Why some freelancers quit – This has to be one of the most intriguing articles I am ever going to write about. I have seen so many freelancers over years and observed some of those profiles to see if they are active and before opening I made a guess – if I open 10 profiles randomly, I will stumble across 7 or more that have bid a goodbye to freelancing. Last logged in 1 month ago, 2 months ago, 3 months ago sums it up!
Before writing this, I wanted to understand what might have propelled them to quit, but the more I kept thinking, the more stressful it became just to think about that idea of someone quitting, so I can imagine how it must have been for those freelancers that decided to call it a day.
While freelancing is not end of the world, I do know for a fact most of those freelancers were fascinated to get in and explore this new world, so what made them quit? Is it their inability to find enough opportunities, competition, not making enough money, not getting enough client responses, not able to understand the process or a culmination of all these and some other reasons?
Much like startups that fade out sooner than being able to break-even, freelancing is no exception which means 7/10 freelancers on an average quit in less than a year wondering is freelancing profitable which is my guess, but I am sure it might be close to that figure. With so many new freelancers joining different platforms every minute, it becomes increasingly difficult for aspiring freelancers to have a clear roadmap on how they can float for a start and then think of sustainability.
First things first, which means as a new freelancer looking to get your foot in the door, never ever think of how much money am I going to make or how many projects will I be hired for? Your sole focus must be towards surviving which means
I live today to fight tomorrow! instead of wondering why some freelancers quit without putting up a fight
I am going to see myself as a freelancer for life time and will die as a freelancer, this is an oath I gave to myself and am following it day and night, how many of you are truly COMMITTED?
No matter how tough the situation is, if you truly commit within yourself come what may I am going to become a freelancer and live on it, no one can stop you from getting better with every experience and learning you bring into forte!
To be honest, I carry the same level of enthusiasm, zeal, determination, eagerness, dedication, passion and so much more that I had when I decided to plunge into the ocean without knowing its depth. I taught myself how to survive, how to fight against odds, how to compete with others that have been there, and are diving after me, come what may, I am going to make a place for myself.
Lets take a real life scenario. Every street across the world has a hotel, does that mean other hotel owners fear competition and don’t setup their own hotel? Every nuke and corner of the globe has a school or 2, are others taking this as an excuse and not setting up schools?
The beauty of business and market is such that everyone gets a share of the cake, provided you learn how to ‘earn’ your share and not have this blind belief that I need to go and sit there doing nothing and someone will embrace me!
Are these the only reasons? Make no mistakes, yes each of them have a say, but what is the single most factor because of which many call it quit too soon? LACK OF COMMITMENT
I see these statements day and night and I wonder what must be going in the heads of those freelancers who assume its so easy to get work if you use one of these phrases, you know there is competition, you know you don’t have reviews, you know you haven’t uploaded your portfolio, you know you came with this notion of bidding to get work, you know you will not be hired, you know there are so many others like you that use these phrases, why, why and why do you expect to get hired?
Top freelancers consume 22 bids on freelancer.com before they can expect a paid project (in my case, it is 13) , how many are you bidding a day? 1-5 is the ratio I have seen from the feedback you all gave so far, pack your bag and keep it ready to quit in next 3-6 months if this is how you are going to approach your freelancing career
It is also worthwhile to note that top freelancers do get a lot of repeat business / references which is not the case for every new freelancer. Yes, there are some new freelancers that get lucky, but your entire focus in infant stages must be towards getting as many paid clients as you possibly can.
If you are online 4-6 hours a day, work during weekends and spend more time if needed, if you can put 50-100 bids a day, if you write customized proposals, ask relevant questions and persist, you will surely get to a point where you can start charging more and also get repeat business from your customers along with references
So going by the above logic and by law of average, you need to consume as many as 75-100 bids before you can get a project as a new freelancer, this is not to be taken literally though as there are external factors that you cannot control and a bit of good/bad luck too – but if you follow this for next 1 year, I will see you continuing for sure