Offering freelancing services is common in the creative and tech/digital industries – in fact, around 35% of America’s entire workforce are freelancers. The number of people moving towards freelancing is increasing and is expected to exceed 90 million by 2028.
BUT, WHAT IS FREELANCING EXACTLY?
Being freelance, simply means that you are self-employed. Instead of signing a contract with one company, you work for yourself and manage your employment. Freelancing gives you the freedom to work for whoever you like and you are your own boss. You can choose the hours, time and set your own pay rates.
ARE YOU READY TO GO FREELANCE?
It is important to understand what it really takes to be a successful freelancer. It’s easy to look at the benefits freelancing offers and be tempted to quit your 9-5 to become self- employed. But before you take the plunge, think if it’s the right time for you to make the jump.
You’ll know you’re ready when you ask yourself these questions –
- Do I have a strong portfolio?
- Do I have the confidence to pitch to clients?
- Do I have confidence in my skills and abilities?
- Do I have a strong professional network, so I can generate work consistently?
- Have I researched the market enough?
- Do I know how to price my services?
- Am I confident in using freelancing tools?
- Am I prepared to face rejection and keep moving forward?
- Have I understood how to achieve work-life balance while working remotely?
If you are ready to go freelance, then you’ll have some of the above, if not all, sorted out.
THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING A FREELANCER
Have you been thinking of ditching your corporate life for a cubicle-free life of a freelancer?
It has been a successful path for many, but before you quit your steady job, it’s worth taking a look at both sides of the coin. Listed below are some pros and cons of being a freelancer that will help you decide if this is something you’d like to pursue in the future.
PROS OF FREELANCING
Here are some positives when it comes to freelancing.
FLEXIBILITY IS LIMITLESS
The 9-5 grind isn’t for everyone, and if you are one of them that dislikes mundane everyday routine, then you will find that freelancing gives you limitless flexibility. Since you are your own boss, you can accept and work on projects that suit your lifestyle. You won’t have to worry about going off the clock or asking for time off – you are free to work from anywhere anytime.
YOU’RE NOT DEPENDENT ON ONE INCOME STREAM
Being a freelancer is exciting because you form so many network connections and the possibilities are endless. For example, if you are a freelance writer, you could have multiple income streams from offering writing services, selling an e-book, affiliate marketing, online course, blogging etc.
YOU BUILD YOUR BRAND
Building a personal brand is an important part of growing your freelance business. Freelancing allows you to start your business and build a brand that’ll help with creating a memorable reputation in your industry.
MULTIPLE CLIENTS AT A TIME
If you think you’ll enjoy working on a variety of projects with multiple clients, then freelancing gives you the opportunity to do just that. This is perfect for someone who enjoys managing widely differing workload encompassing multifaceted interests.
YOU CHOOSE YOUR OWN PROJECTS
The biggest perk of being a freelancer is the freedom to choose your own projects. If you are tired of being dictated at work on doing tasks that don’t excite you, then may be you can consider going freelance.
WORK FROM ANYWHERE
This is one of the reasons why many people are attracted to going freelance. Work from home, or from anywhere. Some even become digital nomads and combine their passion for travel and work!
You could be saving thousands of dollars a year by cutting down commute and choosing to work from home. You also get to spend more time with your loved ones at home.
CONS OF FREELANCING
Here are some negatives when it comes to freelancing.
WAY TOO MUCH ON YOUR PLATE
If you’ve been a company employee for a long time, and have recently made a shift to being self-employed, then it could be an overwhelming experience for you. Make sure you understand the different stages of becoming a freelancer and take one step at a time to avoid burnout.
POSSIBLE FINANCIAL INSTABILITY
It could take a while to set up a freelance business. Networking and finding clients take time and effort. Until then, you have to be prepared to face any possible financial instability. Make sure you’ve made arrangements for rent, food and other commitments for at least a few months after going freelance.
NEED TO WEAR MULTIPLE HATS
When you start freelancing, you are your own boss, employee, accountant, tech support etc., and you’ll have to wear multiple hats, while also focusing on the main work that brings you income. If you aren’t good at multitasking, it might be a hindrance to growing your freelancing business.
DIFFICULTY FINDING CLIENTS
One of the major issues freelancers have is finding suitable clients that work well with them. Unlike a company-employee relationship, you and your client are equal partners in the association, and you might have a hard time initially finding clients that truly understand your working style and mantra.
RISK OF LONELINESS
Battling loneliness is one of the biggest problems of working from home. Working in solitude could bring down your motivation and cause depression.
These were some pros and cons that can help you decide if you’ll be a good fit to become a freelancer. If you want to experience working for yourself, then freelancing is a good place to start. Just be aware of the potential negatives and prepare yourself the best for any possible outcome!