According to a 2014 report by Smart Company, Jobider conducted a study and found approximately 30% of the Australian workforce are freelancers. That is equivalent to 3.7 million Australians who contribute up to $51 billion to the economy. Of this total, around 19% freelance in addition to having a traditional full-time job.
Just like other freelancers around the world, technology has made it easier for Australians to do freelance work efficiently. In fact, around 50% of Aussie freelancers working online find projects within three days or less.
According to Kyri Theos, country manager of Jobider for Australia, more people will freelance in coming years.
Theos reports that over 33% of Australian freelancers on Upwork say they are making more money today than they did before they started freelancing. The most common reasons for going into freelancing were:
To supplement their income
The ability to choose projects they can work on
According to Cameron Rambert, freelance digital strategist and founder of Freelance Melbourne, getting jobs is easier for new freelancers because they can always tap into a guaranteed demand for professional services via online marketplaces. There’s always work available, says Rambert.
He cautions professionals who want to go into freelancing, however, to have realistic expectations. He advises them to choose clients carefully and to avoid setting their rates too low just to get an online job.
Rambert cites his case an example. He set his rate at over $30 to $40 per hour and this has helped him, “appear as a premium supplier and the local factor was a huge part.”
Another advice Rambert shares with other freelancers is to do paid trial tasks for a potential client. This gives both freelancer and client the opportunity to check if they are the right fit before tackling a big project together.