is freelancing full time a good idea? The answer is a bit complex but I will make a honest assessment and hope you will be able to figure out if freelancing full time is a good idea.
To begin with, freelancing might sound cool, you are your boss, you can work from wherever you want to, but it also comes with a lot of challenges and unseen circumstances which will test your patience, commitment and zeal in the long run.
For some, freelancing full time is a way of life, they cannot imagine doing a 9 to 5 job and hence getting into full time freelancing and thrive on it. For others, freelancing is a means of making some additional income and hence they don’t get into full time, but treat it as a part time opportunity. Whatever be the cause, you need to understand some basic fundamentals and follow them if you would like to succeed in freelancing.
Rule #1: don’t get into freelancing because it seems cool
Yes, a lot of new freelancers have one thing in common. they build this assumption by hearing or reading about freelancing being cool and a give their shot at it without preparing their mindset or understanding the pros and cons that come with freelancing. Never be one of those because its more probable you will have a tough time in the beginning because of competition and when you don’t make a lot of money in the first month or two, you will end up losing that zeal and eventually call it a day.
Rule #2: Freelancing doesn’t need a degree, but skills are a must
Yes, you don’t need to be qualified or have a college degree to get into freelancing, but you need to have some skills such as being able to communicate in English, having good subject knowledge in an area of your interest such as coding, web designing, content writing etc. If you don’t have any skills, but good at English, you can try your hands at writing small articles to begin with and you will get your foot in the door. Once you complete some projects, consider learning an additional skill or 2 which will become handy because as a freelancer, you need to be multi faceted and having multiple skills will increase your opportunities to get better visibility. If you would like to find out if one of your skills is available on a popular freelancing platform, check out these freelancing categories on world’s top freelancing website www.freelancer.com
Rule #3: Freelancing is all about patience
If you are in a rush to make a truck load of money, don’t even think of getting into freelancing full time, unless you are a genius at what you do. due to competitiveness, you will find it challenging in the initial days to get visibility and it will take a while before you can land your first freelancing project and build on your portfolio. Thumb of rule is that you need to have a lot of patience and persist with freelancing for 3 to 6 months before settling in. is freelancing full time a good idea? indeed if you have all these qualities mentioned above!
Rule #4: Freelancing is not for weak hearted
Yes, apart from having patience, you need to be strong mentally and have a tough heart to get into freelancing and taste success over a period of time. If you are someone that prefers security and financial stability, freelancing might not be the best idea, unless you can tune your mindset and recognize that freelancing will be profitable, but in the long run if you follow all the required standards and complete your projects on time with focus on utmost client satisfaction.
Rule #5: Clients prefer hiring someone that knows what he is doing
This is a critical factor that many new freelancers ignore. they upload a bunch of portfolio items, send out a cookie cutter message and undermine the price hoping one or other client will hire. This is not a good practice because a lot of clients prefer hiring someone that can demonstrate his/her skill by doing a demo or writing something which will appeal to the client. This is how you will stand apart from competition and get heard. I will write some extensive articles in coming days on how you can develop your sales pitch and get noticed by clients even if you are bottom of the ladder in terms of competition.
Rule #6: freelancing demands a website or a blog
Apart from having individual freelancing accounts on sites such as freelancer.com, you also need to have a portfolio styled website or blog that will demonstrate to your potential clients as to how prepared you are. Imagine you having completed a web design course and wanting to become a web designer and not owning your website? That’s no less than a sin! Whether you do coding, designing, writing or marketing, you need to have an independent website. I will explain in depth why you need a website, how you need to ensure your website has latest standards and how your website can help you in converting leads to sales.
Rule #7: freelancing on a stable internet connectivity
If you want to get into freelancing full time, get a good internet connection for yourself. I have experienced a lot of issues myself in early days because my internet was running on MODEM and it used to get disconnected frequently. This will create a lot of issues, not only because you need to be connected to web, but clients in general give a lot of importance to availability and communication and you might not want to upset your initial clients with poor internet connectivity issues. If you are new to freelancing, go for a good internet package, whereas if you have been a freelancer for a while, I would recommend you having a backup so in case your primary internet is down, you can always maintain continuity which is important.
While there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration which you will get to know in coming days with help of my how to freelance articles, you need to make a honest evaluation of your strengths, weak points, skills and determine is freelancing full time is a good idea or you could always make a start and buy time and develop your knowledge and see how far it can be taken. Stay tuned for a lot more useful tips on freelancing.