Freelancing is not same as a full-time job. This is why, there are few things you should know before you venture into freelancing.
Planning on making a leap from full-time to freelance? That’s a big decision you’ve got lined up there. Not to sound unsupportive, but I truly hope you know what you’re doing. Freelancing is a tough gig and it requires tough players. For one, the field of freelance is now full of competition. We’ve got tons and tons of contenders from all over the world with all sorts of skills. Sure, you’ve got independence over your workload, schedule, and life, but that also requires a lot of patience, perseverance, and self-motivation.
So, have you got what it takes?
Here are 7 things you should know before you dart right into this daring domain.
Sometimes You Get Rejected
Ouch! We know this sounds harsh, but that’s just how freelancers “roll”. Not every client that comes your way will be ready to work with you, some might reject your for one reason or another. It’s not a nice feeling especially when you are starting out because that’ exactly when you’re more likely to get rejected (unless you’ve already been building a reputation).
A freelancer knows how to handle this rejection. While unconstructive and senseless rejection gets labeled as “baseless bashing”, constructive rejection becomes “valuable feedback”.
Sometimes You Fail To Deliver
This is similar to rejection, except this time you will get the project you want, but you won’t be able to “deliver”. The probability of that happening is great, especially when you start out because either you or your client has miscalculated expectations or delivery time—possibly due to miscommunication and leading to misunderstanding. Although, this does happen quite often when you’re freelancing, with time and experience you should be able to reduce the likelihood of it happening again, owing to the same mistake.
Offer Competitive Pricing
Since the world of freelance is full of competition, there’s no way you can break an entry with a ridiculously high charged price. One way you can determine the ideal price for a project is by checking “going rates” in your area. You could be pricing your projects either too low or too high. Price yourself too high, and you won’t find work. Price yourself too low, and you risk not being able to cover your expenses and make a decent living. Be careful what you start with and make sure it’s fair.
Sometimes You Need a Plan B
To make ends meet, it’s not uncommon for freelancers to sign up for both full-time and freelancing careers. Unlike a day job, freelance monthly payments are not always “stable” or regular. There may be months when work seems to be flowing in at a pace that forces you to say “no” to some client—and then there would be times when you have little or nothing to do. For some, this pattern is quite overwhelming. If you like predictability and stability, you’ll end up with a “Plan B” just to regain that sense of control over your schedules and income.
You Need First-Rate Time Managements Skills
This should be a no-brainer, but it’s usually where freelancers get mixed up with freelance being “demanding” or “hectic” or actually being very “liberating”. We’re sure you’ve already heard those mixed reviews. The truth is, freelancing is neither. No, you don’t always get to be your own boss, and yes, you are still a slave to routine in many ways. However, freelancing isn’t demanding or hectic unless you make it. With proper time management skills—no wait – first-rate time management skills you shouldn’t have to stay up nights or just “get by” with an income that barely pays the bills. Quality freelancers know exactly when to allocate tasks, for how many hours, and properly manage their time with the work they’ve already got.
You Must Have Great Communication Skills
Since freelancing is all about dealing with clients and knowing what they exactly need so you can figure out how to offer you services in a way that benefits them, there’s a lot of “people handling” you are required to do. Whether you’re talking to them online, in person, or over the phone, you need to have great communication skills to make a mark. Without this skill-set, you’ll miss out on opportunities, fail to communicate your expectations, and be vulnerable to potential misunderstandings. Additionally, you’ll have to be a great story teller, particularly when you’re talking about yourself.
You Will be Working Alone Mostly
This line of work lacks frequent physical social encounters, and even though you may not realize this at first, it can get pretty lonely. You won’t be getting those pats on the back from your superiors, supportive comments from colleagues, or the feeling that you’re always part of team. If you’re going freelance, you’re going solo.
Are You Ready?
So, do you think you’re ready for the freelance gig? If you’re still pumped up and you feel nothing can get in your way, chances are you do have what it takes to become a freelancer. Even if you have passed all the “tests”, there’s still a chance things won’t go as planned. That’s when you need to remember that these little “failures” are merely a few bumps on the road – which are a necessary part of moving forward and learning what works and what doesn’t.
To get started with freelancing checkout this article that mentions some of the best websites where you can easily find some freelance work.