“A freelance is a form of self-employment, where an individual works as per their protocol, independent of any superior authority or organization. Freelancer’s get to decide their work’s worth and are paid accordingly.”
Freelance is a good alternative for individuals looking for independence, versatility, experience in a variety of genres, and freedom in their work. According to statistics, India stands in the second position after the United States, with approximately 15 million freelancers in various sectors like design, marketing, programming, finance, information technology, and many more. It is anticipated that by 2025, the freelance market in India will grow massively to $20-30 billion.
With the emergence of start-up culture in India, freelancing is on the rise. Young start-up companies that do not require or can’t afford full-time employees approach freelancers to seek their expertise. Freelancing has made it convenient for many empowered women to join the workforce at the comfort of their homes.
A freelancer architect enjoys many benefits, and hence now we can see architects drifting away from regular jobs and opting for freelance.
Choice of projects and clients
Architecture is a wide-ranging field and offers many possibilities. Many architects work as BIM architects, 3D visualizers, illustrators, designers and build a diverse portfolio to tap on potential clients. During the initial days, it might be possible that Architects do not get the projects of their will but gradually, with experience, they will enjoy the liberty of the choice of projects and clients they would like to work with. Working with like-minded people helps in networking and building good connections that will help in prospecting clients.
Option to switch
After graduation, many fresh architects are still confused or want to experiment in different areas. After college, fresh architects in desperate need of work sometimes end up in firms where they are not interested and have to settle there for a long duration. Every firm works with defined principles, methods, styles, and ideas. Working in a firm with no interest won’t help in achieving long-term goals. Freelancing allows such youngsters to practically explore different areas and helps in channelling them to their niche.
Flexible working hours
As an employee, fresher architects have to work according to the hours and schedule of the principal architect. Flexibility in working hours is the biggest boon of freelancing. Architects are creative people and prefer to work according to their convenience. Some architects prefer working at night, while some prefer the morning doesn’t matter if the work gets over within stipulated time. The period can change with mutual understanding between both parties. Same way, in the case of online projects, the location of the freelancer doesn’t matter.
Set your charges
Freelance gives you the freedom to work on your terms and conditions. A salaried architect does not have a right to ask for extra money for extra work. Whereas in freelance, the architect can ask for extra money for extra work directly from the client. Both the parties are with an agreement that can modify if the need arises. The architects have to be smart enough to understand the market prices and should not undercharge themselves for their services as it lowers the rating scale of the entire community.
Architects provide multiple services. As a freelancer, the architects can sort priority list of the kind of work they are interested in and render their services accordingly. For example, if an individual is interested in and is good at preparing 3Ds and walkthroughs, he/she can start as a 3Dvisualizer. He/She should specify in the agreement the number of revisions and views he/she will provide to avoid exploitation. At offices, architects are bound to do what is required and not what they want to do.
Running a freelance business is nothing less than running a firm. It involves a lot of responsibilities and expertise. From finding work, personal branding, marketing to setting up accounting and insurance, freelance requires a lot of extra effort to deal with the administrative work. It has happened that clients ask for some free services or more views by luring them with potential clients. Architects must understand the difference between effective networking and exploitation. They should never provide the client with work without a final payment and only send the files’ read-only versions.
One must try to stay in touch with former co-workers, colleagues, associates and try to collaborate with them on new projects as it would provide a wider perception. Some of the best websites to kickstart your journey as an architect are: Houzz, Upwork, Guru, 99degins, Kickstarter, and Indiegogo. Freelance architects can also promote themselves through blogs, podcasts, webinars, and mentorship programs simultaneously, creating an alternative source of income.
Freelancing is a great learning experience to understand the basics of running a firm and networking with clients. Currently, the internet is filled with freelance job opportunities. Becoming a Freelance Architect requires great responsibility and hard work. Thanks to the internet, we now live in a world where there are endless opportunities and great community support.
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- Luca Oniboni.14 Ways of making money as a freelance Architect or Designer. Available at: 14 Ways of making money as a freelance Architect or Designer | Archiobjects [Accessed 6 September 2021].