What is Freelancing & What Does it Mean to Freelance? 2022

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What does a freelancer do?

Many people want to understand the answer to ‘what does a freelancer do?’ as it can be a very attractive career path because of its flexibility. It’s a type of work arrangement where you’re considered self-employed and work on different projects for multiple clients. As a freelancer, you have full autonomy over which clients you work with, the level of involvement you have and the number of projects you work on simultaneously. You may work on behalf of a freelance agency, which can match you with suitable clients. Freelancing work is typically short term, but it’s possible to negotiate longer contracts.

The Internet also offers freelancers a wealth of new opportunities for employment. There are freelance websites where potential clients can find and hire suitable freelancers for projects. The rate that you can charge as a freelancer may depend on your prior experience and skills. There’s also a market rate for services that you may base your rates on. A freelancer can choose to charge an hourly rate or a flat fee for projects completed. This can depend on the contract you agree with a client before completing any work.

Types of freelancing work

Freelancers can work in many fields and industries. The line of work you choose to go into depends on your individual talents and experience. Some of the common types of work freelancers perform include:


Freelance writers can produce content on any topic relevant to a client’s industry. They perform thorough research on a client’s line of work to ensure they gather the correct information. It’s important that a freelance writer communicates effectively with a client, to ensure they convey the correct message to their readers. A client can provide instructions for writers to follow or ask them to adhere to a specific style guide. Some of the content freelance writers can produce includes:

Freelance writers may have their work published under their own name, but they often serve as ghostwriters. This means clients may publish the work they’ve produced under a different name. An organisation or institution may also publish their work as a general guide or advice.

Project management

Freelance project managers can help clients manage their tasks, objectives and timelines for specific projects. They liaise with clients and team members regarding project goals, the strategies to achieve these and the most effective management techniques to achieve this work. Freelance project managers typically allocate resources among team members to execute a project while adhering to budgets and deadlines.

Graphic design

Freelance graphic designers create illustrations or visual images for a variety of different clients. Graphic designers who have experience and knowledge of their craft can interact with clients and brands to produce visual content that aligns with the message of the brand. Freelance graphic designers may create multiple draughts of their design and liaise with a client to ensure they adhere to the correct creative vision.

Human resources and recruitment

Freelance human resources employees may perform duties associated with recruitment, remuneration, employee benefits and development. A freelance recruiter hires employees for roles within a client’s company. They can post jobs on recruitment websites to attract qualified candidates. They may also be part of the screening process of candidates, to ensure their suitability for a role.

Human resources freelancers also have responsibilities outside of recruitment and may work with current employees in a client’s business. These responsibilities may involve setting up benefit plans for employees and pay structures for positions within different departments. They may work with a client’s management team and aid in creating strategic objectives and performance metrics to evaluate an employee’s performance.


Freelance tutors help students improve and enhance their knowledge and understanding of different subjects. A tutor creates and distributes lesson plans to help students understand the methods for success in the academic environment. Freelance tutors require patience to work with students, who may be unfamiliar or struggling with academic material. You might also write progress reports to update a student’s teacher or parents about their performance and progress.

Web development

Freelance web developers design the front and back end of client websites. They collaborate with clients to create a site that delivers a positive user experience and communicates the message of their brand. A freelance developer may test applications that improve site functionality. They may take client feedback on board and change a website based on their wishes. A freelance web developer can also monitor the performance of a website, including the rate of traffic and conversions. This can show a client how the website is impacting the success of their business.


Freelance bookkeepers utilise financial and accounting software to maintain a record of a client’s financial transactions. They’re responsible for the expense and income reports and creating clients’ financial statements. They also prepare financial reports that disclose the financial status of a company, keep track of debits and credits and ensure tax compliance. Bookkeepers can also work with a client’s account manager to identify the company’s financial status and discuss how to communicate this information to key stakeholders.

Other terms for freelancing

  • Contract work: Jobs where you are working to fulfill a short-term or part time contract
  • Contract job: Same as above.
  • Independent contractor: This is the IRS classification of a freelancer
  • 1099: Freelancers are paid using a tax form called a “1099-MISC” as opposed to your typical, full-time W2. Sometimes “1099” is used to refer to a freelancer.
  • Contract consultant: This term refers to a consultant coming in under a 1099 contract for a short period of time.
  • Contract-to-hire: Sometimes freelancers are interested in full-time employment. Contract-to-hire roles provide a sort of “test period” for a freelancer before they are hired full time.

The term “freelance” dates back to the 1800s when a “free lance” referred to a medieval mercenary who would fight for whichever nation or person paid them the most. The term “lance” referred to the long weapon that knights on horseback used to knock opponents off of their horses (think jousting).

The origin of freelancing

I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them—I will lead them to Hull, seize on shipping, and embark for Flanders; thanks to the bustling times, a man of action will always find employment.

How freelancers can make improvements to their time scheduling

Freelancers decide everything about their time, so they also have the sole privilege to decide how they can make improvements to their time management. This includes every change and tweak that will lead to finalizing projects earlier, taking care of miscellaneous work faster, and everything they can do to perform quality work, but still enjoy enough personal time with family and friends.

Once you have these time results, you’ll be able schedule your day better, and consider where you can make improvements – work on reducing the amount of time you spend on one, less important activity, so that you have more time for another, more important activity.

Perhaps you’ll find that you have room to spend more time on promoting your business, which will in turn up your job prospects; or find that some projects are more profitable, or that you spend too much time on tax preparation (in which case you’ll consider turning to a professional agency).

Once you know how you spend your time, you’ll be able to manage it better, as well as ensure you make the most of the time you spend on sustaining and improving your freelancer career.



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