If you are considering a career as a freelancer, you’re certainly not alone. A freelance career can offer you freedom, unlimited earning potential, and the ability to work from home. But these benefits are not without their challenges. Freelancing demands a lot. You need to be prepared for the pitfalls so you can overcome them and find success. Here are some obstacles to avoid.
- Lack of Knowledge of the Industry
Freelancing requires that you remain up to date on everything in your industry. It’s essential that your clients perceive you as an expert in your industry. To do this, sign up for blogs that relate to your chosen field and read important news articles to stay up to date.
- No Marketing Strategy
Just because you are a terrific writer or designer does not guarantee that you have any marketing acuity. And you need a marketing strategy to find clients and grow your business. Before you decide to start a freelance career, take a social media or traditional marketing class. Read articles about how freelancers market themselves and create a preliminary marketing plan. You can modify it as your business grows.
- Unrealistic Expectations
As a new freelancer, you have no way of knowing how long a project will take. You might take on 40 hours of work in a week. But after you take the time to market your business, communicate with clients, and find new work, your 40-hour work week has turned into a 52-hour work week. Start out slow so you can learn how long projects will actually take before you take on too many things at once.
- Lack of Payment
This is one of those difficult topics that people don’t often tell you about. It can be difficult to get clients to pay on time. Some clients will fight back against payment, and some will demand more time to pay. To prevent this, send your invoice when you accept the job. Set clear expectations with your clients, and allow multiple methods for payment.
- No Sense of Self-Discipline
When you are your own boss, you can decide to sleep until 10. You can also decide to wear pajamas all day, take a long lunch, take a few days off work, or stop working at 3. Of course, if you actually did all of these things, you wouldn’t have much of a career. Starting a freelance career take a tremendous amount of self-discipline. Do you think you have what it takes?
To help you get started, consider these websites for the freelancing opportunities they offer.
Upwork is widely considered to be the best website for freelancers. Prominent freelance categories include writing, design, sales and marketing, IT, engineering, and customer service.
If you’re a designer, sign up for 99 Designs. Freelancers can compete in design challenges, and clients can choose the best freelancers for their projects.
If you’re a freelance writer, you can work for Essay Mama, a writing service that provides academic essays to students at all age levels.
iFreelance sets itself apart in one very big way. Freelancers on iFreelance get to keep 100% of their earnings, unlike almost every other site, which claim anywhere from 8-15% of the profits.
Guru is great for highly skilled freelancers or those who have been freelancing for a long time and have an established client base and catalog of work. In order to be accepted on Guru, you need to go through a rigorous application process including a Skype interview.
As you start your freelance career, you might run into some pitfalls and obstacles along the way. But if you are willing to out in the time and energy, your freelance life will provide ample benefits that are more than worth the struggle. To get started, sign up for one of the websites above and get your career off the ground.
Author: Kenneth Waldman is a freelance writer and content creator, who draws his inspiration out of the traveling. Get in touch with him on Linkedin.