10 Realities of Freelancing You Must Know Before Making the Shift
‘’Freelancing’’ is a pretty fancy word, and may sound especially tempting to those who are either stuck with a boring, monotonous job or are getting crushed under the thumb of a tyrannical boss. Freelancing implies being your own boss, which comes with freedom and ample opportunities; however, no one speaks about freelancer realities.
Working in pajamas, operating out of any location, and quickly earning heaps of money—everything seems like a dream, doesn’t it? Well, these are nothing but freelancing myths. The reality is far from the rosy picture you would usually come across.
At times, freelancing is fuelled by unrealistic expectations; hence, some people get swayed by myths about freelancing. But, you have to dissect the false assumptions from reality to realize your true potential.
10 Freelancer Realities to Acquaint Yourself With
You have always thought of being self-employed and giving up the nine-to-five job, haven’t you? Many of us have considered this option; however, to be realistic about your chances, you must be familiar with the following realities.
1. Money doesn’t pour in from the start
It’s one of the common myths that naive freelancers believe in. Freelancing is like running a startup. Initially, you may get meager revenues. So, before you think about making a shift, take a look at your finances. You should at least be able to survive anywhere from three to six months on zero to trickling income from your freelancing career.
2. Achieving work-life balance can be hard
Entrepreneurship is challenging, and freelancing—also known as solopreneurship—is no different. Realistically, you may have to forget about work-life balance (especially when you are just starting out), because you will need to put in the extra effort to get your business up and running.
Pitching your freelancing services and landing clients can be time-consuming, especially in the beginning. Hence, initially, your full focus should be on pitching to as many clients as possible. When you’re juggling multiple tasks, your work-life balance may be compromised.
3. It’s not all dreamy
Another myth about freelancing is that working in pajamas or from the comfort of your home is fun. While it is true, it can also be tiring and make you feel lazy. There may be times when you start feeling demotivated to get dressed up and start working. This may affect your productivity levels.
4. Networking is not optional
Building genuine connections can pave the way for freelancing success. Networking with the right people in your industry may help you land your dream project or client. If you are a newbie, you should seek advice from your professional network, as it will widen your horizons.
5. It can be stressful
Saying yes to being self-employed = saying yes to a rollercoaster ride. It is filled with numerous roadblocks, such as delayed payments and difficult clients. If someone says that freelancing is less stressful than a full-time job, they are selling lies. It probably means they still haven’t reflected on freelancing realities.
6. Maintaining self-discipline can be challenging
Offering freelancing services is easy; providing quality results is a difficult feat to achieve. Freelancing requires strict discipline and hard work. You can’t move forward without a strong work ethic.
7. Rejections are aplenty
Rejections are a part of a freelancer’s life. Every business has different requirements and budgets, and you can’t be the best fit for every client, and vice versa. Whether you are starting out or are an established player, rejections will be a regular part of your job. However, you may experience them less often if you have been a thorough professional at the outset.
8. Personal branding is a must
Don’t fall into the trap of freelancing myths, such as ignoring personal branding. If you don’t market yourself, people will not know about your freelancing services. Don’t shy away from building your brand. Let people know about you and your expertise. Learn this trick: sell without sounding salesy.
9. Landing clients can be tricky
One of the freelancing realities people never talk about is having a streamlined process; landing clients becomes a little easier with it. Often, businesses choose to work with people having a smooth workflow. Getting clients is challenging, but following a procedure to go about it may ease the process a little.
10. Virtual portfolios are everything
A virtual portfolio is a great way to boast about your freelancing services. Don’t miss the opportunity to woo your potential clients with an attractive collection of work samples and top-notch reviews. A freelance portfolio says a lot about your work. It smoothens the tasks of prospective clients to gauge your work quality and make the right hiring decision.
Competition is on the rise in the freelancing industry, so it’s better to get familiar with some freelancer realities. Being your own boss is not easy. And, you have to be especially careful when you come across some common freelancing myths. If you succeed in understanding and adapting to this work model, you may finally triumph over all odds.
Whether you are a content writer or graphic designer, freelancing is for everyone. There is no thumb rule for specific people making the shift. If you feel it’s the best choice for you after weighing all the potential challenges, go for it.
Absolutely! If you don’t have the required skills or expertise, people won’t hire you. Businesses collaborate with freelancers to benefit from their skills. For example, if you are a graphic designer, you need to have a thorough knowledge of Photoshop and Illustrator. Moreover, you also need to have an eye for design.
Communication is necessary regardless of your role or industry. Furthermore, if you want to sell your freelancing services, you have to communicate effectively. Remember, communication is the key to resolving all your problems.
You can create a portfolio through websites like Canva. If not, collate links to your published work. For example, if you’re into web content writing, you may publish your work on Medium and showcase it as your portfolio.
Your service charges depend on your expertise. If you’ve been freelancing for a while, always stick to the charges you believe you deserve, and the right clients will come to you.