Everyone wants to live a life where they are their own boss, and they lay the rules of their life. Freelancing is one option that gives you the flexibility to work at your preferred time, earn as much as you can, and work without too many restrictions.
But, is freelancing that easy? An old proverb says, “The grass always looks greener on the other side,” and this is the case with freelancing too. Being into full-time freelancing for over three years, I have learned the nitty-gritty of this booming industry from my mistakes.
If you want to give up your 9 to 5 job to become a full-time freelancer, just because you feel it is an easy option, then please stop! To help people take an informed decision, I have compiled a list of some important things concerning freelancing that you should be aware of. These points will definitely help you take the right decision regarding your career.
Freelancers don’t get too much time for themselves
People working from home are often considered to be the lucky ones, as they get a lot of free time to enjoy their life. This is one of the biggest myths about the freelance industry that will get debunked once you start working as a full-time freelancer. When people work in a 9 to 5 job, they are required to focus on their core expertise area only, which is not the case with freelancing.
As a freelancer, you will be responsible for doing the marketing (marketing your skills to attract prospective clients), accounting (maintaining proper books to keep a record of all the receivables, TDS deducted, and much more), team handling (if you plan to onboard others), sales ( selling your services), and a lot more.
All these things are required to be done, besides performing the main task. When a single person ends up doing so many activities alone, the chances are thin that he or she will get much time for self.
Inconsistent work is a big problem
The thought of working from the comfort of home may please you, but at the same time, the thought of running out of work can freak you too. Inconsistent work is a dark side of the freelance industry, and you need to be a pro at sales and marketing and exceptional in your work to stay in business.
In freelancing, getting clients may not be that difficult, but retaining clients surely is. A freelancer’s journey is nothing less than a roller-coaster ride that is full of ups and downs.
The concept of being the own boss may be a dream to many, but the same dream can become a nightmare when the clients start leaving you, and you are left with zero projects.
Getting the right pay for your services is not that easy
Freelancing is a booming industry, but it is still a lot disorganized and unregulated. You may bag projects, but in order to get the industry rate, you will have to know your worth first. A lot of freelancers are underpaid because they are unaware of what their work is worth of. It took years to realize that I too was being underpaid. After talking with many experienced freelancers, I understood that you need to be a pro at what you do, and you should learn to say “NO” to low-paying projects. As a newbie, you may not get the rate that you deserve, but with experience and time, you surely will.
Dealing with direct companies is always a good option
A lot of intermediaries exist in the freelance world that are ready to take a substantial portion of your earnings for passing down a project to you. Try to avoid them as much as you can.
Some people will take projects from companies, at say $500, and will get it done from the newbie at half the price, or even lesser. If you are good at the services you offer, then always try to bag projects directly from the company, and not an intermediary. It will ensure that you are paid well for your hard work and efforts.
These are just some of the things that I learned over the three years, and the list keeps increasing with every new experience. In a nutshell, freelancing is not easy, and it will consume much of your time. You should take up freelancing as a full-time profession, only and only if you are willing to give your 100% to it.
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Author Bio: This post was written by Niharika Gupta. She is a full time freelance content writer and offer SEO-services. She offers a wide range of content writing services and professional proof reading services too. You can reach her at Niharika’s LinkedIn Profile
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