How to become a Freelancer – Part 3

Naturally there are some “Tools of the Trade” that you will need. Here is the very minimum list that you must have in order to function well. Things that you must have include a functional computer with the relevant software and aninternet connection. Skills that you must have include knowing how to run the software, and a certain flair for writing.

What is the software that you will need? Since most people own PCs and use Windows, I will give you
programmes that work on this operating system only. If you are using a more advanced system or a Mac, chances are you don’t need to be told all this anyway.

You need an Internet Browser. You can use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, which comes loaded with the system, but I would suggest that you consider loading “Firefox” from Mozilla or “Chrome” from Google. These browsers have many more features and plug-ins that will help you with your work. Both browsers are free downloads and you can choose which ever one you feel comfortable with. There are many more browsers available, but since I have not used them I will not bring them up here. Personally I use “Firefox”.

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Now you need an Instant messenger. There is MSN messenger which again is preloaded with the Microsoft
Windows software. Other popular messengers are from Yahoo, Google and Skype. Again they are free and can be downloaded by anyone from their websites. You just need to register an id with them. In case of Yahoo Messenger andGoogle, your email id will double up as a messenger id.

This brings us to the “email id”. While your ISP, or internet service provider will give you an email id you should open up one free on with Yahoo or Google or both. These are handy to use on different freelancing sites, and allow you to retain a measure of privacy on the internet. Remember to keep your work id separate from the personal one.

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Besides these email accounts it is a good idea to get an account with PayPal. They allow you to get paid online in US Dollars and take a small percentage of your income till you become a verified member. You are thus saved from sharing your banking details with every person you will work with. You can open an account for free. Only the transactions will be charged.

Then there is the “Word Processor” and here again the Microsoft Office Complement comes with Microsoft Word. It is ideal for use, and while there are other options, you should just get comfortable with all the features here before you switch to another word processor. The other programs such as Excel and PowerPoint also deserve a look over as some projects may require you to use these.

Besides all this software you should have a “.pdf” file reader. I use Adobe Reader 8 and again this is a free
download that you can get from Adobe. Also get Photoshop from them, as you might need to deal with
some visual graphics as part of some projects. Just register with Adobe and download the software. Again it is
free.

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Right I think we have all the software now and we need to connect to the internet. Here you will have a choice of the local ISPs. Choose a broad band if possible as it will speed up your work. Otherwise, it can be quite painful uploading and downloading big documents.

We are done with the basic tools that you will need. Now we begin to hunt for freelance work.

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