Our modern career glossary for new freelancers is a handy dictionary for every professional – unconventional or traditional – who actively drives their careers themselves.

It doesn’t matter whether you work online or offline, or in technology, non-profits or high fashion, understanding the meaning of these words will improve your business communications and prospects.

Think of a word that should be included and defined in this glossary for new freelancers and professionals? Hit the contact page and send in your word and definition. We credit all accepted contributors with a link back to their chosen profiles.

Scroll the Table of Contents to jump to specific words and their meanings. 

Table of Contents

Modern Career Glossary for Freelancers

Modern career glossary for new freelancers and professionals

Words and Their Meanings

About Page

(Noun). An About page is a webpage that shares what you or your brand is about to people visiting your website. It should highlight your background, experience, and what drew you to your work.


(Adjective). Agile is a project management method that divides whole projects into short phases of work with frequent progress checks. 

Anchor Client

(Noun): An ongoing or recurring client that guarantees a freelancer a certain amount of work and income per month.
PS: You need this for peace of mind.


(Noun). The people in your (or your client’s) target market who fall in the demographic likely to most likely to listen to your message.


(Noun). A service is in beta when you offer it to a small group of testers or clients in exchange for feedback on the service, pricing, and testimonials.

Brick-and-mortar Business

(Noun). A business with a physical office workplace environment.

Billable Hours

(Noun): The time worked by a freelancer or contractor that is recorded and charged to a client based on the agreed contractual rate.


(Noun). A writer’s name and bio in a published article or blog post. 


(Noun). Examples of published works. These may be links to articles, publications or. portfolios.


(Verb): Used in the context of booking a freelance worker for an assignment. For instance, before a freelancer fully begins work on a project, she must be officially ‘confirmed’ for the job.

Content Management System (CMS)

(Noun). This is a computer application you use to write, edit, and publish content. WordPress is one of the most well-known and widely content management systems.


(Verb): Producing written text or copy, in media and advertising. This ranges from billboards to brochures and social media posts.

Cloud Work

(Noun). Work where all communication, information, and files are shared and stored online. Wrike is one of the best cloud work management tools that we know of as at 2020.

Co-working Space

(Noun). A work environment shared by workers (often freelancers, digital nomads, and entrepreneurs) who aren’t employed by the same company.

Digital Nomad

(Noun). An employee that travels often while working remotely. 

Distributed Work

(Noun). A work environment where the team is geographically distributed, usually without a central physical office.


(Noun): The key results achieved during a creative project or assignment. These are initially identified and requested by the client, and delivered on by the freelancer or contractor. 

Emotional Value

(Noun). The non-monetary sources of value of a project to a client. 

Freelance Work

(Noun). A short-term work arrangement in which a company hires an independent contractor to complete a single task or role temporarily.


(Noun). A self-employed person who works as an independent contractor, usually for multiple companies, instead of as an employee for a single company.

Future of Work

(Noun). A buzzword describing upcoming technologies, work arrangements, processes, and motivators that will influence the way work is done in the future.


(Noun). A person who markets themselves as capable of doing many different types of work for many kinds of clients aka a Jack of all trades.

Gig Economy

(Noun): A job market where short-term contracts and freelance roles is the norm. Instead of holding a permanent job with a regular wage, gig economy workers get paid per “gig” or assignment.

Hourly Billing

(Noun). The practice of charging clients by the hour for your services.


(Noun): Meaning a freelancer’s bill, including a list of services provided, followed by a statement of the total amount owed, based on pre-agreed payment terms.

In-person Meeting

(Noun). A conventional meeting where people are present in the same physical location.

Positioning Statement

(Noun). A message that tells people what your business is, how they can benefit from it, and how it differs from others.

Lead Magnet

(Noun). Something you offer for free on your website to persuade people to join your mailing list or build credibility or offer value e.g., white papers, interviews, cheatsheets, reports, mini-courses, etc. 

Market Research

(Verb). This is the process of researching your target market (or your client’s). The goal of market research is to understand how to reach them, make your positioning and product more niche and attractive, and/or what problems they (your target market) are experiencing.


(Noun). A specialized but profitable corner of your skillset.

Non-Compete Agreement (NCA)

(Noun): An agreement that hinders a freelancer from entering into competition with the employer for a period after their assignment ends.

Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA)

(Noun): An agreement or contract that binds the parties signing into never revealing details of the contract or work done to outside parties. 


(Noun). A product or service you offer for sale.


(Verb). Contracting or subcontracting work to a third party company in another country, usually to maximize profits.


(Verb). Contracting or subcontracting work to a third party company.


(Noun). Seeking and stimulating a conversation with someone or a group of people who you want to build a relationship with.


(Noun): Hours worked by a freelancer or contractor beyond their contractual billable hours. It is usually charged at the rate of time and a half.

Payment Term

(Noun): A document outlining how and when the client will pay the freelancer. It is usually set by the freelancer and serves as precedent for future invoices.


(Verb). Reserving a freelancer for a specific period. So when other clients approach the freelancer, she must check with the original client to request a ‘release’ before accepting the new assignment. 

Per Diem

(Noun). Daily allowance to allow for certain expenses of a freelancer. 


(Noun). Freelancers who work in freelance roles for one employer over a long period of time.


(Noun). A person who is likely to buy from you but has not done so yet. 


(Noun). A specific type of packaged service where you offer your clients access to your expertise on a subscription basis. Retainers are typically monthly.

Sales Funnel 

(Noun). A system or process for turning a lead into a client. Here’s how the process looks like:

  • Engaging in marketing activities to attract leads
  • Receive a lead via email
  • Have an initial conversation
  • Reach conceptual agreement on the project
  • Lead is now a prospect
  • Submit a project proposal or quote
  • Prospect approves the project
  • Prospect is now a client
  • You schedule a time for the project on your calendar

Sales Page

(Noun). A landing page, like our community’s, is meant to persuade the visitor to make a purchase.

Scope Creep

(Noun). This is when a project begins to exceed the initial agreed upon scope.

Scrum Meeting 

(Noun). A daily short meeting where team members discuss three questions:

  • What did I accomplish yesterday?
  • What do I plan to accomplish today?
  • Do I see any blocks that might prevent me from accomplishing my goal?


(Noun). A short video showcasing a freelancer’s skills. It’s usually done by freelance editors, motion designers or videographers. 


(Noun). Someone who markets themselves as having a sharply focused area of expertise in solving a specific problem.


(Noun). A short period of time dedicated to intense productivity on a project for an entire team.

Synchronous Communication

(Noun). This type of communication requires participants to be present and focused at the same time. Examples are phone calls, conference calls, and in-person meetings.

Target Market

(Noun). A specific group of people whose needs your product or service solves.


(Noun). Appreciative words from a client about your product or service. Used in your marketing materials to build trust with other potential clients.

Turnaround Time (TAT) 

(Noun). The estimated amount of time it would take to complete a project. 

Umbrella Company

(Noun). A company that hires a network of freelancers to work with different clients on an ongoing basis. 


(Noun). The combination of the emotional value and monetary value of a project to a client. 

Value Anchoring

(Verb). Using the value of a project to a client as a price anchor in your quote or proposal. 

Watering Hole

(Noun). A place where potential clients from your target market meet and discuss business matters. These places could be online or offline. Examples include LinkedIn groups, Reddit forums, Quora, Facebook groups, conferences, seminars, meetups, conferences, etc.

Know a word that should be included in this glossary for freelancers? Visit the contact page and send in your word and definition.

Photo by Leah Kelley.

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