Freelancer Launchpad: Steps for a Successful Start in the Gig Economy

By admin Apr15,2024
Steps for a Successful Start in the Gig EconomySteps for a Successful Start in the Gig Economy

The freelance work market is growing — employers are ready to delegate more and more tasks to freelancers Steps for a Successful Start in the Gig Economy.

The term “freelancer” came to us from the English language of chivalric times, it means “freelancer”. It is believed that the originator of the term was the writer Walter Scott, who used it in the novel Ivanhoe. A freelancer is a free specialist who is not bound by employment ties with one specific employer, that is, not in the state.

In simple words, a freelancer is an employee who looks for orders himself and can cooperate with several employers at the same time. Freelancers usually work remotely.

The number of freelancers in Ukraine in 2011 was 9,000 people, and in 2019 it increased to 495,000 people and continues to grow rapidly to this day. According to forecasts, the freelance market will increase by another 20% by 2025.

Most often, these are young people aged 18-24, residents of large cities, who have a fairly good financial situation. However, many freelancers are much older, and many also work in the provinces.

So, today I will tell you in as much detail as possible how to become a freelancer from scratch. But first…


Pros and cons of independent work 10

Freelancing, like any coin, has two sides, light and dark. I will write about both, and you decide what is more important for you.


Freedom. Undoubtedly, freelancing gives more freedom than any office job. If you want to take a day off, everything is in your hands. Work with the fire until 3 am, and then sleep until 12 noon – please! You don’t like the employer – you refuse the project and look for another one. No one will forbid you.

There are no bosses, hierarchy, subordination. A true freelancer does not have to please the higher authorities, because there is none. He owes nothing to anyone except himself and his family.

Ability to work at home. Freelancers work in comfortable conditions and do not waste time traveling to the office, and this is expensive. Freelancers, thanks to the “remote”, can be both people with health restrictions and pensioners, which is important.

Minimum costs for organizing your business. Self-employment is an individual micro-business, and to start it, you don’t need to prepare a mountain of documents, get a bunch of permits, buy office equipment, rent premises… There is a computer, MFP – that’s enough.

Only your own work. People who work for hire know that often full-time employees are assigned tasks that do not directly belong to their competencies. Freelancing is out of the question because a person chooses what he will do and what orders he will take on.

There are almost no overhead costs. Therefore, there is no need to buy office clothes and shoes according to the dress code or spend money on public transport or gas. Lower risks of contracting SARS due to limited social contacts — direct savings on medication.
There is no limit on earnings. An employee has a salary that cannot be exceeded, even if you work 24 hours a day. The freelancer’s earnings are regulated by him, and they depend on the amount of work performed.

You can work while traveling. Many freelancers travel around cities and countries and actively work on the road. Personally, it doesn’t work out that way, I’m only productive at home — but these are rather personal characteristics.

Everything would be perfectly fine if it weren’t for…


It is difficult to decide to go freelance. One thing is full-time remote work, and a completely different degree of responsibility is independent sailing. This is the lack of stability, the constant search for new orders and new projects, the lack of wages as such – the kind that is paid according to the scheme “on the 5th – advance, on the 20th – salary”.

Self-discipline is necessary. In its absence, it is easy to relax, work less than is necessary for a comfortable level of earnings, procrastinate, and postpone things for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. And undermine his reputation as a reliable and responsible performer.

Lack of a social package such as sick leave, vacation, and maternity benefits. In such a situation, a freelancer needs a high level of financial literacy, the ability to form a financial security cushion, and generally manage money rationally.

Social isolation. When a freelancer works at home for a long time, the lack of offline communication gradually increases. All life is moving online – planners, work, communication, and even corporate events can be held online today. However, socialization suffers at the same time, and those who are going to become a freelancer from scratch should understand this. Less drawn to live communication, a person closes in on himself and his family.

There is still a boss. It will not be possible to work independently without bosses at all. You will have to become a marketer, project manager, time manager, and even a mediator if conflicts arise in communication with clients. Otherwise, no way, because freelancing is not a hobby where you can act on inspiration, but a way of working and earning. And this is about systematicity.

Volatility of income. Let’s say that in November you worked hard and earned 80,000 hryvnias. This is a great result. But in December you relaxed and worked sporadically, not at full strength. Or the project you were working on was unexpectedly closed – as a result, your earnings amounted to 11,000 hryvnias. These are the kinds of swings that happen when working independently.

Difficulties with relatives. It is not always easy to explain to relatives – and especially to children – if mom or dad is at the computer – they are at work, they are not there, it is a phantom. As for the older generation, you can also hear the following from them: “When are you going to give up this Internet of yours and find a normal job?”.

However, the army of freelancers is growing, and here’s what to do for people who decide to become a freelancer from scratch.

Step 1. Choose a niche

It is best to list all your skills, which in principle can be monetized. Think about what the soul lies to. See in which areas other freelancers offer services. For example, if you focus on freelance sites, then here are the sections that are usually presented there – they fully reflect the structure of supply and demand in the market:

Specialists in the field of programming, IT services, development of games, sites and applications, and system administration.

 Photographers, videographers.

 Designers, illustrators, artists, architects, and developers of animated films.

 Specialists in working with texts – copywriters, journalists, editors, translators.

SMM specialists – content managers, group administrators, and target specialists.

Marketers, PR managers, SEO specialists, and internal communications specialists.

 Specialists in working with sound – composers, arrangers, editors, announcers.

  Online education professionals, from tutors to online school administrators and webinar moderators.

Hairdressers and beauticians, security guards, hourly men, and couriers are those who provide household services.

Based on this information, your skills, and abilities, choose a niche.

Step 2. Get training

If you came from recruitment and remain in the usual field – you know the industry, but you may not be aware of the nuances or new trends. And it makes sense to refresh academic knowledge.

If you are changing the field, the training must be serious to withstand the competition, you must be very deep in the subject and possess the relevant toolkit. Look for offline or online courses (not necessarily paid, free ones may be enough to start) or the opportunity to work as a junior with an experienced specialist in your field.

In addition to learning, communication is also important – subscribe to groups in social networks on the chosen topic, and find and join Telegram chats. This is both informal information and useful networking.

Step 3. Create a financial “cushion”

This is especially true for those who go freelance for hire, where there is a regular and stable salary and social package. There will be no such thing in freelancing – you have to invest first, and only then will you be able to receive income. It is unlikely that you will be able to get high earnings right away.

Personal experience – the first year I earned 5,000-8,000 hryvnias per month as a freelancer, working quite a lot. A lack of experience (although I came from a close field), a lack of recommendations and a general lack of understanding of where and how to look for an order was indicated.

The financial cushion should ideally be enough for six months – it is believed that during this time, with a serious approach, a freelancer can reach a decent level of income.

Step 4. Decide on the legal status

Today it is PE or self-employment – working “in the shadows” and not paying taxes is both dangerous and irresponsible and negatively characterizes you as a professional.

The tax burden in self-employed status is 18% when working with individuals, private enterprises, and companies. It is necessary to submit a tax declaration on income. You can also create checks for payment for the work performed, and the system will calculate the amount of tax by itself.

When choosing the status of PP, the tax burden will be the same – 18% on the simplified taxation system. PP pays mandatory deductions to the Pension Fund and the Social Insurance Fund and is also required to submit accounting and tax reports.

Step 5. Organize the workplace

Time management and self-organization are your everything. Think about where the desktop, professional literature, notebook, and folders with documents will be placed (they will definitely be – contracts, and acts). I recommend choosing a table with adjustable height and a comfortable chair – maximum ergonomics is extremely important.

Think about the lighting – because you are going to work a normal working day, that is, at least 8 hours. And sometimes more. A good modern organizer will help organize small things.

Try to visually separate the workplace from the rest of the apartment and explain in advance to the family that when you are not at your desk, you are at work.

Alternatively, you can rent a workspace in a co-working space if it is close to your home. It disciplines and creates a sense of teamwork. But these are additional costs.

Step 6. Create a portfolio

Even a beginner needs to have a portfolio. You can put educational works, and results of projects that you did for your friends or colleagues into it. If you have completed an internship, also show your work in your portfolio.

If there is nothing, become your own customer. Formulate the tasks, perform them as efficiently as possible, and place the results in the portfolio. 3-5 works at the start are quite enough, then the portfolio will begin to grow naturally.

Think about where you will place your portfolio – the easiest way is to register on one of the freelance sites. There you can also access projects and tasks published by customers.

Step 7. Start searching for orders

This stage, once started, never ends – you will have to live in search mode for years. Of course, you should strive to find regular customers and stable orders, but even in this case, customers can leave, which means that you need to periodically monitor offers and vacancies. Where can it be done?


Freelance exchanges


Exchanges are platforms that act as intermediaries between order-takers and executors. Freelance exchanges themselves are engaged in promotion, trying to increase traffic — performers only have to create accounts and respond to projects. Most often through the exchange’s internal communication system. Consider:;;;;

Freelance sites

They are so often confused with stock exchanges that they sometimes refer to themselves as such. But there is a difference – on exchanges, communication is most often through an intermediary platform, and on freelance sites – directly with customers.

Weblancer, and Workzilla – these are the largest freelance sites for finding remote work.

Projects and contests in various fields are published on such sites – from translations and SMM to orders for interior design and accounting.

Job search sites

The leaders among Ukrainian job search sites are,, and On such sites, you can post a small portfolio and resume, and then respond to ads – they are not only about finding employees but also about project work.

Telegram channels

Just go to Telegram and type the name of your specialization in the search. You will see channels and chats where you can communicate and find work. There are common channels, and there are specialized ones for people who, for example, work with texts.

Free classifieds sites

Surprisingly, ads with offers of services from freelancers work well on There are two job search options – posting ads yourself and responding to customer offers. You can use only free services and also invest money in promoting your ad.

Social networks

Promote your personal page – advertise your services, share feedback from the first customers, and show the results of cooperation. This is how a personal brand will gradually form, which will bring you work.

In social networks, there are groups for job searches in the areas of copywriting, web design, and development. Join them, chat, and search for orders.

Step 8. Continue… ad infinitum

Freelance is a work organization option that involves constant improvement and professional development. If a hired worker can do the same thing for years and feel completely in his place and on his plate, then a freelancer in a highly competitive market needs development. It is important to expand competencies, deepen knowledge, and take on more and more significant areas of work. It is not easy to earn the reputation of a strong specialist, and you can lose it very quickly if you stop developing.

So you will definitely need:

 watch and listen to thematic webinars;

 take advanced training courses;

 it is possible to master related specialties;

 emulate industry leaders and learn from their experience.

The more experience you have, the better your reputation, and the deeper your knowledge, the higher the level of income you can earn as a freelancer. By the way, you will also need to improve soft skills, such as time management and effective communication skills.

Bonus: how to strengthen your position as a freelancer

• Collect recommendations. You can ask them from mentors or teachers, and it is a must! – At the first customers. It is recommendations that will help you receive new orders.

• Do not dump. Price will never be a criterion for choosing serious customers. On the contrary, dumping can scare them, and make them doubt your competence.

• At the beginning of the journey, look not for cheap, but for short and small orders. This way, you will have less fear of not being able to cope, you will get the first reviews faster, and increase your rating on freelance sites or exchanges.

• Never press for pity. “I’m a beginner, I really need this job, no one will give it to me,” is a road to nowhere. A freelancer’s sense of self-worth is no less necessary than professional knowledge and skills.

• Consider creating your own website. There you can place material about yourself, the “Services” section, a portfolio, and customer reviews take pride of place.

• Create several variants of a commercial offer. For each of your services – a separate one. They can be placed on the site and sent at the request of customers.

• Improve your skills in responding to offers. Sometimes customers are looking for people with experience in a specific niche or ask to specify a specific competence – from experience, half of freelancers ignore such requirements. Be attentive to the customer’s requests, and this can become your competitive advantage. If he asks to reply to the mail, do not write to the messenger. If he asks for the cost of a specific job, don’t write “let’s negotiate”, indicate a specific price or price fork.

Thus, today I have told you in detail how to become a freelancer. I hope you liked the article.

Related Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *