So you’re thinking of becoming a freelancer- no set working hours, no dress code and no boss. The life of a freelancer sounds like a state of utopia for a lot of workers. What’s not to like?
The gig economy is constantly growing and if you have skills people can pay for, then being a freelancer is not far off. Truth is, there is no one-size-fits-all tip for every freelancer, but there are some factors worth considering upfront. As you explore options, the last thing you need is to dive into the freelance world only to discover it is not for you.
We’ve put together 7 things you should know before becoming a freelancer.
1. Starting is easier than you think
Becoming a freelancer is pretty straightforward. Once you’re able to identify the type of gig you are willing to take on, you’re already one step in the right direction.
2. You won’t become rich overnight!
Don’t expect to start cashing in as soon as you become a freelancer. In fact, chances are starting out as a freelancer might be a bit slow. Becoming successful as a freelancer takes consistency, self-improvement, and effective client relationship management….over time.
The great news is that once you figure out a winning formula for your freelancing operations, the sky’s the limit!
3. Time management is key
Time is perhaps the most important asset you must manage as a freelancer. It is, in fact, that double-edged sword that allows you to be your own boss, in complete control of your time – but also makes demands on much of your time.
If you are able to properly manage your time, you’ll increase your productivity and still have a lot of time for your personal life.
4. Freelancers work… A lot!
There’s this myth that working as a freelancer largely comprises lounging around in your house and just chilling!
If you thought that freelancers just lay about, not doing much, think again.
According to a survey by FlexJobs, most people freelance the equivalent of a full-time job. Others freelance 16-20 hours a week while juggling a full-time job.
In addition to fulfilling client requests for specific services, other activities like sourcing new clients, developing proposals, marketing your services, invoicing and client follow-up also demand time and energy. But it’s energy well-rewarded if you’re able to develop efficient systems, which brings us to the next point.
5. You have to be organized
Emails, deadlines, meetings, invoices and more Emails. This is a day in the life of a freelancer. Keeping on top of all these can get overwhelming, especially when you’re just starting out.
Luckily, just by adopting a few best practices, tools and habits over time, you can create an organized workflow that minimizes stress and maximizes your productivity.
6. There will be slower times
Freelancing can indeed be a lucrative career path. However, there will be times when gigs are slow. To combat slow periods, it is important for freelancers to develop good saving habits so that they are not pressed for money.
7. You don’t have to quit your current job to get started
Contrary to what a lot of people think, you don’t have to quit your current job to become a freelancer. If possible, test the waters – try to juggle between your regular job and freelancing. You may not get the results you want, but you’ll get a clear picture of what freelancing entails.
Once you are comfortable with freelancing and you wish to pursue it full time, you may make the move.
There you have it, important factors you should consider before embarking on the freelance journey.