Also in Italy, in recent times, we are witnessing the emergence of a new category of workers: freelancers. There are several reasons for this, mainly due to the changing world of work and the changing lifestyles of workers.
In this article I will explain step by step:
- what Freelancer is;
- how to use the Freelancer platform to find work online;
- why train as a digital freelancer.
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What is Freelancer?
Freelancer.com is the world’s most popular digital platform for freelancers. It was founded in 2009 in Australia and allows employers and freelancers located all over the world to connect. It currently has 30 million registered users.
Freelancer is the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing platform in the world in terms of both the number of projects within it and the number of users who use it for their professional purposes. Within the Freelancer platform, there are about 1350 different categories; they range from website development to SEO, from copywriting to internet promotion, from graphic design to content production, and so on.
Before going into detail explaining how exactly Freelancer works, both on the side of the job seeker and the job provider, it is necessary to make a necessary clarification.
Freelance or Freelancer?
The two terms are very often confused, and just as often used as synonyms, but there is a clear distinction between the two.
Freelancer, as explained above, is an online platform that allows freelancers and employers to meet.
Freelance translators, on the other hand, are self-employed, VAT- registered workers who offer their services, and their skills, in exchange for a fee. Their particularity is that they work on their own, and are not employed by others.
Freelancer: how the platform works
The Freelancer platform is quite simple and intuitive. It is used by two types of individuals:
- employers, companies, or professionals who publish a project by offering a job and a certain fee for the requested activity;
- freelancers or freelance professionals who can apply for various job offers.
It is necessary to divide the research activity of freelancers into 3 parts.
- Publish a project: the person requesting a specific service will have to publish a project on Freelancer, free of charge, and then wait for it to automatically receive offers from the parties present on it. Alternatively, the interested party can directly browse through the list of freelancers on the Freelancer platform and make an offer to whomever he or she considers most suitable.
- Select the perfect freelancer: In this second step you will look at the different freelancer profiles on the platform. You will compare the different proposals, and if you wish, you can communicate directly with them. And then afterwards, the choice will be made. After that, the freelancer will get to work.
- Payment: in this last phase, payment for the service is made. The company or professional who has used the service can either set targets to be met to proceed with payment or decide to do so when the work is finished. So you have full control on the part of the publisher of the project. Freelancer guarantees secure payment through its milestone system.
During the realization of the project, Freelancer offers customers the possibility of using its desktop app to monitor the progress of the activity. This represents a certain form of ‘control’ that project providers possess, checking what has been done and what still needs to be done. It will also be possible to check the hours worked by the freelancer or to communicate with him and much more.
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Working as a freelancer
Here, too, it is best to divide the activity into several steps.
- Profile: at this stage the freelancer will have to complete his user profile, entering what his experience and skills are. He must, of course, upload a profile photo professional and can consult the checklist of the Freelancer verification center to complete these requirements.
- Choosing freelance jobs: Freelancers have a variety of jobs to suit any skill and profile, so the freelancer will have to look at the different job offers and from them choose which ones are best suited to his or her skills and professional experience. Moreover, he will have to evaluate not only the different rates/offers but also his availability in terms of time. He will also be able to use filters to improve his search and save his searches so that the Freelancer platform will notify him through a notification when new jobs are published that match the profiles he is looking for. It is a functional way to find freelance work.
- Make your offer: this phase is very important because it is the decisive stage in whether or not you get the job. The professional should endeavor to formulate the best possible proposal, making it clear to clients that he or she understands the focus of the project and that he or she is the most suitable person. The advice is to formulate a new description for each project, this will certainly increase the probability of selection.
- Selection: at this last stage if you have been chosen, you will have to be ready to work, you will have to guarantee top-quality work, and thus earn the agreed amount.
In the case of the freelancer, the Freelancer desktop app is also very useful, both for receiving updates on work and for keeping in touch with clients.
Terms and Conditions
The Freelancer platform has its system of terms and conditions. It provides either the possibility to activate a free account and work on one’s own from that account, or to subscribe.
Why choose to subscribe? As a member, you have considerable advantages: 1) receive more job offers; 2) add more skills; 3) be able to seal or highlight several proposals per month free of charge; 4) follow up with different employers.
The number of these varies depending on the subscription plan you decide to subscribe to. Freelancer offers five of them:
For each of them, one can choose either a monthly or annual plan, in the latter case the average monthly cost decreases.
Freelancer offers the opportunity to try out the paid version of its platform. It is possible to subscribe to the Plus version of the subscription free of charge for one month, and then at the end of the month, it will be decided whether or not to continue with the subscription. At any time the user can decide, if he is a subscriber, to cancel his subscription, or change the plan version to a higher or lower one. In the latter case, and also in the case of cancellation, they will continue to enjoy the benefits of their plan until expiry.
In the Plus, Professional, and Premium versions there is the possibility of becoming a selected freelancer. This program is all about distinguishing yourself from other freelancers, highlighting your quality offerings and at the same time participating in exclusive projects.
In this program, there are three fundamental aspects:
- The possibility of receiving exclusive invitations. It is the Freelancer team that invites selected freelancers to bid on the best daily projects.
- Remuneration, because in this case, the selected ones will access the projects with the highest remuneration on the site.
- Last but not least, the last but not least aspect concerns advance commissions. The freelancer who joins this program enjoys a preferential plan regarding commissions.
Freelancer allows one to verify one’s identity (the famous blue tick, next to one’s name, so common on various social networks) to maximize one’s chances of being selected.
The main objective is to get noticed by those offering work. This allows not only a higher probability of being chosen but also to participate in projects of larger companies (e.g. Freelancer also works with Facebook and Airbus), with certain higher remuneration; in essence, it allows you to earn more.
How does Freelancer’s verification procedure work? It’s quite simple. You click on the “verify your identity” button and you are contacted by the Freelancer team to schedule a time when the verification will take place.
The procedure usually lasts no more than 24 hours and consists of a verification telephone, a verification with an identity document, and finally a verification through the KYC (know your customer) procedure.
This check is an extra step that indicates to those who choose that you are a true professional. However, a cost of € 109.80 must be borne.
Like everything else on the web, these types of tools also have a ranking and reviews. These reviews are given by both providers and applicants on special platforms.
The most famous and used of these is Trustpilot, an online platform for reviewing companies and their services. On it, Freelancer holds a score of 4.4 out of 5, with more than 6,000 reviews carried out, of which 78% rate it as excellent. On Websiteplanet, on the other hand, the score is 3 out of 5, however, with only about a hundred voters.
Why train as a freelancer?
Digital has now become indispensable in any business. Companies and professionals need the web and its associated tools to attract customers and achieve results. It is essential to train and stay up-to-date in this area to meet the challenges of the present and the future,
Thus, the digital freelancer has become an indispensable job figure in today’s market. Nowadays, companies prefer to offer requests for collaboration to these consultants, rather than include them within their structure.
So, let’s see who digital freelancers are and what it takes to become one.
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The Digital Freelancer
A digital freelancer is a freelancer who offers his or her services to companies or professionals whose business needs and can no longer do without the web. The advantage of working as an online freelancer is that you do not need to make a large initial capital investment, but, of course, you do need to have the necessary skills to carry out this activity.
Freelance work is certainly attractive because it allows you to work remotely, with no strict time constraints, but unlike salaried work, it is the professional himself who has to get his clients. If one wants to become an online freelancer, one must necessarily use the web to make oneself known and consequently focus on oneself, i.e. personal branding, trying to enhance one’s reputation on the web
It is certainly very useful, in creating a blog, writing posts, creating videos for the web, and through the use of contact funnels turning interesting readers into customers. Of fundamental importance is the writing of an attractive and effective landing page.
This route is very useful for making oneself known on the web and allows one to receive more and more contacts from interested customers over time. It is necessary to develop experience in the field, through the implementation of effective personal branding and lead-generation strategies. Working as a freelancer will no longer remain a dream.
As we have seen, setting up one’s own business has its advantages and there is certainly no shortage of opportunities and tools to do so right from the start, but which freelancers are most in demand? Here are some professions:
- digital marketing consultant
- experts in SEO
- video editing
- web development
- social media
- data analysis
- graphic design
- e-commerce specialist
All in all, it can be said that Freelancer represents the most widely used ‘online place’ between those offering and those requesting collaborative work. Depending on the importance of the Freelancer platform in our professional life, different types of membership can be chosen. Being part of the selected Freelancer program could be the trump card.
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