Side hustle to full-time freelancer

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Over all the other platforms, it is at freelancer where I choose to remain. Although I originally started with another platform in 2008, I decided to stay when freelancer took it over.

There were significant changes to the old platform that I was not sure that I liked. Membership fees and upfront project fees among them. Freelancing was only a side hustle at the time as I was working full-time as a technical writer and editor. So I stopped freelancing for a while at that point.

But my dream never waned. All I could think of was working for myself, free to pick and choose the projects that excited me. And spending everyday with my white Swiss shepherds. So I started side hustling again to build up experience, a reputation and repeat customers while working full-time. It took hours of searching for and bidding on many, many projects almost every day. I finally started winning more and more projects and clients sought me out. It was finally getting easier.

About eight years ago my mother passed away suddenly which made me reassess everything in my life. It was now or never that I needed to follow my dreams. I took a risk and quit my full-time high paying job to freelance on freelancer full-time. It was really scary. I needed to earn enough money to support myself and keep a roof over my head. No other money was coming in.

Make no mistake there were some really dark, tough times where I thought I would fail. Hours and hours every day spent searching for suitable projects, writing submissions, talking to clients while achieving good results for my clients. Often I worked 10 or 12 hours a day, and sometimes even more.

Then I joined the Preferred Freelancer Program. And with a lot more hard work, I proved myself as a person of my word as well as delivering results that my clients loved. Not just once or twice, but most of the time.

Joining the Preferred Freelancer Program gave me access to better quality projects. Projects that paid more and I could afford to bid on as I only paid project fees on milestone release. I still worked hard but now on the projects I won. I rarely needed to spend much time looking for projects to bid on. Recruiters drop notifications into my chat. And I have the option to bid on the project or not.

After working so long on freelancer, I was now in a position to pick and choose the projects I bid on.

Over the years I learned many hard lessons. For example, my personality clashes with some cultures. But the biggest lesson is not to undervalue my worth. And the Preferred Freelancer Program helped me realise that and so did some amazing clients.

I also built lots of relationships with the recruiters that come and go over the years. There was a lot of mutual trust that we would all do the right thing by each other and the platform.

Whenever I bid on a recruiter project, I let them know I have put in a bid. Sometimes I get an answer and sometimes not. After being here so long I understand the pressure recruiters are under. There is only one of them compared so many of us. My attitude is that if it is meant to be then the client will contact me anyway and they often do. I just keep moving forward.

One of the best things about being part of the program is that we have our own support system. When this initiative started it was like a bright shining light rose up like the moon in the sky. Now we had support people who really listened to and addressed our needs. Who actually helped us in such a cheerful, caring way that you did not feel frustrated about needing help. In my opinion, our preferred freelancer support staff are angels who get to the heart of a matter to solve issues quickly and efficiently.

So if you are reading this I have some advice. It is only through hard work and persistence do you get the work you need to build a good reputation. But only ever accept work that you know you can deliver, that will make your client happy. For if you fail in this way, it hurts your reputation. Just remember you are only as good as the last project you completed.

Do not become discouraged. There is enough work out there for all of us. We are all working at different levels and in different niche areas. Yes, there is competition so you need to make unique bids to catch people’s attention.

God luck and may you achieve success.

Posted 28 February, 2023


Passionate writer, journalist and editor

Kym is an Australian freelance writer with a passion for words. She has more than 20 years’ experience across all facets of the publishing industry. Across her career, Kym has worked as a journalist and subeditor for newspapers, as a contract author and editor for corporate projects, as well as freelancing on and off since 1999. Kym writes across almost all genres and topics including: … product ...

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