Babatunde Oladogba is an Architect, an Urban Designer, and a Web Designer. He is a tech-savvy professional with a vast range of skills and experience in architecture, landscape design, urban planning, BIM management, and web development.
He has attained two degrees in Architecture from FUTA and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Urban Design at Technische Universität Berlin.
Sharing his freelance journey, he reveals the contributions to his success as a freelance architect. He also highlights the opportunities prevalent in freelance platforms and the key factors that intending freelancers should know, including the benefits and challenges. Click on the video below to watch his presentation.
What is Freelancing?
In simple terms, freelancing means working independently instead of working as an employee. A freelancer is a person hired by other people or companies for a short-term or part-time business. This could be either offline or online work.
Freelancing is an opportunity for skilled professionals yet to get their dream jobs or for people looking for an extra source of income.
Freelancing is Effective
Working online or remotely has proven to be an effective means of making money. A study by Upwork in 2019 shows that 53% of workers between 18-23 years are freelancing and 57 million Americans were freelancers as of 2019.
More recently, many people around the world have resorted to working online because they lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Notable findings from the Upwork 2019 study
- Freelancing income exceeds the GDP of some major industries. At nearly 1 trillion of US GDP, freelancing income contributed more to the economy than industries like construction and transportation.
- Freelancing is becoming more of a long-term career choice.
- Freelancers are most likely to be skilled professionals.
- Freelancing provides opportunities for those who otherwise might not be able to work.
- The younger the worker, the more likely they are to be freelancers.
How do you get started?
Once you are convinced that you have the soft and hard skills needed, you are good to go. Here are 4 recommended freelance platforms you can start with.
Getting Started WIth Fiverr
- Create a new account – choose the option to become a seller. After this, you will become a new seller by default. You reach new levels as you grow on the platforms. There are 4 levels in total ( New Seller, Level 1, 2, and Top-rated seller)
- Add a profile description and create and create your first gig. Gigs refer to the services you offer on the platform. You can choose gigs based on the category and sub-category (Eg . Programming, Marketing, Architecture, etc.); People with diverse skills can create gigs in other categories as well.
What Does It Take to Become a Freelance Architect?
- Have the skills required (soft and hard skills).
- Be disciplined and follow the rules of the platform after reading the terms and conditions.
- Be organized in your dealings with the buyer and be as professional as possible.
- Be patient with clients and make buyer satisfaction a priority.
3 Observations from my earning analysis (2017/2018)
- High earnings will not always be consistent.
- There are times when your earnings will be very low.
- Sometimes, you may have disagreements with clients for which you have to cancel the order and refund the payment.
Benefits of Freelancing
As a freelancer, you can become your own boss. You can also outsource services beyond your skillset to other freelancers. You have control over your working time and schedule, so you can decide who to work with. In addition, you can get tips from buyers who are pleased with your work. This is where your humility and resilience is rewarded.
Success Drivers as a freelancer
- Consistency with delivering quality
Like Khaby Lame
Khaby Lame, the famous tiktoker known for creating short comedy by sarcastically pointing out how people complicate simple tasks, became the second funniest tiktoker with over 1 million followers and 40 million followers in Instagram. He turned his passion into fame within a year.
“I believe if Khaby could do something meaningful with social media, you can also do better. There is a niche out there that people are yet to explore, you just need to dig further and build on it when you find it.”
“Freelancing platforms are like marketplaces, the market is very competitive. This means that you have to be the best of yourself to succeed. Success doesn’t come without a fight. Don’t start your journey alone, work with brilliant minds, have a mentor and get information from as many resources that you can lay your hands on ( books, articles, etc.). There is no shortcut to success but your effort and determination will bring a positive result.”