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Supplementing Your Income as a Freelancer

Posted by James Fuller on 23 March.

In the current economic climate, and in the wake of global events such as COVID-19/Coronavirus, a lot of individuals are looking to ‘diversify their income streams’, using their portfolio of skills in different ways to increase the amount of income they can earn. By doing this, they can have some protection against periods of low income, and find new ways to leverage their skills and broaden their career.

We’ve put together a quick list below of the different ways that we’re seeing people earn some extra income. If you’re a freelancer or contractor, or you’re looking to supplement your income, you might want to see if any of the below might be options for you:

 

1. Create a profile on online platforms

In the past few years, some global online platforms have sprung up to match up those with skills, to those that need skills. Whether it’s for design, development, odd-jobs or recurring projects, platforms like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer.com can provide a way to ply your trade without leaving the house. 

For a more local flavour, you might want to try portals such as Unicorn Factory, Skale and Freelance Village. By creating profiles on these sites, you’ll make yourself known to local Kiwi businesses who may need anything from Graphic Design to Web Development through to Brand and Marketing. The people who run these sites are super-helpful, and are always keen to support the Kiwi freelancer community.

 

2. Create and sell products online

If you’ve got a creative spark, there are a bunch of different ways that you might be able to earn some additional passive income online. Setting up your own online store, or using a 3rd party platform to sell designs might be a good way to keep things ticking over.

For instance, Amazon KDP is an online service that allows you to sell your eBooks or Paperbacks on the Kindle store. If you’ve written a book, or you have a topic you could write on, publishing it on KDP could be a good idea. A lot of graphic designers are moving towards writing illustrated children’s books as a side-hustle, and KDP is a great platform to do it on. 

If you’re more design-oriented, you could create designs and list them with Merch By Amazon, where Amazon sells your designs as Amazon products. Sites like Tee Spring also allow you to submit T-Shirt designs for sale, and can provide all the shipping and fulfilment for you so that you don’t need to be involved.

If you wanted to go beyond books and T-Shirts, Redbubble is a great site that allows you to add your designs to Stickers, Device Cases, Posters and lots more. Again, they handle the fulfilment, so it’s just down to you to provide the designs.

If you’re after something a little more complex, print on demand sites like Printify can provide a fulfillment and printing back-end for eCommerce platforms like Etsy, Ebay or Shopify. With hundreds of different products to choose from, such as hoodies, mugs, bags and decor, a weekends’ work can have you set up with an online store selling your designs globally.

If all else fails, selling goods on TradeMe is always a sure-fire way of bringing in some extra income - whether you’re selling your own work, or just clearing some space in your home. As a rule though, you’ll need to make sure anything you sell is safe, clean and able to be transported by post! It’s worth noting that at times, TradeMe place restrictions on the shipping of items - such as during the COVID-19 lockdown period.

 

3. Create an online course

With more and more people working from home, or learning from home, there’s never been a better time to create an online course. If you have a transferable skill that you believe others might want to learn, platforms like Udemy and Teachable are great ways to earn some extra income through teaching.

Once you’ve signed up and created a profile, you’ll need to create content for your course. You can choose the number of lessons, design the content and have complete control over how your course works. Once that’s done, you can go ahead and start marketing your course to others (perhaps start with your existing social media networks - Instagram / Facebook / LinkedIn etc) to hopefully gain some initial students.

There are also some useful online platforms where you can make money teaching English to overseas students, such as First Tutors, and more general online job platforms like Glassdoor.

 

4. Take your entire service online (if possible!)

In some industries, it might be possible for you to take your entire service online, in times when meeting your clients in person isn’t an option. For example, we’ve recently seen a large number of personal fitness trainers taking their classes online - using live-streaming services like YouTube, Instagram (and in some cases, Twitch) to earn ad revenue and subscriptions for their classes. 

Using platforms like LiveStorm to run your own webinar series can also provide an additional income stream, allowing you to teach classes, provide advice or impart any skills you might have, with individuals paying to register for your webinar sessions.

 

5. Beware of ‘get rich quick’ schemes

Often when times get difficult or income slows down, it can seem like an easy option to look into multi-level marketing, pyramid selling, or other ‘get rich quick’ schemes. They can often be advertised with tag lines such as ‘make $$$ from home’ and have stock photos of individuals with suspect testimonials about their amazing successes with such schemes. Whilst a handful of individuals certainly profit from such schemes, the vast majority of people don’t, and very often they can actually end up losing more money than they make.

 

6. Ask the community

If you’re a freelancer or contractor, and you have other ideas on how you can supplement your income, get in touch and let us know so that we can add it to the list! 

 

 

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