How To Be A Freelance Teacher

Freelancing jobs are full of potential and opportunities Freelance teaching is not a new concept. It has been around for ages. However, the latest trends in globalisation have given Freelance teaching a new spin. Here is a short guide to help you start of as a freelance teacher.

The first step is to decide that kind of freelancing teaching job you are in­terested in:

A) Travelling freelance jobs: These kinds of jobs require you to travel to other states or countries to take up a teaching assignment there. These kinds of jobs are especially popular with teachers who have multilingual experience.

B) Online freelance teaching jobs: These jobs involve sitting at home and tutoring over the internet. These types of projects include tutoring of subjects such as History, Geography, English etc. assignments are handed over the internet itself.

C) Regular freelance teaching jobs: These are regular freelancing jobs that you can take up in the local areas like tutoring school students, teaching art etc. and do not require travelling or access to online services. You don’t need to travel for these jobs.

Once you have decided what kind of freelance job you want to do then it is time to think on the following points.

What different you can offer?

The biggest challenge that a freelancer faces is offering something different than what others are not. Think hard and fast about your special qualities as a teacher.

Be ready to network extensively

When you are new in the business you don’t have much contacts so be prepared to network eaten surely. Look up your old contacts, old students, and visit local online communities to build up the network. It will be hard work but it will be worth it.

Stay in touch with teaching even when not working

Teaching is a profession in which you need to be at the top of your game at all the times. Therefor it is important that you stay in touch with teaching at all the times. Volunteer at the schools / colleges or at the night classes. This will help you in understanding the minds of your students better and therefore you will be able to teach better.

Network with other freelance teachers

When you are starting as a freelance teacher then in order to get some hands on experience on what actually happens in the freelance teaching world, it would help you a lot to network with other freelance teachers. Remember never ask them to share their client details but ask them about how they started, what they charge and what are the points to look forward to. Teaching methods of every teacher is different and therefore you are bound to pick up some useful points every time you interact.

Make sure all your documents are in order

Nobody wants a teacher who is not organized himself/herself. Keep all your documents in order, which should include your degrees and certificates all in order. If you are interested in traveling freelance jobs then make sure that your passport is updated and you have the necessary permissions.

This way you can present them promptly and the point will go in your favour.

Don’t be afraid to take up new challenges

Just as every teacher is different, every student also had different learning capability. As a freelance teacher, you usually don’t get the time to mould the student as you wish and therefore it is important that you mould yourself the way the student wants. Some students like to have lots of books to read and some understand better with the practical way. Take up new challenges with confidence in your teaching methods and you will defiantly succeed.

Hourly Jobs Or Fixed Price Jobs

There are mainly two types of payments for any freelancing job: fixed price or hourly payment. For freelancers one of the most crucial questions is how much and how to charge for a job? How does one fix the rate for his/her work? These are not questions, which are never easy to answer. There are no general rules, which can be listed on this topic.

The reason that this topic is so debatable is because the answer depends on both the freelancer and client. A freelancer always looks for a good payment for his/her work and a client is always looking for high quality work at the most reasonable cost. What a client wants to pay and what a freelancer wants for the job is not always necessary the same but between the two they can work the amount of payment. However the mode of payment will have to be either a fixed price or an hourly rate. So how do you choose? Let us take a look at the pros and cons of both and hopefully it will give you a clear idea of which once you should select.

Hourly Rate Job

An hourly rate job is a job for which you are being paid by the hour. Depending on your agreement with the client the formula for keeping a track of your hourly work can easily be worked out. Most of the times the client will ask you about how much work you can do in an hour before fixing the hourly rate for the job.

The Good

  • Has a scope for changing payment and time.
  • You will surely get paid for the amount of work you do.
  • You gain more client trust because he/she can easily keep track of your progress.
  • Lower financial risk
  • Changes are adapted easily on both sides because no side feels shortchanged.
  • Changes and extra time can be easily accommodated.
  • Perfect for working in a variable environment

The Bad

  • Hourly rates have a limit.
  • Income is not always constant.
  • It is difficult to predict the workload in advance
  • More chances of miscommunications are more.

There are many things, which you need to consider when applying for hourly jobs. These include things like billing of time that will be required to search the web and time required discussing the project with client and the team etc.

The amount you charge for an hourly job will depend on the skills and expertise required to complete the job. Check the industry rates and calculate your personal factors before deciding an amount.

Fixed price job

A fixed price job is one in which you get paid a fixed amount to do the job. A fixed price job does not take into account the amount of time and energy that you will put in completing the job. There payment of the job is decided upfront and there is a little chance of flexibility. The client will pay you once the job is done in the stipulated time and he is satisfied with your job.

The Good

  • Income is fixed
  • You can ask for a part of payment upfront.
  • The work outline is clearly defined
  • You can use your resources
  • Work on your own time.

The Bad

  • Risk of running a feature creep
  • Risk of losing payment
  • Likely to take financial burnt on yourself.

The biggest risk that a fixed price job runs into is the ‘little extra’ that some clients might want you to do. A little changes and additions can be adjusted in the job but you will have to draw a line if these demands do not stop and become a condition of payment.

The right formula

Some freelancers prefer to work for a fixed price job and some prefer to work for hourly jobs. My advice is to strike a balance between the two. Take the advantage of the good in both and you will never go wrong. When working for fixed price jobs I usually take 40% of upfront payment, which acts as a surety on both sides. When you are in doubt about the profit you can get out of a job then go for hourly payment otherwise opt for fixed price.

Of course the client will have a lot of say in this because it is he/she who is offering the job. But if you have a clear mind about what and how you want to charge for the job you will be able to negotiate better and both parties will benefit.

How to prevent being cheated in freelancing jobs

Quite often, than not we hear about freelancers being duped out of their money or not being paid for the job that they did. It is not only a financial loss but also diminishes the moral of a freelancer. Freelancers especially newbie free levels often fall prey to the fact that have been duped It is easy to pre vent yourself from falling into such situations H you keep the follow­ing in mind:

There is no such thing as simple work and quick money:

Every now and then, you will see advertisements in the mail and newspapers proclaiming that where the job they are offering gives you a chance of earning quick money by waking on pastime basis or wake hg at your continence. This in the biggest trap to lure wannabe freelancers or cash strapped individuals. There is no such thing as part time jobs with lots of money. These are usually data entry jobs that will take up a lot of your time and pay only peanuts.

Avoid free samples:

I once applied for an article-writing job and the client asked for two free samples of the topics, which he gave. It was purely by chance that I learnt that he had asked for two samples each for eight different people. He hired none of us and got 16 articles for free You have to safeguard yourself against such scams the sure shot way to do this is to not agree to free samples of the client’s choice. You can give previous samples of your work. Ok it there is no way out of it than agree to do a small sample and not the full. The client will be able to figure out your work from the samples that you provide.

Safeguard yourself against no payment:

As a freelancer, you do not have a steady source of income. Therefore in the event of non-payment you can face a financial crunch. The best way to avoid this in to take part payment before starting the job and keep taking payments in parts throughout the job. If the client is not ready to give advance then make sure that you have the verified details of the client. This should include phone number (working and checked) email ids and physical address. In case of non-payment, you can then follow up for payment. There will be clients who will delay making payments by giving excuses. Therefore retain the rights of your, walk till you receive full payments

Accept payments through verified means only:

A way to safeguard yourself against bogus payments is to receive payments through a verified medium such as your bank account or on the credit card, which can be traced easily. Keep a record of the payment that you receive for future purposes.

Read the fine print

Many clients and freelancers prefer to sign a contract before taking a job. These contracts are usually legally binding. When you are signing a contract, make sure that you read the fine print about the payment methods and dates. Terms like ‘payment will be made when work is done’ can be misleading if the amount of work is not described beforehand. Therefore, make sure that you know the work and payment proportion.

There is not harm in asking for payments when the work is done because it is your right. Many freelancers face a problem of asking for payment when the client keeps increasing the work. For example, the client hired you for one assignment and then gave you another without paying of the first one. In such situations, it is always good to come out in clear with the client and discuss things rationally.

What A Freelancer Really Is Wondering About All The Time

In our previous posts about how to be a freelancer we have discussed about in length about how you can be a freelancer in almost any field of work. Every freelancer whether he or she is a newbie or an established freelancer worries many times about some of the basic questions all the times. In this post we have attempted to answer all the basic questions in one place

How much should I charge?

The question comes up with every job. Of course it all depends on many factors such as the complexity of the job, the time required and the effort on your part. For example a simple article job without any complex technical mentions will earn you less than an article writing job, which requires understanding of complex technical mentions. The amount of money that you will charge will also depend on the client’s budget.

Many freelancers make the mistake of taking in less professional work to build up a portfolio but it only looks bad on the actual portfolio. Professional rates are to be maintained at all times.

Where to find a client?

The best way to fine a client is to stay in the visible at all times. If you go out of picture for a long time and have not been in touch with things around you because you are ‘too busy’ then you will end up losing clients then gaining them. Initially the best way to get work is to approach the clients. If you have some trouble in a direct approach then the best way is to ask somebody else to help you get some work.

How to deal with a client who is unhappy with my work?

Unhappy clients can be easily avoided if you are consistent with your work and make a special effort to understand everything that is required of a job. However the world is not perfect and you are bound to encounter an unhappy client sometime. The best way to deal with an unhappy client is to be polite at all time and present with the completed work at all times. If things you out of hand then you should retract quietly.

How many samples should my portfolio have?

Your portfolio should showcase your latest and best work. Keep the number of samples limited to maximum of 12. If you have done a variety of work the select the best piece out of each category and place it in your portfolio. Keep in mind that prospective clients are more interested in the quality of your work than the quantity of the work. If the client needs more samples of a particular kind then you can also send the samples in mail.

How to manage money and other accounts?

For this it is important to understand the countries freelancing laws. You need to keep track of all your transactions for filing and tax purposes. Financial management is a must for any freelancer. Money also does need to be set aside for rainy days. You can get some advice from an account professional to help you manage better.

What kind of online presence do I need?

In terms of online presence you must have a website and a blog, which will be a home page of all your work. It will also be a one stop information bank for the client who want to know your interests and want to contact you. Make sure that the blogs are all updated and you answer comments on them. Also make sure that your website has all your latest details. It will also serve as a base to give free rein to your thoughts.

When To Say No To A Client

For a freelancer the client in the most important person. The client usually has the final say in the working and completion of a project. However, it is not necessary that the client is always right or you cannot refuse to what a client wants. Many a times it happens that even when you have completed the work the client keeps asking for some ‘little’ changes or additions before making the payment. It is ok to over deliver a little but when the little accumulates to large amount of work it is the time to say no. Many freelancers keep on doing -the work from the fear that the payment will not be made or the client will not give a good reference after the job. This does happen in some cases but these situations can be easily avoided:

Use the ‘can we process the payment while I do this’ technique. Client wants some extra work? Sure, you can do it but can they process the payment first so that your invoicing can go through? This way both parties remain happy.

It is ok to say no if you have other projects: Yes, if you have other projects at hand you can say no to the client for entre work citing the same reasons. If the client values your work then maybe you can work an arrangement both can benefit from.

Say no to the client if you have even a bit of suspicion: It is completely ok to say no to the client if you have even a bit of suspicion in terms of the amount of work or payment. Remember you want to work but the work should not go waste. A client who does not want to share contact information for is not giving the clear instructions for the job then you have the right to be suspicious.

Another time which you will have to say no to the client as when the client promises more work but keeps on delaying it. As a freelancer, long periods of no earnings can lead to a serious imbalance in your budget. Therefore, if the client has promised you more work but keeps on delaying the work and the payment then it is a good idea to pick up another work and ask your previous client for payment.

Say not if the client is offering you a profit: Many start-ups are based on profit sharing basis. If the client if offering you profit sharing in place of payment then you should say no because you don’t know if the business is going to make any profit or not. Granted it make seem very lucrative to be a part of the venture but think about how are you going to track the profits, are you going to be a partner, and how long the profit sharing will go on.

Say not o prospective clients if they are friends or family members: Working for friends and family members can be very stressful for both parties. For you, as a freelancer, there is an added pressure to perform extremely well and at a ‘reasonable price’. For the client it is to convey their review without hurting your feelings. You don’t have to say a direct no, instead use sentences like ‘I am too busy with other projects but I can refer you to xyz person who will be able to do it better’ or ‘I don’t like mixing business with family’ etc.

Say no if you are bulldozed in doing work for charity: Doing work for charity is a good thing if you have volunteered for it. If you are being bulldozed, (by making you feel guilty or appearing to your good nature) and the charity work is going to set you back then say no.

Freelancing On A Shoestring Budget Made Easy With Following Tips

‘We might come closer to balancing the budget if all of us lived closer to the Commandments and the Golden Rule’ – Ronald Regan

In my last post about the importance of budgeting, we discussed about why it is important for all freelancers to maintain a budget at all times. The unpredictable payment structure of your job as a freelancer will not let you have a fixed budget for every month of the year and there will times when you might be operating on a shoestring budget. In this post, we will discuss about some easy tips, which you can use to make a budget that will help you sail through difficult times without having to give up your freelancing dream.

Be realistic

The first thing to do when making your budget is to be realistic. Take the help of online budgeting tools or sit down with pen and paper and calculate your expenditure/ income ratio for the past one year. The easiest way to do that is to divide your income by 12 to find out the average income. For expenditure check your bank balance for the last year and calculate. Once you have the expenditure/income ratio, (which ideally should be less than one) then multiply is by ¾ and this should be your aim for the next year.

Most people tend be overshoot a bit when making the budget because they see the large picture with big amount of money. This is where you have to rein yourself, and make a budget, which looks achievable.

Fix a salary for yourself

This is my secret of budgeting and maintaining the budget at all the times. I have two bank accounts, one in which all the payments come in and the other which is my personal account. At the beginning of each month, I give myself a fixed salary and leave the rest of the amount in the other account. I have been following this practice for two years and have found out that I actually end up saving more than my budget indicated. My monthly budget is then based on the fixed salary that I get.

Ditch the credit cards

Credit cards are easy to carry and use but they can also be the greatest sources of factors that can upset your budget. The ‘buy now pay later policy’ can be quite misleading as you often end up paying more in terms of interests and fees. Therefore, ditch the credit cards when you are working on a shoestring budgets and pay only by cash. This way you will know exactly what you spent and how much you have left with you.

Create an emergency fund

‘Forearmed is forewarned.’ Every budget should have an emergency fund over and above the personal and business accounts. Set aside some money to spend in emergencies such as hospitals, broken computers, extra equipment etc. You can cut down on your monthly expense budget but on no account you should cut down on the emergency fund budget. Keep the emergency funds at a place where you can access the easily.

An emergency fund is the money that you can bank on to keep you afloat during the months in which you are looking for new jobs or have taken a break from working.

Be prudent in spending and bargain wherever you can

Of course, the first rule is that you should not buy what you need. However when you are out shopping for things that you do need, it will not hurt to be prudent in your spending. Check online and newspapers for deals and sales at various stores before you go shopping. You can always bargain for things from the local shop. Before going shopping make a list and stick to it. In fact, if you can take only amount of money that you will need so that you don’t end up buying anything else.

Operating on a budget needs some practice but if you follow through then by the end of six months you will be surprised to see the amount of saving you have.


Five Quirky Freelancing Jobs

Tell anybody that you work as a freelancer and they will ask you about either of the two things: what do you write about or what kind of programing that you do? Most people’s idea of freelancing is limited to writing or something related to computers but if you will dig a little deeper freelancing is much more than that. There are hundreds of freelancing jobs, which you might not even have heard about. You can enjoy a freelancing career even without having to write a single article or computer program. In this blog we have listed five such quirky freelancing jobs

Pet Trainer/Groomer: Most people love to have a pet at home but often don’t have the time or clue on how to train them and groom them. A freelance pet groomers takes up the responsibility of training the pet for the owner. All you need is lot of love for the animals and basic knowledge how to train them. Of course there are various specialties in pet grooming also such as horse groomer, dog trainer, parakeet trainer etc.

Freelance finder: A freelancer finder finds things for people. If you need a particular gift item for your loved one or just want to create a replica of an old memory then a freelance finder will find the things you want for a very small fee. Freelance finding can be about anything but is quite different from the detective work.

Freelance shopper: I think this is one of the most exiting freelance jobs of all. A freelancer shopper shops for things which other people don’t have the time for. For example an interior designer will hire a freelance shopper for shopping for interior decoration products needed for a home or office or a manager might ask a freelance shopper to find some office gifts under a budget. Sometimes a freelance shopper might be asked to even suggest gifts or products which further helps broaden his/her horizons.

Mystery Shopper: A mystery shopper is different from a freelance shopper. A mystery shopper is hired by big brands or independent product evaluation companies to shop for their products and give their reviews. These reviews include employee behavior, product quality, billing systems, general ambiance of the outlet etc. For example as a mystery shopper for McDonalds, you get to eat a free meal there and also evaluate the quality of their burgers. Mystery shoppers are paid according to the projects.

Freelance home maintenance: People who are away from their homes a lot need somebody to oversee the maintenance of their homes, coordinate with the cleaning services etc. Freelance home maintainers undertake to take care of your home as if it was their own and make sure that everything is the way you want it when you come back from your holiday or business trip.

Why Freelancing Is The Right Choice For You?

Taking a plunge into freelancing is very much like deciding which career option to choose when you are in college. You have to weigh the pros and cons of each option you have before you select one. A common question that we hear at interviews is ‘What makes you think you are right for the job?’ To answer the question you must know what the job entails and how does it match to your skills and requirements. The same is true for freelancing, before you decide to take it up you must know whether it is the right choice for you or not. In this post, I have listed some points that will help you figure out the answer for the same.

Full time or part time

There are two types of freelancing work that you can undertake full time or part time. Full time freelancing means that you don’t take up a regular job and fully concentrate on freelancing. Part time freelancing is when you keep your regular job but also do some freelancing work as a source of extra income. You need to think carefully about which option you choose from. Keep in mind that no employer will like it if you do your freelancing jobs in regular working hours. Can you give enough time for both jobs is the prime question you need to answer when think about taking up part time freelancing.

Can you stay alone and work

Freelancing means that you have to work alone for 99% of the time. All the brainstorming that you need will have to be done by you. You will not have anybody ‘assisting’ or ‘helping ‘you in completing the work, or doing the marketing or gather data and equipment.  Most of the time freelancers don’t even have a regular office space. Therefore, think if you are up to doing all the work yourself.

You are OK with irregular income

Freelancing does not guarantee you regular income at any times. Income will depend on the assignment that you are working on currently. There might even be a gap between the assignments during which you will not have any income. So you will have to learn to save judiciously for a rainy day and also plan your expenditures.

You want to try new things and learn new skills

If you want to try out new things and learn new skills, then freelancing is the right job for you. Each job will get you a different and unique kind of experience, which will broaden your horizons. You will get a chance to learn new skills of your interest at your own time.

You stay at a remote location

Freelancing is a perfect career option for those who live in remote locations or have not been to find the correct job matching their skills in the area, which they live in. Sometimes commuting to the workplace might be a problem and in such cases, freelancing is a perfect choice.
Because even from a remote location you can easily have a global, reach when freelancing. You will get to choose your own assignments and make your own schedule, which is perfect for working from home.

You want more ‘me’ and family time

For whatever reasons if you feel that you need to give more family time or me time then freelancing might be just the option that you need. Since you will be working at your own pace with no unnecessary stress or pressure, you can give as much time as you want to your near and dear ones.

You love challenges

If you love new challenges then freelancing the way to go!  Each job that you take will bring you new challenges that will make you want to learn more and be the best of the best. These challenges can be in terms of time, research or output etc. and you will take pride in completing each one of them.

Get Freelancing Jobs Using Your Social Connections

Love it or hate it social connections are a key to success to every business. By social connections, we mean both physical and online social connections. Online social connections are popularly known as social media connections.

Even the person that you befriend on the train ride becomes the part of your social connection. Social connections are a part of your everyday life. As an established or starting freelancer, you can easily utilize you social connections to get great jobs. In this article, we will take a brief look at the type of people you should connect with how you can use those connections for your benefit.

Family: Your family can help you further a career by putting in a good word about your freelancing career. It is always a good idea to keep your family in loop with your freelancing work. They will be able to give you their honest and true opinion.

Friends: The kind of support and recommendation that your friend can provide you is something, which you will not get anywhere. Friends of your friends are more likely to trust you if they know that you have a common connection.

Current and former co-workers: Your co-workers already know your work and therefore they can give you a good recommendation based on their experience. Many of them may move to a position where they might require your freelancing skills. Networking with current freelancer gives you a platform to share your doubts and feelings with people who are or have been in the same situation. You can discuss projects with your co-workers and even join forces for new projects.

Clients: If your current and former clients are happy with your work they will always consider you for the new jobs you have. My last two freelancing jobs were originally intended to be two months projects but the client extended the projects for one year because my work was good. Keeping in social touch with your former and current clients will help you make a solid base for future projects.

Teachers and Professors: Open your old class yearbook and get in touch with your schoolteachers and college professors. It will be interesting to learn what they have been up to. Most of them might have some kind of freelancing jobs that might suit you.

Local Businesses: Every local business is always looking for ways to increase their business and your freelancing skills can be of their help. But you have to go to them and interact on various social levels to get them to send some business your way. You can also learn a lot from them in way how they run their business.

Prospective clients: You cannot sit hand on hand waiting for jobs to come to you. You might know the prospective clients today but in the future you can develop long term connects with them. It is always a good idea to initiate a conversation either physically or through social media. You can strike up conversations by commenting on their posts, blogs etc. and following them on twitter.

The more you network, the more are the chances of you being able to make your presence known. You must make a dedicated effort to join forums that appeal to your interest. Make it known that you are interested in taking new jobs. Don’t be afraid to let your skills be known to the world. People tend to hire those freelancers you have confidence in their work and skills.

However, there are some points, which you must keep in mind when interacting over social media. Be careful about how much information you are giving out. Do not be too persistent. Remember you want to make your presence known but do now want to overwhelm everybody.

Working remote and benefits

Over 43 million people in this works have taken the advantage of working remotely from their homes or other locations. 21st century has seen a revolution in remote working which many people thought was impossible. Of course technological development has contributed in a great way to this revolution but mainly it has been because of the many advantages or benefits that it has.

What is working remotely?

You will be working remotely if you are working away from your employers business place. Even if you are in the next block it is still working remotely. Working remotely largely happens over computers and internet.

Working remotely should not be confused with freelancing though. You are freelancing when you are not working for a particular employer but choosing the projects you want to work on whereas in working remotely you can be working for a particular employer or freelancing.

There are many reasons on why working remote is fast gaining popularity. Let us take a look at the most popular benefits of working remotely:

More family time:  Around 51% of people who were working remotely have confirmed that they get more family time. The flexible working hours and the time saved in commuting gives them more time to concentrate on their children, spouses and relatives and be more involved in family activities. A better work and life balance is good for your own well being too.

Better productivity: Both the employers and the employees will confirm the fact that the ability to work remotely gives better productivity. This has also enables the employers to post a better retention. Also working remotely you can concentrate more on the job because there are no unnecessary distractions, not surprise meetings and no cooler talks. One more factor that contributes to increased productivity is the need of remote works to prove them because they are not present in office.

Less Stress: When you work remotely, you are subjected to less stress than the regular office environment. There are a number of factors that contribute to this; the first once is the reduction of commuting stress, secondly there is a reduction of stress from peers and thirdly there is a reduction of stress caused due to extra activities.

More earnings: This may sound a little strange to you but working remotely does save you a lot of money. You get to work in the environment that you are comfortable in and therefore you work more, which means more earnings. You save money on commuting and other small expenses that you may incur during traveling to and fro from office.

Remote working also benefits the employers because they do not have to invest in office space, heating costs, security, transports etc.

Better for the environment: Working remotely decreases the net CO2 emission. Telepresence, paper less working, less emissions from the building all contribute to reducing the CO2 emission in the environment. Therefore, by working in the remote office you are contributing to making the world a better place to live in.

Flexibility: The most popular benefit of working remotely is the amount of flexibility that you get when working. Most employers are not concerned with the timings you keep as long as you turn in your work in time and do it correctly. You can set up your own work timings. This also helps cuts down on absent employees in the organization. Flexible working hours also mean that leave planning becomes easier.

Working remotely is a win-win situation for both the parties and it definitely makes more sense than opening a new office in the world of today. All you need a laptop, the adequate skills and the willingness to try something new to make a success of it.