What is a Freelancer? How to start? Which Platforms?: Overview

What is a Freelancer? How to start? Which Platforms?: Overview

The digital world has developed an incredible ecosystem, where users not only consume content or information but also demand specific services and products, of course, there are other users and professionals interested in satisfying the labor market, working independently and externally.


In recent years, there has been significant growth in freelance jobs, where thanks to digital platforms that serve as communication channels, it gives you the option of doing remote-jobs, from anywhere, such as at home, studios, cafeterias. , libraries, shared spaces, or coworking.


These independent and external professionals are known as freelancers.

What is a Freelancer?

The word Freelancer means independent and external worker, self-employed or self-employed. In short, they are specialized professionals, who can perform specific jobs or tasks, in which companies request their specific services, which they must execute and are paid for the work performed.


My own definition of the freelancer is people who offer a punctual service, which is requested by the company, and depending on the previous negotiation, the payments are made by fees, by project or complete work, or by commission. Where the duration for the execution of your task or work is finite. In short, their contracts are limited to the specific activities for which they are hired and are not directly related to the company nor are they part of their payroll.

Characteristics of a Freelancer

For a freelancer to be able to successfully carry out all their activities, it is necessary to have the following characteristics:


  • Planned, since, if you take on several projects, it is necessary to balance the workload and fulfill all the tasks assumed.
  • Create work habits, where you fight against procrastination.
  • Clearly define the limits of the duties of the independent professional and their rights.
  • Having the ability to keep customers engaged, through impeccable work or attracting new customers, is part of marketing and sales skills.
  • Constant training, where it allows you to expand your knowledge on the subject you want to learn.
  • Project management capacity.
  • Develop accounting and finance skills.

Advantages of Being a Freelancer

  • Greater scope and obtaining new projects and jobs.
  • The flexibility of working hours, since each person decides their time to invest.
  • Working remotely, from anywhere, regardless of location, the most important thing is that you have access to electricity and internet service.
  • Each professional sets the price for their work, therefore, the profits obtained can be higher than a permanent job in a company.
  • You can obtain and complete multiple projects from different companies at the same time.
  • He obtains more experiences in different areas, due to the great variety of projects that he can take, in different countries and thus, learn about cultural and economic aspects of each reality.
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Disadvantages of Being a Freelancer

  • Find new clients and keep the client portfolio constant, since, if you stop finding jobs or projects, income can be affected.
  • You must pay for all the expenses that it entails from paying for services and even renting spaces (if you want to have a place to carry out your work as coworkers).
  • Have a developed habit, where work and personal aspects must be separated, and thus carry out work without interruptions.

What kinds of jobs can you do as a Freelancer?

Currently, many areas have adapted to this new reality, of doing work behind a screen, but the most common professionals or trades are:

  • Web programmer.
  • Graphic designer (in all his specialties).
  • Photographers.
  • Illustrator.
  • Translators.
  • Virtual assistants.
  • Writer or content creators.
  • Psychologists

Working modalities of a Freelancer

In most cases, the independent professional works through digital platforms, where, depending on the company, it has internal systems to manage work and execution time.


Therefore, depending on the situation, 3 types of work of a freelancer can be defined and they are:

  • Digital: they are works executed in their entirety, through digital channels, including communication.
  • Mixed: a digital and face-to-face part is executed, in specific cases such as training a work team to use a program or discuss a design carried out, among others. In recent years, many companies have had a mixed-style sales force, where the vast majority communicate through digital channels, but the execution of serving the client is done in person.
  • Face-to-face: these are jobs that are carried out entirely in person, although the staff is independent, there may be specific cases that must attend the company’s offices.

How can a freelancer charge?

This is a very important point since it depends a lot on how the freelancer has established his price for his work and the previous negotiation with the company they want to hire. But, it can be classified as follows:

  • By working hours: it is the most traditional style, where people establish a minimum amount for each hour of their work, here it depends to a great extent on each country, the specialty and the experience that each person has.
  • Per complete project: establish a value for fully executing the project discussed, for example, a professional photo session with 3 changes of clothes, and 15 edited photos, has a cost of 300 USD.
  • By commission: it is used more frequently by the sales team, for example, depending on the goal of sales or generated sales, the professional keeps 7% of the sales made.
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Payment method for a freelancer

One of the great challenges that a freelancer can have is when to receive payment since if you work with international clients when converting the currency, it can affect its value, but there are alternative solutions such as:

  • PayPal
  • Payoneer
  • Cryptocurrencies

That can be of great help when making the corresponding payments for the work carried out.

Why do companies hire Freelancer professionals?

Companies decide to hire independent professionals, because they are specific activities or projects, which are not profitable when hiring a permanent professional or assigning current human talent to said task, therefore, savings can be converted into important economic and also legal aspects (compensation for dispensing with the worker).

Another reason to hire freelancers is that the human resources department (HR) has more opportunities to increase its spectrum of the search for new talent in other frontiers.

Freelancer contract

Although you are an independent professional, it is necessary to create a contract to establish the limits of compliance for both parties, the rights, and duties. And thus have support as insurance for the execution.


For the development of the contract, it depends a lot on each country, because some countries have special taxes for digital works and certain legal conditions.


The basic information that should go regardless of the type of job or the country are:

  1. Personal data of both parties, in the case of companies, must include legal aspects of the entity and the person who represents it, and the position they have within the brand.
  2. The service to be provided, where it must be detailed to a great extent about what does the work consist of? Functions? Formats? And various features.
  3. Time of completion of the work, where the start date is specified, and the delivery time.
  4. Amount to pay, you must establish the final amount, with or without taxes, payment methods, and modality (50% and 50%, 60% and 40%, before starting work and at the end of work).
  5. Changes, how many changes can be made? and the limits of the changes that are within the project.
  6. Warranty, how long is the warranty? And what does the warranty cover according to your work?
  7. Cancellation of the contract, it must be specified under what conditions the project can be canceled and the compensation for non-compliance.
  8. Responsibilities and obligations, the definition of the duty of both parties.
  9. Authenticity and copyright, at the end of the project, who is the owner of the work, the concept, or the idea? If it is authentic and unique, and the copyright on the project.
  10. A signature must be signed, stamped, and fingerprinted by both parties.
  11. Annexes, some documents that allow complementing the information.
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The contract must be in writing, in a clear, simple way, and detail all the work conditions that are relevant for the project to be executed successfully. 

Platforms to get a job

The freelancer can expose their work either through their own website, or social networks, or among their contacts, but another way to expose the work done and attract new clients can be obtained on specialized platforms such as:


It is an interesting platform, where you can locate services starting at 5 USD, but, depending on what you want to buy, prices may vary, this space is more like a market since professionals offer specific services such as: remove the fund from product photos, 5 photos with a personalized message, among others.


A space with a wide scope, where you can expose the work for different countries, and has a business focus, in which each company presents a specific project, and each professional applies for the job.


It is one of the platforms with more time, where you can get various services, and it is similar to Upwork, where professionals can apply for active projects and compete either because the professional offers a plus in their services or has a competitive price.


It is one of the platforms, of great relevance in Latin America, offering various options in Spanish-speaking jobs and projects.

For all the aforementioned platforms, prior registration is necessary, either because you are going to request a freelancer or you are going to locate a job.


Freelancers are professionals who are part of the economy of many countries, allowing the development of new projects and expanding the scope to attract new clients and obtain new income. To achieve this, it is necessary to develop and possess characteristics that allow you to remain as a freelancer and comply in the indicated time

This also brings important benefits for the company, such as diversifying talents and obtaining experienced professionals.


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