Now that you’ve left your job or you are on the verge of starting your career. You may have thought of going freelance sometimes. It is also something many people want to go with. But why? because going freelance makes you your own boss, gives you independence and a lot of freedom. But in it, there are hidden many scary and unknown prospects. Whether or not you’ll find enough clients? How much will you earn? Etc.
So to help you with all your doubts; in this blog, we will articulate some facts that they never tell you about.
1. Handling all the business affairs, singlehandedly
Freelancing is close to running your business. Unlike, being a staff member whose responsibilities are fixed, when you freelance you become the boss, the marketing head, project manager, accountant, client manager and the list goes on. To put it in simpler terms, you spend most of your days’ time being the admin as you do on the work. Zoom meets, calls, presentations, emails etc. all must be handled by you alone.
2. Inconsistencies in earnings
Even if your earnings are higher as compared to being an employee, it doesn't always feel like it because there's no regularity when it comes to payments. Sometimes you earn close to the money you get in 3 months within a single month, but at times you have no earnings for many months straight. So you should be able to manage your expenses properly.
3. Hey I’m Xyz, I provide services A, B and C. Call me
You have to be on your toes every time to promote yourself. There's no guarantee that the steady supply of work you’re getting now will continue forever. Self-promotion is something you don’t need to do at the beginning of your freelance career but throughout it.
You must never stop marketing; the seeds you plant now for outreach can take a while to respond. You must see your own brand as an annoying client who needs constant nurturing over time.
It helps if you provide a list of achievements and evidence of your work. For generating enough evidence, you need to constantly track all your campaigns. Screenshot your work progress as that will help you to write case studies and get more work.
4. Best clients and big clients aren’t similar
In the industry, it’s a big misconception that the more a client is prestigious, the better. But often the experiences with these big-name clients can turn out to be worst. The payment terms of these large companies are unnegotiable, immovable and meagre. Smaller as well as Mid-level clients can provide you with the rewarding opportunities.
So treat each job equally. Be aware that big organisations can offer up multiple people to deal with, which can rapidly get confusing. "With bigger clients, don't be afraid to ask at the start if there are other decision-makers involved in the project," says graphic designer and illustrator Graham Pilling. "That enthusiastic person who loves the ideas you're sharing with them might not be the one who actually signs off."
5. Find a niche that you feel appropriate
An all-rounder usually isn’t as successful as a specialist. Being a freelancer you don’t have to be all things. Those who specialise, in fact, are some of the most successful freelancers. It all boil downs to finding your niche and your people.
Freelancers covering all niches are often ignored by clients, a person who would want to draft content relating to design would look out only for writers having design as their speciality.
6. Learn to take a break
Well, being successful at promoting yourself and gaining new clients is just half battle won. Once you proceed further you'll soon find yourself exhausted and burned both mentally and physically. To work sustainably, at times you need to see yourself as an employee. Give yourself slow days, sick leaves, and holidays. Know when to take a break from work.
It's easy to accept all jobs that come along the way. But when you sit to work on them, it really stresses you out. Taking periodic breaks help you in the long run to avoid burnout. We’re not talking about holidays, but the much ignored “me time. The time when you’re not on your desk but out for a walk, or hanging out with friends. Give your body the space to breathe and your brain a chance to recharge. Your creativity is just as important as your work, do note that.
We would suggest keeping a pet with you, it not only provides companionship but also an ear to hear your rants.
7. Being lonely is crushing
Exhaustion and stress are not the only dangers to your mental health. Being a freelancer, you’re bound to get lonely, and that can be quite crushing. Constantly working from the same space day and night will get you lonely no matter how big an introvert you are. Make sure to regularly call or face time your family, friends and close ones. Having a quick chat with your tribe helps a lot in keeping you social and less lonely.
You can also create your own freelancer network to avoid isolation. Be that digital or physical, doesn’t matter. Just be in touch with your community, where you can exchange ideas/experiences and receive critical feedback. Use that network to push your creative instincts.
The biggest thing to realise, says marketing and PR consultant Veronica Wood, is that freelancers are your friends, not your competition. "After some initial suspicion, I realised that we each offer something very unique," she recalls. "I have now made so many freelance friends, as well as winning work and referring work to others, through freelance communities."
8. Think long-term
“It always gets better; you just need to keep swimming” – Dory from Finding Dory. In your freelance journey, there will be obstacles and hurdles but gradually it gets better. For every dusk, there’s dawn waiting. Even if you’re broke right now, you’ll start making more than the people in a 9-5 job. Don't worry, it gets better: stay strong!"
Being a freelancer is like running in a long-distance race wherein a lot of endurance, determination, and self-care is important. But if you keep running, you’ll soon reach the finish line.
Summing it up
So these were our few cents on how the journey of a freelancer is like. Liked it? Then why not subscribe to our blogs? We’re sure you’ll find more such amazing content here. Wondering who we are? We are Sampark Infoways, a leading all-round IT solutions company in Raipur, Chhattisgarh. Check out our website for more details.
So we’ll see you in our next blog, till then happy freelancing!