A freelancing job means, no boss, creative freedom, flexible work timings all this and success at your desired pace. Sounds like a dream job doesn’t it? But that’s not all, freelancing full-time is a lot more than just that. Freelancing needs much more commitment, discipline and balance than any other routine 9 to 5 job. While some people work wonders as freelancers others know that they belong to a formal work setting.
Many people enjoy working full-time in a formal office setting among colleagues, attend meetings, brainstorm ideas, chase deadlines, take coffee breaks with their teams, and share a joke across the cubicle. Such people are not suitable for full-time freelancing, so before you decide to give it a shot think and consider the following pointers to know if you belong to the world of freelancing.
Given excitement of venturing into the world of freelancing you would want to give your 100% to it. Initially you would enjoy working late nights when distractions are at a minimum, late mornings would not bother you much as you don’t need to beat the traffic hour to reach office in time. All this might sound very nice, but it would wreck your body clock. In the long run your body might start reacting to your undisciplined lifestyle. It would be much better if you maintained healthy morning and bedtime routines. Follow your office time schedule that way you would end up working the same hours as your clients do. That way co-ordination with them would be easy too.
If you have taken up full-time freelancing, you must also come to terms with the fact that you will seize to work in the traditional office setting with your team amidst other colleagues. Now you will be away from the hustle bustle of a busy office in front of your PC at home where you might not have any one to speak to or share a cup of tea with. All the business talking you do would be when you Skype with your clients. Make sure this isolation does not affect you adversely. If working in isolation is not your cup of tea then rent a desk or a cubicle and start coworking.
Freelancing means you have to be your own boss literally, treat yourself as the CEO, mark targets and set deadlines for yourself. Just because you are not answerable to a higher work authority does not mean you can take it easy. If you start procrastinating, you might end up dilly-dallying on social media all day. Your work will suffer and you will have to bear the brunt of client complains. To avoid all this, self-discipline is the key, make sure you keep your work up to the mark and meet all deadlines.
Learn to Tackle Clients
If you have been client facing at work this should be easy, if not, this would be the first hurdle on your path to freelancing. You have to be polite, courteous and helpful while communicating with your clients. Do not resort to rude or sarcastic comments even if your client’s demands seem unreasonable and unrealistic. Stay calm and be at your polite best. Your client is your new boss and it would be best if he is treated like one. Clients prefer working with freelancers who keep it simple, deliver as per commitment and are easy to work with.
Price it Right
Freelancing full-time means no fixed salary each month and no benefits. You must price your services right, your earnings depend on the rates you quote, so quote wisely. You can start small by quoting low and then steadily increase your rates as you gain more experience and expertise in the world of freelancing.
Before you take the leap into full-time freelancing we suggest you check that you have enough savings in place to carry you through the first few days or weeks, where you will spend majority of time finding clients. Initial transition from a formal work environment to freelancing at home, could be tough to handle. There might be times when you feel like giving it all up, that is when you need your family the most, only they can boost your morale so make sure you have your family and friends by your side.
Share with us the challenges you faced when you started freelancing?