Freelance: What Does It Mean?

Freelance is the term used to define contract work supplied by an individual who completes a range of jobs for a variety of companies. An independent person provides, produces or sells their work to several different organisations rather than being employed by a single business.

A freelancer builds a professional skill set, then sells their services directly to a client under temporary, predetermined terms, for an hourly, daily or project rate. Considered self-employed, they have the freedom to choose the projects they wish to complete and the people they wish to work for.

The journalist used to be employed as a staff writer for a newspaper but is now a freelancer for several different publications.

Examples Of Freelancing Jobs

Freelancers offer a diverse range of services and can often fill niche jobs such as graphic or web design, marketing, bookkeeping, project management, teaching, performing, social media management or writing. However, as the employment landscape constantly evolves, freelancing can provide convenient answers to new demands. Consider the recent success of “pop-up” businesses.

How Does Freelancing Work?

At its core, freelancing provides flexibility and freedom, with the choice of who, when and where the work is completed. However, every aspect of the work is owned by the individual, so creating a business plan is vital.
Research is key when it comes to offering relevant services and competitive rates.

At a minimum you must define the following:

  • Services offered
  • Quality portfolio website
  • Industry/clients to target
    Availability (hours of operation)
  • Scale of projects (time management)
  • Strategic rates
  • Business pitch

A freelancer chooses their own clients and sets their own prices for services rendered (typically higher than salaried staff to compensate for overheads.) The sweet spot is to pair freelancer needs with client needs, in order to create a sustainable income and outcome.

Where Did The Term Freelance Originate?

FUN FACT: Freelance is a medieval word which arose from knights whose lances were free for hire. Considered mercenaries not pledged to a single master they were free from political allegiance and available to sell their sword to a succession of causes.