Freelancing is the profession of a self-employed individual who offer services to one or more businesses. Freelancers’ work greatly vary. A business or company can hire one for bookkeeping services, real estate marketing, online writing and publication, social media marketing, web developing, auditing, to name a few.
In many cases, people go into freelancing after working at regular daytime jobs to have more and better control over their work. Freelancers also get to choose whether they will be working part- or full-time. According to the Freelancers Union, freelancers make up 35% of the total number of the workforce in the United States of America. So what are the perks of freelancing?
Starting is quick and easy. You can start your freelance journey as soon as you want to, and as soon as you find yourself a client. You can have a friend or someone from your family that will need your service to be you client. Another way is through your network of friends and colleagues. As long as you have a plan on how you are going to trek the new independent path and you are equipped with the right skills to help you venture on, you are good to go.
Starting is not costly. When you are just starting, chances are, you won’t really need to invest too much on your tools and equipment. You won’t have to buy for more people, like setting up a small firm. Plus, since you are independently working, you would not necessarily need to rent a whole office. A shared workspace or an office-converted portion in your house will do very well.
The demand is high. With the growing number of freelancers, the competition will not be easy. However, the need for reliable and effective freelancers are as high as the sole demand for one.
Flexibility. The flexible work time with freelancing is not only the pro why many have exchanged their daytime jobs for it. You can choose your time for work, and you have the freedom to choose your clients.
Advantages aside, freelancing is also pretty much like setting up your own company. It’s hard work among other things, and the ground is not as secure as anyone would have like. But success in freelancing is not a tale other people tell. It is very much plausible and finding out the common reasons why some succeed and other don’t is a good guide. So here are five.
After having worked for another company before setting up on your own, the adjustment will not be so easy. With your previous employer, you might have followed a strict structure, and you just had to follow it. This time around, there are no structures, no rigid systems to follow. You will have to start from scratch. This is also where many freelancers fail at. You have to be diligent enough to keep the books up to date, organize your time strictly, separate your personal and leisure time from work, and overall, manage your time wisely.
In a market where freelancers abound, standing out can be tough. You can easily get drowned out if you cannot make a name or brand for yourself be seen. Being creative, just courageous and determined are not enough because all those qualities are common among your competition. Although this challenge can get tricky, there is a way out of it. Do not let your competition eat you whole. Focus on what you can deliver to your clients. Make them see your dependability and that you are capable to do what is expected of you.
Procrastination kills anyone’s drive to success and closes the doors of opportunities. This is what many freelancers fail to see. Since freelancers closely equates to doing things at your own timing, many think that they have all the time in their hands. In the end, nothing gets done and they don’t get anywhere. Remember that what you need to do, you have to act on it now.
Unable to keep up with change
The phrase “tried and tested” is useful when we are doubtful of a new product or approach on a certain change. However, playing safe and choosing to remain on a ground that’s already “tried and tested” may keep you from moving forward. To keep up with the game, a freelancer has to be updated with the current events and the things that are happening around in the market.
This problem is common to anyone new to freelancing, and this can lead to a topsy turvy budget and affect the whole business. Pricing should be based on three criteria, the client’s budget, the client’s expected profit, and your freelancing experience. The pricing for a small or non-profit organization is expected to be less than your charge for larger firms or companies. Also, charging for a project that is expected to profit largely should be charged more. Your experience as a newbie will immediately mean lesser charge for your professional fee. This, however, will change as time goes on and you become more seasoned in your field of practice.
In conclusion, it is always important to know what you are really getting at when you are thinking about freelancing. Have a grace period where you and your budget should be enough to last you through the whole adjustment you will be facing. Also, prepare yourself for some challenges ahead that might make you doubt your decision. So if you decide to leave what you have now and freelance, better have a backup plan or savings just in case the going gets rougher than expected.
Image Credit: Soikkoratamo – Studies (CC Licence)