Let’s have a show of hands; how many of us wanted to, or still want to become freelancers?
Freelancing is a humble job because of all the implications. You’re working on a per-contract basis and you’re essentially being paid for what you feel is worthwhile of your services. For instance, some freelance artists will only charge for the work they’ve done and a modest amount at that. Meanwhile, some very well-established artists will charge hourly rates—and you’re going to have to pay them regardless of how long they take to complete their work.
Sadly, there’s not much you can say about those individuals. They are, after all, empowered by a sense of importance due to their impressive portfolio of work and their ability to find clients due to their influence in their chosen industry. However, that stage isn’t reachable by any freelancer. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and a stroke of luck to reach that stage in your freelancing career. While accomplished freelancers are able to snatch clients out of thin air, the other 99% struggle to get by on a daily basis and wish they never left their day jobs to pursue something they believed so strongly about.
Getting clients is difficult
If you manage to get a paying client within your first week of freelancing then consider yourself lucky. Many freelancers started with very low-paying jobs such as writing news articles or opinion pieces for a couple of bucks, but eventually upgraded to more paid jobs and slowly built up a portfolio to advertise themselves with. Others aren’t so lucky. Some people work for free just to build up their portfolio and, before they know it, they’re a month or two into their new career choice without a single penny to their name.
Chasing clients is annoying
Let’s say you have established a list of clients—what now? After writing up some invoices and sending them out, you’re probably going to be twiddling your thumbs as the deadline for your rent payment looms and you’ve still not received your money from the client. Chasing people for money isn’t fun but it’s something that has to be done because many clients will “forget” about paying you until you’ve sent about a dozen emails threatening them with legal action.
Handling finances is hard
There’s a reason why there are so many outsourced accounting services that advertise as being freelancer-friendly. Xero consultancy is one such company and they have made a name for themselves as being one of the best financial consultants for regular freelancers. Unless you have a knack for spreadsheets and maths, you’re going to need the help of a financial professional if you want to manage things like tax payments, expenses and other money issues.
Working off the clock is tiring
One of the best things about becoming a freelancer is the fact that you can set your own hours. Sadly, that doesn’t happen very often and freelancers often find themselves struggling to make time for themselves. The reality is that freelancers work off-hours and, unlike a traditional job, it’s unclear when a freelancer actually has time to spend on their personal hobbies and their own enjoyment.