Freelancers Ain’t Free

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An increasing number of artists and creators are making freelance creative work a viable and sustainable career option.

By Ryan Chew

“If freelancers do what they love as a business, they don’t have to work a day in their life. This is one of the biggest myth.”

Freelancers ain’t free because it cost them years and thousands of dollars to get to where they are, so that they can help you get to where you want to be.

In 2016, there were more than 40,000 professionals, including freelancers and solopreneurs, in Singapore’s creative arts industry. This number is expected to grow with a shift in employment norms, as an increasing number of artists and creators are making freelance creative work a viable and sustainable career option.

Turning passion into profession, Verlocal provides a community-centric marketplace and support services for freelancers and small businesses to ply their trade.

Ver.Local means to see or to highlight the true sense of being in a local community whereby knowledge and services are shared. The online platform allows entrepreneurial individuals to list workshops, handmade products and commissioned services.

From Singing Bowl Meditation, Galaxy Chair Resin Pour to Pole Dancing, Climbing Certification Courses and Pub Crawls, anyone can transform their passions into a viable source of income.

However, three main ingredients are required to turn passion into a profession.

  1. When the going gets tough, get creative. Be gritty.
  2. Don’t work alone. Join a community. Help is always around the corner.
  3. Stay open minded, but with a healthy dose of skepticism.  

Freelance creative work requires basic marketing and business development skills. To sell a good product, charging cheaper won’t get you a lot of business. In fact, it devalues your product and “spoils the marketing”. It would be better to give discounts instead.

Another misconception is that, if freelancers do what they love as a business, they don’t have to work a day in their life. This is one of the biggest myth. Many freelancers actually spend a majority of their time working on the business aspects. If they can’t find someone to take care of marketing, accounting, business development and such, freelancers are left with very little time to do what they love to do.

For example, freelance service providers have to put in a lot of effort to gain online presence and increase their revenue in the long run. Instead of spending an exorbitant amount of money building their own ecommerce website, Verlocal Pro provides freelancers with direct booking widgets via easily accessible social media handles.

This reduces the amount of time spent on administrative work, such as managing bookings and answering enquiries. The possibility of missing out on a potential sale because the freelancer is unable to respond in time is also minimised.

While progress in technology brings the world closer and enables us to get information faster, technological advancements also provide us with avenues to start our own ventures. We also see more and more people looking for meaning in their jobs, as opposed to simple monetary compensation, and relying on major companies for employment.

Support your freelance community. Jump on Verlocal and pay them good money.


Ryan Chew is the Local Director of Verlocal, a community-driven marketplace made up of thousands of talented individuals and business owners from different industries looking to share and inspire others with their passion through various experiences.

Images by Verlocal

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