Working from home during the Coronavirus pandemic will have given many professionals a taste of what it’s like to work as a freelancer. The flexible schedule and working in your casual clothes (sometimes your PJ’s) can be appealing. There are thought to be in the region of 2.2 million freelancers in the UK, and this figure continues to grow regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic(1).
If you are thinking of taking the plunge and becoming self-employed, this list of freelance professions could give you an idea of what you could do to be a successful work from home freelancer.
Freelance professions that enable you to work from home:
- Freelance Copywriter – Copywriters are the lifeblood of today’s modern marketing methods and play a vital role in content marketing, SEO, and brand strengthening. If you’ve got a good grasp of words and like researching and learning about new topics, then this career could be for you. What’s more is that you could set up and go with just a laptop, which also allows you the flexibility of being able to work anywhere.
- Graphic Designer – Micro Biz Mag(2) highlighted that the search term ‘Freelance Graphic Designer’ receives 2,400 monthly searches in the UK, which means freelance graphic designers are in demand! According to the Creative Industries Council(3), approximately 1 in 8 UK businesses in in the creative industry. This combined with the increasing demand by other industries who might not want to pay agency rates means there are a lot of opportunities for freelance designers. Research by the freelancer club states that “the average hourly rate for a freelance graphic designer in the UK is around £27.50.”(4)
- Marketer – According to a recent poll by PeoplePerHour, digital marketers and designers have been in the most demand in the past 12 months(5). With businesses looking to rebuild after the devastating effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the assistance of marketing and strategy experts to help them pivot, and in some cases finally “go digital”, has become much sought after. Marketers are key to business success and tend to work closely with clients in their offices on an advisory level, while then producing market research and marketing plans on their computers, which means you could easily work from home and conduct virtual meetings. So if you’ve got the marketing knowledge and experience, then you could be hugely successful.
- Virtual Assistant – This is potentially a slightly more restrictive role in that you might be required to work set hours of the day to ensure calls are answered and meetings conducted to set times and dates.
- Online Tutor / Teacher – As an online tutor you could help students of all ages to master key skills via video chatrooms.
- Data Analyst – Data is the most valuable currency in the world right now, but there is so much of it that it can be difficult to decipher, and even more difficult to draw insights from if you don’t have the required skills. That creates a gap that a data analyst can fill. you don’t need an office, to get started you’ll simply need a computer and a strong internet connection.
- Therapist/Counsellor – A lot of counsellors and therapists operate their businesses from “private spaces” to provide reassurance and anonymity to their clients.
- Personal Trainer – If you have a home gym or access to space, then you can help clients to gain strength, improve their health, and increase their self-confidence without leaving your home. You could also set up video feeds of online classes for a small subscription or fee to attend.
- Web Developer / UX Designer – If you’ve got a UX background you could help clients create better digital customer experiences for their clients. Developer roles such as this can be highly lucrative and can be undertaken on a laptop from your kitchen table.
- Translator – If you’re fluent in a couple of languages (or more), then you could be a translator. Speaking more than one language is a difficult skill and with the internet making the world smaller, the opportunities for professionals who can speak multiple languages have risen.
- Researcher – Another profession that can be done from a laptop, as secondary research is mainly conducted from a desktop computer or laptop. Desktop research is typically the cheapest research option, but requires skill to navigate your way through the amount of data (some of it conflicting) that exists online. Primary research can also be conducted without leaving your home. Many surveys are now conducted via email and a lot of focus groups have gone digital too on the back of the Coronavirus pandemic.
- Audio Transcriber – As a transcriber you’ll create written versions of audio recordings, meetings and conversations. This profession involves listening to recordings and translating it into long-form text. You may also also be required to review written drafts and make amends, while you will need to liaise with clients to ensure they are happy with the final results.
- Yoga Instructor – The Coronavirus pandemic saw an inextricable rise in the number of online health and fitness classes, with Yoga classes being one of the more prominent disciplines being taught. If you’ve got access to recording equipment, or you could simply set up a live link on an iPad or laptop, then you could easily “namaste” from your home, while your clients do the same.
- Wellness Coach – You could help clients to practice healthier living habits, such as nutrition plans or exercise plans. Many wellness coaches use the phone, chatrooms, and social media to interact with their clients, which proves you don’t need an office.
- Blogger / Influencer – Blogging, vlogging and Influencing have become big business globally and you don’t have to be a major celebrity to become an influencer for a brand or brands. if you can position yourself as an expert in your chosen filed and if you’ve got something valuable for your target audience that you can blog about, then you could make a successful career out of blogging. There is no limit to what you can earn as a blogger or influencer.
This list is not exhaustive, and if you put your mind to it you can pretty much succeed in any profession from home, but it’s hard work and there’s more to it than simply jumping ship from your full-time job. You will likely need to prove you can do each of these jobs at some point, so ensure your qualifications in your chosen field are up-to-date and collect customer reviews wherever possible.
What do I need for a successful ‘working from home’ career?
- Reliable internet connection
- Organisation, focus and forward planning
- A strong network
- Business protection
Making sure you’re connected
One of the key issues people have faced while working from home is with technologies.
Let’s face it, none of us were ready when the Coronavirus hit, and that goes for a lot of businesses, internet service providers and online meeting apps.
Online work from home is reliant on you have a stable and strong internet connection, but connectivity doesn’t just rely on your router. As I’ve found out from first-hand experience, the tech ability of your laptop can make a difference too.
Upgrading can cost you in the short-term, but in the long-run it’ll be worth it because there’s nothing worse than losing your connection when you’re in a meeting with a client.
Get organised, stay organised
If you decide to work from home you’ll need to be disciplined, self-motivated and organised. There are a multitude of apps you can use to help you with this, plus using some tried and tested management tools, such as the Eisenhower Matrix which will help you to prioritise and stay focused.
As with all professions, you’ll still need forward planning for your meetings and in some cases you’ll need to do more prep as you’ll be reliant on the internet and other technologies, which can let you down if you haven’t tested them beforehand.
Build a strong support network
If you decide to work from home, you’ll need to work hard to build a support network.
Advocacy doesn’t come easy and even though you might have a stack of positive testimonials, if those customers aren’t actively referring you to their contacts, then you might find winning new business difficult.
Building a network of like-minded professionals will enable you to call for help and advice about running your business successfully. You’ll also need support if you encounter any technical problems.
A lot of self-employed professionals also work with a business mentor, this could be an option to help you stay on track to meet your goals and work with someone as a sounding board for your ideas.
Ensure you are freelance profession is protected in case something goes wrong
As a self-employed professional the buck stops with you. That means if anything goes wrong that costs your clients money, then you could be liable for the cost of putting things right again.
If you offer online yoga classes, then refunding an event fee for one yoga class because you have fallen ill, or because of technical difficulties won’t break the bank.
But what if you’re a marketer and your advice doesn’t produced the desired, or expected results for a client? Your client could take action against you and allege that your advice was negligent and cost them money, both in terms of the project cost and the loss of expected revenue. Without adequate insurance you’d be left to fit the bill for any legal fees and/or compensation out of your own pocket.
That’s why it is vital that self-employed professionals, such as freelancers and contractors, ensure they are protected with business insurance.
Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance will provide cover for alleged negligent advice and mistakes, while public Liability (PL) insurance will provide cover if you deal with customers face-to-face. so if you conduct meetings with your clients in your home, then public liability insurance will cover against any potential accident that may occur such has your client tripping while on your premises and sustaining an injury.
The quickest way to find out what cover you might need is to click here to start a bespoke online quotation
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What are the benefits to working from home?
Insurance for work from home professionals
Author Phil Ainley, Marketing Manager