Freelancing Truths That Professionals Won’t Admit
Working as a freelancer is probably one of the most enjoyable career paths as a creative professional. Having the freedom to work your own hours and be your own boss without running a business of several dozen employees gives you a sense of control and autonomy that you could only hope to achieve when you work for an outsourcing company or a large business as an employee.
The industry of content creation is booming thanks to the internet. It’s now extremely simple to get yourself noticed, to market your products and services, and even easier to get the work finished and sent to your clients with the help of high-speed internet connections that are affordable and accessible. However, there are some caveats to freelancing that many people won’t tell you—especially the professionals. If you’ve ever wanted to become a freelancer, then consider these points before you take the dive and quit your job.
Getting clients is extremely difficult
There is a whole sea of competition that your potential clients can pick from, so what makes you special? In reality, there is nothing that will set you apart from the competition aside from your reputation, which is probably your most important asset as a freelancer. Your website needs to display your portfolio and it needs to have a list of all your past clients. You also need to get used to using social media and promoting your services across several different social networks to get more exposure.
It also helps to get involved with communities that are related to your business. For example, if you are a freelance artist then you might want to set up an account on DeviantArt or Behance to showcase your work to art communities. You’ll get lots of feedback on your work to help you improve, but you also might be approached by people that want to commission work from you.
Getting paid is even harder
Chasing invoices is something you’re going to have to get used to as a freelancer. It would be great if all of your clients paid on time so you could decrease the amount in accounts receivable, but that simply doesn’t happen. You’re going to have to throw emails around, you’ll be constantly checking your bank account, and you’ll probably need some external help from cloud accounting software. In short, getting paid and dealing with invoices is going to take up a substantial amount of time from your freelancing time.
It’s hard to get rich
Professional freelancers could make hundreds or thousands per assignment they take on, but that doesn’t mean you will be getting paid that much at the beginning. In fact, to build up a portfolio you’re going to have to work for free for a while. It’s sad, but that’s just the reality of a freelancer with no background and no experience. You have to take on as many cheap-paying clients as possible so you can get used to the entire freelancing process, which means you should start freelancing alongside your regular job.