How To Be More Successful In Finding Freelance Work Online (Series 1 of 3)

“Is it Friday yet?” 

The very same question you’ve asked when you were a grade schooler and even now as a worker. 

Probably, you’d hear yourself asking this even on Mondays. What a tough day, is it?

Then off you went home, fired away Google and typed in “find freelance work online”.

And when sites that promise a great work-life balance pops up, your heartbeat races in seconds and there is that sort of urgency, rather happiness, knowing there’s finally a chance for you to be a carefree employee while earning a decent income from freelance work online.

“If others can do it, so can I” – a pep talk to reassure you that your dream job is right there on the internet.

Hate to break this to you, my friend. But not all of us were able to ace an online job in an instant.

But in today’s post, we’ll show you that being informed about the field you want to pursue is the first key action step.

Let’s get the ball rolling….

# 1. Eat, sleep and breathe freelance news.

The first step to finding success in a field you’re planning to pursue is to gather and read relevant news about freelancing.

I wish I have known this back then. You see, I was just like you in some ways. 

My growing frustration with my office job was unbearable that I immediately handed in my resignation letter without any backup plan or proper transition.

When one of my officemates landed a side gig on Upwork as a technical support while working full time, we were excited to join the band wagon.

All I knew at that time was that there were online jobs waiting for me (there it is!) and it was time to leave.

I wasted too much time sending bids after bids trying to win every proposal there is. My little savings slowly depleted until I had to borrow money and sell few of my stuff.

A total disaster!

What you can do though to avoid the same mistake is to read latest news, trends, and anything that has something to do with online freelancing.

This will help you assess if there is stability in this new field, gauge your success and how you can improve your chance of landing a great freelance work online.

Okay, let me raise some facts to tickle your curious mind.

Fact 1.  Freelancing in America 2016, the most comprehensive measure of the US independent workforce, says that 55 million of Americans are freelancing – that’s 35% of the US workforce.

Fact 2. On Elance-Odesk’s (now Upwork) 2014 Online Work Report Global,  there is a total of 9.7 M of freelancers registered on Upwork alone and a significant 3.8 M small businesses owners eyeing freelancers on Upwork.

Fact 3.  India ranks 2nd, next to the US, for having the most freelancers which account for 40%  of the world’s freelance jobs.

On the other hand, Philippines is tailing with over a million of online freelancers according to Payoneer’s VP of Marketing, Jonny Steel.  

Other countries who are competitively producing a high number of freelancers are from Bangladesh, Russia, and Romania.

Most of these freelancers are millennials with at least a college degree and relevant work experience.

What Aspiring Freelancers Should Do First Before Starting An Online Freelance Career

Why is there a significant growth to freelance work online?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual who is not continuously employed to perform specific assignments.

According to a 2014 article on Forbes, by 2020, many predict that half of American workforce will be self-employed and that by 2020, 50% of the US labor force are freelancers.

Well, there’s no surprise to it after all.

In 2016, there are already 35 % of American freelancers who significantly contributed a whopping $1 trillion to the US economy.

And with the constant growth of technology headed by those big guys in Silicon Valley, America will surely be a home to millions and millions of freelancers and start-up companies.

The freelancing trend could be linked to these three points:

1. The advent and continuous growth of technologies and the internet make it possible for businesses to effectively run online.

With just a few clicks on the internet, businesses can now scout for the right talent making it faster, easier and of course cheaper to hire someone online compared to the traditional way.

When you can do such thing in your business, it just makes sense to realign strategies that will meet the needs of your every project rather than hire full-time employees which cost more expenses like office space, utilities, and supplies. (Really makes sense!)

2. As part of this modern transition, our lives have been more fluid as well and, perhaps complicated, as we try to constantly to reinvent ourselves, find our passions and do things that make us fulfilled individuals.

It is obvious that there is a growing demand for self-scheduling and a more work/life balance.

Working for a fixed 9-5 job doesn’t give us that freedom that we want. And when companies don’t grow healthy seeds (employees), it could put their business at risk.

Time flexibility, decreased level of stress and more sleep and less driving/commuting to work mostly benefit to an employee’s higher level of work satisfaction which is attainable thru remote work.

3.  Your length of stay in a company won’t keep you immune from a mass layoff. Even stable companies in the US have once laid off hundreds of its employees.

The uncertain economic conditions, especially in developing countries, have inspired talented and skilled individuals to take control of their career path.

To summarize:

Freelance work online will continue to grow in the next few years.

Now that you’re assured that work-from-home jobs are in, then what? Do you have what it takes to thrive in this freelancing world?

Let me show you then the latest in-demand freelancing skills online and assess if you will be marketable once you start your online freelance job hunting.

But first, let’s go back few years ago.

In 2015, then newly merged Elance-Odesk, released a full year Global Online Work Report for 2014 combining both numbers from Elance and Odesk.

Shown below were the top freelancing skills back in 2014 with Quality Assurance Testing as the leading in demand skill based on job post growth

Upwork In-demand Freelance Work Skills For 2014

Based on freelance earnings, 2014’s Top Earning Countries were:

  1. US
  2. Philippines
  3. Russia
  4. Bangladesh
  5. United Kingdom
  6. Romania
  7. India
  8. Ukraine
  9. Pakistan
  10. Canada

What are the top in-demand freelance skills online for 2017?

The image below will show you the most in-demand freelance skills online. Some of those listed back in 2015 didn’t make it to the new list.

If you’re going to take a closer on the 2016 skill index, the tech skills make it to the first top five.

There is a growing demand for developers as products utilizing intelligent, voice-activated assistants like Google Home and Amazon Echo, are surging in the market.

Image of Top 20 In-demand Freelance Skills Online

The Top 20 Most In-demand Freelance Work Skills Online For 2017 As Reported By Upwork.

Freelance work online will continue to evolve alongside with technology. Today is the right time to jumpstart your freelance career.

However, we want you to have a strong foothold before you set yourself out there in the lion’s den where competition is at neck-to-neck.

Be sure to check our next blog post for further freelancing guide. So don’t hand in that resignation letter, yet. We still got loads of enhancement to do.

Basing on the infographic above, did your skill make it to the top 20 list? What are your skills? Is there a good chance for you to land a job online? Let us know down in the comment below. 

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 How To Be More Successful in Finding Freelance Work Online (Series 2 of 3)


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