Gen-Z Guide to Freelancing

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Introduction

As of 2019, there were nearly 57 million freelancers in the United States, with a whopping 50% of Gen-Z participating in freelancing. If this trend continues, it is likely that more than half of Americans will be freelancing in the near future at least in some capacity.

Many of the workers mentioned above are full-time freelancers, while others keep their regular 9-5 or service jobs while taking on side projects during their free time. The rise in part-time and freelance work has brought about a new term for this type of labor market, “The Gig Economy.”

But there is a lot you need to know about generating income outside of a “regular” salaried or hourly position. There are advantages and disadvantages to consider; taxes will look different than your old colleagues’; you’ll be running your own small business operation; your life and schedule will be completely different compared to what it once was.

All of this to say that the way we work is changing, and we’re EXCITED for it. As passionate and experienced freelancers ourselves, we’ve created this handbook to include everything we wish we knew when embarking on our individual freelance journeys.

Here are some questions you can expect to answer from this guide:

  • Chapter 1: Why should I freelance?
  • Chapter 2: Am I qualified to freelance?
  • Chapter 3: How do I start freelancing?
  • Chapter 4: How do I find freelance clients?
  • Chapter 5: What are the common mistakes freelancers make? (And how to avoid them)
  • Chapter 6: What are the downsides of freelancing?
  • Bonus Materials: The Freelancer’s Guide to Money

So, let’s start with the most important one.

What is a freelancer?

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Freelancers offer their services to clients for a fee as independent contractors. They typically do not expect to work with the same clients forever. In some ways, it's like operating a small business versus working remotely in a 9-to-5 position. A freelancer can also work as a contractor, instead of running their own business.

Freelancers can offer their services to clients and businesses through platforms and online marketplaces like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer, or they can run their operations like their own business and handle all the contracts, invoicing, and payment collection themselves.

A freelancer can provide almost all of the services a business needs to succeed. There are several common freelance opportunities, including: accounting, graphic design, marketing, social media, teaching/tutoring, virtual assistants, coaching, web and app design and development, writing/editing, and many more.

There are many freelancers who specialize in specific niches, such as landing page copywriters, fitness trainers, nutritionists, or other industry-specific contracts.

Your income as a freelancer depends on the skills you offer, your experience, and the market you are targeting. According to the Freelancer's Union, freelancers generally earn anywhere from $10 to $75 per hour. Like the traditional workforce, more educated or experienced workers generally make more than those with less education and experience in their respective fields.

What is Continuum?

Because freelancers typically rely on a number of tools to manage their contracts and business operations (up to 20 separate tools, in some cases) there has been a certain amount of “app fatigue” faced by freelancers.

How can Continuum help your freelance career?

Freelance success manager

Continuum is a solution to this app fatigue, providing an all-in-one solution to freelancers for managing their entire workflow from lead gen to payments. Unlike freelance marketplaces, the service is 100% commission free.

Freelancers on Continuum benefit from an online portfolio and contact page, called a Subspace. A Subspace may be used instead of a website to share work samples, testimonials, and as a contact/chat portal for potential clients. Clients don’t need to worry about tracking down your email address when they can simply message you directly through your Subspace page.

Continuum also allows for effortless collaboration by including chat, proposals, project management, invoices, and payments all in the same platform.

It’s the perfect setup for new freelancers looking to get started without spending an arm and a leg on project/business management tools, and for experienced freelancers looking to consolidate their operations.

Spend less of your career switching from app to app and more of it doing what you love: freelancing.

We believe that freelancing is the future. And in order to make freelancing as accessible as possible, Continuum has created a guide with everything you need to know to help you Have Fun Freelancing!

Read on to learn why you should freelance, how to get started, finding clients, common mistakes and how to avoid them, plus a BONUS freelancer’s guide to money.

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