The 5 types of freelancers. Which one are you?

Updated: Apr 20

Not all freelancers are the same. When someone tells you they are a freelancer, that could mean anything from picking up a few gigs on the weekend to running a multimillion dollar business. If you have already started freelancing or are getting ready to make the leap, it is important to know what type of freelancer you want to become. The reason for this is that there are tons of products, services, courses and information out there directed at freelancers. Without knowing what kind of freelancer they are taking, you could be wasting time and money on a course that has no bearing on your business.

Let’s have a look at the five types of freelancers, who they are and how they run their business. From there you can decide what type of freelancer you are or where you want to get to.

1. Independent Contractor

This is one of the more common types of freelancers. They are often the blurred line between employee and business owner. They don’t have one specific employer but they will work under employers as their clients. This means they will be contracted to perform specific task or assignments.

For example, a freelancer writer could be contracted to perform content marketing services for a company. The contract will include how much work they need to do for the project, how much they will be getting paid and the deadline the project needs to be completed by. For the freelancer writer, this type of work will be quite frequent from a variety of different employers or clients. Most of their income is made up from these contracts. While they do have a high degree of autonomy, in many cases the contracts outline what times they will need to be available for communication and any other requirements they client desires.

2. Moonlighters

This is the best way to get a start in freelancing. Moonlighters are freelancers who work a traditional job alongside their freelance work. They might work the typical 9 to 5 and then take on freelance work from 6 to 9 or over the weekend. Their freelance work could be related to their day job or it could be something totally different. For example, someone who works as an scientific researcher might do freelance writing for science blogs as a way to supplement their income.

Moonlighting can be a great way to dabble in freelancing before making the plunge. It gives you a taste of how freelancing works before deciding to start your own business.

3. Temporary Workers

Temporary workers are similar to independent contractors however they lean even more towards the side of an employee. Temporary workers are contracted to their client to take on a particular project and are expected to work as an employee with that company for the duration of the contract. For example, a graphic designer hired by a company to create a new brand strategy over the course of a year. The freelancer is paid the same as a normal employee would be and once the project is completed, the freelancer goes back on the hunt for new clients.

4. Diversified Workers

This type of freelance is similar to a moonlighter however they have a greater variety and mix to their work. They could have a combination of a steady job and several freelance projects they are involved with. As a diversified worker, you might enjoy the fact that every day is something different and you never have to endure the monotony of a 5 day a week job. Instead, they perform a mix of creative and regular work. They might be on call to certain jobs which gives them the flexibility and freedom to organise their days.

5. Business Owners

These are the freelancers who take their work quite seriously. They are not just in it to make a living, they want to build a business. This involves creating a brand and marketing towards a specialised niche. Business owners don’t always consider themselves freelancers but more like entrepreneurs who have the goal of creating a thriving business. This is the most challenging type of freelance work to succeed in only because it is the most ambitious. A business owner might want to turn their freelance operation into an agency by hiring other freelance workers and managing each of the projects. The sky's the limit to this type of freelancing as you can grow into a multi million dollar consulting business or agency. The best way to succeed in this type of freelancing? Check out our Freelancer Launch Kit for more information.