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Freelance Project Manager: Their Salary, Responsibilities & How To Become One

Are you tired of the rigidity of your typical 9-5 jobs? As a project manager, freelance work can be a fitting option for you. Becoming one is a bold step in your career and personal life, and you should know what to expect.

Fortunately, we’ve highlighted all you need to know about working as a freelance project manager, including perks, salaries, and responsibilities. Read on to be more informed about this exciting career. 

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What Is a Project Manager?

A project manager is a specialist who analyzes, plans, and executes projects for clients or organizations while adhering to constraints such as timelines and budgets.

Project Manager

These professionals oversee all operations and teams, formulate project objectives, engage with stakeholders, and monitor a project through to completion. So, to some degree they determine the success or failure of a project.

There are opportunities for people in this field in various sectors, from marketing campaigns to construction, software development, and launching new products in the market.

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The demand for project managers in virtually all industries makes the career ideal for freelancing. 

Instead of working for a single employer on multiple projects, freelance project managers provide their skills to clients needing professional project management services on a temporary or contract basis.

Roles & Responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities of people freelancing in this capacity vary depending on the client’s services, but the primary responsibility is to oversee successful project completion. 

Typically, five cycles divide a project: conception, planning, implementation, monitoring, and completion. Each phase of the project cycle features various responsibilities for project managers.

Freelance Project Manager

Here are some of the primary roles and responsibilities throughout the project cycle:

Conception

The first step of a project cycle is conception, including tasks that may include:

  • Delivering a project charter
  • Identifying stakeholders
  • Defining the preliminaries of the project, including cost, scope, and timeframe
  • Approving the project to advance to the planning phase

Planning

The second step of a project cycle is planning, such as:

  • Develop the project’s technical design
  • Establish roles and responsibilities of project stakeholders and team
  • Determining budgets, including planning and estimating expenditure
  • Establishing quality requirements
  • Creating communication plan
  • Identifying potential risk and their mitigation strategies

Implementation

The third step of a project cycle is implementation, including tasks such as:

  • Leading the integrated project team
  • Managing and tracking the project schedule
  • Chairing status meetings
  • Ensuring the scope of work matches the agreed content from the planning phase
  • Managing any changes that arise in the implementation process]
  • Managing stakeholders’ expectations

Monitoring

The fourth step of a project cycle includes various types of monitoring and:

  • Reporting key performance indicators
  • Reviewing and addressing changes
  • Keeping track of the scope
  • Managing the quality by tracking the end product
  • Facilitating stakeholder communication

Completion

The fifth and final task of a project cycle is completion, during which a project manager will:

  • Confirming the completion of the project and the satisfaction of the stakeholders
  • Communicating the final project disposition
  • Closing all phases of the project

Salary, Perks & Benefits

Typically, the freelance project manager’s salary is lucrative, but it can vary depending on your rate card. The average annual wage is $94,500, with an average hourly wage of $45.43 and a varying day rate. 

But that’s not all you get from this career – it features a range of perks and benefits, especially if you’re freelancing.

Below, we’ve highlighted the perks and benefits of working as a freelance project manager.   

Financial Independence

Freelance is the key to financial freedom for people in these roles, as you can determine your pay rates and pricing.

Working in the gig economy gives you autonomy over your earnings and allows you to hang on to all your profits.

Project manager on a call

Unlike the 9-5 jobs, freelance project management can mean better-paying gigs instead of a standard salary.

You can also pick clients on a global scale, guaranteeing high payment potential. Remember, the more projects you manage, the more earnings you make.

More Collaboration Opportunities

Unlike working on a full-time employment basis, freelance in this capacity allows you to network and collaborate with other professionals in the industry.

Such opportunities help you progress in your career by collaborating with other project managers and landing new freelance gigs.

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Also, you can dip your feet in new waters by collaborating with others in the same role. There are many benefits including working with various clients in different niches, whilst sharpening your skills to manage future diverse projects better.

Flexibility

Most professional project managers often look for alternative jobs to fit their lifestyles and terms.

Freelancing in this capacity can offer an escape from the rigid schedule of permanent employment, ensuring you attain a desirable work-life balance. 

When you work as a freelance project manager, you can determine when and where to work those timelines and deliver your projects effectively.

How To Become a Project Manager

The minimum requirement for a freelance project management specialist is a bachelor’s degree. However, academic qualification isn’t all you need.

You need managerial skills, professional experience, and marketing to become successful in this freelance role. 

Sharpen Your Skills

Even if you’ve been in the project management employment scene for a long time, you may be re-entering the industry on your terms.

If so, it’s essential to keep up with fresh ideas, up-to-date certifications, and ongoing learning to enhance your attractiveness to prospective freelance clients. 

Market Yourself

Working as a freelance project manager typically means you’re liable for identifying and negotiating with potential clients.

Being a newbie in the project management industry, you don’t have the experience and connections to become a priority candidate for gigs.

You can stand out by advertising your services on freelance websites and applying for freelance project management opportunities on the internet job search platforms.

Build a Strong Portfolio

Getting your name out there isn’t enough to land you a freelance project management gig without a strong reputation.

project manager working on creating a portfolio

It’s imperative to show your expertise in project management through a solid portfolio and resume showing your track record of success to help attract new clients and retain old ones.

Build Your Network

Networking is essential for bagging freelance gigs, enabling you to build and validate a reputation.

A robust network helps create relationships and contacts with other players in the freelance industry, offering you a competitive advantage in the long run.

By networking, you could find the available freelance project management opportunities and roles that excite you.  

Final Thoughts

Remote working can be overwhelming for freelance project managers, especially if the responsibilities entail frequent communication and teamwork. 

But, with the information in this article, you are good to kickstart a successful career in this area and deliver on your roles and responsibilities effectively. Follow the insightful tips above to advance your career to greater heights.