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The Reality of Freelancing - And How to Overcome It

Posted 10-09-2021, 12:58 PM
1.) Introduction

Freelancing is one of the best and most sought-after jobs globally. There are tons of benefits of working as a freelancer such as flexible work hours, being your own boss, and making more money than you would working for a company. The thing is, becoming a successful freelancer is hard as over the past years, the market for them has saturated quite a bit and if you're new to the scene, you will come across a lot of obstacles in your new career.

I will write about some major problems you will face and how to overcome them.


2.) Freelancing Reality

2.1.) Finding Work
Problem:
The fact is the most people never start their freelancing career, simply because they can't land a project. This is one of the toughest obstacles to overcome. This happens because most clients go for well-established freelancers that already have some kind of feedback. It's very easy to understand why this happens - simply put yourself in the client's shoes; you'd rather order from someone who has constant 5-star feedback, than from someone who joined a few days ago with 0 feedback.

Solution:
If you've chosen Fiverr (or a similar marketplace) as your starting point, focus on what isn't saturated, rather than trying to prove you're better than all of them. I've cringed hard at some of the LOGO services they offer - they're absolutely horrible however the seller has over 10,000 feedback and an overall rating of 4.6. There is no point in competing with these guys. What you can do is look up what's new to the market.

One good example was when a new popular chatting app was released (can't remember the name), some guy from Youtube offered to create slick profile pictures for the app. It's safe to say that he got a lot of orders. Point is, find something new and offer it.

If you'd rather not do Fiverr, I would recommend you to create a Dribbble & Behance profile and share your work there. If you're positive your skills are what clients will need, you will have no trouble finding work especially once you gain some exposure on those platforms.

2.2.) Timing & Free Time
Problem:
Some clients are annoying, that's the fact. They will expect you to be online 24/7, doing annoying revisions for them. This can be exhausting and demotivating so much that you'd find yourself wondering why did you ever agree to work with this client. It happens to everyone and luckily, you can fix this problem.

Solution:
Don't treat your freelancing career as a different job. Treat it as a regular job. This means that you should set working/availability hours before working on a project. That way both you and your client will be happy. You will know that you've done your work for today and that you're free to focus on other hobbies, and your client will know that you're not available so he won't expect you to be there for him 24/7.

2.3.) Wrong Projects
Problem:
I get it, we all love money and need money, however accepting projects that you know you won't be able to finish is worst than accepting that sweet cash. You will find yourself in a very awkward spot where the client expects you to finish it within a certain timeframe and you know you won't be able to. There might also be projects where you're simply not satisfied with the project brief.

Solution:
Just say no.
You will save yourself and your client a lot of time and nerves.

2.4.) Stress
Problem:
As a freelancer, you're your own boss. This has advantages and disadvantages. When you work for a company, your boss will handle all the sticky situations with your clients and your job will be to only do your part and you're done. However, as a freelancer, all the responsibilities will be on you. This means doing project briefs, time, budget and also making sure that your client is often updated with progress. It can be stressful at times, especially when your client demands endless revisions

Solution:
You have to enjoy the process. Focusing solely on money will get you nowhere. If you're enjoying what you do, it means that you will enjoy every aspect of it from boring, tiring stuff all the way to making your clients happy. If you find yourself overloaded with responsibilities, you can always hire someone to do that part of the job. Sure, you will "lose" some money, but you will be much happier.

2.1.) No Steady Work
Problem:
Freelancing is not a steady job, especially if you're starting out. You might land a huge project and when you're finished, you'll find yourself searching for jobs just to earn some money again. You also have to handle your own taxes as you'll have to open a company.

Solution:
Focus on building a reputation. Lower your project price to the minimum to establish credibility. Also, clients might refer you to their friends/family if your work is good so always make sure to do your best. Those Fiverr sellers with their logos, as horrible as they are, have constant work. When I was checking, they had 8 orders in queue.

The point is, good work & reputation will bring you clients.


3.) Conclusion
Freelancing is beautiful but hard. You will come across a lot of obstacles in your way, but if you try to overcome them rather than giving up, you will make some great money. My best advice would be just to love the process. Don't chase a freelancing career solely for income as you will find yourself demotivated and quitting way too soon.
10-14-2021, 03:02 AM
Nice content
10-12-2021, 04:16 PM
Thank you Pixel! Exactly what I mean. :)
I don't want to discourage anyone. It's just the opposite, I want to give solution to the most common problems
10-10-2021, 12:13 PM
I've been working as a digital marketing freelancer for a long time and you give some brilliant advice. Although freelancing is hard work, it is also rewarding when you have the freedom to pick the jobs that you love.