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A freelancer is self-employed and will do occasional work for different companies.
Not having one particular employer gives a freelancer a significant level of freedom as they are not tied to one style of work.
Many choose to take this route as it enables them to work on a variety of different jobs with different requirements.
Many people with experience in creative, design and communications services will set themselves up as freelancers and work independently of an advertising agency or company.
Often many will sign up with an agency that finds work for freelancers and freelance employees for different companies.
Payment for freelancers varies hugely. Many will charge by the hour or day or on a per-project basis; some have adopted a value-based pricing method which is payment based on the results of the work completed.
In some cases a group of freelancers will work with a group of freelancers to create a 'virtual agency'.
This serves to help a particular client for a short length of time on a project. This will help a freelancer gain work that requires expertise of more than one individual.