Working from Home as a way of life #1: Interviewing Full-Time Online Freelancer

by · December 1, 2010

Marina’s Tips and Thoughts on Online Freelancing



The internet has revolutionized global communications to such an extent that people worldwide can fully interact with one another without meeting in person. This incredible technological breakthrough has opened up a whole new spectrum of opportunities for working from home as online freelancers.
Online freelancing is a viable alternative to traditional employment for large sectors in society. Finding work-from-home projects through the internet which they can perform online enables them to monetize their professional skills, passions and hobbies. Therefore online freelancing can suit everybody, from professionals to work-at-home moms, students, unemployed, disabled, senior citizens, and hobbyists wishing to earn money working from home doing what they are good at.

In a series of interviews, we will learn from different freelancers the reasons why they found that online freelancing was the best career option for them.


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Marina, the first online freelancer to be interviewed by us, is a typical example of a highly skilled professional who chose online freelancing because of the wonderful opportunities it offers for creative young people.

Portrait of an Online Freelancer



Marina and her husband are both full-time online freelancers living in the Netherlands. Marina is a top rated contractor who uses DoNanza to find projects on online marketplaces. Her main profession is project management; buyers hire her online to manage other freelancers and make sure their work is done satisfactorily and completed on time. Her secondary profession which she really enjoys doing, is user experience design. Marina sees the possibility of working in two professions as one of the main advantages of online freelancing – “if I was employed at an on site job, I would probably not be able to take 2 very different roles at one company, so I would be forced to sacrifice one talent over another”.

Marina is a free spirit: she’s not only a full-time online freelancer but also an autodidact who learns by “reading, attending events, participating in discussions and workshops, etc”. Indeed, freelancing and learning things by oneself best suits people who value independence, open horizons, and new experiences.

Marina is also a multi-cultural sort of person who likes to encounter new places, new cultures, and most of all new people from diverse backgrounds.

Becoming an Online Freelancer



Her career as a project manager started around four years ago when she moved from Latvia to Vilnius in Lithuania. At one point, approximately two years ago, Marina and her husband decided to venture into freelancing. “We wanted to move on, so we both quit, and started looking for freelance opportunities. The only issue we had in mind is a sort of instability which is traditionally associated with freelancing.”
Ultimately, Marina’s choice turned out to be the right one. Today Marina’s and her husband’s incomes as full-time online freelancers is high enough to allow them a good standard of living in the Netherlands, which is known to be a country in which living expenses are relatively high.


How Online Freelancing can change one’s life



Freelancing enabled Marina and her husband to do what they both like best – globetrotting. “I started freelancing, and since it allows me to travel, we decided to go spend some time in Portugal, and then in the Netherlands which is where I’m based now.”

As an online freelancer Marina’s work doesn’t depend on her geographic location and she is therefore free to choose where to live. Nonetheless, Marina chose to live in the Netherlands, because it has “amazing networking and teaming up opportunities.”

When describing the advantages of freelancing, Marina repeatedly uses the words “Freedom” and “Opportunities”. Marina has every reason to be happy with her choice of career and she definitely recommends other people to give online freelancing a chance, even if they aren’t quite as free spirited as most online freelancers. “As for personality – I also believe this personality and attitude is not something you are born with, anyone can learn to be a rock star freelancer and boss in their life, just takes a bit of ambition and patience, and yes, a bit of hard work in the beginning.”

Personal Tricks of the Trade



In the course of two years, Marina has gained extensive experience and expertise in freelancing. In an interview with one of the founders of DoNanza.com, Marina shared a number of important tips and personal thoughts on freelancing.

  • Being geographically near one’s clients helps in certain cases but isn’t necessary since today’s communications technology enables full client-provider interaction.

  • Online freelancers should view their online freelance business like mothering a baby – “If you wake up and your baby is crying, you cannot just, you know not pay attention to it.”

  • Online freelancers should establish a working routine at home, therefore they ought “to mend their to-dos, daily to-dos, and make them from the evening for the next day.”

  • Any online freelancer must make it clear to the buyer that, except for urgent cases, his working hours are normal business working hours in his time zone.

  • The internet offers a wide range of helpful resources for online freelancers. Two such resources are: “Freelance Apple, FreelanceSwitch – they are the sites which are providing daily blog posts about freelancing suggestions.” These resources offer “also provide very specific suggestions on how to find new clients and projects.”

  • How does an online freelancer sell himself? “In terms of freelancing, it’s better to be a generalist, than a specialist.” However, the best online freelancer is a so-called generalizing specialist, which “means that you’re a very narrowly specializing expert, but you’re able to see the bigger picture.”

  • Online freelancers should build up a network of professionals with whom they can cooperate. The golden rule of “what goes around comes around” is very true when it comes to freelancing. Avoid being greedy – “If you recommend other people, when you’re not available for a project or your skills don’t match the requirements, be sure they’ll remember you and recommend you.”

  • Online freelancers should aim at building up a long-term relationship with their clients. Everybody in business knows that a returning client is far better than a one-time client is. Showing consideration for your clients concerns and needs will help you convert him from a one-time client into a returning client.


Web Resources for Online Freelancers



How does a freelancer find work? Traditionally a freelancer would use various platforms for advertizing his skills and the services he offers and wait for the first clients to contact him. Today the internet has vastly extended the spectrum of opportunities for online freelancers to find assignments. However, the most important platform for finding freelance work is the online marketplaces, which are specially designed for online freelancers and buyers to meet.
We have created DoNanza to help you with exactly that – One place to find the best projects, matching your skills and expectations, from all across the web. Good Luck!

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