Before I started freelance work, I had a few presumptions as to what the freelance life would be like. I’m pretty sure the fear puts a few people off becoming self-employed. And, this fear generally comes from the myths surrounding freelancing. Let me tell you straight off, these myths are bullshit! Now I’m self-employed and building up my creative business, I get asked a lot of questions as to what the reality of freelancing is. It ain’t easy, but if you’re wondering about what the job of a creative freelancer is really like, then read on!
THE MYTHS ABOUT FREELANCE WORK
You won’t make a career from it
The main thing that puts people off freelance work and working from home is the fear that you won’t be able to make a long-term career from it. This ain’t true at all! There are thousands of freelancers who have built creative businesses and have been doing so for many years. I’ve been a freelance copywriter for a few years and the great thing about doing so, is that you can plan out your own career path. You can determine your own progression and really map out where you want to take your career. I first started out blogging as a hobby, before taking that into paid freelance writing work. I’m now doing social media marketing and making plans for my own products too. Unlike a traditional form of employment, freelance work offers you complete freedom. If you ever wanted to transition back to being employed by a company, you’ll have gained a tonne of skills that you can offer, as a result of being self-employed.
You can’t make money
When you work for yourself, you earning potential is infinite. Sure, you need a plan of action and you need a strategy that works, but once you do, you’ll be able to determine how much you want to be earning and how to go about that. As a freelance writer, social media coordinator or creative business owner, you can easily earn a full-time wage. Yes, you need to work hard and have a good client roster, but it’s more than possible. I started on a part-time wage until I built up a client list and gained more experience. If you’re planning on launching a freelance writing career then grab my free email course on how to grow your skills and get clients through the door.
As a freelancer, you also need to make sure you’re not underselling yourself. Pricing yourself too low is a big no-no, and it means you have to work harder to earn more. Since I increased my prices, I gained more work. Crazy huh? Despite my initial fears that I’d gain less clients, pricing myself higher (and taking into account the value of my work) has meant that I have more time to work on building my business, as well as providing a better service to my clients.
If you truly want to increase your earning potential as a freelancer, then crafting your own products is the way to go. Having a passive sales income provides security and allows you more time to grow your skills and business.
It’s easy work
If there is one piece of advice I could give anyone thinking of doing freelance work, it’s to graft hard. If you don’t work, you ain’t gonna make any money honey! I wish I could tell you that I spend most my days on the beach sipping champagne, but the truth is I work hard. It’s not uncommon for me to be working up until 2am, whether that’s on client work or crafting my business plan. And, I don’t mind that, because I love what I do, and I’m lucky that I get to do a job that I love. Freelancing isn’t for the work-shy. You need to be driven, you need to be motivated, and you need to be hungry. Hungry for client satisfaction and hungry to grow. If you’re passionate about what you do, and are ready to work hard, then you’ll love the freelance life.
The initial investment is too much
Here’s the great thing about being a freelancer; it costs you nothing to get started. Yep! I started my freelance business with a big fat zero! How? Well, you really don’t need anything to get started, other than internet access (obvs) and a few ideas. When I started my writing career, I didn’t specifically use any tools, other than an everyday notebook to keep track of my income and projects. You really don’t need many tools when you start your freelance business. If you like being organised online, then I highly recommend Google Docs and Asana. Other than that, Quickbooks is perfect for invoicing clients and keeping track of your income.
I’ll struggle to get clients
One of the biggest fears for freelancers is the client struggle. At the start of my career, I had a slight panic about this, and in truth, I’ve never had a problem getting clients through the door. That’s because I’m very pro-active in pitching. These days, I will only pitch for either long projects or those that are high paying. Hustling for nothing or just to write one article (unless that article pays extremely well) isn’t going to grow my business. The truth about pitching for freelance jobs is that it’s extremely easy when you know how (my free e-course tells you more about how to pitch on freelance sites). Doing your research and self-promotion are the key to attracting clients – once you’ve got this covered, you’re on your way!