How to Become a Freelancer and Earn a Living in 2022?

How to Become a Freelancer

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With the health crisis and the rise of remote work, many people have realized that it is possible to free themselves from the framework of the company for their professional life. Naturally, more and more people want to become or start freelancing. By the way, how to become a freelancer?

Companies too have realized that many jobs can be done remotely. Freelancing is therefore a credible alternative for companies that do not need to offer freelancers the same financial benefits, the same health benefits, and reduce employer-related expenses.

So, are you ready to become a freelancer?

What is Becoming a Freelancer? 

Freelancers are independent workers. Freelancers are hired by other companies on a part-time or short-term basis. Freelancers issue invoices, they do not receive a salary. Freelancers can therefore work for several companies at the same time and break contracts more easily since it is a service contract and not employment contracts.


Being a freelancer offers many advantages, both in terms of your professional life, of course, and also in terms of your private life. 

  • The freedom of the self-employed worker: The key argument for becoming self-employed is natural freedom. No supervisor, no imposed hours, no mandatory meetings, no company canteen, no judgment when you go to exercise early, no office…

    As a freelancer, you are indeed free to work or not. To dress or not. To stay logged in on Slack or not. BUT, since there is a BUT. Freedom is as often illusory. All freedom has limits, and yours are your customers! Your freedom is total as long as you respect your commitments and your deadlines. 
  • The choice of missions: Another very concrete advantage of the life of a freelance worker is the choice of missions. You can choose your clients and your challenges. The fact that the contracts are only of short duration allows you not to get bored and not to enter a comfort zone. 
  • Alignment between your values ​​and your professional life: another advantage, which is a consequence of the two previous advantages, is the alignment between your values ​​and your work. When you are independent, meaningless missions are over.

    You regain control of what drives you and give you the strength to move forward every morning. For example, if you are a consultant in press relations and you are passionate about fashion and ecology, you will naturally opt for assignments only with committed brands. 


Freelance life is not always easy. There are many downsides to becoming self-employed: 

  • Finding an income equivalent to your salary can take time. Fortunately in France, unemployment (if you have experience as an employee) makes it possible to fill this shortfall in the first place.  
  • Work, and therefore income, can be irregular. It is not always easy to find long missions, and in these cases, it is difficult to smooth your income. 
  • Managing multiple clients and projects requires excellent organization. 
  • Equipment costs must be taken into account. You spill your coffee on your computer, 2000€ are gone. 
  • Daily life changes. Finding accommodation becomes a little more complex as long as you have not crossed the symbolic bar of 3 years of activity. You also have to pay for health insurance yourself. You also need a professional bank account and think about paying the contributions, the CFE… These elements are by no means insurmountable, but it is necessary to have them in mind to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

What are the Goals for Becoming a Freelancer? 

Becoming independent is not a choice that one makes lightly. Very often, it is imposed on us by our way of seeing the world and of envisaging our professional life, however, it is important to understand your objective of becoming independent. 


Becoming a freelance means having a business status that allows you to invoice. Part-time freelancing or as a side project is a great way to start. When there is less pressure to generate income immediately, you can think more carefully about the type of work you want to do and the clients you want to do it for.

We also advise starting this way. It’s always easier to start an activity when you don’t need it to live. A successful freelance business is often built on trust and relationships with clients, and those relationships take time to materialize.

So if you start freelancing part-time or on the side, you’re giving yourself the time to build the crucial relationships you’ll need to make a full-time living from your freelancing business.

If you can become a freelancer in parallel with your salaried job, you must respect three important points: 

  • The employee’s duty of loyalty.
  • The non-competition clause is inserted in the employment contract if applicable.
  • The exclusivity clause is inserted in the employment contract if applicable.


If your goal is to take the plunge and go full-time freelancing, you need to figure out how much you need to earn to cover your living expenses. And by living expenses, we mean all your living expenses, including taxes, health insurance, materials…

Taking into account your immediate bills to pay or even your credits, you must have an idea of ​​​​this objective so as not to find yourself in a delicate financial situation. A freelancer with money problems will not be able to do his job properly. 

You may not reach that expected monthly revenue in the first month, but knowing what your revenue goal is will help you reach it as quickly as possible.

Start Freelancing in 6 Steps 

Going freelance is akin to entrepreneurship. There are therefore essential steps to follow in order to hope to quickly reap the fruits of your labor.


Full-time or as a side project, the freelancer by definition sells his skills and expertise. So the first step is to identify the different skills you have acquired over the years that other people may not have. And of course, the skills these people would be willing to pay you for. 

To identify your skills, you can rely on:

  • Your last job: concretely, a company has already paid you for these skills. Alright, it’s a salary, and you were employed, but whatever. All valuable skills. From customer service to graphic design to photography or even financial modeling, anything can sell by the day.

    All jobs requiring specific software are goldmines. Currently, Adobe suite experts, champions of WordPress, Bubble, or even CRMs like Hubspot and Pipedrive can fully value these skills.
  • Your passions: fortunately for us, our skills are not limited to what we do as employees. For example, if you are passionate about running and have experience in communication, why not specialize in organizing races for running clubs. 

Once all your skills are listed, you come to the coolest moment of your start freelancing life. You will choose what you want to do and what you don’t want to do.

This choice is of course made on appetite criteria, but also on some research to identify the size of the market and try to see the potential for achievable turnover. 


Save time, the answer is NO. You cannot try to sell your services to everyone. It is ABSOLUTELY necessary to define your marketing targets. This is the main mistake made by freelancers.

Depending on your identified competence, you must list all the people who may need your services. For example, small construction companies, shops, restaurants, associations… In this list, identify the potential customers with whom you want to work and dig into these leads.

For example, if you decide to create a graphic design agency for small businesses, you can specify the sector, for example, automotive and fine independent car garages.

Once this level of detail has been reached, you have to go even further and understand the needs and problems of this target. A garage may not be able to optimize its website to attract customers or make its car for sale pages sexy.

You need to ask yourself two questions:

Is this customer aware of their problem and seeking help?
Can this client afford your help? 

If so, the target is validated and the size of the market must be estimated. It could not be easier : 

  • You create an Excel document “potential customer listing” 
  • You are looking for all the garages in your area that have somewhat old websites
  • You write down their contact and useful information for canvassing

Bravo, you have just created your prospecting file. It is now necessary to create an offer adapted to their needs and their budget.


To sell your skills, you have to think of them as a service.

The first question to ask yourself is how would you actually use these skills for someone else? What service do you provide with these skills?

It’s hard to tell the difference between the two, so here’s an explanation. 

  • Graphic design is a skill and logo design is a service.
  • Excel is a skill and the creation of financial tables is a service.

Then try to turn this service into a solution to a problem for your target. Let’s go back to our example of the graphic designer and the garages. The garage’s problem is its inability to have a sales site.

Our graphic designer will therefore propose to rework its graphic charter, the design of its site, and in particular its car presentation pages. He will therefore express his service in solution as follows:  “I help you convert more customers to your website from your sales pages”. 

People pay for solutions. They pay for results. The clearer the outcome of your collaboration, the more successful you will be in selling your services. Your customers will only pay for three reasons because they want: 

  • more customers, consumers, or subscribers.
  • increase their profit.
  • free up time.

Show the client how paying you for this work will put more money in their pockets.


Now that you’ve defined the service you’re providing and the client you’re providing it for, you need to decide how you’re going to charge for your services and how much. There are many pricing strategies for your freelance business: 

The hourly rate/day: You will define a price for your standard service for each hour or day worked for the client. This pricing method is ideal to start working with a client because it imposes complete transparency on your part on the time spent carrying out your missions.

The fixed monthly rate: Starting from your TMJ and a prediction of the hours spent on a monthly basis, you will define a fixed monthly price with your client. This method of invoicing is interesting for medium or long-term projects. 

The fixed price for a project: Do you know how long a particular mission requires? Create a fixed price. This will simplify your negotiations, and understanding of the customer and you can even improve your margins by optimizing your processes. The fixed project price is mainly used for short-term projects (eg: the creation of a WordPress site).

The percentage of success: If like freelancers specializing in Facebook Ads, your services generate quick results such as the generation of leads or turnover, you can decide to get paid by results. This type of pricing has the highest earning potential, but it is the most difficult to implement since you will be working without certainty at first.

In the end, whichever pricing strategy you choose, the numbers are up to you. Set a price in line with the value of your market. To know the price of your services, you can go to Malt, and look at the daily price of your colleagues. 


Two choices exist to launch your freelance activity, the sole proprietorship or the creation of a company. 

The status of micro-enterprise (auto-entrepreneur)

The sole proprietorship has the advantage of having a simplified, quick, and inexpensive creation process. There is also no obligation to be followed by an accountant.

If your turnover exceeds the conditions set by the status of auto-entrepreneur, then you can opt for a changeover to a Sole Proprietorship with Limited Liability (EIRL) to protect your assets. It is also possible for an individual company to subcontract and recruit.

This status of micro-entrepreneur poses three problems: 

  • You cannot deduct expenses from your sales. Therefore, your tax is calculated on your turnover and not your result.
  • You cannot recover the VAT on your purchases related to your activity.
  • Your turnover is limited to €72,600 for the provision of services and €176,200 for the sale of products and merchandise. 

The creation of companies in SAS, SARL or EURL

The creation of a company implies the creation of a legal entity. This has two main advantages: 

  • The risk to your wealth is reduced since your personal wealth is separated from that of the company.
  • These structures are scalable and you will be able to associate and recruit very easily if your activity develops. 

However, the cost of creating the company and the necessary capital imposes a larger initial investment. There is also the obligation to keep annual and compliant accounts, therefore the obligation to pay an accountant.


You have your offer, your target, and your status, you need to make yourself visible now, and it’s 2022, so make yourself visible online! Here’s how to do it in 4 steps: 

  • Choose a business name: you can capitalize on your name or create a name that you will use for your social networks and your communication. You can also choose a name to communicate with while preserving your privacy.

    Whatever your choice, think quickly about buying your domain name to be able to create your website and your portfolio. 
  • Create a site/portfolio: a freelancer must have a website on which he exposes his offer and his achievements. This is both the best way to reassure future customers, but also to prove its effectiveness and expertise.

    For example, in our example of the graphic designer, it is absolutely necessary to have a site with his latest achievements so that clients can directly access a list of his previous assignments. 
  • Define a digital marketing strategy: a name and a website. You now need to attract visitors to your media. For this, you can exploit social networks by positioning yourself on the social networks where your target is.

    You can also capitalize on the viability offered by Google by creating content on your site to exist in search results.

    Finally, you can also set up ultra-targeted advertisements to attract visitors to your site. In any case, you must put in place a complete digital marketing strategy to generate a continuous flow of requests on your website or your social networks. 

The 3 Strategies to Find Clients When you Become a Freelancer

Making yourself visible online may not be enough to launch your business, so here are three options to generate turnover quickly when you are a freelancer: 

  • Contact the customer directly: when defining your target, you created a list of potential prospects. Now is the time to contact them. Depending on your target, adapt your method of approach and prepare your first meetings by insisting on the problems of your target.

    Many freelancers have clients they work with multiple times or continuously over a long period of time. These relationships are very valuable because the customer knows you, likes you, and trusts you. So it’s easy to go from a conversation to a paid project.
  • Become a subcontractor: you can work with companies that use freelancers to carry out the missions entrusted to them. For example, in web writing, many marketing agencies that sell this type of service outsource content production to freelancers. Be careful not to become dependent on your mission provider, since you have no guarantee that this relationship will last over time.
  • Use freelancing platforms: by registering on freelancing platforms, you will quickly have visibility and the possibility of attracting customers and therefore your first contracts. These platforms apply management and contract fees. Please note that your presence on these platforms does not exempt you from implementing your own acquisition strategy. 

10 Service Ideas to Become a Freelancer 

You want to get started, but you have no idea what you could do as a freelance activity. Here are 10 examples of activities to do as a freelancer. 


You have experience as an executive assistant and demonstrate perfect organization. Sell ​​your service on a day-to-day basis in VSEs, to create invoices, follow up with customers, finalize files and manage payments. 


You have a passion for audio editing and love podcasts. Offer companies to create inspirational Podcasts for their customers. You can invoice this type of service per episode produced (recording, mixing, and publication on platforms included). 


You can write dozens of articles for different companies to help them exist on SEO search engines. You can also specialize in writing product pages, for example.


You have experience in recruitment and love finding rare pearls, you can offer companies a package to quickly find 3/4 candidates for jobs in tension. 


Dozens of companies need a CFO to help them optimize their cash and debt, but too few can afford such an HR investment. Calling on an external financial director for a few days a month is an interesting solution. 


You can sell your expertise in graphic design and design to help companies create graphic charters and logos adapted to their activity. You can imagine a logo pack + graphic charter + business cards at a fixed price. 


Do you live in a tourist region? There must be hundreds of apartments or houses for rent in the summer. It is as many owners who are ready to pay a third person to manage the entries and exits of the tenants. 


You know perfectly how Google Ads works, and you know how to set up successful campaigns for VSEs and SMEs. So get started with freelancing Google Ads account management. You can invoice a mix between fixed and variable based on performance. 


You are bilingual or trilingual and you want to become a freelancer. Website translation is waiting for you. Hundreds of corporate websites have faulty machine translations, so you have a huge market at your disposal. 


You can totally handle incoming calls, post-order emails, and other customer requests without being in a business. Digital tools have simplified access to customer relations, so you can install discussion modules on your customers’ sites to support visitors towards the conversion objective, for example. 

We hope this guide has helped you see more clearly your project to become a freelancer. If you want to start an independent activity today, train yourself in digital marketing and build a strategy that will ensure your turnover. 

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