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How to Freelance as an Expat Wife / Mum [easy guide]

Author: Carl Heaton
He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.
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Looking after a family is already a full-time job, but working online can allow you the freedom to bring in some additional income, all while the kids are at school!

Whether you are a mother of 3 in the suburbs or an expat wife living in Thailand with a working partner, there are several ways to work from home and make a steady income working online.

Living in Thailand as a foreigner can prove to be quite a difficult experience if you wish to find work, whether at a small or large company, due to the country’s laws. Thankfully, there are several online options available for you that will only require a couple of hours of work a day. You can easily get into online jobs such as:

All these options allow you to make a steady and decent income from home while working as a freelancer.

Become a freelance Web Designer

A web designer’s job is to create websites and online pages for businesses, both big and small. Your job will entail communicating with clients about what they want their website to look like and how it will function. Finally, and most importantly, you will be responsible for the actual designing and creating of the website based on your client’s needs.

Benefits of becoming a Web Designer

The benefits of working as a web designer include a good way to release some creativity and help small businesses get off the ground,

  • A good way to embrace your creative side is by deciding on how to design and create the website you and your client have formed in your mind’s eye.
  • Work online for any company, worldwide thanks to the wonders of the internet, Zoom and screen sharing programs.
  • Start local and work your way up by starting with local businesses in your area such as a small flower shop or an event taking place in your city and working up to larger companies in your country and eventually international businesses.

What skills do I need to become a web designer?

Most web design jobs require a good creative mind and good communication skills between you and the client

Creative minded – so you can create interesting and unique websites for various clients

  • Understanding what grabs attention and what the client wants – so that you can make the best possible website for the client. This will aid you in getting more favorable reviews which will bring in more clients.
  • A decent grasp on technology and modern design – so that none of your websites are seen as outdated and low quality
  • A firm understanding of Search Engine Optimisation so your website can be easily found online.
  • Excellent IT skills so you can easily use all the necessary tools.
  • A good grasp of programs such as Figma and Abobe design software

    Figma connects everyone in the design process so teams can deliver better products, faster.

All the skills required can be acquired in some basic short courses

How much does a freelance web designer earn?

Web designers can make pretty decent money which varies from country to country and state to state but here are the average salaries.

  • On average, an entry-level web designer will make around 767,913 THB +  annually at 369.19 to 706.00 THB an hour
  • On average, a senior web designer will make around 1 682,039,94 THB + annually and up to 3,683,960 THB with added UX design skills and years of experience
  • Freelance web designers can have an average project rate of 40,000 THB

Become a Graphic Designer

Graphic design is about using your creative and artistic skills. Whether you see yourself as a freelancer doing odd jobs for small businesses, or a professional graphic designer working for a large company, here is everything you need to know about being a graphic designer:

Benefits of becoming a Graphic Designer

Most of the benefits of being a graphic designer will lay in being able to put your artistic and creative talents to good use for quite a pretty penny

  • Graphic Designers will always be in demand due to new companies opening every day and long-running companies updating their logos and designs every few years.
  • Perfect for working from home thanks to the internet which allows you to always work in a comfortable environment and at your own pace, with the only restrictions being the due date and the client’s desires.
  • Very easy to show previous work to potential employers by just pulling up your portfolio and showing previous clients you’ve worked with who will most likely leave a review once your work is done.

What skills do I need to become a Graphic Designer?

There are several online and in-person courses that can teach you the core skills required to start a career in graphic design, but the basics are:

  • A good grasp of design and photo-editing software(i.e Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) – so you can tweak designs and make early draft concepts
    Adobe Illustartor
  • A creative and innovative mind – to make your designs stand out and give your work a recognizable identity
  • Time management and organizational skills – so you don’t get bogged down by having multiple projects overlapping
  • Accuracy and attention to detail – so that every design comes out as perfect as possible
  • An understanding of the latest trends and how to incorporate them into your designs – to keep your work up to date

How much does a Graphic Designer earn?

Graphic Designer salaries in Thailand range from 27,700 THB per month as a minimum to 95,800 THB per month as a maximum. Your experience and region will determine where in that scale you’ll fit.

  • On average, a graphic designer makes around 350 THB an hour, depending on years of experience with a median monthly salary of 65,100 THB a month
  • Relatively new Freelancers can charge anywhere between 780.50 THB and 1561.00 THB per project

graphic designing using photoshop

Become a Social Media Manager

A Social Media Manager is someone who handles a brand’s social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages. They monitor, moderate, and respond to audience comments, manage social media partnerships with other brands, and create posts such as updates and advertisements for people to see.

Benefits of being a Social Media Manager

  • You can very easily start small by assisting any local businesses or your child’s school or extracurricular activities
  • Lots of flexibility and ways to improve and grow due to every brand/business you work for being different so you’ll pick up several different styles and can gauge what works and what doesn’t
  • A good way to keep your finger on the pulse of social trends is to keep your company ahead of the curve thanks to spending a large chunk of your time on social media.

What skills do I need to become a Social Media Manager?

Social Media Managers need the skills to properly communicate with others, whether that be coworkers or the audience you’ll be interacting with, be well organized, and have good writing skills. Online marketing courses can greatly assist you in gathering these skills

  • Good communication skills are vital to ensuring you can keep a good reputation with your fanbase and followers
  • You must be efficient in handling every situation that could pop up such as customer complaints and hate mail
  • Good sense of Marketing to properly advertise your business/brand on social media
  • Customer Care to make sure every interaction with a customer/follower is treated with professionalism and that their complaints are taken care of
Co-Schedule Screenshot
Using post scheduling softwares for your social media can be very helpful for a Social Media Manager

How much does a Social Media Manager Earn?

Social Media Managers in Thailand normally make a monthly salary of between 20 000 and 47 000 THB, varying from company to company and years of experience

  • Freelance Social Media Managers typically charge about 625 THB an hour when starting and can eventually charge up to 1875 THB an hour after getting experience and a reputation behind them
  • Smaller companies will normally pay between 20 000THB and 25 000 THB a month
  • Larger companies normally pay between 35 000THB and 47 000 THB a month

Become a Freelance Photographer

A good way to make money as a photographer is to sell basic stock images online of different areas. Most photographers do need to be location-based depending on the type of photos they wish to sell.

Photographer by the ocean

Benefits of becoming a Freelance Photographer

  • Allows you to capture beautiful scenery in your local area
  • Beautiful scenery and photos can help calm stress, extra useful for single mothers who have a lot of stress, especially good for a beautiful country like Thailand
  • Allows a small bit of immortality since pictures don’t change and you can keep a small part of history forever with you
  • A lot of different companies will hire photographers for several different reasons such as getting photos of work they’ve done for advertisement as well as basic photos for things such as websites or brochures

What skills do I need to become a Freelance Photographer?

A keen eye for beauty and thinking outside the box in terms of scenery will assist you in becoming a freelance photographer. Most photographers rely on their creativity

  • Knowing how to use photography equipment
  • Good networking skills
  • Patience and concentration
  • Attention to detail
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop is a software loved by most of the photographers who use it to fine tune and tweak their images.

How much do Freelance Photographers earn?

  • On average, a Freelance Photographer will make around 270 THB an hour with a yearly salary of 562 000 THB
  • Professional photographers can normally charge up to 3122 THB an hour and some even offer packages of 62 400 THB for a full day

Next steps

In conclusion, there are several ways to make money from home in Thailand. From selling your own photography to making websites for different companies in your hometown. Rejection letters from employers no longer need to be the end of the world thanks to the wonders of modern technology and freelancing.

If you are wanting to set up your own freelance business to work from home, these are the steps we suggest you take:

  1. Build your skills and knowledge with a course of your choosing.

    Be sure to do your research on accreditation, the skills you will learn, and what software is covered in the course. You want to be able to walk away with a strong foundation in your chosen field, once you are complete.

  2. Register a business

    Legitimizing your business will establish more authority with potential clients. Unfortunately, according to the laws of Thailand, foreigners are not allowed to own more than 49% of a business so finding someone you can trust to help you set up your business is imperative. According to the laws of Thailand, for every foreigner (i.e You) working in a business there have to be at least 4 Thai employees, a 51% holding Thai partner who isn’t included in the 4 employee quota, 2 million Baht business capital, and a business premises. However, there exists a “grey zone” in these laws. If you are currently living legally in Thailand, you can work online so long as you aren’t “taking a job opportunity away from or are employing a Thai national” and you aren’t working for or with a Thai company. For a more in-depth explanation of this process, Siam Legal have written this article that may help.

  3. Pick a niche

    Targeting a specific audience will help you to create a better customer experience and establish authority within your niche.

  4. Establish your own brand

    Branding yourself as a freelancer and creating a strategy and visuals to represent this will help you communicate with your audience in the online world. Your messaging, call to action and imagery should all follow suit to build credibility for your business.

  5. Create your website

    Having a central (SEO optimized) hub of information where potential clients can find more information on what you offer will help build your network and find more clients. It also legitimizes your business and can be used to build a sales funnel that works for you, even while you are sleeping or spending valuable time with your family.

  6. Build your network

    Friends and family are always a great place to start. They can then refer you to more and more people in the community with positive reviews. This will allow you to help build your network from the ground up. With growing positive reviews, more people outside of your social circles will be able to find you.

Creating your own schedule and working from home has become the new norm. Now get out there, and make some money.

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