Millions of people continue to get into the freelancing world every day due to the numerous advantages the industry provided over the standard 9 to 5 work. According to statistics, the gig economy has brought about trillions of dollars as revenue to various countries.
Freelancers in the UAE have greatly benefitted from the many goodies this industry has for them. This has also boosted the number of those interested in the field as some opt to make this a side hustle, while others make it their full-time career.
Many people often perceive freelancing as a simple, contractual task. However, freelancing can take up various forms, including:
- Moonlighting, or taking up jobs that you do over the weekends or at night. This helps to supplement the income from your full-time employment.
- Taking up employment from different sources. This typically means that one gets jobs from different clients and works on all of them within a stipulated time.
- There is also an option for a contractual job. For instance, one has the choice to fully concentrate on the job provided by one client and work on it for the stipulated time. In this case, the freelancer is not technically free to take up tasks from other clients.
- The other option which the majority of freelancers from Dubai have undertaken is running some sort of business. The freelancers who have already been hired by clients in turn sub-contract or outsource the work from other freelancers.
This is an ideal option when one needs to get their clients’ work done but doesn’t have the time to do it all.
There are many reasons why the gig economy has ended up soaring higher, in the Middle East over the last couple of years. The most significant one is the rise in the use of technology and the need for more flexibility.
In this case, flexibility means the ability to work from anywhere and at whichever time. Freelancing offers all these with other added benefits to both the employer and the freelancer.
But how does one get to become a freelancer and make money from home? Take a look at these tried and tested pointers:
1. Choose a niche
As you just get started on freelancing, you might be thinking that any paid work will do good for you. After all, it can’t be that hard. As you delve deeper in your career, you will have to get more strategic with your freelancing, and the type of work you take up will be more specific.
If you are getting in there for the money, you ought to understand that some freelancing careers are less popular than others, therefore, getting a job might be a bit of a struggle.
As you grow in that field, you can even charge more money for your services as you will have become an expert, and being one allows you to charge more for your work.
The old-age debate on whether one should either become a generalist or a specialist should not even be a matter to think about when freelancing. For instance, if the client is looking for a freelance social media marketer in Dubai, they will go for the person who specializes in that particular field, and not for a general marketer.
This is because their brand is more likely to benefit from the wealth of ideas and strategies the specialist will apply. Being a jack of all trades isn’t a bad though, as it will open you up to more gigs.
However, if you are looking for consistency, you have a better chance of getting new clients and still maintain the old ones if they recognize you as a specialist in a particular field.
2. Define your ideal client
Before you start looking for clients, you need to identify how your ideal client looks like. Do you want to work for small business owners, longer contracts with larger enterprises, or would you like to pitch in ideas for a fast-growing startup?
Before you decide on what types of clients to start taking up, you ought to consider the answers to the following two questions.
- Which business will your skills help to solve their problems?
- Does the company prefer the services of a freelancer?
- Will they afford to hire you?
3. Create a high-quality portfolio
Having a stellar portfolio of yourself is one of the best ways to get a good client as a new freelancer in the UAE. It is meant to spark interest while still convincing your potential clients that you are more qualified for a task they might have.
Moreover, this is also an avenue that can be used to educate potential clients on the types of skills you have. One can also link their portfolio to their social media profiles as this would also make the clients associate more with you.
4. Start freelancing before quitting your day job
Being a full-time freelancer is a rewarding career choice. However, if you are just starting out, you ought to have an alternative source of income. This is because freelancing, at that point, will only be a gamble for you – it might work out or fail to do so.
Leaving your job before being sure about the gains you get in freelance is one of the things you should not do in freelancing, and you should avoid that. In most cases, it advisable to grow your freelancing income to at least 75% of your total current income before you decide to quit your day job entirely. Your risk tolerance also determines the amount you choose to settle on.
5. Leverage your network for connections
Your greatest tool to finding yourself well-paying gigs is through your network. Your circle of friends and family (whether physical or virtual) is very beneficial in the world of a freelancer.
Friends always know somebody somewhere that might be of interest to you. The common phrase ‘I know a guy who knows a guy’ also comes in handy when you are in the search for clients.
One way which has assisted many to land lucrative deals is using mutual connections on social media platforms such as LinkedIn. You are to research on a company that you wish to work with and check if any of their followers is a mutual contact before you pitch a cold email to them.
A word from them to the company increases your chances of getting responses and even close rates. This goes hand in hand with knowing how to create a winning pitch to potential clients.
You can only make money as a freelancer in Dubai when you follow the right procedures while getting into the business. This guide will help you to get through the first phases of joining the industry up until you land your first clients.