The Basics of Freelancing on the Go


Are you a mobile freelancer?

If you’re trying to live the freelance dream, chances are that you answered “yes” to the previous question, or are at least thinking about it.

The old stereotype of the freelancer who works alone in his or her home office is changing. The image is being replaced by a newer, more mobile freelancer.

In this post we examine the growing trend of “freelancing on the go” and the essential tools that make it possible. Read on to find out just how easy it is to become a mobile freelancer.

What Is Mobile Freelancing?

For a large number of freelancers the high cost of commuting is no longer an issue. Today’s technology has provided an unprecedented opportunity for many freelancers to take their work nearly anywhere. Even very small, rural communities now offer powerful Internet connections and WiFi hotspots.

In fact, a few freelancers have decided to forgo a permanent location altogether, in favor of a nomadic freelancing lifestyle. Other freelancers maintain a more permanent base, but enjoy the flexibility of being able to travel whenever they want to.

Not everyone understands the mobile freelancing trend, though.

The Experts are Wrong

Recently I read an article written by a so-called real estate guru projecting that most people would move to cities and urban centers within the next ten years in order to save money on the high cost of commuting (based on the increasing cost of gasoline).

This self-proclaimed guru was envisioning the growth of urban centers all based on the need to limit commuting. The expert author’s rationale completely ignored the growing trend of the self-employed (including myself and many of our Freelance Folder readers), who are now (or have the potential to be) completely location independent.

Let’s take a look at the essentials that make the mobile freelancing trend possible.

Mobile Freelancing Essentials

To effectively freelance on the go it is important to have the right tools. Here are some essentials for mobile freelancers:

  1. A fast and reliable Internet connection. Finding a fast and reliable Internet connection while traveling used to be difficult. However, fast Internet is quickly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Even some fast food restaurants are now offering WiFi Internet to their patrons. There are, however, still some places without Internet. If you aren’t sure if there will be Internet available where you are going, ask before you go.
  2. Mobile computing equipment. A laptop used to be the only real option for the freelancer on the go. However, today’s mobile freelancer may be able to get by with a Netbook and even a smartphone like an iPhone or a Blackberry, which has the ability to go online.
  3. Ability to access WiFi. Most laptops and netbooks are already configured to find and access wireless internet, but older models may not be. Also, while some locations offer complimentary WiFi access, be aware that these free connections are generally less secure than a connection that you pay for. If you are going to travel a lot, it may be wise to invest in a data plan.
  4. Virus check and security software. Make sure that your computer equipment is protected with virus checking software. NEVER log on to a sensitive account (your bank account, for example) from a public computer unless you are absolutely certain that your password information will not be accessible to the next user.
  5. A permanent online location. You may be traveling, but your contact information shouldn’t be. Make sure that you have a reliable email address where perspective clients can reach you. Check your email frequently.

Is This You?

Are you a mobile freelancer?
If so, what freelancing challenges have you faced as a result of your mobility? What benefits have you found?

Share your experiences, ideas, and tips in the comments

Image from novecentino