18 business ideas for freelancers


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Whether you’ve come to embrace WFH culture, need to supplement your income or have joined the Great Resignation and are now looking for more fulfilling work, starting a freelance business can be a great solution.

Freelancing often comes with a number of perks, like getting to be your own boss, setting your own hours, and working from wherever you like. Start-up costs are often low. And, if you need some capital to get your business going, you may qualify for a small business loan for self-employed people.

However, starting your own freelance business can take a lot of hard work and hustle, and it may be some time before you start making real money. If you’re up for the challenge, here are some home-based small business ideas to help you brainstorm the best way to tap into your talents and flex your entrepreneurial muscles.

Related: How to run a successful small business: 9 helpful tips

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1. Photographer

If you have a great eye and a decent camera, you may be able to turn your creativity into cash. One option is to sell your photos to a stock imagery site like Getty Images or Shutterstock. If your home is particularly picturesque, you might offer to do headshots or portraits in your yard or set up a home studio. If you’re interested in event photography, you can market your services to people who need professional photography for weddings, graduations, engagements or other events. 

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2. Web designer

If you are both creative and technical, you might enjoy freelance web design. A web designer typically builds all the elements of a website, including the graphics, type fonts and layout. You’ll likely need to have some knowledge of basic programming languages, such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and also know your way around image editing software like Photoshop. You can learn these programs through research and practice or classes. When you’re ready, you can create your own website to showcase your skills and market yourself to potential clients.

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3. Graphic designer

Virtually every business needs creative elements like logos, web designing, memes, blog posts, infographics, ad banners and more. That means there is often a lot of opportunity for a good graphic designer to get freelance work. To become a graphic designer, you typically need to have strong drawing skills, knowledge of graphic design theory, and mastery of design software (such as Photoshop and Illustrator). You can take a degree course in designing or learn it online. Once you have some solid skills, you can start marketing your design services to potential clients.

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4. Interior designer

If you have an eye for color and composition and love to create beautiful, inviting spaces, you may want to think about getting gig work as an interior designer. You don’t necessarily need to have a degree in design to become an interior design consultant. You can just create a portfolio of some of the successful redesigns you’ve done and ask your friends and family to start recommending you. 

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5. Video editor

If you have video editing skills and are looking to freelance, you may find yourself in demand. With the growing prevalence of video in social media and marketing, the need for video producers has grown in recent years. Even if you don’t have a lot of experience cutting and editing video, you can hone your video skills with online classes and tutorials.  As a video producer, you can have the flexibility of working from home on a variety of projects while also utilizing your creativity.

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6. Digital marketing services

Does your skill set include online advertising, content writing and SEO? If so, you may want to consider starting a digital marketing services business. When companies roll out new products, they often need help handling external communication and messaging, including email campaigns, online advertising, and social media marketing. And since it’s digital marketing, you aren’t likely to be rooted in any one location. 

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7. Social media manager

If you understand how engaging multimedia content can be used in marketing, then social media consulting may be a good fit for you. As a social media manager, you can help companies understand how to use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other platforms to reach their business goals. If you can stay on brand, share content appropriately, and reply to customers intelligently, you might make a great social media manager.

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8. Data analyst

Companies of all types and sizes are using data analytics to understand trends in customer behavior. Data analysts use a variety of analytical tools to assess things like sales numbers and performance, identify market trends, and then write reports that chart their analysis and recommend future strategies. This can be a great freelance option for people who have been working in data analytics. However, beginners can take online courses and enroll in certification programs to master the required skills.

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9. Email marketing

To stay competitive, email marketing is a must for many companies. And that can be great news if you are a strong and creative writer. Having a background in sales and marketing can also serve you well. Email marketing pros need to be able to craft creative and compelling copy about a company’s products, services and promotions, and convert readers into buyers. The job may also include monitoring email marketing campaigns, building email databases and tracking results.

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10. SEO consultant

SEO service providers utilize search engine optimization to make sure a company’s site comes up high in online search results since a high-ranking placement generally translates into a lot of site traffic. If you’re an SEO pro who understands Google’s algorithms and the value of keyword frequency and meta descriptions — or you’re willing to learn — you may find your services in demand by a range of different organizations who need help with their SEO content strategy.

Image Credit: fizkes/istockphoto.

11. Blogging

Blogging can be a profitable freelance job. If you are able to build a large following, you may be able to sell advertising space, which can bring in a small revenue stream. You can earn even more through sponsorships and affiliate marketing, which is when brands you believe in pay you for advocating their goods and services. If you don’t want the limelight yourself, you may be able to blog behind the scenes for companies and individuals (like high-profile folks who need a blog but don’t have the time to feed the beast) who may pay you handsomely by the hour or post. 

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12. Copywriter

Copywriters typically create material that encourages consumers to buy goods or services. Copy can be used for advertising, websites, billboards, email campaigns, newsletters and more. As a freelance copywriter, you may find yourself creating catchy taglines for online or print advertisements or composing a unique blog article optimized for the web. Freelance copywriters can work directly with clients or through intermediaries such as agencies or online work exchanges.

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13. Event planner

If you’re an ace at organization and love throwing parties for your friends, event planning could be a good fit for your freelance business. An event planner ensures that events, such as parties, weddings, fund-raisers, meetings, and conventions, are planned, organized and executed correctly. The job typically includes scouting out locations, securing any services needed at the event (such as food, transportation, and entertainment), and being on-site the day of the event to make sure everything runs smoothly and everyone has a great time.

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14. Tutor

Maybe math is second nature to you, or your grades on essays were always A+. Or perhaps you are a gifted piano player. Whatever your particular talent, there is a good chance that there are folks out there who need some assistance in that area. You can start advertising your tutoring or teaching services through friends, family and neighbors and build out from there.

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15. Pet-sitting

If you’re an animal lover, pet-sitting allows you to enjoy pets without the responsibility of ownership. All you typically need to get started is an understanding of how to properly care for dogs and cats (or any other pets that may need your services). For many, this freelance job can be a win-win: You get to build relationships with the animals and get paid for showing some TLC.

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16. Selling your crafts

Do you have a talent for crafting or creating handmade goods? It could be quilts, decorative pillows, hand-knit sweaters, jewelry, you name it. If so, you may be able to turn your hobby into a freelance business by advertising your goods on a craft-selling site like Etsy, Handmade at Amazon or ArtFire. In addition to selling online, you may also want to take advantage of opportunities to sell at street fairs, bazaars and festivals.

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17. Transcriber

If you’re a fast and accurate typist, you may want to consider becoming a freelance transcriber. This kind of work involves listening to an audio recording, such as a webinar, video conference, interview, or speech, and then typing every word that is spoken into a document. There are all kinds of companies that hire freelance transcribers, as well as transcription services that hire individuals to transcribe audio for various clients.

Image Credit: fizkes / istockphoto.

18. Beautician

Once you have your cosmetology license, you typically have a lot of flexibility in terms of when and where you work. Who says you have to be in a salon all day? Many hairstylists and makeup artists work for themselves and offer mobile services, in which they serve clients right in the client’s home. Or you might offer services in your own home. You can also start a hair or makeup blog or post tutorials on YouTube to generate an additional revenue stream.

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Getting your business started

When it comes to starting a freelance business, having a good idea is only the beginning. A great next step is to develop a business plan. This involves deciding your company’s purpose, figuring out what service or products you will offer, and setting measurable targets and goals.

In addition, you may want to determine business financing options if you need initial capital to get started and then create a business budget.

It’s also a good idea to choose a business structure (such as a sole proprietorship or limited liability company), get any required licenses or permits, and purchase any equipment and supplies you may need, being sure to keep receipts since these expenses may qualify as self-employed tax deductions.

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The Takeaway

There’s much appeal to the freelance life. You get to call the shots and work as much or as little as you like. And turning your marketable skills into your own home-based freelance business may be easier than you think.

One of the biggest challenges you may face is how to fund your business. You may have savings to get you going or have family and friends who will help you launch. If not, you can look into getting a small business loan. 

Learn more:

This article originally appeared on LanternCredit.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

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