to succeed as an employee. Successful freelancers work hard and are always pitching new clients and looking for ways to improve their business.

– You can find work: Some people think that freelancers must struggle to find work, but this isn’t true at all. In fact, there are tons of websites like Upwork and sites dedicated to connecting freelancers with clients. If you are willing to put in the time and effort to get work, there is plenty of opportunity out there for you to succeed.

3 Signs It Might Not Be the Right Move for You

– You don’t have any savings: Freelancing is great, but it isn’t free. You don’t get a steady paycheck, and sometimes work can be hard to come by. If you don’t have any savings or a way to supplement your income when work is slow, it will be really hard to get by as a freelancer.

– You don’t have a side hustle: Working as a freelancer is great, but it isn’t a full-time gig. If you don’t have a side hustle to bring in extra money, it will be hard to save up enough to weather slow times.

– You don’t have any skills: Successful freelancers know their strengths and weaknesses. If you don’t have any skills that are in demand, it will be hard to find work. If you don’t have any skills to offer, it might be better to look for a traditional job than try to make it as a freelancer.


Freelancing is a great way to make money, live more affordably, and gain valuable experience and training in your field. However, it can also be risky if you don’t know how to find clients and get work.

Take the steps to make sure it is the right choice for you, and you can enjoy the many benefits of being your own boss. Keep in mind that while freelancing is a great way to make money, it isn’t right for everyone.

If you’re considering going out on your own, make sure you have a steady stream of clients, a side hustle, and a good work ethic. With these things in place, you can thrive as a freelancer.


[1] Sara Horowitz, “Freelancers in the U.S. workforce,” Monthly Labor Review, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, October 2015, https://doi.org/10.21916/mlr.2015.37

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