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Freelance in the Digital World

Updated on June 17, 2019
Melissa McDougall profile image

Melissa is an avid writer and loves to share personal experiences, so others can learn and grow with her.

A long, long, time ago...

Have you been wondering how long freelance work has existed? How did people manage before the internet?

Freelancing as a career has references dating back to the 1800s with accounts of freelance writers eventually turning into seasoned Editors. So how did they do it back then? Think word of mouth, patience, networking and moving where the jobs were.

D-I-G-I-T-A-L - Say it with me!

Now, thanks to the technology that they lacked, we don’t necessarily need to relocate for work. That’s one of the many appeals of freelance work in this day and age. But most of the trials they faced in the 1800s is still true to this day. Word of mouth remains important, patience is still a virtue and networking will help land you a job you didn’t even know was out there (or one you did!).

The digital world allows everyone, including freelancers to reach a broader audience. This helps with word of mouth, which one could say is now word of social media. Where would a freelancer be now without a website, a blog, a twitter, an Instagram, a Facebook page or Pinterest? Maybe you need a Youtube channel to reach out to your audience and market? Maybe you even use Google+? But you definitely need to be using Linkedin.

Merge ‘word of social media’ with the concept of networking. You are now killing two birds with one stone. Stay connected with clients, fellow freelancers and friends; to make sure a line of communication and a display of your work is always available.

The Catch

Even though the digital age can be a great opportunity for a freelancer, that doesn’t mean it lacks hardship. That patience is a virtue concept? You won’t find many people, clients, who believe in that. They want it now. They want to message or call at any hour to make a change or ask for an update. Set your boundaries. Purchase a phone just for work and turn it off after your work hours. Let them know you will respond within 24 hours.

Technology is a freelancer’s best friend, personal portfolio, and a useful tool for any skill or trade.

How do you use digital strategies to benefit you and your business?



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