If you are one of the 1.2 million people living in the Republic of Cyprus, whether you are a native or ex-pat, you are the envy of thousands of people across the globe. As you know, Cyprus is the third-largest island in the Mediterranean and is found just south of Turkey and southeast of Greece.
The incredible scenery and miles of impressive beaches draws people to the island. The sun shines almost 90 percent of the time, adding to the desirability of Cyprus living.
Cyprus offers something for everyone. Even with the long summers and short winters, you can find snow in the Troodos mountains where you can go snow skiing if that is what you enjoy.
The one drawback of living in Cyprus is the somewhat higher cost of living and low wages. Cyprus has a relatively low minimum wage, currently set at €885 even though this will rise at the turn of the year to €940
As of March 2022, the average annual salary in Cyprus was approximately 25,920 EUR (28,158 USD). Although education and work history factor into the wage, think how great it would be if you could earn your own money by being your own boss and having your own business.
You can do it. You can start your own freelancing business. You can essentially set your own financial goal and meet it every month.
What does it mean to be a freelancer?
A freelancer is someone who, as an independent contractor, earns money on a per-project basis. The freelancer is not an employee of a business, but only of their own freelance business. The freelancer often works at different jobs for different companies all at the same time.
Freelancers can do this full-time or, if they need to, they can freelance part-time to supplement their income from their day job. Freelancers generally sign contracts with the people they work for who pay them a predetermined fee for their completion of a specific task.
A few examples of freelance businesses or niches include:
- Content writing
- Editing and proofreading
- Graphic design
- Marketing consultancy
- Virtual assistant (VA).
- Photography and videography.
- Website development and design
- Tax preparation/accounting
- Customer support
And many other areas such as acting, the music field, event planning, language translation, catering, tutoring, and more, use freelancers.
Many industries give you the opportunity to work globally. For example, you live and work in Cyprus, but your clients may be in the UK, the USA, or any other country.
Benefits and drawbacks of freelancing
Like anything in life, there are benefits and drawbacks to being a freelancer.
Benefits to freelancing
You have the freedom to work when and where you want to. You can work out of your home, at a relative’s house, on the beach, at your vacation location, just anywhere of your choosing. You make your own schedule which can give you a better life balance. You choose the work you want to do and turn down work that doesn’t interest you. You are your own “boss.”
Drawbacks to freelancing
Income is uncertain, and you may overextend and take on too much work. On the other hand, when there are down periods, you may stress over not having enough work to pay your bills. You will have no employer benefits, so no paid days off work. It is all up to you to earn the money you need.
How to become a freelancer
There are some steps that can help you become the successful freelancer you want to be. It is challenging and rewarding. It takes effort and planning, but the rewards are great, both financially and emotionally.
#1 Find a niche
A niche is an area in which you will work. Choose your industry, then your specialty within the industry. For example, if you are a freelance writer, what is your specialty within that broad industry? Do you write about travel, about current events, about legal issues? Know what your focus is and use that to design your logo and set up your website.
#2 Identify your target clients
Who do you want to work with? Are you planning to work with a certain business? Who are they? What is your plan for convincing clients that you are the best person to do the job they want to be done? Some questions to ask:
#3 Design a logo
A logo that makes your freelancing business look professional identifies your brand. You will use your logo on your email platform, business cards, etc. An email with a logo is more likely to get the attention of potential customers/clients than an email with no logo.
To create your logo you could use a freelancer (graphic design freelancers), or an online logo creator. Both options will get you a quality logo for less than $60.
#4 Set up a website
It is imperative that you have a website. This provides a point of contact for customers and in many cases, it will be the first point of contact. It is how potential clients across the globe will find you and inspire confidence that they can work with you even though you are working from Cyprus.
The website gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to potential clients and showcase your work. As you develop your portfolio, you add it to your website.
A pleasing and well-structured website inspires confidence and gives legitimacy to your freelancing business. It can set your business apart from your competitors and validates you as a professional. You may want to add testimonials of satisfied customers.
The website should be easy for users to navigate. It is where you can inform the clients of your pricing or provide contact information for discussing their personal needs before coming to a pricing agreement.
#5 Determine how you will price your services
Will you charge by the job, by the hour, by the day? Are you flexible and willing to negotiate pricing individually depending on the nature and size of the job? Know this and be ready to respond to a pricing request from a potential customer/client.
#6 Find clients
Once you know how much you will charge the next step is to find paying clients. There are a few ways you can do this:
- Contact potential clients directly via their website
- Work through an agency
- List a profile on the many freelancer platforms
- Find clients through LinkedIn
#7 Have a contract
It is likely that if a business requests your services, that business will have its own contract ready to offer you. Review it carefully. Watch out for non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), clauses about insurance, and other clauses that are often included that have nothing to do with the services you provide.
If clients don’t have a contract you should draw up your own: Here are some of the points to include:
- Terms and conditions of work
- Project costs
- Expectations of final work
- Payment method requirements
- Project timelines
If you are drawing up a contract it’s always a good idea to have it reviewed by a legal professional.
Will you join the freelance revolution?
In 2021, there were more than 1 billion freelancers scattered around the world. That makes up close to one-third of the workforce. If that many people can make this work, so can you. It involves dedication and perseverance but the rewards of freelancing, of being in charge of your own time and your own work, will be worth it.