Freelancing is a dream job each one of us aspire for. The freedom to work at your own time and have a make shift office anywhere you want is surely alluring. Like you, I envied each one of the freelancers I met, wondering when will I possibly be able to do that. In time and due to situations, I did become one and here are 5 lessons I learnt as a Freelancer.
Freelancing – An Awesome Sauce?
The initial idea of freelancing, took root in me as I was working as a core member of a Retail marketing team. There are many nitty gritties of marketing that, in house team cannot manage to do and the company doesn’t want to hire any. That’s where the freelancers come in, who get that part of the work done, for you at a cost, with no worries for you to utilize their time if they were an employee. I loved the idea of being a freelancer, as all that mattered was whether you completed the work on time or not. No boss to ask you what time you came to office or why you left early.
Freelancing is sure an awesome sauce but it has it’s own pros and cons. I have over a year of experience being a freelancer and thought I should share with you what I learnt. Though 1 year doesn’t seem like much, but am sure these lessons will help you navigate the world of freelancing better.
Lessons Learnt as a Freelancer
Mind you, I won’t be talking about the pros and cons of freelancing, but what I learnt in this journey as a freelancer. Hoping this will help you, make a decision or get better at it or have rather realistic goals. Enough said, let’s jump into what I learnt,
Lession 1: It is NOT Easy
Work is available in abundance and freelancers are needed, but it is not easy when you are one. It may take a while till you find substantial work. You may not find work immediately, after you decide to become a freelancer. Enlist yourself on various sites like Freelancer, Upwork, WorknHire and keep bidding. Don’t give up on it the moment you feel frustrated of not finding work. Have patience and build your portfolio and keep trying. It will get extremely frustrating at times but don’t give up.
Also write to various companies, pitching yourself as to how you could help their organization. This has been the most successful way to find work for me.
Lesson 2: No project is small. Any work is good to take
You are used to a certain profile of work and want to be given and treated the same way when you are freelancing. Calm down and take a step back. It is important to understand that you are an unknown entity to your prospective clients. Your work is what will be talking for you. So it is important to take up any RELEVANT work that comes your way, no matter how big and no matter the value. You need to build a portfolio and also work on your ratings/recommendations. It is important for you to get reviews on your work from clients, which could become the base to getting more work.
So any work that comes your way. Take it! Set your rules and refuse work in time when you have built a strong portfolio.
Lesson 3: Don’t be desperate, choose your clients wisely.
Waiting for work is frustrating, especially when you have no other source of income. But don’t loose your values and refuse to listen to your instincts to refuse to take up work from certain clients. The biggest issue in India as a Freelancer is getting your payments on time. I had a very bad experience, where in the work was submitted way before the deadline but the payments delayed for no reason. Constant bickering to get the money you earned is quite irritating. This I would blame myself, as I did no checks or detailed discussions before jumping into work.
Don’t let the frustration of not finding work get the better of you. Keep your mind open and discuss and keep the agreement in writing with a consequence if both parties don’t adhere to it. Work through reference is always the best way to find more work with trustable clients. So keep your good clients in great books and you sure shall be the first person they will refer to not just colleagues, but friends and family.
Lesson 4: Organize Yourself
No boss yeaahhhh! Much much better mind space to work in for sure. But organizing yourself is a must. Set aside a time to work and always adhere to deadlines. To not let the everyday things mess with it, keep your schedule right in place. A set place and time you go to everyday to do your freelance work. This will not only ensure you do your work on time but also helps you concentrate to do the best of work. Let your family and friends know it. Freelancing is equally work, just that you may not have an office to go too and even shorts will be great work wear. 😉
Organize, Organize and you’ll see a change in your work and yourself too. 🙂
Lesson 5: Freelancing is awesome sauce, if…
No Boss. No Dress Code. No Travel to Office. No Timings = Freelance Awesome Sauce!!
Freelancing is fun and liberating, especially if you have worked in a corporate world for long. But, ensuring to do it in an organized and patient way is what will give you the heart, soul and pocket warming benefits of freelancing. 😉 Being a freelancer is hardwork like any other work you do, dedication is much needed. But once you figure out what works for you, freelancing will be a bliss. It took me time to figure it out, but am happy to say I have made a way. 🙂
What are you still wondering?
Would I call myself a successful freelancer? Not yet, as I have a certain goal am yet to reach. But work from home as a freelancer has made me money. I promise to write an update post when I would have reached my goal. 🙂 I hope the lessons I learnt will in many ways help you get around to better freelancing or convert you into a freelancer. Whatever it maybe, remember every work needs dedication, hardwork and ethics. Don’t ever loose that. 🙂
P.S: Here is my workplace for the next 2 weeks. 😉 😉
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