How many freelancers are in the world?

Freelancing is the new norm for many professions nowadays: be it web designing, app making, content writingblogginggraphic design, editing, etc. 

There are many reasons why more and more people are navigating towards freelancing. 

There are a total of 1.56 billion freelancers around the world. 

This number is an estimate based on WorldBank data that declares the number of self-employed individuals in the workforce. 

That number is enough to show – freelancing is incredibly popular and isn’t going out of fashion anytime soon!

But why is becoming a freelancer such a popular choice for so many people? 

Let’s explore this question more deeply while we also give you more tips about becoming a better freelancer.

Some Top Statistics About Freelancing

Let’s look at some top statistics about freelancers that help gain more perspective into this professional route.

Globally, freelancers earn about $19/hour on average

The amount you can earn as a freelancer can vary widely based on your location, skillset, the demand for your skills, and ultimately the client network you have.

Some freelancers can earn really well with the same skillset and in the same field, whereas others struggle to make even minimum wage. 

Regardless, the average global figure remains $19 for all freelancers in all professions.

Most freelancing jobs do not come from online gig websites

Multiple freelancing websites, like Fiverr, Upwork, Freelancer, etc., tend toward freelancers by connecting them directly with clients.

However, according to (OECD) Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, there are only 1-3% of freelancing gigs actually involve such a website.

What happens the rest of the time? Maybe freelancers prefer other networking sites and social media over gig websites.

There’s also a possibility that much of the marketing for a freelancer occurs through email channels, cold outreach, or simply word of mouth.

Combined, all freelancers in the US are worth about $1.3 trillion annually

This number also grew by approximately $100 million from 2020, an 8.3% increase.

As mentioned earlier, different types of freelancers make different amounts depending on their industry, skillset, and a lot of other factors. 

Their combined earnings are a great reflection of the potential freelancing holds.

While getting a 9-5 job is still the choice for many people, the monetary value of even freelancing isn’t limited if you have the right skills and the network.

94% of people freelancing do it full time

It’s a widespread perception that digital freelancing jobs by themselves are not a sustainable source of income.

This is why many freelancers, while starting out, start looking for alternate career options and job pathways. 

But before you do that, too, think carefully!

If 94% of freelancers in the world are doing it full-time, it means it has tremendous potential to be your only career option. You don’t have to look for or prepare for any alternatives if you do it right.

How can you become a successful freelancer?

Now that you have seen the stats above, you must have realized the amount of money and satisfaction freelancing can guarantee if done right.

Whether you’re a beginner in freelancing or have been working as a freelancer for a long time, read the following tips by Freelancer to up your game.

1. Build a strong portfolio

This is the very first piece of advice every freelancer should remember and practice.

Build portfolios that make you memorable and let your work do the selling for you.

Remember one thing: as a freelancer, you cannot advertise your services using the same channels as big brands and MNCs. You also don’t have the same networking resources.

So you need a space to showcase your work.

Think of your portfolio as a sample dish that you offer your potential customers.

You want it to be the absolute best, not just in terms of quality but also in terms of presentation.

Make sure it’s well organized, and the best pieces are highlighted as well as possible.

If your profession calls for a visually rich portfolio, make sure to use high-quality images.

You can send this portfolio over even in cold emails sometimes, and the photos can be handy.

2. Specialise and keep learning

Are you a writer?

If yes, have you ever taken any writing-specific training, or did you just start writing because you had a passion for it and were really good at it too?

In either case, there’s nothing wrong.

However, remember, if your current freelance passion started for you without much training, it’s probably a good idea to get digital marketing training and certifications.

Training does not just open you up to opportunities, but they also give you an edge over the competition.

Because having specialised training can make your clients feel like they can trust your work. Plus, there’s a downside to seeking learning opportunities whenever you can.

Once you’ve received your training, you will also be far more precise about the field you want to specialise in.

3. Make sure you set the right price

Setting the right price for your services can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out.

If you’re in need of money, you might want to price extremely high.

But that puts you at the risk of not being approachable to some clients who’re looking for low-cost services.

On the other hand, if you price yourself too low, your clients might think that you’re priced so low because you’ve nothing to offer. This can badly affect your reputation and chances of getting work.

Therefore, you must strive to zero in on a specific price you will charge for a particular kind of work.

For example, this is one way of calculating your freelancing salary. Set your annual income and from there you can set your monthly income.

4. Find the right way to market yourself

There are two key ways to go about freelancing, and you can practice multiple of them together. Some freelancers like to spend all their time on gig economy websites like Upwork or Fiverr, bidding on open projects.

There’s nothing wrong with this approach. If you have time to post multiple bids, some of these tasks can be greatly rewarding.

However, also keep in mind that marketing yourself is important.

Think of yourself as a brand.

Then start reaching out to potential customers keeping that brand image in mind. It’s like seeking new clients for your business instead of applying for a job.


For anyone looking to expand their client base and gain independence while practicing their profession, freelancing is one of the best available options. 

Moreover, with the changing professional landscape of things being online, being a successful freelancer is easier than ever. 

After all, 1.56 billion freelancers in the world are already doing it.

Are you a freelancer or planning to be one?

Comment down below one piece of advice you want to share with anyone who’s starting out!