A few decades ago, doing your job in your pyjamas may have seemed like a pipe dream, but today you can choose from a multitude of legitimate (and often lucrative) freelance jobs across a range of industries.
The interconnectivity of our online world offers the opportunity to work remotely while still remaining in-tune and in-touch with companies, clients and coworkers through email interaction, instant messaging and video calls—to name a few .
If you’re wondering how to become a freelancer, take a look below at a few of the couch-worthy career paths you could potentially pursue.
1. Freelance PR consultant
Image is everything.
The rise of social media has meant that businesses and individuals have become more aware of their public image and how audiences perceive them.
This has meant that PR consultants are constantly in demand.
In order to stay current in the constantly changing PR environment, you will need to be well-equipped with the knowledge and skills to help you stay on top of changes and trends.
A great way to do this is through an online short course, that will teach you how to manage events, create content, manage crises, measure public reaction to campaigns, manage social media presence and more. The best part about this career path? You can do it all from the comfort of your own home.
As a freelance PR consultant, you’ll need to:
- Manage brands, businesses, organisations and individuals’ reputation
- Develop relationships with stakeholders within the dynamic communications landscape
- Define customer expectations
- Crisis management
- Create messages to control image, audience participation
Freelancer Fact: Between 2016-2026 the number of jobs for PR consultants is expected to increase by 9%.1
2. Freelance accountant
A traditional job title doesn’t always mean you should take a traditional approach. You’ll still need to be well-equipped with a comprehensive understanding of accounting theory and practice, which can be obtained through an online accounting course, but there’s no reason you can’t use your skills from the comfort of your couch.A traditional job title doesn’t always mean you should take a traditional approach. Click To Tweet
Whether it’s a small business or a larger corporation, every organisation needs someone to keep their finger on the pulse of day-to-day finances, manage payroll and tax, and dissect financial data to allow for refined future focus. You need to ensure that you’ve got the most relevant financial techniques if you want to stand out as a freelance accountant. One way to achieve this is through a UCT-backed online financial accounting course where you’ll be exposed to the practical skills necessary to control and manage finance-related aspects of a business.
As a freelance accountant, you’ll need to:
- Execute fundamental accounting practices
- Draft financial statements and budgets
- Use a range of accounting systems
- Interpret business tax
- Manage and control credit
3. Freelance web designer
This one probably doesn’t shock you as much as a freelance translator, as it’s more traditional than a deckchair accountant. Web designers work primarily online, which makes working remotely a logical fit.
From web hosting and website layout, to publishing and maintaining a website, businesses fighting for visibility need to make sure that what’s visible is worth looking at. You, as a web designer, can be responsible for creating a first impression that not only looks good, but functions so well that it feels good too.
As a freelance web designer, you’ll need to:
- Understand what hosting is, and the options that are available
- Use colours, images, fonts and layout to implement a website’s look-and-feel
Freelancer Fact: The average freelancer makes 45% more than traditional workers.2
4. Freelance online tutor
Anyone who knows what GetSmarter’s all about, especially those who’ve taken an online short course, understands that you don’t have to be in an actual classroom to be a teacher.You don’t have to be in an actual classroom to be a teacher Click To Tweet
Through a network of industry professionals and by adapting the best technology in education, GetSmarter is able to offer students insight on subjects from the relevant experts – many of whom are still practising their trade) – all through lecture videos and discussion forums, and all entirely online.
If you’ve got certain skills and knowledge – whether it be music, language or mathematics – there’s a variety of online tutoring platforms and classrooms of willing students that could benefit from what you have to offer. You can take the opportunity to learn about teaching with technology as you fill a market gap that demands professionals with a better understanding of how best to make use of technology in education.
As a freelance tutor, you’ll need to have:
- Skills in an industry, or knowledge of a certain subject
- A desire to grow the competencies of others
- A love for learning and teaching with a focus on using technology in education
- A qualification in education (for higher remuneration), particularly if it’s focused on teaching with technology
5. Freelance graphic designer
Like web design, gripping graphic design can be what elevates a brand by doing something more than simply selling a product: creating a connection.
If you think about all the factors that contribute to your desire for something, you can whittle it down to the universal truth that, if it’s not a necessity, you will buy based on how it makes you feel.
But how do you help people understand what something is going to feel like before they have it?
You show them.
While there are a number of factors that contribute towards people feeling a certain way, intelligent and beautiful design is something that can grab attention, hold it and leave a lasting impression.
And you can do it all from your couch with one of these freelance jobs.
As a freelance graphic designer, you’ll need to:
- Have a passion for visual communication
- Develop your skills in Adobe Creative Suite programs, like Photoshop and Illustrator
- Have strong idea generation capabilities
- Know how to work with text and typography
- Know the difference between designing for print and web
- Understand the business principles of graphic design
Freelancer Fact: It’s predicted that by 2020, half of the American population will be involved in some sort of freelance work.3
6. Freelance developer
If you want freelance jobs that pay well and are in high demand, being a freelance developer could be for you – you’ll just have to choose what type of “language” to become fluent in.
You can even choose to become an expert on a specific CMS—Content Management System—like WordPress: the most popular CMS for creating highly customisable and easy-to-use websites, blogs and e-commerce sites. As a WordPress developer, you can start by customising a site’s design with editable templates, plugins, themes and widgets, and then get deeper in the detail by writing custom code.
The best thing about being a developer? All you need is a laptop and an internet connection – your work location is entirely up to you.
As a freelance WordPress developer, you’ll need to have:
- Proven skills in a relevant programming language (HTML, PHP, CSS, and JS)
- An eye for intelligent design
- An understanding of User Experience (UX)
- A “growth mindset” to keep up to date with design, technology and security practices
- The desire to test and receive feedback
7. Freelance SEO expert
Web design may be the job that makes websites worth looking at, but SEO makes sure websites are getting looked at.
By learning SEO, you’ll be the one to help people and organisations climb the ranks of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs), or hold on to their top spot year-on-year. You’ll tweak settings to retain traction, rework words to improve ranking, and link-build to leave long-lasting pathways between pages of a website.
And all the tools you need to undertake SEO are—you guessed it—online.
Sounds like something you could do from your corner coffee shop, doesn’t it?
As a freelance SEO expert, you’ll need to have:
- A keen understanding of what’s going on behind the scenes of search
- Skills in PPC, Adwords and paid advertising
- A finger on the pulse of search trends and updates
- An understanding of content strategy, writing for the web, and inbound marketing
- Competencies in Google Analytics, SEO goal setting and SEO tools
Freelancer Fact: Around 75% of internet users never scroll past the first page of search results.4
8. Freelance writer
Here it is: the freelance job you were looking for right at the top of this post.
Whether it’s traditional copywriting, content creation or blogging, there’s a place for persuasive copy in all forms of business—from emails and business cards, to display advertising and long-form articles.
As a freelance writer, you’ll need to have:
- The gift of brevity
- An education in crafting persuasive messages
- The ability to identify and utilise appropriate tone of voice
- An understanding of SEO-optimised writing
- Knowledge of social media and content marketing strategy
- Strong attention to detail and an eye for grammatical errors
- Digital marketing skills (if you really want to make an impact)
If you feel like a home-based (or no-home-base) career could be your calling, check out our booming portfolio of online short courses to discover all the things you can learn to get you there.