Freelancing might not be a Gen Y thing, but a full-time freelancing career, definitely is. It takes a lot of courage to decide if one should make it a full-time online freelancer, or work as a side-job for passive income. Freelancing comes with it’s own taste of good and bad, but when it’s done right, it comes with great perks of freedom, money and peace of mind. No boss, no rules, no fix timings, and work from anywhere.
You might have read a lot of success stories about freelancing and it might tempted you enough to start a career in freelancing. But, before you take any such decision, let me also show you more side of freelancing. Have you ever thought? Despite of having such a lucrative career option, very few make it to the top and carry out as a career option for long? Why not everyone gets success in freelancing career?
It’s because freelancing is not just getting online on freelancing sites, and start doing projects. It requires much more than your skills to reach the target and goals. Before living a dream life, you need to pass lots of hurdles. Thus, if you are planning to choose freelancing career make sure that it is right for you or not?
Freedom never comes free and thus here are few factors worth considering before choosing a full-time freelancing career:
Should you make Online Freelancing as your career?
It doesn’t matter if you are a freelance writer, freelance blogger, freelance designer, freelance photographer or anything to do with freelancing; there are few traits which has to be in you to be successful, and to make it your career.
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Freelancing gives you freedom, and you become your own boss. This sounds fascinating, but at the same time; you need to be self-disciplined. You have to be very sincere about your work. Specially if you are an online freelancer, you are bound to get distracted easily. You need to understand “Time is money“, and you need to keep your focus on your work.
The most important factor of freelancing is to finish the projects within deadlines thus if you are planning to start freelancing make sure you have good time management skills. Initially, it may sounds like not a big-deal kind of thing, but as soon as you move ahead in your career, you will face the biggest problem of getting stuck in multiple things. If you stay organized from day one, you are bound to get success.
When you are working with a company, there are many programs and factors to help in motivation. But, when you work alone from home there are lots of factors which demotivates you or atleast you can feel the lack of constant motivation. Problems with friends/family, lack of productivity, not enough earning, bad day with client and lots more, these factors can easily drag you away from creativity and your work. Thus, If you are like me who needs a mentor to keep me motivated and help you to get best out of you then freelancing would be kind of tough job for you.
A good idea is to keep your freelancing desk surrounded with stuff that keeps you motivated. It could be anything related to your earlier work, photos, motivational posters, or motivational music in background. Once in a while, you should consider watching motivational movies, to keep pushing you for more.
No matter what field you choose, planning is the first step towards success. To get success in freelancing you need to be an efficient planner to plan about all projects, their deadlines, which project to accept and which to reject. You need to be sure what’s next is in your “To-Do Lists”, instead of hopping from one project to another and finishing none.
You need to use proper software’s to keep track of your work, income, to-do lists, client details etc. so that you can make the right plans and stick to it. You don’t need a lot of tools and software’s, but you need to pick few, which works best for you.
Dealing with clients:
Apart from dealing with motivation, discipline and planning, you also need to deal with your clients to get success in freelancing. The first job is to search for clients for the services you provide and for that you need to be innovative in your marketing skills.
Once you get a lead, you need to interact with him for pricing, job requirement and other informations related to the project. Not every clients are the same, and every-time you will be dealing with different kind of clients. Few of them will be perfect to deal with, and few of them will be the biggest critics of your work and would hardly get satisfied with your work. Thus, if you can’t take criticism then it’s going to be a tough way to be a successful freelancer. You have to keep your ego aside, and learn to deal with different type of people, when working online.
May be freelancing is your dream work but you can’t ignore earning. Earning is always secondary when have passion in what you do but it do counts. Thus, before leaving your full-time job make sure you have sufficient savings because it might take time to start a good earning as a freelancer. Lack of money might discourage you.
Once you are fine to start with freelancing, you need to be confident about your work and charge for your services according. Analyze the market, clients and then decide how much you are going to charge. And do remember “never put all eggs in one basket“.
Build your portfolio:
To get better clients, you need to work on building your portfolio. When you work with freelancing sites like Freelancer.com, oDesk, it’s becoming easier to create a portfolio. At the same time, you should work on building your personal portfolio on your personal website. WordPress makes it easier for any freelancer, to get their portfolio website up and ready with few minutes of work. Not only you can showcase your work, you can also add a blog to it, to target more clients from search traffic.
Having your own website will help you to get more clients, and will also cut down the middle-man cost. Thus helping you in getting better clients with better incentives. This is highly recommended, as you can’t always rely on freelancing sites for new jobs, because couple of bad reviews on these freelancing sites, might become biggest hurdle of your freelancing career.
Above are few factors which you must consider before choosing a full-time. Sharing these factors doesn’t mean that you can never be a successful freelancer, I shared it so that you know what basic qualities a freelancer should have and if any of these qualities are missing then you can improve them and give a kick-start to your freelancing career.