Freelancing has been glorified because of the many benefits that come with it; you are your own boss, you can work from anywhere and at any time, and you choose your clients. Before you finally quit your 8-5 job to become a freelancer, it’s important to note that just like any other business, freelancing comes with its challenges.
Challenge No.1: Finding Clients
Maintaining a steady flow of work is among the biggest challenges that freelancers face. As a freelancer, finding projects and booking clients is something that you’ll have to do on your own. Oftentimes, this is an ongoing challenge, and not just something you’ll do and get done with.
There are times you’ll work hard to find a client only for them to disappear without a phone call or email. Then you’ll have to start the search all over again. This never-ending hustle can be daunting for many.
Challenge No. 2: Time Management
When you are your own boss, it’s easy to become lazy and not follow your schedule. And, if you don’t meet deadlines, you’ll likely lose your clients, quickly.
Meeting deadlines is crucial if you want to retain clients, so avoid unnecessarily putting off work or leaving tasks for the last minute. Also, avoid taking on too much work, more than you can handle. Create a schedule that you can easily follow, and remember to take breaks so you can keep yourself refreshed to do a better job.
Challenge No.3: Online Security
One of the greatest advantages of being a freelancer is the freedom to work anytime, and from anywhere as long as the work is done well and on time. To add to the convenience, most restaurants, coffee shops, and other public places like airports have free wi-fi connectivity available. However, these open wi-fi networks present serious cybersecurity risks to unsuspecting users.
It’s quite easy for hackers to seize the information transferred across these networks, meaning your confidential data, and that of your clients is at the risk of being compromised. If you permit file-sharing while working, malware could be planted on your computer without your knowledge. So, you should ensure that you sufficiently protect your data.
Tools for Freelancers
The above problems should not deter you from becoming the best freelancer you can be. There are many tools out there to help you grow your online business. Let’s look at some of them:
Project Management: Trello
As a freelancer, you’ll be required to collaborate with others on a day to day basis as you work on the same project, and that often means endless, and sometimes confusing spreadsheets. Trello comes to help you penetrate all that by offering a very visual system for teams to collaborate.
With the ability to sync across all devices, this tool allows you to instinctively use cards, lists, and boards to prioritize and organize your project tasks, giving you ample time to do the actual work.
Time Management: RescueTime
The secret to having a healthier work-life balance and being more productive is to know exactly what you are spending your time on and adjust accordingly.
RescueTime is a time management tool that runs in the background as you work on your devices and correctly trails the apps and websites you are visiting, and for how long. This way, you can analyze detailed reports to find out what you are wasting your time on.
As mentioned above, freelancers risk being hacked when they use free public wi-fi networks. By downloading a VPN for improved security, you’ll be making yourself less vulnerable when using these open networks. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) acts as a layer of defense between you and the malicious hackers lingering on the same network. This tool routes all your activities on the public network through an encrypted network, allowing you to stay private and secure.
Freelancers face a myriad of challenges in their day to day lives, but that doesn’t have to deter you from being the best freelancer you can be. Use the above tools and watch as your freelance career grows to greater heights.