What Do Freelancers Do? Types, Benefits and Skills

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 4 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The worldwide freelancing industry has grown significantly in size and scope since the advent of the internet. Freelancing may be exciting and enjoyable for people who like to work flexible hours and work with a diverse range of clients. Being a successful freelancer can also help you extend your skill set and position yourself for new job chances, and learning more about this opportunity could help you decide if it's right for you.

In this article, we answer the question, what do freelancers do? and provide information about this career, including the benefits you might experience in a freelance role.

What do freelancers do?

Freelancing is a self-employment arrangement in which you work on several projects for different clients. As a freelancer, you may select how involved you want to be while working with customers, and you may decide how many projects you want to work on at the same time. A freelance graphic designer, for instance, may create logos for five different customers. They may then accept to work for a sixth customer if they have time. Freelancers may also work for staffing agencies, which connect freelancers with customers.

Here are some services freelancers may provide:

  • Data entry

  • Writing

  • Computer and information technology

  • Copywriting and editing

  • Education and tutoring

  • Accounting and finance

  • Graphic design

  • Web development

  • Photography

  • Medical and health

  • Customer service

Related: A Complete Guide On How To Become a Freelancer in 6 Steps

What are the different types of freelancers?

Discussed below are some common types of freelancers:

Freelancer writer

As a freelance writer, you can create writing pieces and material for your client's industry. In this role, you may conduct research to acquire the necessary facts and effectively express your client's intent. Clients may give you directions to follow or offer you a topic to write about. Clients may expect you to produce writing pieces in various forms, such as web content, blogs, articles, marketing collateral and advertising text.

Related: What Is Freelance Writing? And How To Become a Freelance Writer

Freelance project manager

As a freelance project manager, you may assist customers in staying on track with ongoing projects. In your role, you can communicate with workers on project goals, ways to achieve them and the process. To complete the project while keeping costs under control, it's essential that you distribute resources evenly across several teams. You may educate staff members on principles and practices that can assist them in completing each step of a project.

Freelance graphic designer

As a freelance graphic designer, your responsibility is to create pictures and illustrations for various customers. You might utilise your proficiency and expertise in graphic design software to produce an illustration that corresponds to customers' brand statements. You may create many rough versions of designs or sketches to increase customer satisfaction.

Related: What Is It Like Being a Graphic Designer and What Do They Do

Freelance recruiter

Freelance human resources (HR) and recruitment professionals handle tasks such as hiring candidates, determining benefits and staff development. Freelance recruiters are responsible for filling vacant vacancies at a client's firm. You may also publish opportunities on job posting websites to draw candidates' attention, review their resumes for vacant positions, interview applicants and present job offers in this capacity. HR freelancers are responsible for tasks other than recruitment, such as establishing health insurance plans for employees and establishing compensation systems for roles within various divisions.

Freelance tutor

Freelance tutors assist pupils in expanding their understanding of academic subjects. As a freelance tutor, you can provide students with lesson plans to help them learn how to excel in their class. When managing kids, it's essential that you're patient so you know what strategy to use when creating ways to absorb new content.

Freelance developer

Freelance web developers create both the front- and back-ends of their clients' websites. In this role, you may follow your client's directions to develop a website that provides a pleasant user experience for their target demographic. Freelance developers also test various applications to improve the functioning of the website and make design changes depending on their input. You may examine website traffic rates to determine if the modifications affect the number of visitors that visit the client's website.

Related: How To Find Freelance Work as a Web Developer (Plus Tips)

Freelance bookkeeper

Freelance bookkeepers utilise various accounting software and programs to keep track and capture the financial transactions of a client. As a freelance bookkeeper, it's critical that you include revenue earned and the expenditure spent on the financial statements of the client. In this role, you may expect to produce financial reports that show their financial situation, track bills owing to suppliers and work with a tax preparer to guarantee tax code compliance. You can collaborate with the accounting manager in place to determine the company's financial position and relay this information to key executives and stakeholders.

What are some benefits of freelancing?

Working as a freelancer may provide unique benefits, including the following:

  • Flexible working arrangement: Many freelance jobs allow you to do all of your work remotely from the convenience of your own home. You can select your work location, relocate more easily and spend less money on commuting.

  • Schedule flexibility: In addition to meeting deadlines, you may determine the scope of your work and select the number of assignments you accept, providing you with scheduling flexibility.

  • Job variation: Freelancers can work on many projects with various customers or organisations at the same time. This allows you to make new professional contacts while utilising a variety of skill sets.

  • Flexible rate determination: As the quality of your work improves, you can modify your charges without consulting with a manager or supervisor.

What skills can you cultivate as a freelancer?

You might attempt acquiring new hard and soft talents to advance your freelance career and boost your resume and cover letter. Consider the following useful abilities that clients frequently seek when employing freelancers:

Communication

Your freelance clients may have various communication methods. When interacting with clients, it's critical to be proactive, especially when informing them of your job status and reacting to inquiries. By providing honest and accurate information, you can assist your clients in developing strong connections and handling any possible problems before they arise. Robust communication and interpersonal skills can also help you network and connect with other freelancers who can offer you useful information or employment leads.

Time management

It's critical to fulfil deadlines by submitting work punctually when freelancing. Because you possess control over your daily calendar, you may choose which chores to prioritise and when. Your workday may include a variety of duties for various clients. Being aware of how long it takes you to complete a task and how many pauses you need in between can help you maintain high-quality work and set realistic objectives.

Self-assessment

Freelance clients may provide you with feedback that varies in content and manner. For example, if one customer expresses a strong preference for one talent while another doesn't mention it at all, you may obtain feedback that looks inconsistent. You may find possibilities to improve your freelancer practices if you can analyse what advice is most useful to your job performance, reflect on your decisions and remain open to acquiring new abilities. You may also establish particular goals for yourself and the dates on which you want to reflect on their outcomes.

Adaptability

When you operate as a freelancer, you may have many customers with varying schedules and work styles. It may be beneficial to understand how to make changes and compromises to properly fulfil each client's demands while keeping your work preferences. Knowing how to adapt can also assist you in learning new abilities and working well in a variety of contexts.

Data entry

Data entry frequently entails utilising software applications to input information on a computer. Computer expertise and a high typing speed can help you acquire this talent. You can conduct data entry duties in a variety of industries and execute tasks, such as maintaining spreadsheets or entering fresh information into a database. Clients frequently want specific corporate information to be available to them and others, so they may appreciate a freelancer who can rapidly analyse information and properly insert it into their database. Data entry skills may also be useful in maintaining your information as a freelancer.

Programming

Because most companies rely on contemporary technology and profit greatly from having an online presence, many clients appreciate freelancers with hard abilities in computer programming. Learning a programming language may help you execute a variety of in-demand client activities, such as website design, establishing online portfolios and encrypting private data. Knowing the most recent version of each language might also help you stand out to possible employers.

Marketing

Because successful marketing efforts may lead to increased engagement and revenue, companies frequently hire marketing freelancers to promote a product offering. If you love interacting with people online, you might be interested in this role. Freelance marketing often entails learning how to generate successful online content, optimising material for search engines and evaluating consumer and demographic trends for social media marketing campaigns.

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